Jan’s Notebook


I love BIRTHDAYS! Everyone in my family knows this about me—and, I love the birthdays of all my family and friends. So, it’s not surprising that I am excited about an important one that is happening this year.
This year marks the TWELFTH birthday of the JAN SHOWERS COLLECTION. Memories of how it all began are swirling around in my head. In the summer of 1999, we were staying in Santa Fe for the month of August, and as I usually do when away from phones, meetings, etc., I begin to get DANGEROUS IDEAS. The realization hit me-- we had incredible workrooms and artisans who were capable of making almost any piece of furniture. AND, we were already making about 12-15 pieces on a regular basis for our clients. Also, I was not able to find some of the fabulous antiques that I had found in the past or, pairs of vintage Murano lamps. There was nothing in the marketplace that looked like what I was searching for either. That’s how it all began.
Here are a few of the ORIGINAL PIECES:
Simone Lamp Manhattan Side Table
Rothschild Chair Portofino Coffee Table
This was the name I chose in the beginning. I cannot remember why---it was quickly changed to the Jan Showers Collection at the suggestion of my p.r. person because it should be more personal. As a matter of fact, it is VERY PERSONAL since I only create pieces that I would like to own myself.
At that time, my showroom in the DALLAS DESIGN DISTRICT had only around 2500-3000 square feet. I had a showroom full of antiques from Paris and not much room for my new furniture collection. It was very confusing to customers to have everything in one showroom. What is antique and what is new (even though they were in separate rooms)?
JSA Showroom
David Sutherland
In 2002, DAVID SUTHERLAND came to see me and suggested that it might be difficult for me to market my line in my antiques showroom---two different animals. He wanted me to come and be a part of his showroom in The Dallas Design Center (which is right next door to my antiques showroom). David and his uber talented wife, ANN, gave a wonderful party to celebrate and showcase the new collection that September.
In very short order, we were in 7 showrooms around the country. We opened in HOUSTON and L.A. (both Sutherland showrooms) and then in NEW YORK, DANIA, ATLANTA, SAN FRANCISCO by the end of 2004. I had no idea what I was getting into---I knew about the creative component, but the rest of it was completely unknown to me at the time. Little did I know about all of the pieces having to be professionally photographed, catalogs and tear sheets printed, countless samples made to go on the floors of showrooms around the U.S., transporting and installing them there as well as the arduous task of QUALITY CONTROL! Oh, and don’t forget national advertising! Had I known all of this, I probably would never have gone forward with it. But, WOW, am I ever thrilled that I did. It is a wonderful business and a natural connection to my other two businesses---RESIDENTIAL INTERIOR DESIGN AND ANTIQUES---but lots and lots of work for both my staff and for me.
Every year there is a big market in Los Angeles called WESTWEEK. It is probably the largest market for high end furniture in the U.S. Editors and publishers from all over attend this market along with many of the manufacturers. We introduce all of our new pieces at Westweek---the number of pieces varies from year to year. One year, I introduced 30+ pieces and that was way too many--- they were too wonderful not to include! This year we are introducing 9 new pieces.
Here they are……
Anders Table
Susanna Bench
Lancaster Desk
Big Edie Table
Laurette Table

Elizabeth Chandelier in gold
Harrison Bar Cart
Capri Floor Lamp in amber

Lowell Lamp
Along with the new pieces, we publish our yearly LOOKBOOK just in time for Westweek. Here is the cover of the NEW ONE---you are the first to see!
And here are the new pieces in lifestyle shots:
I would LOVE to know what your favorites are!
We are already busy working on NEW PRODUCT for 2012. There were several pieces that needed tweaking and didn’t make it into this year’s collection, but they will next year. It has taken us up to 5 years to be able to get certain pieces of JS Collection to the point of actually becoming a reality. There are times that an item becomes too expensive to produce, and can’t be added for that reason, or there may be a manufacturing issue that is uncertain. For every ONE piece that goes into the JS Collection, there are four or five that don’t make it. Each piece that is included is always something that I want for myself---if it doesn’t meet that criteria, then it simply doesn’t qualify for the JAN SHOWERS COLLECTION.
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