California-natives Brooke Taylor and Jessica Stanley met in 2005 on their first day at a new job in technology sales. They were both recent graduates, had an affinity for fashion and knew they would become “fast friends.”
Eight years later, they launched Mason Stanley — a line of minimalist, yet edgy fine jewelry, designed and made locally in Los Angeles.
The Bermuda Collection, their first line available, was inspired by a ring Taylor’s mother got in Bermuda over 30 years ago. This heirloom’s arced, triangular shape served as a thread throughout the pave diamond-embellished collection.
Since the line’s launch, Mason Stanley has been spotted on the likes of Charlize Theron (wearing Long Bar Pave earrings and a Skinny Bermuda ring), Rihanna (seen sporting the Double Harpoon ring), Sophia Bush and Sarah Hyland. The collection has also been picked up by Roseark.
FAJO caught up with the designers about their inspiration and experiences launching the line.
1. With a background in advertising, marketing and tech, what inspired you to branch into jewelry design?
Brooke Taylor: We’ve always been passionate about fashion, specifically jewelry, and really wanted to fill a void that we saw in the market. Our past experiences have definitely helped hone our sense of design, especially working with some of the most talented creatives in the business. We are both just glad to finally be flexing our creative muscles.
2. Please describe how you met.
Jessica Stanley: I can remember the first time I saw Brooke on our first day of our first real-life jobs — she was probably the only one in our orientation group who had thought as much about what she would wear on the first day as I had.
3. How did your friendship evolve into the launch of Mason Stanley?
Stanley: We spend so much time together and share so many of the same interests, as well as personal style, that we knew a business in this industry would be a seamless creative outlet for us. I really feel like we’re a perfect match from a partnership and friendship perspective. We’re both brutally honest with each other, we share a crazy hunger and passion to make this venture succeed, and Brooke has the undeniable creative genius to dream up the designs to get us there!
4. How did you come up with the name Mason Stanley?
Taylor: We always wanted the brand to be grounded in heritage and that started with our name. My mother’s maiden name is Mason and Jess’ maiden name is Stanley, so we decided to combine the two.
5. What do you consider your biggest successes so far?
Taylor: Publicly, it was definitely seeing celebrities like Rihanna and Charlize Theron wearing our pieces for the first time. But aside from that, I think it is honestly amazing how much support we have received from our friends and family.
6. How does it feel to see celebrities wearing your designs? Is this something that had ever crossed your mind as a possibility?
Stanley: It is very surreal when you see a celebrity wearing something you created. It was something we had always hoped for, but having it happen so quickly after launch was definitely a pleasant surprise.
7. Where do you find inspiration and how does it translate into the pieces you create?
Stanley: Our inspiration definitely comes from the landscape you find in California. We both grew up here and a lot of the natural beauty was weaved into our designs. From the Shark Bite ring that is a playful twist on a double-knuckle ring, to the harpoons that run through multiple designs … it all comes back to the lifestyle you find here.
8. Your aesthetic is quite minimalist. What has influenced you to design this way?
Taylor: We wanted pieces that can be like a second skin to whoever wears them. I like jewelry that is comfortable and wearable with anything. I also think that simplicity in design is key, which is definitely something I learned while working with Apple.
9. Have you begun any work or planning for your second collection? If so, is there anything you can tell us about it?
Stanley: Right now, we are just focusing on launching the brand and the initial collection. But Brooke is always drawing and designing new baubles. We plan to release new pieces as they come and even new iterations on classics — for example, we’re going to make a limited number of pieces available in black diamonds in the coming weeks. We’re also working on some larger statement pieces at the moment.
10. What are your future plans for Mason Stanley?
Stanley: Total world domination… just kidding! But, would that really be so bad?