This past winter season Josh collaborated with Green Lake designer Sophia to create an engagement ring that would both punctuate his love and accurately represent the uniqueness in his bride-to-be, Aleya. The ring is stunning, sure, but it’s the story of how it was presented that really caught our attention here at the workshop. Josh was kind enough to share his tale with us, and we’re happy to share it with all of you:

SEATTLE — Joshua Gephardt, April 3rd 2012: 


Two last minute decisions to attend an anti-trafficking prayer meeting on the evening of June 25th, 2011 landed Josh and Aleya seated one row apart at a church in the University District. Little did they know Josh had literally been driving by Aleya’s house every week to Family Dinner night – living only 10 blocks from her. Amidst the prayer, Aleya caught Josh’s eye, and before he left that night, he “networked” and got her contact information. Josh’s perseverance overcame Aleya’s malfunctioning cell phone – and 3 weeks later Josh attended a baptism held by Aleya’s church at Matthews Beach Park. Their unofficial first date ended 12 hours later with Josh singing Aleya a song he’d written about his journey with the Lord: “Jesus don’t you know.”

The summer was filled with wonderfully long days that mostly involved doing things together (except for the 5 day hunting trip Josh took with Aleya’s Dad and brother!) Hours of talking, laughing, praying, going on multiple joint adventures and spending time with one another’s friends and family cemented the relationship.


Soon summer turned to leaves falling. Joshua, a man of action, secretly worked feverishly on designing the ring with behind the scenes input from several trusted women, as well as an amazingly intuitive and brilliant “co-designer” Sophia down at Green Lake Jewelry Works.  With patience, creativity, and love, Josh, with assistance from his team, crafted a unique, yet timeless and one of a kind ring that will likely become a family heirloom.

The ring not only ended up transparently displaying Joshua’s love for Aleya but also beautifully alluding to her unique personality and style, and constantly garners all the comments and raves one might hope for… which ultimately just reinforce the love that the ring symbolizes.


December 22nd arrived. Aleya joined Josh & his siblings from Hawaii under the guise of a proposed downtown pre-Christmas dinner…

…little did Aleya know that as they bordered the #73 bus it was filled with 30 of their family and friends (including the surprise arrival of her sister, Lindsay, from L. A. and brother, Riley, from Bellingham) – all in disguise.

Nope, she didn’t recognize a one, even sitting a couple feet from her sister and Josh’s brother Ben (a trait she gets from her mother ☺)! Josh left Aleya’s side briefly to, “ask the bus driver a question” while Aleya chatted with his siblings, unaware of the 30 people hiding around her. Josh secretly retrieved his guitar; a strum queuing the a capella band of “passengers” to start up.

With song and rhythm, disguises began falling off to the sheer awe and delight of Aleya. The serenade continued singing, “if you want me to love you, all that you must do, is just say so,” and the crowd, and soon the whole bus was echoing in, “Say So, Say So, Say So!”

With the final strum of the song, Josh handed off his guitar and dropped his knee on the linoleum bus floor: “Aleya,” he said, “I’ve waited my whole life to meet you and I would like nothing more than to spend the rest of my life taking care of you. I love you with all my heart, would you marry me?” Aleya answered with a hearty – “YES!!!!!”

The city bus and their community gave a roaring cheer! After hugs from all, including the bus driver, they were sent off for a special evening together that ended in a stained glass chapel where lit candles and communion awaited them to celebrate with the author of it all…