Hi, I'm Katie. I am the designer behind Mary Jane Lane Suspenders and the granddaughter of an amazing woman who inspired me to name this line after her.
This story begins when my mother taught me how to sew at eight years old and I fell in love with creating clothing. Her mother, Mary Jane Lane, was a Home-Ec Teacher and taught her to sew. As a child, my grandmother’s house was my playground. I fell in love with exploring her attic and all the nooks and crannies of her old Victorian house. I flipped through her sewing patterns, buttons, ribbons, fabrics, black and white photos, and letters. All of it was fascinating to me and still is today. My studio is filled with vintage fabrics, from both my mother and grandmother, that I often use in my designs.
My grandparents, Mary Jane and Noel Lane were an inspirational couple. A couple that created together. They had a lust for learning, enjoying and getting the most out of this life. They had a huge loom in their basement on which they weaved rugs. They also braided rugs; learned macramé, rug hooking, crafting stained glass, were avid gardeners and eventually my grandmother reupholstered every piece of furniture in the house. She made clothing for everyone in her family, just as my mother did for me. Both my mother and grandmother’s passion for continuing to create throughout their lifetime inspires me to this day.
After graduating with a degree in fashion design in Missouri, I booked a one-way ticket on an Amtrak train to New York City. Spending the first few years designing children’s clothing, I soon discovered and fell in love with the craft of costume designing. Over the next eight years, I developed a rich and varied portfolio of work. Starting my career in film and transitioning to commercial and television work, I have had the opportunity to work on many iconic television shows, including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to dress an impressive range of characters and work with inspiring and brilliant actors, personalities and some of the hardest working and most creative craftsmen and women in the business.
In 2012, I felt the strong urge to get back to my roots and create with hand hands again. It all started with reading the book, The Artist’s Way and immersing myself in a very inspiring art retreat, Squam Art Workshops. From there, I founded Mary Jane Lane. Inspired by my husband, Kurt Peloquin’s style and love of expressing himself through clothing, I crafted him a pair of custom suspenders and he kept them on for weeks. I fell in love with the process or creating each pair and the experience given to me by the person wearing them.
Shortly after deciding to name my company after my grandmother, I was home visiting her and, as usual, digging though a drawer of sewing notions when I found a pack of her sewing labels, which I had never seen before! 'Specially Hand Made and Fashioned by Mary Jane Lane.' This felt like fate and I had her labels recreated to use on my designs.
It’s an inspired relationship that I hold with my family. I feel the importance of honoring the past and continuing these traditions and crafts and bringing them into the next generation. In doing so, I inhabit a legacy, honoring tradition and holding true to my connection to the past, which continues to become a part of my identity today. Whether it is gardening, cooking, designing or sewing, the art of creation in the every day is a path that I have chosen to honor and continue for the rest of my life.
I design and hand craft suspenders. Using vintage fabrics and repurposed materials to keep the environmental impact low is important to me. It is a special experience for me to take these fabrics with a past story and work them into a new creation. The process of collaborating with another person to create a piece that helps their personality shine is such a rewarding experience for me.
I really enjoy the process of designing and creating custom suspenders and curating vintage accessories for my clients.
I was incredibly lucky to collaborate with an amazing photographer and story teller, Nina Robinson on the series of photos and interviews featured throughout the site. Nina has a unique ability to weave stories through her photographs. She brought to light the unifying stories of each of the five customers we profiled and even sat down to chat with me about my process and inspiration behind Mary Jane Lane.
Click here to listen to the interview