Diary Installment 32: An optimistic person, a small business, and a mom. This is my diary of sharing, in hopes that we create a sense of community and stick together through this unimaginable time.
I am in the car driving back to New Hampshire from the most wonderful trunk show in Osterville, MA on Cape Cod. Of course it was wonderful because I got to meet so many women, and I love helping people find the right coin, the right chain, the right layers. But it was after the trunk show over a glass of wine that I had a moment to chat with the women who hosted the trunk show that left a lasting impression and spurred this diary entry. The question was – WHY did I start Jane Win?
So let’s go back a second. The event was held on the grounds of the most beautiful house on the water. We were in the pool house surrounded by an incredible garden and ART that took my breath away. I feel like privacy is critical so I will not name names, but the hostess and her husband have built a large company that probably all of you have shopped from. They have so much that they earned, and they opened their home to little-old-Jane Win – to support a small female run business. Everything was beyond perfect. The co-host was a sorority sister and friend from college who has literally supported Jane Win since day one. This is the second trunk show that she has orchestrated for Jane Win, and she delivers a spectacular crowd of smart stylish, women who love jewelry – it’s so fun.
Trunk shows can be tiring for me as, it’s a crazy, non-stop whirlwind of shopping for an intense set of hours. Afterwards, I have a tendency to reach for a glass of rose and take my shoes off. I did this with my hostesses, and we chatted about starting a brand. It made me realize that I used to talk about starting all the time, and when I started I was telling that story to about 6 of you (hi Mom!). Now our Instagram followers are almost 25k and we have tens of thousands on our email list. It is worth telling the story again.
Let’s go back 5 years. I am 43 and my girls are 12 and 14. As you may know I was the SVP of Marketing at Lilly Pulitzer. I took my girls to the first women’s march in DC…January 2017. I looked out from our hotel window that morning to see thousands of women gathering. There was incredible electricity in the air. Sabrina, Tiki and I walked to the Washington Monument, and I remember stopping and taking a moment to take it all in. I thought: I am going to start my own company. I am going to do it so my kids (all 5!) can see a woman in her 40’s start something from scratch and build it up. I am going to have them help. I am going to take this risk with Doug because I have so much conviction that we can create something special. I mean, the list went on. I knew I wanted to make jewelry. 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 honestly had no idea how hard all that would be, but I did have a complete vision for what it would look like. And then...we started building. I quit my job (ahhh read about that here). I decided I wanted to create coin jewelry. I started playing with the list of words we would bring to life. I drew the first coins on a trip to Italy (check that story out here). I worked with a caster on Philly’s jewelry row to create the samples. The launch party where ALL my friends showed up for me and the 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.
As I told my two wonderful hostesses this I realized that I hadn’t talked about the WHY in a long time. And now, 4ish years since I had the moment where I stopped and said – I am building this company – I have built something that my kids are proud of! And Mr. Jane Win is literally by my side. And I have the most incredible team of women in the office. I have women standing up and opening their homes to us. And I have customers that are completely relating to the meaning behind the coins.
Today in the car, and it could be that extra glass of wine I had last night, I am just stunned that we have come so far and so honored by the people who are around me. WOWWWW do we have so much more to build and create and share, but on this random day in July…driving back to New Hampshire…I am feeling such incredible HOPE and strength. And honestly all the words on our coins into one!
Sending tons of love,