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In Conversation with SHAY featuring Ladan and Tania Shayan
Designer Profiles

In Conversation with SHAY

"It’s a Family Affair"

Ladan and Tania Shayan started their Los Angeles-based line SHAY in 2002 as a physical manifestation of their blended taste and style. The mother-daughter team designs bold yet extremely wearable pieces that have amassed a fan favorite following over their twenty years in business. From their perfected curb link chain (found in nearly every category offered) to their zodiac signet rings, Broken English carries over 200 reasons to love this line. The duo shared their story of how the line got started, where it’s going and the beautiful synergy of working with family.

What is new in your world right now?

Tania: I have recently had my first child, a baby boy who is now 4 months old, so I have been trying to focus my energy on family and enjoy these special moments. This has also allowed me to step back from the general day to day of SHAY and allow myself to be more creative.

Ladan: Life has definitely been a lot busier since we added another member to the family but it has been a very special time.

How and when did you decide to form SHAY?

Tania: SHAY evolved from a hobby I had in high school. I designed and created a simple link bracelet for myself which I began gifting to friends and family. The demand was so great that it was soon after that my mom suggested we approach a couple of stores. Originally, we began creating costume pieces however we had so many inquiries regarding natural gems, that the transition was very organic. When SHAY began, there were limited fine jewelry brands offering such custom services.

What’s it like being in business as a mother-daughter team?

Tania: It's a true partnership dynamic. We are both as invested as each other and always bringing new ideas to move the brand forward, but as the company grows, we are settling into our niche strengths. We are very lucky that we complement each other. There was no question that I wanted to do this with my mom. We're extremely close and have the same taste and style in pretty much everything! The plus side is that it makes our wardrobe double size! It is extremely hard not to let work dominate every conversation and sometimes we need subtle reminders from each other when it does. I manage the business side and have a keen eye for attention to detail. I personally inspect every piece before it is sent to a customer or retailer. Ladan is much more of a risk taker. She gives me that nudge and confidence to step outside the square. Her optimism and creativity are infectious.

Can you describe your creative process?

Tania: I'm a little more conservative than my mom, but also drive the brand in a contemporary direction. My mom has this elegance about her, but she is definitely of a modern mindset. The combination of our personalities means we are always seeking inspiration from different sources. We're certainly working on more new capsule collections and some exciting brand collaborations coming up.

What are each of your go-to SHAY pieces?

Ladan: That’s like picking your favorite child! The jumbo pave link bracelet.

Tania: Ahh that’s so hard one I would say, medium link choker with the emerald cut diamond in the center. A classic statement piece.

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