Meet Whitney Irene:

Shiki founder, Glitter Enthusiast,
Mrs. Ford, Craft Addict. 

My Name is Whitney Irene Thomas (WIT)…. recently became Mrs. Ford! By day I am a Marketing manager for ProtégéBranding.com and by night a creative entrepreneur with a passion for all things handcrafted. Often I feel like I’m seeing spots, which may be because I am the proud mama to 3 fur-babies: Desi & Lacee, our Dalmatian-Pitbull rescues; and a puurr-fect white kitty (with black spots), Lola Jane. A California Native and Arizona transplant, I love hiking with my husband Taylor and our pups, in addition to popcorn with raisins, and all things glitter!

Upon graduating from California State University, Fullerton with a degree in Communications, Entertainment Studies, and a minor in Women’s studies, I decided to pursue my dream to become Miss America and moved to Phoenix Arizona with my best friend Liz. Let me back up a bit… For two years I competed in the Miss California Organization and had the honor of serving as Miss Placentia 2011. Meanwhile Liz was really enjoying Arizona, so I decided to give pageantry a shot in the Grand Canyon State where I won the title of Miss Phoenix 2012.

2012 was a life changing year. During my reign as Miss Phoenix, my heart for service grew exponentially and taught me so much about myself along the way. In March of 2012 I met my hubby Mr. Taylor Ford on a blind date. After two years of dating Taylor proposed (on the 2 year anniversary of our 1st date) in Sedona, AZ with our family present to celebrate with us! Our love story can be found here. One of my favorite things about Taylor (aside from his chiseled features and huge heart) is the way he supports my passions as if they’re his own.

After years of competing in pageantry, I decided to get involved in another capacity and currently have the honor of being the C0-Executive Director ( along side Liz) of the Miss Scottsdale, Miss Phoenix, and Miss Maricopa County Scholarship Pageant. As a local preliminary to Miss America, our contestants and titleholders develop interview skills, refine a talent, build confidence, earn scholarships and much more. Helping young women reach their full potential and see growth through leadership, philanthropy, and personal achievement is incredibly fulfilling.

In college while living in the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority house, I earned the nicknames Crafty-Chi and Craft Queen. I truly miss taking a “little sis” each fall and crafting gifts for them for 6 weeks straight! Luckily, I can still get my Greek Life fix while serving on the advisory board for AXO at ASU.

Throughout every season of life, my heart sings when I am able to be creative. My mother let my creativity thrive each year when I wanted to plan extravagant themed birthday parties! She took all of my ideas and helped them come to life. (Thank you for that mama!) Expressing creativity seems to be a way of life in my family; my father is a fashion photographer, my mother a make-up artist, and my little brother a skilled artist in everything from graphic design, painting, drawing, sculpting—you name it. My paternal grandmother is a flautist, and skilled at knitting; her grandmother made beautiful crepe paper flowers to support her family (something I learned after I started to make crepe paper flowers for my wedding). My maternal grandmother is a seamstress who creates all of our tribal regalia by hand for our annual Delaware Tribal Pow-Wow, and is incredibly gifted with beadwork.

For as long as I can remember friends and family have been encouraging and supportive of my love for planning events and creating handcrafted touches, often telling me I should start a business…So here we are. Shiki has been on my heart for many years and seeing this little dream of mine become a reality is beyond exciting. The name Shiki comes from the American Indian tribal name given to me by our ceremonial chief, my great-great uncle Leonard Thompson. Shiki Tundus means Pretty Lilly in the Lenape language and because I love making “pretty” things this was a fitting name.

Shiki was created to be an outlet for inspiration, a place to find pretty touches for your parties and events, and a recourse for your own DIY projects. Thank you for visiting!