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Meet Janna Conner’s Jewelry in South Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janna Conner.

Janna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
A native of Los Angeles, Janna Conner designs simple yet elegant jewelry inspired by the vivid colors and multicultural richness of the Californian landscape. She holds a degree in Chinese history from UCLA, where she balanced her intellectual interests with her passion for art and design. Janna has honed her philosophy and aesthetic through her extensive world travels. She has lived in Hong Kong and travels to Paris regularly to visit family and seek creative inspiration.

I started designing as a hobby in high school and would walk around to the local stores in Manhattan Beach, where I grew up and sold to them on consignment. I continued to take jewelry production classes through UCLA and continued making jewelry for myself and others through college. After college, I targeted bigger stores in the LA area, I got American Rag on La Brea and in San Francisco and Jennifer Kaufman in the Beverly Center. Through those connections, I signed on to a designer’s showroom in LA and NYC and started exhibiting at trade shows in New York, Paris, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I then started selling to major department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and internationally like Tomorrowland in Japan and Fenwick on Bond Street in London. I also designed many private label pieces for Anthropologie.
Years later I am shifting away from wholesale and straight to consumer. This has enabled me to lower my price significantly which is great because the reality is that producing in LA is expensive!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all. I had a lot of initial success, getting featured in InStyle Magazine and getting my jewelry worn by celebrities like Madonna and the Olsen twins. I thought it was easy, but soon learned it is isn’t at all. Everyone is always looking for the new thing and its constant pressure to always stay ahead of the trends. I used to design 4 collections a year and it can really burn you out. Retail is hard, after 9/11 a lot of my stores went out of business, then again after the 2008 crisis and even still today stores go out of business all the time and don’t pay me.

Janna Conner Jewelry – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Jewelry design. I make both fashion and fine jewelry. I love them both equally but am probably most proud of the fine jewelry Cubist line that I make. It was so hard to find stone cutters willing to make the custom shape I was after and a lot of them quit along the way. There is a lot of waste involved, which makes the pieces expensive but so unique. I have excellent customer service, I recognize that there is a lot of jewelry out there and what sets me apart is that I really take the time to get to know my customer and what they are looking for. I love meeting customers and hearing what they are interested in and what their jewelry needs are and doing custom pieces for them!

Would like to mention I’ll be doing a vendor at the Pasadena Showcase House of Design
I’ll have a pop-up store for 1 month, 25% goes to LA Philharmonic for youth music education.
April 22- May 20

Pricing:

  • Fashion Jewelry retails $20-$150
  • Fine Jewelry retails $80-$5000

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Paola Mathé @findingpaola for the first 2, hands are Veronica Kablan @vkablan, office shot is Raf Niclaes @rafn, the rest are Enya Pardon @ Mademoisellepardon

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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