Most tales like this are fabricated for effect, or told at bars, two mezcals in. But, in true FFR form, this is real and only sounds ridiculous. We first met Jane Taylor Jewelry's Cleo in the bathroom at COUTURE 2014. She approached and said we inspired her to get a cloud tattoo on her arm, because it wasn't so hideous as to ruin her life forever. We wish she'd phone our mother and tell her, too. Later that week, exhausted and headed to the airport, we serendipitously saddled up to Nevada's finest sushi together and the rest was history. This mother/daughter duo are among the cutest collaborators out there and we are ecstatic over the saturated, gemmy (is that a word? It should be.) and exquisite color combinations happening in this modern Deco collection. Then there's Jane. For as many lovely designs she has come up with over the last few decades, she has twice as many stories to tell. We were this close to claiming computer failure in order to do this interview over a campfire in New England. Next time?
Click to enlarge and learn more about this family affair and the jewels. Oh, the jewels.
Let’s have dinner at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Where do we go and what do we eat?
Jane - If we’re in Amherst, Mission Cantina, it’s a great hole in the wall Mexican place, great drinks and loaded nachos! If we’re in NYC it’s Japonica. I’ve been taking Cleo there since she was a little girl.
If you could buy any piece of contemporary jewelry from another jeweler, what would it be?
Jane - JAR, Taffin, and Hemmerle blow my mind.
Cleo - Oy, impossible to answer just one! Being raised by a jewelry designer/obsessor/collector means I don’t understand life unless there is jewelry on my body, and I’m constantly coveting more (sorry husband!). I’ve been really obsessed with celestial pieces for a couple of years now, especially crescent moons, and would love to own something from Andrea Fohrman, Anthony Lent, and Blackbird & The Snow. I actually have a moon piece coming soon from Workhorse Jewels, but I just want to keep covering myself in moons! Oh, and Pamela Huizenga’s newest mini-cloud necklace, I’m dying to own that too.
We haven't seen you since Couture! This was a big year for you, with a lot of changes. How was having your own booth again?
Jane - It was great having our own booth but still being a part of a group in nextWAVE. We really enjoyed it and met great new people.
Cleo - It was fantastic! It was my 6th Couture out of the past 10 shows (OMG when did I get so old?), and it was my absolute favorite one!
What are you favorite pieces from the current collection?
J & C - This is so hard for us to decide, we had such a great time designing the Cirque collection!
Jane - The best I can narrow it down would be the Cloud Swing rings in diamond and minty tourmaline, the tassel earrings in peridot and tourmaline, and the multi-stone bib necklace that Cleo and I co-designed.
Cleo - I’m OBSSESED with our cuffs (if that wasn’t apparent from our Instagram), and really love our diamond Cloud Swing ring, and citrine/garnet Mini Frida studs and jackets.
The vacation spot that you keep going back to over and over?
Jane - We love Paris! We would head straight to the Hotel Costes for a glass of bubbly and each get our own serving of their escargot.
What’s the last book you couldn’t put down?
Jane - Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
Cleo - I’m currently re-reading The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. I really find the whole 'aestheticism' theme interesting in regards to our industry and that sometimes it’s wonderful to just make art for art’s sake. Or in the words of my mother, ‘Eff it, I want to make beauty!’ [Ed. Note: We feel you, Jane.]
What's your go-to cocktail?
Cleo - A joint for Jane and a silver tequila with soda and a splash of grapefruit juice for me. And some of Jane’s joint. [Ed Note: We feel like we should legally say some shit about not condoning illegal substances so, like, consider this it if you live in one of those states. Also, sharing is caring.]
The gemstone you’re currently lusting after is . . .
Jane - This may sound a little crazy, but I’m currently obsessed with diamonds. Especially old ones, and unusually shaped ones. [Ed Note: Not crazy]
Cleo - I’m still hot and heavy in my tourmaline phase. Especially if Jean, of Top Notch Faceting, cut it.
It’s your birthday and your favorite flower arrangement arrives – what does it look like?
Cleo - We aren’t big into mixed arrangements, so we’re both pretty partial to a massive amount of shocking magenta peonies (PS: Jane’s birthday is July 4th!)
What’s your favorite piece that you made in the last year and why?
Jane - My emerald pavé chubby bezel earrings and necklace that were a bespoke project for a dear friend. I loved doing a 2.0 version of the design that put me on the map 20 years ago, and I can’t wait to bring it back in more colors!
You have 30 minutes to work out – what do you do?
Jane - I like to bang it out on the elliptical and follow up with quick weights in the mornings.
Cleo - I’m always surprised by how much I like lifting weights, but I genuinely do, so I’d go for a power lifting session at the gym with my hubby.
What was the first piece of jewelry you bought for yourself?
Jane - In 10th grade my friend had a turquoise ring that I couldn’t live without, so I bought it from her.
Cleo - And then when I was in college I mysteriously acquired that very same ring, and still wear it all the time.
If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Jane - 2 words: Keith Richards.
Cleo - Robin Williams, I miss his presence on this earth every day.
What is the most sentimental piece of jewelry you own? Tell us the back story.
Jane - My grandmother’s diamond eternity band that my grandfather had given her. I remember her wearing it my whole life and when she passed, it became mine. She was the person who introduced me to jewelry as a child and started this jewelry love affair that has defined my life. And I know that Cleo will get it one day, so it’s a special family heirloom.
Cleo - Ah, I can’t chose one! Almost all of the pieces of jewelry I own are really, really sentimental and special to me for different reasons, though most the reasons have to do with the fact that my mom owned them or designed them. But I also really love the pieces that I’ve designed/purchased on my husband’s behalf, like my “G” pinky signet ring, because I love that they will become family heirlooms.
What’s your preferred mode of transportation day-to-day?
Jane - I hate driving, but I do have a car because I live in the country. I wish I had Samantha from Bewitched’s powers and could just magically transport myself places.
Cleo - Living in NYC, my legs are my current preferred method. But I really miss my old car! In contrast to my mom, I really enjoy driving - she’s thankful for that.
Top 5 bands in your playlist!
Jane - The Rolling Stones, Zero 7, Morcheeba, Cat Stevens and Flo Rida.
Cleo - I made an epic 15.5-hour long playlist for my wedding, it’s like the kitchen sink salad of playlists and I love it. My tastes are all over the place, but I tend to hop back and forth between Classic Rock and obnoxious pop music.
You’re having guests for the weekend. What’s your signature dish that you cook for them?
Jane - Anything from scratch and fresh veggies I can pull out of my garden, also linguine with tons of clams, pancakes, brisket, brownies…possibly all of these things. Cooking is my second love!
Cleo - Probably something egg related: scrambled with veg, a quiche, maybe over-easy on top of sweet potato hash. Definitely Annie’s mac and cheese deluxe though, likely for breakfast. What? I made those eggs for dinner.
Be honest – who’s your celebrity crush?!
Jane - Tom Brady. Or that hot Australian guy…
Cleo - ….CHRIS FREAKING HEMSWORTH. I dream about him, shhhh.
If you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jane - Maybe a messenger bag. But I can’t imagine just having one handbag.
Cleo - Ditto. But if I had to pick only one shape, I would go with bucket bags.
What’s your signature scent and what three words would you use to describe it?
Jane - I don’t know if this exists but I would love to wear tuberose, vanilla and sandalwood together.
Cleo - This is dorky, but I’ve been hunting for one for a while and have yet to find a signature scent. I really like jasmine in a perfume though.
Signature nail polish and/or lipstick shade for a night on the town?
Jane - Anything iridescent!
Cleo - Red lips and dark nails, it’s not very original but hey, it works!
Thank you Jane and Cleo! And thank you, Cleo, for sending us videos of that hot man making cowboy hats with fire.