My jewelry let me be myself
Sara Jane Abbott, owner of See Jane Sparkle, is known for her sense of style. Her unique way of combining vintage and modern pieces allows her jewelry and curated vintage resale to be both trendy and timeless.
Her story is just as inspiring as her taste.
For the starlet in all of us- SJS is for anybody who wants to add a little sparkle, a little zip to their step, a little daytime embellishment, a little nighttime embellishment. We’re all that special, unique Starlet. For everyone to feel like the movie star in their own life.
Her passion for design started when she was only nine years old. Her mother made the family’s clothes. She often brought Sara Jane along to garage sales and vintage shops.
I never really wanted to sew clothes, but I loved to tweak things. I’d add ribbons to things. Embellish. I loved to take things apart and remake them and play. I’ve always loved anything sparkly.
Outwardly, Sara Jane was a tomboy growing up. Her family moved around a lot before high school, so maintaining a casual style was easier for her.
I was one person for school. Then playing dress up with my friends I was starting to be See Jane Sparkle. I needed to get the confidence to see that what I was doing was kind of cool. That started to happen when I was a teenager. I started to sell what I called my Jane Duster earrings to my sister’s friends and they would wear them dancing in the city.
Working at an antique jewelry store in high school showed her the true power of jewelry. She embraced her inner starlet and decided to go to fashion school. She knew she wanted to design jewelry and fashion, and study abroad in London.
There’s a history and a story to every piece. By 14 or 15, I knew I wanted my own business and to design jewelry. I wanted to design clothes too. If I could take what I loved about jewelry and design that into clothing, how cool would that be?
She set her sights on Syracuse University after they visited her high school her junior year. They were the only school she applied to. The clothing she made in her Home Economics class served as her portfolio and she was accepted. She learned fashion design and continued to make jewelry as a side project. She went abroad and studied in London junior year.
I did everything I said I would do at 15.
Sara Jane won the Best Accessory Designer Award with her senior collection, “Beads, Baubles, and Brocades”.
She created her own career path after college. She knew after one visit that being a designer in New York City wasn’t the right choice for her. She stayed in the Midwest and worked for several large companies, sometimes as a jewelry designer, then later as a children’s apparel designer.
She started See Jane Sparkle as a side business in 2001 and found time to design and have trunk shows.
Some of my first clients said my jewelry made them feel complete. It made them feel special. My jewelry helped them with their confidence and be strong in who they are.
Finally, the company she worked for was bought out by larger company with their own designers.
I was laid off. I decided I wasn’t going to work for anyone else. It was so uplifting, this weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was going to be in charge of what came next.
She started off with a shoestring budget. Her first microloan allowed her to buy furniture. When she paid that off right away, she got another one for double the amount.
There aren't many people as passionate and brave as Sara Jane Abbott. She found her path at 15, and hasn't let adversity stop her. Her current success serves as an inspiration of what's possible if you know what you want, and have the will follow.
There is no plain Jane. See Jane can sparkle. Any time, any place.