People really be hating on J. Cole. Like the fact that Jay Z gave him a deal says a lot, the man wasn’t even looking for rappers to put on his label but made an exception for Cole. Nas is a fan. Has featured or been featured with Missy, TLC, Bey, Jay, Janet Jackson, and many others. 2014 Forest Hills Drive highest selling hip hop album of 2014 and he released the album in December. Like chill with the hateration. He is a man of the people and he constantly voices his opinion on matters that really matter. His music constantly promotes self love and development.

A brand new batch of Pearl+ Moisturizing Soaps is up on our online shop. Lovingly hand-crafted in small batches in Portland by our friends at Studio J, exclusively for Ace, the soaps contain crushed natural pearl, saponified oils of olive, coconut and palm, rice bran, shea butter, pearl powder, gotu kola and rosemary extract. These are the soaps we hang from the vanities at Ace Portland and New York, and it’s never there when you leave, so it seems these are pretty popular. Now you can actually have it delivered. Also in the shop: Pearl+ Detoxifying soap. You can get each separately as a large bar or together in a pack of two.

Pearl+ is a creation of Janet Jay at Studio J in Portland, Oregon – she runs the studio with her husband, and our long-time friend, John Jay. In China, the powers of natural pearl have been celebrated in mythology and practice for over two millennia. Janet learned about this special use of pearl powder from her grandmother, so her soaps are a modern interpretation of an ancient classic.

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The lovely Janet Jay hand-produces Pearl+ Soaps – using crushed pearls among other things – exclusively for Ace Hotels. You can find it in our online shop in gift packs for the holidays. But you can also find it at Studio J, unfinished, lined in trays, and scenting the air there with the wonderful smell of all of Janet’s (not so) secret ingredients. Pearl+ Soaps will be featured in a holiday trunk show this weekend with other local designers and retailers, Subject to Season, including two of our favorites, Hazel Cox and Adam Arnold.

We love Studio J – not only is it beautiful and full of light, it’s also the creative hub of Janet and her husband John Jay, of Weiden + Kennedy. They have all sorts of amazing projects together, and John and Ace partner Alex Calderwood co-curated a recent special edition of Arkitip magazine this year. We wanted to ask Janet about her process, Studio J, and Neufy.

What are you listening to today in the studio?

Seabear, Iron and Wine, Feist and Japanese hip hop that brings back good memories of living in Tokyo.

What’s the sky like out of those huge windows?

Grey but not raining!

Tell me what’s on the to-do list for today.

Meetings on a new project in Old Town and Pearl+ Soap production.

Is your grey kitty hiding out somewhere?

Neufy took the day off work today.

What’s for lunch?

Ping’s wide rice noodle and chicken. My favorite, stir fried twice…yum.

Tell us the story of Pearl+ – the pearl dust, and your grandmother.

Like many Asian women, my grandmother used pearl powder in creams and lotions to help promote clear beautiful skin. I was always fascinated by this and decided to develop a product that both men and women could use…Pearl+ Soaps was it. We used pearl powder and then decided to incorporate charcoal for the benefits of absorbing impurities and oils.

Pearl+ Soaps are made local and lovingly by hand here in Portland…and you guys are the only ones that have it!

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We at Atelier Ace have a new neighbor in Portland’s Chinatown – Table of Contents, the mercantile of our dreams and a close friend to our other neighbors and old friends Studio J, the brainchild of Janet and John Jay. We recently raised a glass to TOC’s grand opening and then waltzed around the corner for an afterparty and feast at Studio J, with decorations by Janet and Hazel Cox and a lot of good friends in attendance. The very talented Johnny Le took photos.

Table of Contents just launched a new web shop, and they’re celebrating with a quick winter sale through Saturday. They’re also on the impressive roster of booksellers and presses at this weekend’s Publication Fair hosted by Publication Studio in The Cleaners at Ace Hotel Portland. Now is the time to indulge thyself with handsome books, objects and sweaters…

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