Irish Design Spotlight: Emma by Jane
Jane Asple is the founder and designer behind Emma by Jane, an Irish brand specialising in leather handbags and luxury jewellery at a more affordable price point. A driven entrepreneur with a passion and fire to create stand out pieces, here she shares more about her career and products.
Tell us about you and your brand
My name is Jane Asple and I founded the jewellery and handbag brand Emma by Jane. I have a toddler at home and another baby on the way so life is very busy at the moment, but very fun! The brand was founded when I saw a gap in the market for luxury jewellery at a more affordable price point. I design both our jewellery and also our new leather handbag collection. You can shop our collection online at emmabyjane.com, in-store in Arnotts and also in our Kildare Village pop up which is open until the 8th of June.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to create pieces of luxury to take you from day to night. So we focus on our designs being lightweight and versatile. They’re pieces that can take you from a casual brunch to a girls’ night out effortlessly.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
I always knew I wanted to own a fashion business, I was actually quite a tomboy as a kid but then found Rachel from Friends and learnt about the buying and styling industry and I was hooked. I then created a career path that would teach me how to do it before I decided to set up my own brand.
What kind of items do you stock?
We design jewellery (made in 14ct filled gold and sterling silver) and we have just launched a fine jewellery collection (made of 14ct solid gold and diamonds). We also have a capsule collection of leather handbags.
What new brands or items are on your radar?
We did a pop-up shop at Christmas with 10 other Irish female-founded brands and I have to say, Ireland has such incredible talent! I adore Nicki Hoyne’s brand and what she is creating and I also just found Kindred of Ireland which is a stunning linen brand.
Was money/funding a concern when starting out?
Yes! Emma by Jane has always been self-funded, I pitched my plans on Dragon’s Den in 2017 where I got an investor but as we went through the process I just didn’t feel it was right so decided to go it alone and have never regretted it. Cashflow is always a big stress when you are trying to grow and expand but over the years, you begin to worry less as it always works itself out.
Best business advice you’ve gotten
Sales are vanity, profit is sanity – advice from my dad who is also my accountant and keeps me grounded when I get a bit excited!
Favourite fashion/design accounts you follow
We have bought an old house that needs everything changed so I am currently obsessed with interiors accounts. I found Geri Designs, an interior designer, on Instagram last year and am earmarking her for some help with our hallway when we do it next year.
Best fashion purchase
I bought the Anine Bing Charlie boots around Christmas 2020, after a tough year of Covid and having to cancel and replay our wedding. They were a treat from me to me to mark the year and are still my favourite buy ever.
Other Irish brands you love
I think there are so many incredible Irish skincare and make-up brands on the market, I adore Pestle & Mortar, Sculpted by Aimee, SK by Sarah Keary and Bare by Vogue – we really don’t need to shop anywhere but Ireland for incredible brands. And I live in my Moon & Mellow pjs – you can’t beat them!
Proudest moment so far
Definitely opening our first stand-alone store as it marks the next chapter of Emma by Jane. It is such a nerve-wracking thing to invest in a store and a huge investment so I am incredibly proud of it and still have to pinch myself opening the doors every day.
I want my brand to be remembered for… high-quality pieces that you just love to wear
If I could have anyone wear my designs it would be… I would love to see our earrings on the Oscars red carpet someday.