The origins of Jan Logan can be traced back to her life in Narrabri, in north-western NSW, her home before she moved to Sydney in 1986. She spent most of her childhood, she says, living in her imagination, playing with her mother’s jewellery box, “but never thought I’d make a life of it. I loved movies, especially musicals, and always thought I’d be a performer.”
She married young, had three sons and then, in the early 1980s, life took a new direction when she answered an advertisement in the local paper for a job as a promotions officer for the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce. It involved dealing with stock and station agents, newsagents and publicans, Rotary and Apex – ‘A lot of skills were set in place, my marketing side came out” – but the best thing of all was that the president of the chamber happened to be the main jeweller in town. She found herself spending a lot of time in his shop. “I started playing with the jewellery and suggesting design ideas, and he ended up offering me a 20 per cent partnership.” She learnt on the job, started organising traveling jewellery shows around the country, and, thanks to her diligence in keeping names and addresses of the women who had bought from her, already had quite a following by the time she set up on her own in Double Bay in 1989.
Jan Logan has over the last twenty years evolved into an international brand and it seems only fitting that Logan is now designing jewellery for the stars. Many international actresses including Naomi Watts, Jennifer Lopez, Rose Byrne and Joan Chen wear Logan’s unique designs. Jan is also a great supporter of Australian fashion design and has contributed to the parades of Australia’s finest designers, including Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa, Easton Pearson and Leona Edmiston.
Part of her appeal, she believes, is “that I design for myself. If I’m not comfortable in something, how could I expect anyone else to be?” Akira Isogawa says he would love to work with her again. “She has an ability to accommodate the style of others within her simple, elegant styling. I admire her versatility. She always comes up with the goods, she never disappoints” There’s something, too, about her attitude. What she loves more than anything about jewellery, Logan says, is “that it’s durable. There’s intrinsic value in the metal and stones, so if you get tired of something you can always rework it.”