Carter and Jana Erwin are the proud owners of this charming 1920s bungalow in the Upper Kirby area of Houston, Texas. Jana is the Co-Founder of NEST Jewelry and NEST Design Group, and Carter is an executive in the oil and gas industry. They bought this home after returning from a two-year stint in Aberdeen, Scotland. Living overseas gave them a new love for a more minimalistic lifestyle. Instead of returning to their 4500 sq. ft. home on 5 acres in the country, they decided to downsize, move into town, and experience the convenience of city life.
When they moved back, Jana was newly pregnant and she knew a remodel was out of the question. She had to find a home that was move-in ready; a task she assumed impossible for any interior designer. However, when she walked in the front door of this charming bungalow she instantly knew it was the one. The architecture boasts the original old wood windows and floors. All it needed was a fresh coat of white paint!
Jana has traveled all around the world and it is important to her that the pieces in her home tell a story. She has been collecting artifacts her entire life and she loves furnishings that have a soul and a meaning. Even her work desk is made from an old table that her Great-Grandfather crafted for her Grandmother.
Her artwork has been carried from Europe as mementos of family vacations. Even the pottery used around her home is from Germany, Israel, Mexico, Scotland, Poland and Greece. The accent pillow on her bed is made from an old chenille bedspread that belonged to her Grandmother.
When you step inside this home you can feel the love that each carefully-selected treasure carries with it. To say this home has great energy is an understatement!
Jana loves finding one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists. She has more art than she can fit on the walls so her environment is constantly changing to accommodate her collection.
She also loves to cook and mix-up one of her famous cocktails while looking out over the pool.
Owning both a jewelry and interior design company comes in handy when it’s time to decorate. The large-scale necklaces and all-natural bead strands make perfect accessories!
You can see the same philosophy for the jewelry and interior business used throughout her home; everything is natural. She believes the energy that is put into an object is important and has placed crystals in nearly every room. Her space is a reflection of who she is and that is how she approaches her design projects with her clients.
We can’t get enough of the statement earring. You’ll be sure to turn heads in these fun, easy-to-wear options:
1) The Tassel Earring
Turquoise Tassel Earrings. StanleyKorshak.com – $125
Large Turquoise Fringe Earrings. StanleyKorshak.com – $250
2) Everything PEARL
Pink Mother-of-Pearl Chandelier Earrings. NestJewelry.com – $295
Starburst Mother-of-Pearl Earrings. SaksFifthAvenue.com – $195
White Mother-of-Pearl Mini Chandelier Earrings. NestJewelry.com – $195
White Mother-of-Pearl Statement Earrings. NestJewelry.com – $150
3) All Things Gold
Polished Gold Hoop Earrings. NeimanMarcus.com – $195
Sleek Horn Drop Earrings. SaksFifthAvenue.com – $295
[Horn Hoop Earrings in cover photo available at Anthropologie.com – $298. Photo from Anthropologie]
NEST Jewelry’s Creative Director and Co-Owner, Janette Wilkinson, sat down with Neiman Marcus to discuss her vision behind the brand.
(You can find the original blog post at www.blog.neimanmarcus.com)
Neiman Marcus: Tell us about your journey toward becoming a renowned jewelry designer.
Janette Wilkinson: It happened mostly by accident. Since a very young age, I have always loved fashion. My earliest memories are of playing in my grandmother’s costume jewelry. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, so I didn’t have access to fashion outside of magazines and catalogs. I was pretty good at math and science, so I was encouraged to pursue engineering. I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and then worked in the semiconductor industry for ten years. I really enjoyed working in semiconductor, even though I wore a protective suit that covered me from head to toe—not so fashionable.
The first pieces of jewelry I designed were just for myself. Red coral jewelry was a big trend, and I wanted a coral necklace that had a bold scale, but was still simple. I couldn’t really find what I was looking for, so I decided to make it myself. One day I was in Neiman Marcus NorthPark shopping for a gift and five people stopped me to ask where I had purchased my necklace. I immediately called my sister, Jana Erwin, and the next thing you know we were partners in a jewelry business we named NEST.
NM: And the name NEST, where did it come from?
JW: When Jana and I began brainstorming the name of our jewelry line, we wanted something that emphasized the natural, bold, and simple nature of our pieces. We were traveling around the world collecting things and bringing them back home to create our collections. We felt like birds gathering their natural materials and bringing them back home to create their nests. In that discovery, the name NEST was born.
NM: We love family-owned businesses. Tell us how you and your sister decided on partnering together to create NEST Jewelry.
JW: My sister is an accredited Interior Designer and was running her own high-end design firm in Houston. She understood the details of starting a company, which allowed me to focus on the fashion. Although she is our CEO, it is nice to have another creative eye to look over the pieces that I am working on. We have gradually turned NEST into a family business. I have a very close family that enjoys working, playing, and even traveling together! We have vacationed together in some beautiful places including Greece, Scotland, Mexico, Costa Rica, The Bahamas, and many beaches, mountains, and lakes across the U.S. Our vacations always end up being a great time for vision planning, and over the years my nieces gained interest in listening to our business meetings. After my oldest niece graduated from college, she started working for us, helping with production and also PR. And my younger niece often models our pieces.
NM: Where do you find inspiration designing new collections, season after season?
JW: Nature — every piece of jewelry we make has some sort of natural element. Over the years we have used stone, wood, horn, bone, metals, leather, stingray, and even shark’s teeth. We keep our materials authentic. When we select stones, we let their inherent beauty begin the design process. After we determine the perfect cut of stone, we begin enhancing it with hand-trimmed gold, hand-knotted silk, or we add other natural products like horn. Our customers often tell us that they love the way our pieces feel as much as they love the way they look. The natural energy that the stones carry and the attention to detail and handmade quality truly come through.
NM: Hard to narrow it down, we know, but what is your favorite NEST piece?
JW: Definitely our Cluster Necklace! We’ve created this style in many different colors of turquoise and jasper, mother-of-pearl, and even horn. The NEST Cluster Necklace is the definition of a statement piece!
NM: Can you give us a sneak peek into where you think the fashion industry is headed and how NEST fits into that world?
JW: I think there is such an appreciation and longing for things that are made by hand with natural materials and for pieces that have a story. Jewelry needs to feel special and unique, and that is exactly what we do!
Co-founder, Jana Erwin, has been designing interiors her entire life and prior to launching NEST Jewelry she ran a large high end design firm in Houston, Texas. Now she is getting back to her roots. She has teamed up with her former employee and partner-in-crime, Audrey Tehauno, to bring all the things we love about NEST jewelry into your homes and businesses. The philosophy of Nest Designs is to beautifully allow an interior to reflect the client. They never do the same look twice because each job is completely unique and customized for the individual.
NEST Designs offers full service architectural and interior design for projects large and small, near and far, commercial and residential. The design packages are as customized as the interiors they design. Want to do the work and orders yourself and just need a design scheme laid out for you? Perfect! We love to put packages together that include space planning, furniture selections and imagery sheets for overall aesthetics. Maybe the hands off approach is more your style and you need someone who can oversee every detail. We can do that too!
Find our portfolio under the INTERIORS tab.
Spring is almost here and that means one thing…short enough sleeves to wear a ton of bracelets!! I LOVE this look! To wear it like a pro make sure to have various widths and materials. I like it best when worn with two to three widths of our horn bangles then add a skinny metal bangle or even the bi-cone stretch bracelet.
You can also keep it interesting by keeping all the materials the same but having a variety of shapes and sizes. The monochromatic look is very chic and super easy to wear.
Want to take the guesswork out? Great! We have put together a couple of stacks for you. Our Ebony Wood Bangles and our famous Mixed Horn Bangles mix well with almost any look and are great starter sets. They’re also the best bang for your buck because you can wear the bracelets as individuals, put on a few, or rock the whole thing!
If you want to jazz these up even more you can add a wide bangle. Just have fun with these! You can’t go wrong.
Maybe you already own some of our Skinny Bangle Sets that are essentials to any NEST collector. No need to get an entirely new stack, just add one or two Hammered Bangles in either gold or silver. Whatever the mood is for the day, NEST has a bangle to fit it!
Now it’s time to get shopping! Enjoy 10% off anything on our site from now through April 30 by using the code: STACK. THANK YOU for being NEST collectors. We love you!
Who knew that the hardest part of launching a new jewelry line would be coming up with the name! We started with the obvious, trying to combine Janette Wilkinson and Jana Erwin but we couldn’t come up with anything catchy so we were forced to think outside of the box. We wanted our customer to know instantly that our pieces are natural, worldly and handmade. We wanted an organic feel that still brought that sense of luxury. We wanted something simple yet bold, that’s when it came to us! We travel the world collecting pieces of natural materials bringing them all back to be handcrafted into wearable art just as a bird collects materials and brings them home to build their NEST.
Horn has been a NEST best seller since 2006 and this season has us seeing spots! Our Spotted Horn collection is just the right twist on our timeless classic. The skilled artisans of NEST use the otherwise wasted material to mold beautiful earrings, pendants, and bracelets for your everyday wear. Repurposing organic matter to give it new life is the foundation of all that we do. We love keeping this centuries-old practice alive while keeping you on trend! Get SPOTTED wearing your NEST.