Jan Albach Jewell has always found personal satisfaction in having control over her destiny. Her sense of design is insightful and bold which she has applied to each unique application, while employing the logical elements of entrepreneurship to accomplish her dreams.
Jan Albach Jewell - Goldsmith
As a goldsmith, Jan's greatest gift is working with individual clients to conceptualize a personal jewelry design that truthfully communicates the significance and personal style behind each piece. After graduating from the University of Houston (Texas) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a specialization in metal-smithing, Jan Jewell founded her first company, Jan Albach - Goldsmith. She has designed and manufactured custom-made fine jewelry for clients in New York, Houston, Boston, Honolulu, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area. Jan works with international gem dealers to source high quality gemstones, and also enjoys utilizing gold and gems provided by her clients, including inherited stones and gold, refining the gold back to pure and re-alloying it to 18K to use in a new design. Partnering with gemologist, Ildiko Borbey, Jan and Ildiko co-owned Albach-Borbey, a fine jewelry salon in Palo Alto, California for five years before Jan moved to Seattle.
Birthday Express - Celebrate Express
Several life changes resulted in a move to Seattle; and one month later Jan gave birth to her third child three months prematurely after losing his twin. Her son weighed 1 pound, 10 ounces at birth. The trauma of having a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit for the next two and a half months caused Jan to re-think her plans to launch her jewelry company in Seattle.
After a very stressful six months, Jan and her former husband Mike combined their respective skills and conceived a new company concept intended to harness the power of the Internet, which at that time was virtually unknown to most people. Intense brain-storming sessions resulted in Jan recognizing the challenges faced by busy mothers as they celebrate the lives of their children and Birthday Express was conceptualized, offering themed children's birthday party supplies, initially via a printed catalog. Formally launched in 1994, the company grew rapidly, developing its first website BirthdayExpress.com in April of 1996.
In 1997 Birthday Express purchased a printing press and began designing and manufacturing its own party products; licensing some themes and creating others that were generic and exclusive to the company. It also acquired Great Days Publishing, which printed birthday scrolls describing the events of the day of one's birth. By 1999 the company employed over 200 people, and expanded its distribution capabilities from a single warehouse in the Seattle area and added a second in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2001 the company launched Toyland Express, and acquired a children's clothing company, Storybook Heirlooms.
Jan was responsible for all merchandising, graphic illustration and product development, as well as marketing materials including the company’s catalog and website. As the company grew, she supervised a creative department of over a dozen artists, and wrote and co-illustrated a children’s book entitled Meri’s Dream. She introduced the concept of open book management to the entire company to increase efficiency and profitability; and was featured for her entrepreneurial and artistic abilities on the Oprah Winfrey Show, in People Magazine, the Washington Post, Puget Sound Business Journal, USA Today, and in various other national publications.
In 2004 the company completed its Initial Public Offering, going public on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BDAY. In little more than a decade Celebrate Express, Inc. had grown from a small catalog operation into one of the leading mail-order children's party goods suppliers in the United States. Within a few years, both Jan and Mike Jewell retired and began pursuing new interests.
Jan Jewell owns and manages a vacation rental property in Hawaii, on the north shore of O'ahu, just minutes from the famed Banzai Pipeline surf break. Surrounded by some of the finest and most pristine beaches, dramatic waves, and romantic sunsets in the world, the North Shore’s natural beauty blends in harmony with the simple elegance and casual lifestyle found at the Ocean Villas.