With a degree in Interior Architecture and Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and the support of her loving husband, Jana Lam set out to create her textile business in 2010 — in the wake of a slow economy and dim outlook for graduates entering the working world.
“At the time, the economy was down and people were being laid off, not hired, in interior design, so my husband convinced me to build a printing table and just start printing…and I needed to find a way to market my textiles.”
Enter Sandra Fowler, owner of the Honolulu based boutique Super Citizen who offered Jana an opportunity to sell her products in her store–which she did for the first time just over four years ago, on a Black Friday in 2010. And the rest is history.
Jana Lam, while still a small, unique, crafter is slowly growing to become a household name, with her products now sold in various boutiques on Oahu and the neighboring islands. You may recognize her prints if you’ve been in Fighting Eel, Na Mea bookstore in Ward Warehouse, or in Riches at Kahala Mall among others.
“My designs are inspired by everything– most are nature-based and organic.” “While not on purpose,” says Jana, many of her designs tend to look Hawaiian as she is naturally inspired by her surroundings. “It just seems to be a part of me and it comes out in my drawings. Some examples of current designs I have out are inspired by Ulu, pomegranates, saw fish and coconut flower buds. But in the past I’ve done collections based on the streets and buildings of San Francisco, one on the book Where the Wild Things Are, and even a Freddie Mercury collection,” said Jana.
December’s box features a variety of keychains designed by Jana Lam, whose experience living away in San Francisco for nearly ten years, as well as growing up in Nu’uanu are reflected in her designs. For those of you living away from Hawaii, we hope you can relate and appreciate the mixture of mainland and Hawaii experiences reflected in Jana’s products.
“I think what has really solidified Hawaii as my home now, is actually a little bit of letting go of how things used to be, and building my own home and place. We live n the water in Niu Valley, and it’s such a special place to be and work every day. My son is the luckiest kid there is, being able to live right on the ocean and run around in our yard. That’s what I got to do [growing up]…and I’m so happy and fortunate that we can provide that for him.”
You can find more of Jana’s products at www.janalam.etsy.com and if you follow her on Instagram @janalam you may see a photo or two of her son “Lyon playing in the yard or on the sand in the morning or at sunset is common theme running through [her] pictures.”