Q&A With jane, Founder of Jane win
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I like to say that I am a bit of a Northeast nomad. I was born in New England, raised in Georgia, went to boarding school in Massachusetts, went to college in Florida, then started my career and my first business in NYC. After many years in New York, I pursued a fabulous opportunity right outside of Philadelphia and I have been here ever since.
What did you do before starting Jane Win?
It’s a bit of a long story. I held positions at Calvin Klein Cosmetics and Barneys New York before starting my own accessory line, Buzz by Jane Fox. We were in over 100 retailers. It was an absolute grind and so much fun. I learned so much but eventually started thinking that I wanted a little less grind and a little more…stability. Around that time, my accessory line, Jane Fox, caught the eye of the Lilly Pulitzer team – who convinced me to move to Philadelphia and launch their accessory collection. During my 11 years at Lilly Pulitzer, I launched handbags, jewelry, footwear and then eventually became Fashion Director, where I set the themes and colors for the brand. I later moved into the role of SVP of Creative Communications and Marketing.
Working for Lilly was one of the greatest gifts for a couple reasons. First and foremost –Lilly herself. The spirit of that woman gave me a lot of confidence to be ME. She clearly loved color and print (as did I) – but more importantly she held those who were truly ‘themselves’ in the highest regard. That has stayed with me – Jane Win is a unique brand with a point of view. We love connecting with customers through the designs and the meaning behind them and Lilly would have LOVED THAT.
The second reason working at Lilly was such a life changing moment for me is that I was ‘trained’ under two Harvard Business School grads (who were then CEO and President, owners of the Lilly brand) and they took so much time to teach me the ‘business side of things’. We did all the background work to make sure the FUN of the brand was built on a solid foundation of business planning. Without them, Jane Win would not exist – I would not have the business foundation needed to start a brand from scratch if they had not taken me under their wing. It’s such a lesson in paying it forward.
After being there 12 years (that’s a long time!) I started to get a little itch. I wanted to create something for me – a brand that connected with people. And that’s where the story of Jane Win begins…
Tell us about your brand. When did you launch? Where are you based? Why did you start it?
In 2017, I went to the Women’s March in Washington DC with my two daughters and I realized that while I LOVED my job at Lilly Pulitzer, I had been there 11 years and I wanted to build something. I wanted to create something from scratch, something original that connected with women…and I wanted my kids to see me do it (and help!). I knew I wanted there to be meaning behind each piece.
I knew some of the words I would use. I knew that I would make everything feel very special, from the quality of the coin to the beautiful packaging. I knew that it would be a company that is predominately online so I could build a relationship with people across the country.
I started playing with the list of words we would bring to life. I drew the first coins on a trip to Italy. I worked with a caster on Philly’s jewelry row to create the samples. We had a launch party in December 2018 where ALL my friends showed up for me and our entire family worked together at the event to talk about the collection – of only 8 coins at that time.
I launched the company because I wanted to be a role model for my own kids – so they could see someone build something from scratch. Many ask - why coin jewelry? I was inspired by the Roma people in Europe circa 1900 and their coin jewelry. These nomads created jewelry from their money. It was meant for more than adornment; it was a decorative method of transporting their wealth. They showed off what they had with their jewelry. I realized that my own wealth is based on life experiences rather than my finances. I wanted to ‘show off’ these milestone moments that make us who we are. The coins allow us to mark an occasion and also have something to hold on to – a physical reminder of a memory or event.
Can you walk us through your typical morning routine?
COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE! I would say I have a little bit of an addiction. I like to exercise daily so if I can, I try to start my morning with a quick walk or workout. My daughter, Tiki, just started her senior year of high school and I am literally trying to spend as much as time as humanly possible with her. Ha! So now that school has started, I am spending my mornings making her an English muffin and chatting about all the senior year drama, and then having a full-on, daily panic attack as she drives 45 minutes to her medical scholars program. Like seriously 45 minutes every day! What was I thinking!! I pick out a fun dress and stack on alllll of my Jane Win layers and head to our office/showroom, which just a few minutes from my house. Great for when I accidentally order Doordash to our house instead of the office. Then it’s more coffee, answering DMs and customer care emails, and the day begins!
Where is your next travel destination? Can you share your itinerary?
Italy is my favorite place and I am heading there next week (fingers crossed!). We were nervous the trip would be canceled with the travel restrictions but we are playing by all the covid rules and packing tons of masks. I cannot wait. Italy has been a constant source of inspiration for me. The first time I drank too much was in Venice (14ish years old hello Harry’s Bar) – and then I spend my 21st birthday there (now THAT should be a blog in unto itself), and then honeymooning with Doug there, these are real milestone moments. Capri has been an island I have visited consistently – honestly I try to get there every other year - since I was a tween. I remember walking through the crowded Piazza with my Dad and then slipping through small back streets discovering hidden gems. I love all of Italy, but Capri in particular is magic for me. My husband, Doug, and I took our kids on a giant trip a few years ago and stayed in the coolest house in Capri. I had just left Lilly Pulitzer and was starting Jane Win – and I started designing the coins while in Capri. I was absolutely brimming with excitement for my next venture and this intense sense of confidence and freedom to build something new. The Jane Win LOVE coin, the first coin I designed for the line, was inspired by the wrought iron gate detail above the door on the house we were staying. My love of the island runs deep and I can’t wait to go to all of my favorite restaurants and beaches.
Favorite books, tv shows, movies and/or podcasts at the moment?
I am such a big reader. Right now I am reading In Polite Company and The Last Debutantes. Doug and I binged the White Lotus and thought it was delightfully ridiculous. My go-to podcast is The Glossy Podcast, I’ll probably download a bunch for our flight to Italy.
Congratulations on launching your latest collection! What was your inspiration? Favorite piece(s)?
Ahhh I am so excited about our fall collection! There are 2 ways we see styling your Fall neck mess…and the first is MEGA LAYERS. We just launched an oversized star charm, our new Guiding Star Pendant. We were so inspired by the stars - the history of how they guided travelers, the meanings behind the zodiacs, the way they light up the night sky. The Guiding Start is the newest addition to our FOREVER collection. We are mixing our original coins with oversized charms amidst really chunk chains, stay tuned for an incredible curb chain coming soon. We have a lapis beaded chain that I LOVE! Lapis is my favorite stone for fall. This mega layered and chunky look is so chic for fall, it’s some seriously heavy metal.
In contrast to the mega chunky look, there is a delicate neck layered with simple chains of all lengths and a smaller collection of charms. Our new etched glass pieces we launched fit perfectly. The idea is pulled from a cocktail ring of my mom - the concept of etching on glass is not new but it is rare. We strongly encourage our customers to wearJane Win along with charms they have collected, a ring from your grandmother on along chain, a charm purchased when traveling…the layers of charms tell a story.
You can shop all of Jane Win's pieces on Modatrova here.
Below are Jane's Modatrova favorites.