In 1994, Janyl left high-end retail to take a risk on herself.
‘I got to Bali and realized I was home.’
Nearly 30 years ago, as she stepped off a plane and surveyed the picturesque Bali landscape, Janyl Sherman had a realization: She’d made the right decision, quitting her job in retail to travel across the world to start SARDA™. “I worked at a very high-end department store and took a break,” Janyl said. “I took a bead class with my mom and realized ‘oh my gosh, this could be a jewelry line.’ I quit and started that jewelry line, with beaded jewelry, in three months.”
She also realized this was going to be a bigger lift than she initially thought. “I went completely unorganized,” Janyl said with a smile. That’s hardly a surprise. After graduating college from Washington State University, upending ones life to move to a beautiful—but relatively unknown—country in the south pacific to start a business would test even the most experienced person. But you only get experience by having experiences. And for Janyl, the move to Bali was a life-changing one.
“The passion for designing and doing beautiful things come natural to them,” Janyl said. “If you’ve ever traveled to Bali, you know the environment and how the flora and fauna and architecture is just absolutely beautiful. And the people more so are the most amazing, loving people you will ever meet.”
Bali is known the world over for their beautiful jewelry. Boasting some of the best artisans and craftsmanship, their handcrafted jewelry is unique, detailed, and of the highest quality.
Beauty is important to the people of Bali, this small island located in Southeast Asia. They value craftsmanship as a gift to their gods, so they put their love and time into their pieces. Oftentimes, Bali jewelry tells a story, and they make this handcrafted jewelry in modern and antique styles. They use amazing techniques, such as filigree, jawan, and granulation to craft their designs that are simply marvelous to behold.
Bali jewelry makers use intricate and delicate metalwork, using beads and threads of metal that are soldered together to craft images and patterns that are stunning to behold. When you choose jewelry from SARDA™, you can rest assured you’ll receive an exquisite piece of jewelry handcrafted with love.
That’s not to say that Janyl made the decision to leave the comforts of home on a whim. Far from it, in fact. A self-described “workaholic,” Janyl has always prided herself on her strong work ethic. “I’ve always been a hard worker, ever since I was young. I had paper-routes, picking berries, I was always working,” Janyl said. “I came up from a bit of a rough background, we moved a lot of places. Just like everybody else’s story, I’m not unique in that way.”
Janyl gives credit to the faith shown to her by her grandmother, without whom her dream may have never gotten off the ground. “My grandma who I was so close with—she’s not with me anymore—believed in me, and she believed that I could do it,” Janyl says. “$5000, which if you think about it was big three decades ago. She believed in me and gave me that money to go over there. What I did with that $5000 was huge. It was her believing in me and inspiring me to go do what I dreamed.”
That dedication, that desire to make her grandmother proud, served her well as she left to pursue her own jewelry business.
After arriving in Bali, Janyl says the biggest challenge was immersing herself in the Bali culture. “The people I was buying the beads from in the States, they did not tell me any of the right stuff,” Janyl recalls. “When I got there, I’m asking people where to go and they’re like, ‘I don’t’ know what you’re talking about.’
“I had to find out about it, so I literally walked the entire area.”
All that walking helped Janyl quickly find her feet, and establish relationships that endure to this day. “I created my own family over there,” Janyl says. “I have a place and a factory that makes only my designs. Two to three decades some of the artisans; we’ve literally grown up together and we’re able to make some really beautiful jewelry.”
Janyl says much of her early time was spent working with local families experienced in crafting Bali-made jewelry. It was a time-consuming process, but it allowed her to make those long-lasting partnerships. “I worked with about 15 factories, small bench-made jewelers,” Janyl said. “I say factories, they weren’t really factories–maybe two or three people they had—they were really family based.”
Janyl says she eventually settled on one jeweler to partner with to set her vision into motion. “I went down to seven, went down to three and partnered with one and said, ‘let’s make this amazing,’” Janyl said. “That’s my partners Kadek and Made…they’re my family.”
“IT WAS JUST ME”
Much like when she left her job to move to Bali, Janyl took a significant risk, putting everything she had into starting SARDA™. “To do this, I let go of my apartment, and moved in with my dad who was living at my uncle’s heavy hauling truck station,” Janyl said. “That station where guys slept, they brought in a separator and the guys slept in their trucks. It was like a mudroom, which doubled as my office where I beaded everything up.
“I gave everything up, poured everything—time, money that I had left—into it.”
Janyl didn’t have any staff or startup, so it was up to her to make it work. “I started with some gem shows,” Janyl said. “I would take my product and sell it on a table during the day at these gem shows. Then I would restock it and remake it at night and then open my table in the morning again.”
Janyl’s talent for design, business acumen and perseverance enabled her to persevere through those tough early days, and eventually build SARDA™ to the point where she established a reputation for herself in the jewelry industry. As she was able to expand, she says it was important to stay within her financial means, which meant not overextending herself. “I’ve always tried to keep it debt free, so I’ve never taken loans,” Janyl said. “My grandma, that first initial loan, she never took it back, she wouldn’t accept it. I’ve always wanted to be debt free and that’s how I’m able to pass the value on.”
NEW BEGINNINGS, NEW DESIGNS
Janyl says her Thailand collection, New Beginnings by Janyl Adair™, was inspired by her travels to the South Pacific. Where old world craftsmanship meets modern technology giving an added touch of simplicity to any look.
Finding inspiration wherever she goes allows Janyl to continuously design and create new pieces that her customers crave. These New Designs are designed empower you with the latest on-trend styles!
As Janyl realized more success in her career, she says that her personal life was a struggle, as she believed something was missing in her life. For her, that came to a head when she turned forty. “Thirteen years ago, I hit a bottom and I was living a lifestyle that was…not the lifestyle God wanted me to lead,” Janyl said.
For Janyl, her embrace of faith started by helping a struggling family member with an addiction. “Helping one my relatives get off the painkillers that the doctor kept prescribing and mixing alcohol,” Janyl said. “It was one of those things that where I kept going to the support groups and thought I’d pop into another one. I was listening to the stories and thinking, ‘well when I open a bottle of wine, I finish it too!’”
Janyl said she stopped drinking, but what she was missing went deeper that the bottom of a bottle. “I was thinking it was just drinking, but because Celebrate Recovery is a faith-based recovery group, all these women, I wanted what they had,” Janyl said. “They had this hope, this joy, this kindness that I didn’t have.
“So, alcohol was one of those that I stopped drinking, but it wasn’t alcohol, I was missing that faith, which restored my hope, and that was God.”
With her faith -and hope—restored, Janyl says that she has the capacity inside to both help women who are struggling in recovery and empower them through her designs. That’s where she says she gets her inspiration. “Those are my areas, ladies in recovery, trying to have a second, third, maybe fourth chance,” Janyl said. “My company, that’s what we chosen to support.”
Janyl believes emerging from that darker period in her life helped fuel her growth, personally and professionally. One need only look at her jewelry to see she pours herself into every detail of every design, wherever she goes, from the United States to Bali to Thailand.
“I’ve created things in Thailand, and my New Beginnings line is where that was inspired,” Janyl said. “It was a lot of tonal: Rose gold, gold mixed with silver, multi-tonal jewelry and just a little bit more delicate.”
Wherever she designs, Janyl says her customers will always be able to spot her distinct style. “You can’t get away from it, there is my stamp on it, you can still tell it’s me,” Janyl said. “You can look at my pieces and people from 20 years ago say, ‘SARDA™.’ I’ve come up with thousands of designs, yet there is just this taste where people can recognize my pieces, which amazes me as I transform and change.
Still, Janyl’s heart and inspiration can be seen in her Bali-made pieces, and they remain some of her most recognizable designs. “Quality, multifunction, something that they’re going to feel empowered in,” Janyl says of her Bali designs. “One thing you will ask my Bali Babes, they go back and say, ‘I feel empowered when I put your jewelry on. I feel so good.’
“My whole concept is making the jewelry inside just as beautiful as the outside, because I want them to know that and feel that.”
There is a connection Janyl not only feels with her pieces, but also with the women who purchase them. Indeed, Janyl credits her customers not only with supporting her by buying her jewelry, but also embracing her personally. “That’s why I opened the SARDA™ Facebook page, so we could talk more directly,” Janyl said. “Right now, my passion is all about these amazing ladies that I get to design for, and they’ve welcomed me into this community. That’s what feeds my passion.
“So many of them share the same faith and we can share trials and different things we’re getting through and how we’re supporting one another.”
As Janyl has expanded the social media presence of SARDA™, one can see she genuinely enjoys the sense of community that has developed. “They opened up a Bali Babes page for me, for ladies who love my jewelry,” Janyl said. “We all want to be accepted and be part of something and they’ve allowed me to do that so that’s pretty cool.”
‘A MOMENT OF CELEBRATION’
Three decades later, as Janyl reflects on where she’s come from, she says she feels she’s in a better place, not that running a jewelry business with over one hundred employees worldwide could ever make someone feel completely comfortable. But as long as she can continue to design and inspire through her jewelry and faith, Janyl will be happy walking the path.
“I value the money that the women are spending. My grandma had jewelry that was beautiful and timeless and really investments,” Janyl said. “I want the quality to back up that those are going to be treasures. Maybe they wear them, it’s their favorite thing for a decade and they forget about it. But guess what, three decades later, their grandkids come in and say ‘what?’ It’s those things that we buy, and we pass down and we cherish because it comes from one of our loved ones.
“I want it to be that piece to be the one that they were initially so excited to buy, and then grandkids are excited to find, and the grandma can tell the story behind it.”
Janyl says she sees her jewelry as something that signifies something special in the person that buys it, and that’s why it’s important her pieces stand the test of time. “People buy jewelry to mark a moment of celebration,” Janyl said. “Being part of that is what makes that jewelry that legacy, and it’s just really cool to be part of that.”