Frances and Charlotte Gadbois are the mom-daughter team behind Sloane Street Jewelry, which the Corona del Mar duo launched a year ago. Frances, 52, co-founder of Jude Frances luxury jewelry (she since has sold her share), and Charlotte, 22, design two collections: Spectrum, with semi‑precious stones ($1,500 to $10,000), and Caviar, one‑of‑a‑kind pieces for up to $150,000. Most sales are from the central U.S. But their SoCal status might be changing: They’ve now set their sights on Hollywood and the red carpet.
What’s been the reception to Sloane Street?
Charlotte: People say that it’s different, and fresh, because of our unique use of color combinations. It’s feminine and so wearable. You can dress it up and dress it down.
Do you pay attention to trends?
Charlotte: We have some core pieces that are definitely on the color trends.
Frances: Black and white—we’ve done really well with that. But because our jewelry is quite expensive, and because people are looking for more special, one-of-a-kind pieces, we’re less trendy now than in the past.
Are you working with any new colors this year?
Frances Yes, I’ve never really gone the pale pink route, and we’re getting huge traction on Charlotte’s pink opals, which she really took a liking to. We sold one and then another and I’m going “Hmmm, these are not inexpensive pieces.” And then vogue.com featured a pair of our earrings (pictured, for $15,415), and suddenly I’m thinking maybe there’s something here.
Tell us about your spring line.
Charlotte: We’ll move away from the deep reds and greens and have more aqua, mint green tourmaline, pink opals, and lighter pastel colors.
What aspects of your jewelry appeal to fans in the Midwest?
Frances: The women there get “dressed” every day. And not only do they get dressed, they buy jewelry in suites—they’ve got the black chain, the black earrings, the black ring, the black bracelets. If they’re gonna wear pink, they have the pink earrings, the pink necklace, the pink bracelets. We don’t do that here, you know?
Charlotte: Here, it’s studs and a necklace. We’re lucky if we get a watch on.
So what do your Orange County customers look for?
Frances: I would say about half of the business is custom orders, and we’ve really got traction with that, with people having stones that they’ve had forever in kind of ugly settings that they didn’t know what to do with.
Charlotte: Lots of family heirlooms …
Frances … And I reinvent it, so when you create these one-of-a-kind pieces for people, they become clients forever.
How long does it take to make a collection, from concept to delivery?
Charlotte It’s usually about a six-month process from pencil to paper to finished product. But for our custom pieces, it’s about 10 weeks.
Who are your style inspirations?
Charlotte: I love Charlize Theron and Olivia Palermo.
Frances : Jackie O, Grace Kelly
Do you have any muses?
Charlotte: My muse would be my mom; having a mentor who has been in the industry for so long, and can offer me so much, is really exciting. And it’s even better that we get to do it all together as business partners.
Charlotte: We just partnered with a public relations company, and we already sent stuff to Rihanna, Drew Barrymore, and Elizabeth Banks, so we’re crossing our fingers, hopefully this season of awards we’ll have a few pieces out there.
Frances: It lends itself to red carpet, and editors like that color photographs really well.
If you could see it on the red carpet, which carpet and on whom?
Charlotte The Academy Awards, it’s the end-all and be-all—and on Jennifer Lawrence. She’s a bit young, but she’s so fabulous.
Frances I’m pretty excited about Drew Barrymore seeing our jewelry because you need someone who has a little bit of funk, who isn’t totally classic.
Sloane Street Jewelry