The Set: Jane Lerman and Shane Fonner
As the founders of 2 very successful companies, one being the very cool clothing brand, Palmiers Du Mal, and the other, L.E.R. PR — the PR firm that reps some of the coolest names in fashion and hospitality, Jane and Shane are pretty much the definition of a modern-day power couple and not to mention, one of the nicest and chicest couples we've met thus far.
When we were first introduced to this couple, we couldn't help but notice that not only do their names go perfectly together (seriously), but their passions and interests are so complimentary. Their shared love for culture, adventure, and for one another (of course) has enabled these two to truly bring out the best in each other.
So, even though their lives as business owners and entrepreneurs can clearly become hectic, these two always make sure to set aside time for what's most important - each other.
How did you meet?
Jane: We met through mutual friends in New York. One of my close friends was coming back from the Hamptons in the same car as Shane by chance. She called on the way and said they were going for drinks in my neighborhood, so I met them at a local bar in Tribeca and we ended the night with late night karaoke singing at Cipriani. When our friends introduced us and we discovered the rhyming nature of our names, Shane’s first words were literally “Your name is Jane? My name is Shane… We have to get married.” He was living in LA at the time, so I thought I would never see him again, and went with it – I replied with, “Sure, City Hall tomorrow?” Our friends all found it pretty entertaining and the rest of the night turned into a whole “Shane and Jane” thing – I think there’s literally a picture one of our friends posted from the night captioned with “Shane and Jane, in the beginning…” that we thought was just going to be an inside joke. Little did we know then…
Shane: I always like to tell people we met on Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section, but it was completely organic through mutual friends, circumstance, and fate. And IRL.
Where was your first date?
J: We hung out a few times with friends before actually going on a proper “date” – but when we did go on a date, 5 months after we met, it was to Café Mogador in the East Village. Still love that place and we go back fairly often.
S: Café Mogador in the East Village. I really love the casual ease and elegance of the place – it’s absolutely ideal for a first date. She showed up almost an hour late, but I was still there patiently waiting.
Was there a sign that you knew it was meant to be?
J: The first time Shane stayed over, he made the bed the way that I make it – throw pillows and all. I am a bit OCD when it comes to apartment organization, so that was definitely a sign that this could really work.
S: For me, it was the fact that she went along with all my ridiculous courting rituals. At the time I was really out there. I’d hit rock bottom in LA and was in the Hamptons to escape for a weekend. And I was super honest with her from the moment we met, telling her I was a starving artist and had nothing to offer besides my shimmering personality and a lot of potential. She kept speaking to me after that, which surprised me a bit to say the least. But it was always really easy and natural.
What is your favorite thing about one another?
J: My favorite thing is that we make a great team. Shane has always pushed me to pursue my dreams and encouraged me to challenge myself creatively. I have a lot of crazy ideas and am probably always taking on too much at once, but Shane has always believed in me and that’s allowed me to really push myself both personally and professionally.
S: I love how driven and generous she is, with her time, resources, and insight. I’m naturally more introspective and like to consider abstract ideas and ideate concepts, whereas she’s one to execute. Without her I’d likely be spinning my wheels with a head full of beautiful thoughts and not much more. She’s really motivated me to act on my intuition, and she always encourages me to turn even my most abstract concepts into reality- there’s much more in the queue!
Best advice for those looking to find love?
J: Be open-minded and trust your instincts. When I first met Shane, I didn’t think I would ever see him again and he wasn’t exactly the “best on paper” at the time, but we just had a blast hanging out together. I instantly felt comfortable with him and didn’t feel like I had to try to be anything I am not. Don’t look at superficial surface stuff and really pay attention to the big picture things – do your goals and dreams line up? Do you feel like you can inspire and support each other? Are you 100% yourself with that person? These are the really important things, because everything else (like finances/ career, looks, etc.) can change in an instant.
S: Find someone who encourages you to be yourself, and vise versa. You can’t fundamentally change another person, but you can bring out the best in each other.
The most important part of a relationship?
J: Honesty and compromise. Never let things bottle up inside you until you blow up one day; express your concerns as soon as you feel something come up and be willing to compromise. A relationship requires give and take, so be willing to give as much as you’re willing to take.
S: Communication and compromise. Easy as that. Honesty, too – we’ve both always been believers in complete and utter honesty, and that leaves everything on the table.
How do you resolve your differences?
J: We are always very open with each other and communication is a hugely important part of our relationship. If we disagree on something, we talk and find a compromise; usually when we see where the other person is coming from, we find a way to work it out -- but really over-communication is key.
S: After 8 years it seems like we think with one brain. But openness and honesty, finding common interests, and understanding that it’s not always going to be super easy breezy are key to resolving conflicts when they arise. Simple open, transparent communication is always the answer. You can’t expect the other person to know what you’re thinking.
Best advice for keeping the romance alive?
J: Travel! We are both travel enthusiasts and there’s nothing that re-invigorates romance quite like going on an adventure together, either to a new or familiar place. We try to take at least 2 proper international vacations a year, but we also travel together quite a bit for work, so even on work trips we always try to find time for a beautiful dinner, an evening stroll or a glass of wine to take time to ourselves and enjoy the destination together.
S: Changing the scenery. It’s healthy to get out of your routine as much as possible. We have been spending a lot of time in Montauk during the summer, as the city can become stifling if you’re just working non-stop and not taking time to enjoy it. There are so many magical places in the world to see and discover, many that can change your perspective and continually inspire you creatively. It’s important to keep breaking out of the box.