Jane E. Miller
Meggie Sullivan and Jane Miller of J.E.M.
When you first walk into J.E.M. you are greeted warmly (yes, warmly) then allowed to browse to your heart's content. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about the mix of J.E.M. originals designed by owner Jane Miller, salvaged items & objects de art by local designers.
The unique furniture and décor is arranged artistically against a backdrop of striking blue walls. The shop also serves as a gallery space, currently featuring the bold, graphic paintings of Matt W. Moore alongside a few one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces such as the "Iron Cast Horse Head" available for $1,500.
Interior Designer Jane Miller opened J.E.M. in 2009. The name of the shop is comprised of her initials, reflecting the fact that the store is a reflection of her unique perspective. She describes her aesthetic as French/Belgium Industrial with a coastal, textural element that reflects time spent in San Francisco while working under designer Will Wick. For her own designs she takes relics from New England's rich industrial heritage and reinterprets them, creating pieces like the Lucite Benches made from steel sawhorses fitted with custom frosted Lucite tops. As with all of her custom pieces everything was regionally sourced.
She seeks to provide a new experience for her customers and recognizes that in such an intimate space getting people to step through the door is half the battle. Opening up shop in a developing neighborhood they are surrounded by a diverse group of people and Jane wants anyone to feel comfortable walking in off the street. She states "Design is for everybody, it isn't about being snobby." One of the ways in which J.E.M. seeks to open itself up to the neighborhood is by throwing parties incorporating art and live music, going the extra step to create an environment where people can experience the design in a casual way.
The shop hosts "Salon Series" of art on a revolving basis and considers art to be an important part of interior design, creating relationships between the artwork and other elements of the décor. The shop is styled with the intent to create context for the furnishings and incorporates the individual elements into the overall concept of the shop.
The most striking feature of this store is its authenticity. From local artifacts to pieces created by local artists, according to store manager Meggie, "Every single piece in the store has a story behind it and can be traced back to its origins."
Images: Kim Lucian