JCK Asks…Jewelry Designer Jane Taylor

On gemstones, Rolling Stones & “neck game”

We’re not exaggerating when we say we could’ve spent a whole day during Vegas jewelry week at Jane Taylor’s booth. We tried on rings, bracelets, earrings…each piece a kaleidoscope of colors. And if you think her work is fabulous, wait till you meet Taylor—or “J.T.,” as her daughter/partner-in-crime Cleo Zancope (pictured here with her mom) calls her. P.S. For more, follow @janetaylorjewelry on Instagram for a steady stream of jaw-dropping gem pics plus Cleo’s inspired captions. 

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Taylor’s Cirque Tassel earrings

Age: 54

Number of years in the biz: My own biz: 20.

Our industry: 36.

Number of employees you oversee: 2

Family and pets: Cleo, my daughter (and favorite person on Earth), and I are both married. And between both of our households there are four cats, two dogs, and one big (fake) silver cow.

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Happy Collection bubble bracelets

Describe your personal style: Very, very relaxed. I work in my post-workout clothes most days.

First piece you ever designed: At 9 years old I made a silhouette of a giraffe cut from sheet metal and bent it into a ring.

The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: That giraffe ring! Just kidding. Probably the (pavé) chubby bezel, or maybe the Bohemia collection.

Favorite (or current favorite) gemstone: Ruby.

Most underappreciated/underrated gemstone: Natural zircon doesn’t get the love it should. 

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Cirque Arrow necklace

Best piece of advice you ever received: “The fool speaks, the wise man listens.” (Fortune cookie.)

Worst piece of advice: I don’t listen to bad advice!

First job ever: Production assistant to Marie Perrella Somos at Charles Perrella when they were on 45th Street. That will go down as my favorite industry job ever.

How did you get started designing jewelry? I’ve always been madly passionate about jewelry and started having creative ideas as a kid.

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? Maybe I would be in the food business since I also love to cook. Or designing shoes. 

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: On my wrist, three bubble bracelets from my foray into silver a few years ago. On my pinky, a Cartier rolling ring and baguette diamond band. On my ring finger, a stack of bands up to my knuckle. On my ears, my super-thin diamond hoop earrings. And my neck game—as Cleo called it—consists of a red spinel pavé chubby with a rubellite cabochon, a shorter chain of pigtailed turquoise and pearls that I made by hand years ago, and a long gold chain with my mini Rella pendant. 

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Cirque Adagio ring

Five items on your desk right now: Contracts, calculator, models, stones, and a millimeter gauge.

Five songs on your playlist: “Happy,” Pharrell; “Rip This Joint,” The Rolling Stones; “Peace Train,” Cat Stevens; “Give Me Love,” George Harrison; Hôtel Costes (I’m cheating because that’s an album with a variety of artists on it); “Valerie,” Amy Winehouse.

Exercise regimen: Elliptical for miles, weights, yoga.

What did you have for breakfast? Mango, homemade granola, homegrown blueberries, and Green Mountain plain yogurt from Vermont (great stuff!).

Guilty pleasure: I don’t associate guilt with pleasure.

Drink (daytime/evening): I’m not really a drinker, but if I had to choose: gin and tonic with lime is pretty refreshing in the summer during the day, and Kir Royale or an Aviation in the evening.

First website you check every day (not your own!): Business of Fashion—great site. 

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Scent: Mimosa pour Moi (L’Artisan Parfumeur).

How do you unwind? I don’t know if I know how to do that! Mostly by being around the people I love. Watching competitive tennis is very relaxing.

Superstitious? Oh yeah! But not in the broken-mirrors sense—more in the spiritual, supernatural sense. Just look at gemstones; they’re totally cosmic and amazing things.

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Book you’re reading: Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

Book you’ve been meaning to get to: About 100 of them. The Goldfinch is on my night table waiting.

Preferred news source: The New York Times, as needed.

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Favorite movie: Amélie!!!

Personal motto: “Why not?” 

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