Fascinated by nature, Kellie founded her jewellery brand Salome, in memory of her beloved mother. With her timeless pieces and love of nature, this is a brand that will live through many cycles of life. Here at House of Coco, we encourage women to feel empowered and beautiful and owning a piece of Salome will do just that.
We spent some time with Kellie to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, Salome Designs…
I moved from New Orleans in 2012 with my British husband & three little girls to the UK and it took the Home Office almost 2 years to finalise my paperwork. Having had a career in PR, I worked at the Guggenheim initially then I was a PR director for an agency in New Orleans, I started to think about building a brand around my passion for jewellery making. It took years of planning and prep work, but then once we launched at Wolf & Badger things very quickly took off from there and before we knew it we were in store on Bond Street at Fenwick. It has been an absolute dream come true & having named the brand after my late mother, Salome, everyday is a glorious tribute to her memory and love.
Your brand is heavily focused on natural gemstones, why is this important to you?
I’m in love and totally fascinated with nature and all things natural. It was important for me to bring this into the brand in a very authentic and sustainable way. These gemstones are not just beautiful but also powerful and I want the wearer to feel empowered & uplifted and to go out in the world more energized, inspired, and full of confidence. I also wanted to promote a deeper connection to the earth and an appreciation for all the beauty and creatures on our beautiful planet. We are very proud Brand Ambassadors for the Cross River Gorilla Project (CRGP) and support their initiatives to save the critically endangered Cross River Gorillas and preserve the rainforest habitat for this incredible animal. Together with their Patron Amelia Windsor, we are launching a membership program ‘The Gorilla Gang’ to aid in their fight to save the remaining 300 Cross River Gorillas from extinction. This program will also be available to purchase as a gift for the holidays and makes a wonderful & meaningful gift to any eco-warrior or budding conservationist.
Since launching the brand, are there any decisions you have made that you later went on to regret? Not one, I said yes to everything initially and even though it may have been a stretch or incredibly hard work; all of the connections linked to something down the line that really worked for the brand and helped us to grow.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your designs?
Like a Goddess (Beyonce, Mata Hari, Stevie Nicks, and a Pre Raphaelite muse all rolled into one!) I want them to feel beautiful, empowered, sexy, confident, and connected to the world around them.
As a New Orleans Native, how did your path bring you to the UK?
My husband is British and so is my Grandmother, she was from Evesham and married my American Grandfather in the UK during WWII – with my Dad being British I’ve always felt connected to the England and to my family here in the UK.
Where do you call home?
Wherever my husband and beautiful three little girls are is home! I very much call the Northeast home, but South Louisiana has shaped the person I am today and will always have a place in my heart.
If you had to describe your brand in three words, what would they be?
Handcrafted, magic, gemstones
What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to launch a business in the world of jewellery?
I think the thing that helped me the most was my background in PR. I’m an industry expert for Newcastle Universities in corporate communications and certainly finding a course with CIPR in strategic planning or brand management would be highly beneficial. The best advice is to be authentic and let your passion and your love for jewellery be your guide.
How would you describe your personal style?
Post covid- still very bra-less & barefoot I’m afraid!
But seriously, I’m American so we tend to have this strange ability to do both glamour & street style very well. I also love a bit of 70’s and anything with fringe!!
Talk us through an average day in your life…
Mornings are dominated by school runs and then around 9:30 I start my working day with industry news and catching up with email. Team meetings start at 10am and usually take us to lunch then spend the remaining part of my day working with production and sales and finish around 6ish.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social Media has actually played a vital role in the initial success of the brand, it connected us to other businesses and helped with networking and brand awareness. It is still a key component, but things are constantly shifting, and we have to always assess the role and impact various platforms have on both our brand awareness and sales.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I adore Italy!! Its my go to happy place, I love the food, the people, and the sea so much. My husband, Jonathon, is an architect and lived in Florence so it always helps to have him around curbing my American tourist instincts and making me slow down and enjoy the lifestyle like an Italian.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
Just keep moving forward (my father-in-law says this all the time and it works for pretty much any situation)
What’s next for you and the brand?
Lots of exciting collaborations, new collections, and tons of new locations
What does self care mean to you?
Having a slow day (and watching a good period drama or documentary).
Where can people find out more?
www.salomedesigns.co.uk we have an amazing collection of natural stone jewellery and are launching our newest collection launch this autumn called (drum roll)… The Three Graces.
Find out more about the inspiration for The Three Graces Collection and get exclusive discount codes by signing up for our newsletter on the website. Get inside scoop on upcoming events and promos, background, and history of the gemstones, and all the details on inspiration and design.