Search our Collections

What's My Story?

What's My Story?

It is impossible to sell anything these days if you do not know what your “story” is, what your “inspiration” is, indeed what are you most PASSIONATE about? Is it real, do you believe it, how did you get there?

American Elms in Central Park

I am inspired by many things. The warm glow of twilight illuminating the lovely facades on Madison Ave. just as the shop lights come on. The American Elms towering over my head in Central Park with the lightning bugs dancing just above the grass. The smooth, cold sensation as you hold a seashell to your cheek and imagine it’s journey through the ocean into your hand.

pink and white seashells from Jane Bartel Jewelry

For years, when asked about my jewelry inspiration and my story, I would quickly say “I am inspired by the ocean”. After all I grew up in west Los Angeles not far from the Pacific so this felt like a safe statement to make. But I have been thinking hard about what it really means to be inspired by the ocean.

Jane Bartel at age 18 in San Francisco

My sister and I were latchkey kids with a working single mother. We had a good life in a safe place but not a lot of money, just enough. What we did have was free, unstructured time to fill, especially in the summer. Going to the beach was our only vacation.

I remember riding my bike with my friends, Claude and Gaby, from Beverly Hills all the way up the coast to the Malibu pier and Alice’s Restaurant, about 10 miles, we were 14, you could never get away with that now and Alice’s is long gone.

Alice's Restaurant on the Malibu Pier

Santa Monica coastline looking towards Malibu

We took the #83 bus on Wilshire Blvd. straight to the ocean, walked down the ramp and were on the sand and on a raft riding the waves ten minutes later. As soon as I was old enough to drive, I would take our olive green Mustang, fly down Sunset Blvd. and cruise up the coast, radio blasting, leaving everything else behind. Pure freedom. The ocean is freedom.

Flower pendant necklaces with rubies and blue zircons by Jane Bartel Jewelry

I begin to breathe when I am at the edge of the ocean. The memory of floating in the sea never leaves me. The beauty and wonder of finding seashells fills me with joy. The night lights curving around the coastline look like a beautiful diamond necklace. I would never live where I could not get to the ocean quickly.

My jewelry is inspired by the ocean. It’a a true story.

14k Gold Surfboard Pendant Necklace by Jane Bartel Jewelry

Gold evil eye pendant necklace with blue kyanite gemstone


Abalone and 14k gold pendant necklace by Jane Bartel Jewelry

Jane Bartel in St. Lucia loving the ocean