is the creative outlet for Jade and Steve Thorpe. We came up with the idea for
our little company in 2008, the same year we were married (a long and epic
story). In 2015, after many moves, we bought our little slice of Central Texas,
Whanau Farm (Whanau is a Maori term meaning extended family).
is a native of New Zealand, which is reflected in his style, and enjoys
combining traditional Maori designs with elements of Celtic and Tribal
influences. Bone carving has become his primary creative channel, and he’s
enjoying incorporating some Texas inspiration into his designs. He’s also an accomplished painter with over 15
years of painting in oils and acrylics. The huge Texas landscapes have inspired
many more paintings that he is eager to start on as soon as we can build a
is a native of San Diego, California. She has dabbled in a lot of different
arts and crafts, but she is truly passionate about art dolls, or, as we have
begun referring to them as, Multi Media Life Sculptures. Of course, she finds
crochet therapeutic, so refuses to stop hoarding yarn!
we’re not creating art we’re usually fixing something on the farm (we bought a
fixer upper), taking care of our menagerie of animals, or being parents. Steve
is also skilled in Tai Chi, and Jade is an accomplished belly dancer;
eventually we’d like to find space to teach others our chosen escapes!
that’s the gist of us! If you want the epic love story, keep reading; otherwise
feel free to browse our offerings.
Thank you for your support!
2003, Jade escaped an abusive relationship in her final term of pregnancy. She
had her son, and survived with the help of her supportive parents. Eventually,
she tried dating again, but without much luck. She resigned herself to being a
single mom. She joined an online support forum for single parents and made
friends with others in the same situation.
2006, Steve’s marriage of 23 years suddenly came to an end, leaving him a
shattered wreck. He had two children, a son and a daughter, and no idea how to
be a single father. He, too, joined the support forum, needing support and
friendship to get him through one of the hardest times of his life.
and Steve hit it off right away. When she was 13, Jade had gone to New Zealand
on a Student Ambassador trip and had fallen in love with the country. Steve was
just amazed she knew where the tiny island was! They soon found out that,
despite the 20 year gap in their ages, they had a lot in common. They began a
friendship through email and yahoo chat that was as rewarding as it was “safe.”
Steve lived in Wellington, New Zealand, and Jade lived in San Diego,
California. That, mixed with the 20 year age difference, convinced both that
their relationship would never be anything more than friendship.
months after beginning epic daily chat sessions that would sometimes last 6
hours or more, Steve found out that his company was sending him to a conference
in San Diego, California.
took him another month to tell Jade.
13th, 2006, Jade picked Steve up from the San Diego airport. They
had dinner and walked for miles (honestly, they walked much further than they
should have) on the beach, and realized they were in love.
no! That can’t be! Neither one believed in love at first sight! Of course, they’d
fallen in love during all those long conversations. They had had no reason to
lie to each other, so they’d been painfully honest and now knew each other
better than anyone else. And, as luck would have it, their chemistry together
was, ahem, very good.
conference lasted 3 days, at the end of which Steve rented a Harley, and they toured
the Southwest United States for 2 weeks. Jade almost got hypothermia in
Flagstaff, not realizing how cold it would be in October and owning no winter
gear (she’s from San Diego!).
arrived home, and thought, “Well, dang.” (Actually, the word she thought was
much stronger, but you get the idea.) She knew she couldn’t be happy away from
him ever again, but the idea of moving to New Zealand, leaving everything she
knew behind (she’d lived in the same house since she was 4 years old) was
terrifying. Not to mention they’d only been together for 2 weeks. The idea was
of 2007, Steve picked Jade and her son up from the airport in Auckland. They
were married on a beach in San Diego on October 31, 2008.
been through a lot! Steve built on to their house in New Zealand, doubling the
size of the house, Jade’s son was diagnosed with Autism, and they’ve moved
house quite a few times. In 2012, they moved from New Zealand to America, and
tried several places before buying the farm in Central Texas. Steve’s son lives
in Australia, his daughter lives in California, and their youngest (soon to be
a teenager!) still lives at home.
it all, though, they remain, first and foremost, best friends!