Nickel & Suede creates lightweight leather earrings and accessories designed with the active woman in mind. These handmade, modern and casual statement pieces were founded on the belief that jewelry should be both comfortable and stylish.
Soren and Kilee Nickel, the husband and wife dream team behind Nickel & Suede, built their leather goods business from the ground up.
“I was looking for a pair of gold earrings to wear with my outfit. I always wore large silver teardrop earrings, but couldn’t find a gold version,” Kilee says. “We had purchased some gold leather and had the idea to make a pair of earrings out of it that had a similar look to the hammered silver metal earrings I already wore, so I was very pleased when they turned out just like I hoped. I realized not only did they accomplish the look I was going for, but they were functional. I forgot I was even wearing earrings because the leather was just so comfortable. I found myself mowing the lawn and not even realizing they were still in!”
The first few sets of teardrop earrings were made within weeks of the original pair. After telling readers about the idea on her blog, ONE little MOMMA, they sold quite a few pairs in the following months, deciding to brand the product as its own business. In June 2014, their website went live.
“From the beginning, I have been the eye for design, and Soren has been our processes and quality control guy,” Kilee says. “He has been involved since the first pair, and actually quit his accounting job the day NickelAndSuede.com launched. It was scary but exciting! We were blessed to be able to replace his income in our first month, and we’ve never looked back!”
There are numerous things that make Nickel & Suede unique.
“Our idea for leather earrings had never before been executed in this way. We took the most classic, universal and flattering earring shape and made it with a material that actually gives it a function,” she says. “We’ve made statement earrings comfortable. Most of our customers tell us they never wear anything else after trying our product.”
Customers trust that Nickel & Suede’s quality products will elevate their style while still being functional and long-lasting.
“We’ve been relentless in making the process scalable, high-quality, and well done right here in Kansas City,” Kilee says. “Last year, we moved out of our basement into a production building. We have over 20 local employees that do everything from making and shipping the product, working our store and answering customer service inquiries. We don’t ever plan on outsourcing production, and we’re proud of the unique quality factory environment we’ve created.”
Earrings are their overall most popular item, but they also sell chokers, leather cuffs, rings and apparel.
“Lip Gloss, Metallic Gold and Stone Cut-Outs are our most popular earrings,” she says. “Our London Tan Cut-Out earrings and London Tan Wrap Cuff are also best-sellers. This year we came out with our new shape, the Gem, and it has quickly moved into a best-seller spot in all colors.”
The Nickels’ are proving the sky’s the limit.
“We plan to continue changing lives with our leather earrings, but we’re also excited to add more product,” Kilee says. “We see ourselves evolving into a lifestyle brand that could include everything from jewelry holders, more apparel, men’s products and even home goods. We’d love to expand our stores and open another location in Kansas City as well as other cities around the country.”
Shop at 111 N. Water St. in Liberty, Missouri, or shop online at NickelAndSuede.com