Why Crane Island?
Written By Lori Hoerl
With both national and international clientele, Jan can be selective about the projects she chooses to collaborate on. She has worked with both Southern Living Idea House and Coastal Living Idea House teams. When it came to Crane Island, however, she will tell you it was the quality of the professionals involved in the development.
Jan says, “I was sent a little information about the project, did some research on my own and I could tell this was an A+ team at Crane Island.” She had also previously worked with Jim Strickland of Historical Concepts and Allison Ramsey Architects, two of the key team members for Crane Island. “I was excited by the idea of working with such a great group of professionals.”
The I’m Here Moment
Jan will tell you she is very driven and what drives her are two things. Jan says, “I ask myself two questions every day. Was I the best that I could be today? Did I give it my all?” Whether it is working the floor of her shop or collaborating with a client, Jan says if she can answer “yes” to those two questions, it gives her a sense of accomplishment.
“Money doesn’t drive me,” says Jan. “My satisfaction comes from doing the best I can do and being the best person I can be.”
When asked about what distinguishes her company and her approach from her competitors, Jan says she loves talking with owners and collaborating on an idea. Jan points out, “I’m always happy to take a call and give my opinion.” Her team is also highly trained to be sure they are knowledgeable in the areas that are most important in designing and installing lanterns and lighting.
“Things can go real wrong real fast if you don’t know what you are looking for and you can spend a lot of money,” says Jan. “You have to ask the right questions like where the gas line comes into a room, the proper heights and how to proportion lanterns, not to mention details like how thick the trim around a door might be, where the shutters will fall, and if there will be a transom.”
Jan points out, “I can go through a house and assess the most important things that need to be considered in choosing and installing lanterns and so can my team.”
Beyond The Work
You wouldn’t think Jan would have much leisure time running her own business but she says she loves architecture, design and looking at old houses when time permits. She also likes walking and sitting on the dock and just enjoying the outdoors. She laughs as she admits, “I like shrimp, I like crab, I have a little pluff mud behind my ears.”
Unlike Jan who has lived in Charleston all her life, her family is spread out on both coasts. She has a sister who lives in Philadelphia and a 97-year-old aunt who lives in Maryland and, according to Jan, still drives and talks politics. Her daughter is working on her own career in Charleston and she has two step children – one in Charleston and one in Los Angeles. She also has a 4-year-old grandson.
Jan has a great attitude about life. She smiles as she shares the story of her grandmother who played bridge until she was 98 years old. The story goes that she went to the hospital one night and told them she had played bridge too late. She died the next day.
Behind The Woman
They say “Behind Every Man There Is A Great Woman.” Jan would tell you that works both ways in her case. She just celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary with husband, Bob Schlau, a retired Merrill Lynch executive of 35 years.
Jan shares that she met Bob 35 years ago when he was a professional runner. In fact, he was paid to fly and run major marathons including the New York City and Boston marathons, as well as competing in two Olympic trials.
30 years later, they met again but each was with a date. She gave him her business card and he called her back one day. “I thought he was calling me on business,” says Jan. She laughs as she admits, “He called me two more times and by our third meeting, he tried to kiss me. I knew then it wasn’t business.”
Jan says Bob is her soul mate. “He supports me 100% in all aspects of my business,” says Jan. “It means so much to have your best friend in your corner. It makes all the success that much more special.”
Having such a talented and charming professional as Jan on our team is both fun and inspiring. Carolina Lanterns will be an integral part of the distinctive design and charm of our Crane Island community. We can’t wait to see the realization of this uniquely beautiful island community and all the little details that will make our houses, homes.