Katie Schloss is the founder of the independent jewelry company, Three Jane. Katie was originally recognized for her best-selling Map Necklace which she’s since licensed to A. Jaffe. Katie’s jewelry has been worn by celebrities such as Aretha Franklin, Anna Kendrick, and Jennifer Lawrence. Katie is currently relaunching with a series of creative, whimsical, fun pieces such as her Eiffel Tower Earrings, Pineapple Earrings, Statue of Liberty Earrings and her Bottle Opener Bracelets. Get to know more about Katie!
What inspired you to start Three Jane?
I was inspired to start Three Jane once I saw a real demand for my first product, The Map Necklace. I made a Map Necklace for my little sister when she was studying abroad in London, that way she could have a little piece of home wherever she went. I started giving them away as presents for going away parties, and whenever I gave away one, I’d sell at least five. I knew there was a real company in there somewhere, and once launching my website, I always had consistent orders from then on. Within nine months of launching, I was approached for my first licensing deal with A. Jaffe, a 122-year-old engagement ring brand, which officially launched in November 2014.
What advice do you have for other women who hope to start a business?
I recommend working for someone else first, whether that be at a PR agency or the buying department of a department store. Build up your story, your connections, and your experience before diving into your own venture, that way you have everything you need to launch correctly.
Once you have created a product and know through real sales that there is a demand for it, I’d recommend spending the money on a publicist, because getting traffic from reputable websites and long-lead publications will ultimately make or break your business.
How do you get inspiration for your designs?
I’m highly inspired by art deco designs and re-creating timeless classics as custom statements.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I loved the part in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In when she writes about the best question an interviewee has ever asked her. The person she was interviewing asked, “What is the company’s biggest problem and what can I do to solve it?” I think as you are networking, that is the most important question that you can possibly ask anyone. Not only is it a good question, you are essentially asking what that person really needs, but you are also asking what can you do to help, and people really do remember that, especially when you follow-through.
What is your advice for other young professional women?
Start a blog. Have it be a real-time resume, that way, as new interests develop, you’ll be able to have something substantial to share with prospective employers.
Thank you, Katie!
Images: Pinsi Lei for Levo League, Three Jane