INTERVIEW : JANET JAY // PEARL+ SOAP & STUDIO J
The lovely Janet Jay hand-produces Pearl+ Soaps — using crushed pearls among other things — exclusively for Ace Hotels. You can find it in our online shop in gift packs for the holidays. But you can also find it at Studio J, unfinished, lined in trays, and scenting the air there with the wonderful smell of all of Janet’s (not so) secret ingredients. Pearl+ Soaps will be featured in a holiday trunk show this weekend with other local designers and retailers, Subject to Season, including two of our favorites, Hazel Cox and Adam Arnold.
We love Studio J — not only is it beautiful and full of light, it’s also the creative hub of Janet and her husband John Jay, of Weiden + Kennedy. They have all sorts of amazing projects together, and John and Ace partner Alex Calderwood co-curated a recent special edition of Arkitip magazine this year. We wanted to ask Janet about her process, Studio J, and Neufy.
What are you listening to today in the studio?
Seabear, Iron and Wine, Feist and Japanese hip hop that brings back good memories of living in Tokyo.
What’s the sky like out of those huge windows?
Grey but not raining!
Tell me what’s on the to-do list for today.
Meetings on a new project in Old Town and Pearl+ Soap production.
Is your grey kitty hiding out somewhere?
Neufy took the day off work today.
What’s for lunch?
Ping’s wide rice noodle and chicken. My favorite, stir fried twice…yum.
Tell us the story of Pearl+ — the pearl dust, and your grandmother.
Like many Asian women, my grandmother used pearl powder in creams and lotions to help promote clear beautiful skin. I was always fascinated by this and decided to develop a product that both men and women could use…Pearl+ Soaps was it. We used pearl powder and then decided to incorporate charcoal for the benefits of absorbing impurities and oils.
Pearl+ Soaps are made local and lovingly by hand here in Portland…and you guys are the only ones that have it!