In this episode we interview Kilee Nickels, founder and CEO of Nickel & Suede. Nickel & Suede is a nationwide company based in Kansas City. They make lightweight, leather statement earrings. They sell jewelry, hats, and other statement-making accessories. Listen as Kilee discusses how and why she started her business.
Kilee thought she started her business because she came up with a really great idea for jewelry that no one had done before. She realized that her earrings became a symbol of stepping outside your comfort zone. Her “why” is actually helping women believe they can find their purpose and pursue their passion despite the box they are in.
How did Kilee start her business?
Kilee’s business started in her basement when she realized she wanted to make herself a pair of gold earrings to match her outfit. She used some gold leather and realized she wanted to start making more jewelry. Kilee’s husband decided to quit a job and they started Nickel & Suede in 2014 and opened up a retail store in 2016. They now have a store in northern Kansas City and Dallas. Most recently, they just opened a second Kansas City store on the well-known Country Club.
What is it like working with her husband?
She would say it is as hard as you think it is. They are really different which brings a broad range of skill sets, but also creates a lot of buzz between them.
What is Kilee’s podcast?
It is called, With Kilee Nickels. The purpose is to continue to push the mission of Nickel & Suede. Women listeners can hear stories of other women who have been successful. The goal is to interview guests with a range of backgrounds who have found ways to be fearless and are passionate about what they do.
What are some of the most rewarding moments Kilee can remember?
Her favorite has always been the customer stories. The most rewarding experience comes from a Facebook group she is a part of with over 8,000 women. She loves seeing how they interact with each other and learning about how incredibly strong these women are. They work hard to go after their dreams and want to encourage one another.
What are some key mindset shifts that have helped Kilee?
What does Kilee’s roadmap look like to get from A to B?
Kilee envisions everything she would like to happen for the year and puts it down on paper. If she doesn't know how to do something, she just starts. She continues to learn how to do new things. She says to find the expert and ask them where they started.
Kilee’s book recommendations:
- The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage by Brene Brown: https://www.amazon.com/The-Power-of-Vulnerability-audiobook-dp-B00D1Z9RFU/dp/B00D1Z9RFU/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek: https://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/1591846447
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World’s Two by Al Ries and Jack Trout: https://www.amazon.com/22-Immutable-Laws-Marketing-Explained-ebook/dp/B000FC10HA
How to contact/find Kilee:
All social media: @nickelandsuede