What inspired you to start your brand?
I launched a costume jewelry line, BALBOA Jewelry, in 2000. The line was quickly picked up at Barneys and featured in Elle, Glamour, and Marie Claire. After several years, I had a growing interest in fine jewelry and went back to school at the GIA for design in LA, and then to fabrication school in NYC a year later. JP launched in 2008 moments before the economic collapse. It wasn’t an ideal time to launch a fine jewelry line, but it gave me some time to keep learning and honing my skills and style. I have really enjoyed learning and seeing where that knowledge takes me. I have been in business for 20 years total and I still feel that I have so much more to learn.
How does your company practice sustainability?
This is a point that has become increasingly important to JP as a brand. We strive to have a positive impact in our practices and sourcing. We do our very best to choose vendors and resources with sustainable and ethical practices in place. We use 100% recycled gold as well as ethically sourced stones. We continue to practice sustainable measures with recycled packaging, not printing invoices, and general waste reduction.
Best piece of advice for working moms?
Give yourself a break. I spent the first years of my mom life feeling like I had something to prove. My inner voice was saying “Don’t let your business decline because you are a mom”, “be a great role model to your babies by being successful”… this is the kind of thing I thought was so important. Now that I understand how quickly these years are flying by, I want to be sure I take advantage of every minute I can with my children. I want to be easy on myself and how I measure “success”. I love my work so much, but gaining more balance this year is a goal. Also, find great people to work with who can share the load and who you trust. That’s crucial. I have an incredible team.
What is your favorite Jane Pope Jewelry piece at the moment? Is there a favorite custom piece you've created?
This is like picking a favorite child, it’s impossible. I wear several pieces always and then pile on more as needed. I love all of the statement pieces and custom zingers I create, but my personal everyday style is more simple. I mean I have 7 ear piercings, and I wear 7 different earrings, but I consider that simple. The everyday rings I wear are the straight band, my kiddos name rings, a thin flat band, a triplicate ring, a custom ring and necklace of my beloved deceased dog’s nose and paw print + my wedding rings.
What is a typical day in Charleston like for you?
I am an early riser. I get my kiddos up and out for school by 7:15. After I drop them off and kiss them 100 times, I take our dog, Clyde out to the beach for a little bike ride. It’s so calm out there in the morning. Come back and get ready to head downtown to the studio. Depending on the day, I will likely have a couple of meetings and work on some custom designs, marketing. I try to leave the studio at a reasonable hour to get home and cook some supper for my family and soak up the evening with my kiddos. I get a workout in 3 days a week and a date with my hubs once a week if at all possible.
Any tips on keeping a healthy balance between your work and personal life?
I have found that with age, my priorities get more clear. Each person is different. Some days I get to work early and crush my to do list and still get home in time to go for a bike ride with my family and dinner on our porch. Some days, I scramble, scattered and late. It’s all about balance. I have tried to simplify over the past year.
To you, Marysia is...
A designer with an incredible eye and attention to detail. I love that she too is headed in the more conscious way of production with her Swim Clean collection. To me, this addition shows that sustainability and beauty are not mutually exclusive.
What is your favorite Marysia piece?
I love everything Marysia does. Her attention to detail is incredible, her fabrics are so buttery and lovely. The next piece I want is something from the swim clean collection. I love the palm springs maillot for an incredibly flattering fit.