Designer Interview - Jane Matthews of HurricaneJane

I have a special place in my heart for jewelry designer Jane Matthews, who sells under the (very apropros) moniker HurricaneJane on Etsy.

You see, back in the day, Jane was my boss at Girlshop, the innovative e-commerce site that went out of business last year. Jane was - and is -inspirational because she's a woman of many, many talents. So, when she launched her Etsy store, I wasn't surprised to see that her great style translates effortlessly to design.  For some scoop on HurricaneJane, read on:

Describe your design aesthetic in 5 words or less.

Whimsical, irreverent, authentic, cutting-edge, happy

Do you have a "signature style"?

My signature style was to never have one, as long as I color coordinated well. My hourglass figure never seemed to match the fashion trends I grew up with, so I've always been keen on finding the right shapes and fit for my body type, regardless of what the "experts" recommend. I do have a love of all things retro, though. Some days I'll channel my look and design sensibilities from the cast of Swingtown– other days, Mad Men. In between, I'm a product of the 80's generation. It truly depends on my mood.

In magazines, there's a lot of talk about classics like diamond studs or a pearl necklace. What types of jewelry do YOU think are most essential for building a wardrobe?

It's important for people to create their own definition of classics when building your wardrobe. Personally, I think everyone needs at least one meaningful piece with a bit of history. In my case, it's an awesome vintage sterling silver choker, resembling a Grecian slave necklace, that my mom bought when she was pregnant with me. I still wear it all the time, and not only is it a conversation starter but a great inspiration for a lot of my work. From that piece, I've developed my love for circles.

Additionally, everyone needs an edgy pair of sterling silver earrings like "Rain" ($25) or "Floating Leaf" ($30) that make a casual weekend outfit a bit more interesting or add a zing to an evening look. They're not so "out there" that they can't easily be paired with classic pearls and diamond studs (just move those back to the second hole for a day).

What are your fave online stores? Why?

Online shopping is a personal weakness of mine, and there are so many good options out there. But I prefer the thrill of the hunt and digging for fashion treasures with unusual qualities – and deep discounts! Because I always hold myself to a strict budget, my quests are never easy enough to get instant gratification. I'd rather work for it.

Take shopping for my dream wedding dress. My husband and I had a Tom-Jones-themed wedding in Las Vegas where all the guests had to dress in late 50's or early 60's cocktail attire. I spend countless hours on eBay to find the perfect vintage gown, and my winning bid bought me a beautiful 1950's beauty pageant dress by formalwear designer Mike Bennet. The top is fully sequined, the bottom is tulle with appliqu├ęd silver snowflakes. Magically, the dress fit perfectly and didn't require one stitch of an alteration.

And of course, I dig It's a great place to find not just upcoming designers, but true artists working on small batch lines. You can buy anything from stationary to my own jewelry line, and you're guaranteed to find something truly distinctive with personality, whether you're shopping for yourself or for a unique gift.

To check out HurricaneJane jewelry, visit Etsy.


LaurenM said...

Jane is a genius!

yourpunkergal said...

Jane and her jewelry are amazing!