By Mandy Holmes / Photo by Claudia Johnstone
Influenced by her mother, who is also a jewelry designer, Sarah Jane Bourque is a veteran in the jewelry world with nearly 25 years of jewelry design under her belt. The driven jewelry maven finds joy designing pieces to inspire women.
“Few things make me happier than when a woman writes me and tells me how one of my pieces helped inspire her or get her through a difficult period,” she says.
Trained in fashion design including a stint at the prestigious Woodbury University in Los Angeles, the cum laude grad moved to New York via Paris to study haute couture where she found herself designing luxury handbags for Barry Kieselstein-Cord. It was there she was drawn to the magical world of jewelry. On a whim, Bourque moved to the desert to launch her first collection, Saint by Sarah Jane which turned into a national brand and graced the shelves of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s for over a decade. After taking a few years off to raise her family, Seneca Jewelry was born.
With a focus on quality made for the sophisticated modern women, Seneca is beautiful and practical for every day wear. The brand derived its moniker from none other than philosopher Seneca. Through the theorist’s wisdom, each of the pieces connects women with attributes like love and friendship.
“I want each of my customers to have a connection with my jewelry. From the moment a woman opens her specially designed box containing her piece, she will know that Seneca is special and so is she,” Bourque explains.
Evolving from a series of sketches made between chasing two energetic toddlers to becoming a full-blown luxury jewelry line being sold around the world, Bourque continues to create stunning jewelry inspired by the life around her.
“Besides all of the jewelry pieces, my favorite thing about my business is that I am responsible for every aspect of the business from the accounting, inventory, purchasing, designing, marketing, and forecasting. I enjoy the challenge and the freedom to chart my own path.”
By Mandy Holmes / Photo by Mark Morgan
When she’s not making the city a little more colorful, muralist and illustrator Abbey Withey – better known as the moniker Jane Goat – is looking for her next source of inspiration, whether it’s drawn from a fellow artist or an overheard conversation in the gardening department at Home Depot.
Withey couldn’t have predicted that dialing back to her AOL Instant Messenger days would be the origin of her now well-known brand but with a catchy screen name and lack of website domains available, Jane Goat was born. Armed with a fine arts degree from The University of Arizona, Withey became fascinated with typography and the concept of using the aesthetics of letterforms to communicate a concept. It was while studying art in college that she embraced her love of pattern and abstract illustration and allowed her style to define itself.
“I like to create a bold, energetic dynamic with my line work and attention to detail. I want people to not be able to walk by without doing a double-take. It’s imperative for me to enhance the environments I’m working in and to incorporate the central essence of the space into the design,” she says.
The work of Jane Goat can be seen around town at Loco Patron in Old Town Scottsdale, The Churchill, Sip Coffee and Beer Kitchen and The Brush Bar in Scottsdale just to name a few. Although she can’t pinpoint her favorite piece she’s ever created, she shares, “My favorite right now is a skateboard deck that I designed as a private commission. I let myself get weird with the typography, colors, and design and I think it shifted into new territory for me. I love when my clients give me a good amount of creative freedom.”
At one point, Withey used to hide her process but now she embraces the progress and encourages people to watch her paint.
“Over time, I’ve gained confidence in my craft and have learned that people really enjoy learning something they’ve never been exposed to.”