We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracee Nichols and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracee, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The timing was right for me. I was ending off on a job that I had for 10 years and I felt that if I were going to start my own company that I needed to do it now, before something else came along. For this to work, I decided to keep it simple and start with one design. That was the Roman Courage necklace. This is the necklace that really launched my company and I was fortunate enough that within the first couple of years I had incredible press with celebrities wearing my jewelry. Within the first few years, my jewelry was being worn by Juliette Lewis, Taylor Swift, and was on the cover of Health Magazine with Tracy Anderson. More recently, my jewelry has been worn by Rosie Huntington-Whitely for Harpers Bazaar Magazine, Ashley Graham, Julianne Hough, Marisol Nichols, Lilly Singh, and Kristin Chenoweth. I think it’s important to take the opportunity when it presents itself.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer, specializing in fine jewelry. My designs are all with meaning, it is my intention that every piece I design is meaningful for the person wearing it. My pieces are bold and uphold powerful meanings such as Courage, Valor, Vita, Harmony, Love, and Strength. I love what I do and I think that is the best foundation that any business person can start from. I started my business because I have aways had an affinity for jewelry from an very early age. I started collecting vintage jewelry at the age of 9 when I was traveling all over the midwest with my Aunt who was an antique dealer. I learned the antique trade and was schooled on vintage jewelry. What stuck with me in this learning process was what I gravitated to when I would purchase a piece of jewelry. I realized that I was purchasing certain pieces because I felt the jewelry had some sort of history and meaning behind it and I became fascinated wondering who wore this piece and what did it mean to them…why did they wear it and where did they wear it to? Jewelry is very personal and I found I was starting to tell my own story when I would wear my jewelry finds. With this background, along with a degree in Architectural Design, becoming a jewelry designer was a natural decision for me. I have been asked before if this journey as a designer has been easy, I really don’t know any career worthwhile that has been “easy.” There are always challenges along the way for anything that you want to continue to be your best at. I am constantly learning, making mistakes, and with those mistakes I always learn something very beneficial for my business. As a business owner, you have to be confident in what you are selling and believe in your product, with that trust your business will do well.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spot for dinner in Los Angeles is K-town in Downtown LA, there are so many great choices – you can’t go wrong. For drinks, 71Above is on the 71st floor and has the best panoramic views of the city. For coffee, Alfred Coffee is the place to go for all out-of-towners-everyone needs to experience this coffee spot if you don’t live here. For some culture, The Getty Center. Not only do I go to see incredible art there, but I love the architecture. To relax and pamper, a day at Kate Somerville where we get the most incredible facials and have a day to relax and focus on ourselves.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to my incredibly talented friend, Sophia Banks. A powerhouse award winning female Film Director. She has so much style and I admire her work and what she has accomplished in such a short period of time. We have had many conversations about being female entrepreneurs and what that means and how to create your vision, no matter what medium it’s in. It really helps to have people around you that back you up and want you to do well, that in itself helps the journey in a big way. www.sophiabanks.com
Michaela Blaney and Jamie Fisher