Remember in middle school when you’d come home from school blabbing about how Suzie has way cuter clothes than you anddd her mom lets her wear mascara. SO not fair! You spent lunchable after lunchable pining over her pretty skirts, non-plastic pearls, and straightened hair. If girls in their 20’s still went to middle school, this Suzie character would be walking around with a custom, gold RB monogram necklace delicately placed around her neck.
This RB stands for Reece Blaire – the dynamic duo of up and coming jewelry designers.
I’ve known the girls of Reece Blaire for quite some time. Katelyn, Emily and I were all in the same sorority. Emily rushed first, then Katelyn, and I the following year. We did as all sorority sisters do: we laughed, we cried, and we threw a lot of parties that got us into trouble. Looking back, I can’t help but relate our time together with Reece Blaire’s three elements: Sass, Wit, and Sophistication.
They were certainly sassy… how else would we get rush numbers? But on the other hand, their wit always surprised me. Not that I ever thought they were a pair of dumb blondes, but I have distinct memories of Katelyn quoting the dictionary. I’m not even kidding. As far as sophistication goes, well, let’s just say it was a work in progress… We were in college after all.
All grown up with numerous lessons learned, they have turned these three attributes into a catchy slogan for their lifestyle blog and original jewelry designs. They describe these three elements as:
It is crucial for every woman to have. We’ve learned through experience that it is important not to be a pushover. Sometimes you just need to throw a little tamed sass into a difficult situation.
This explains itself. One of our most favorite quotes to date is, “Every time you are able to find humor in a difficult situation, you win.” Being able to laugh through a hard time is key to finding sanity.
Above all else, we strive to be sophisticated women. Undoubtedly, we both have our moments where our inner demons make an appearance, but you will never regret maintaining your poise in a less than favorable situation.
With a year of tremendously consistent business under their belts, I have to wonder how they got started. The big idea took off with a blog.
“I preferred the fashion side of blogging,” Katelyn tells me, “Emily preferred the lifestyle and entertainment side, so it was a perfect pairing. Reece Blaire literally started through a text that went something like, “Hey Em, let’s start a blog and call it Reece Blaire.” Emily’s answer was very, very simple — “Okay!”
“After dabbling in blogging, we found some of Emily’s old jewelry she had crafted up for her wedding in 2011. I urged Emily to create some new pieces. She experimented with a few designs and hated them. I, on the other hand, loved them. Using our established social media accounts as a platform, we showcased the jewelry to get some feedback. The demand was instantaneous, so we ran with it!”
I’m sort of in the same boat – taking the social media route to creativity. What challenges did you have in the 1st year?
“LOL – literally,” they both chuckle. “We could probably write a novel on our first-year challenges alone. Aside from the normal challenges, like competitors and expenses, we became very frustrated with the lack of support from some of our peers. Naturally our family and close friends were amazingly supportive, but other acquaintances could be quite nasty at times. Ironically, the people who didn’t believe in us fueled our success by giving us a drive to work harder and become a better brand. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate…”
If you lack confidence in your brand and the job you are doing, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
“We went through multiple different ideas for taglines that would be catchy and embody Sass, Wit, & Sophistication. Baubles is an older term for jewelry that nobody really used. To be honest, we found the term “baubles” in a thesaurus search and formed a phrase around it. As our bangles look best in a stack, Keep Your Baubles Stacked seemingly formed itself. The bigger the better, right?”
I have to admit, there are so many bauble brands out there. How do you differentiate yourself?
“One of the main things we focus on is a strong brand image and brand identity. When we decided to pursue Reece Blaire as a career rather than a hobby, the first thing we did was rebrand. We want our customers to feel the Reece Blaire experience from the second they reach our website until they are wearing their purchased pieces. We strive for consistency. Our goal is for every customer, throughout every medium (retail locations, website, social media, trunk shows), to resonate with our brand and understand who we are as a business. We pay attention to every little detail from the filters on our photos to the captions on our pictures.”
Starting a business is a lot of work – everyone knows that. What goals have you accomplished as a company so far? What lies ahead?
“For the last year, we’ve both been pursuing Reece Blaire part-time. We’ve successfully rebranded, gotten our merchandise into over 80 retail locations, and increased our product line.”
Katelyn has finished her MBA and Emily has just recently had a baby (Congrats Em!). So now that they’ve reached some personal milestones, it’s time they focus on Reece Blaire. Katelyn will be pursuing Reece Blaire full-time, while Emily takes some time to be with her new born little girl. They are launching their new Reece Blaire Collection line this week (SWOON! My favorites, old and new, listed below), and have new arrivals lined up for February and March. “We are looking for a warehouse to move our business operations, and hope to expand our product line even more by August 2015. Long-run, we would love to be featured in a department store, such as Belk or have our own studio shoppe. Right now, we are taking it one day at a time!”
Who says New Years Day doesn’t come with presents?
Since we’re no longer in middle school and we’re actually able to attain Suzie’s cool baubles without our mother’s help, Reece Blaire will be giving 20% off their website with the code BLANC20! Hurry, hurry – coupon code lasts until January 3rd. My favorites are linked below.
Blanc Favorites via Reece Blaire: