January 18, 2022 1 Comment

Nicole Then & Now: Part II

Last time we spoke, we talked a lot about your past. We discussed how your family, your education, and your ever changing life lead you to create the NicoleHD brand. Now, let’s talk a bit about what drives NicoleHD Jewelry today and where you see the brand in the future.
But first, something we’ve been wondering about. Over the years, butterflies seem to be a recurring symbol throughout your collections. Besides being beautiful, what is it about butterflies that continues to inspire you?
 
I actually get this question a lot. For as long as I can remember, the butterfly has been an important symbol for me. It’s about more than their beauty for me. It’s about what they represent, the metamorphosis. Thinking back on my history, you could say I’ve grown from a child to a woman in this business. None of it has been easy, I’ve faced many challenges that would’ve caused many to quit; but each period of transformation is what has created the person you’re talking to today. Every new phase of my life feels a bit like spreading my wings after emerging from the cocoon. That process, growth, is never done, and butterflies are a beautiful reminder of that. They remind me every day to spread my wings and fly, that I’m not free despite all the challenges I’ve faced, but because of those challenges.
They’re so important to me and my family that my daughter and I even have matching butterfly tattoos!
We’ve always had butterfly pieces in our collection, and I’m sure we always will.
 
What inspires you outside the world of jewelry?
 
For me, inspiration comes from everywhere. From Dali’s paintings to St. Laurent’s dresses, to Flea’s basslines, there’s beauty in every type of creative pursuit. The right piece of fine jewelry can be as captivating as a song, and my life’s work has been understanding that beauty and bringing it to the world.
My inspiration doesn’t just come from the arts though. When I see a woman on the street wearing one of my pieces, it inspires me to keep going. When I get to team up with one of the charities I admire so much, it inspires me to always strive to do better and be better. When I look at my family, I am inspired in a way that words could never do justice.
 
You work with a pretty diverse group of charities, how did these partnerships come about?
 
You’re absolutely right, the charities we work with are quite different from one another, but there are a couple common threads that run through them all.
My first criteria in choosing a charity to work or collaborate with is a strong personal connection. All of those charities address needs that have personally affected my family and friends. They are groups doing amazing and necessary work in the world.
Secondly, I look for charities that don’t necessarily have the spotlight on them. Worthy causes are everywhere. I’ve just chosen to focus my efforts on lesser known charities if for no other reason than it feels like the right thing for me to do. I just feel like I can have a more immediate impact working with causes that don’t always get as much attention.
 
Can you tell us a little bit about a couple of them?
 
SafeBAE is an organization that works to prevent sexual violence among teens. It’s hard to think of more important work than that. It was started by a true hero named Daisy Coleman. Daisy was a woman who suffered greatly as the result of being assaulted early in her life. Her mission was to help inspire a generation of young activists to forever end the normalization of sexual violence and harassment. Daisy took her own life in 2020, but not before she made her dream my dream and inspired so many. Her loss highlights just how important a cause this is.
I’ve worked with the Child Mind Institute which is an organization focused on the mental health of children. I’ve worked with the Anti-Violence Project. These charities hold a special place in my heart.
I’ve also worked with Lupus LA and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Again, these are things I’ve seen in my life and they have that added weight of having that personal connection.
 
You seem very focused on giving back to the community.
 
Of course. I know how lucky I am to be in a position where I am able to give back in my own way, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I think we should all be looking for ways to make the world a little bit better, no matter how large or small our contribution. I will continue to do so in the future.
 
What does the future look like for you?
 
For NicoleHD, we will continue to grow and innovate. This business has shifted so much over the last decade. We’re fully committed to growing our presence in the ecommerce space and continuing to bring a little sparkle into more and more people’s lives. We are as focused on beautiful and beautifully made everyday fine jewelry as we have always been. We’ve built our reputation on putting beauty, quality, and value in every piece we sell, and that will never change.
As for me, carpe diem. I’m happy to greet every day and see where it takes me. When I think about the future, it’s less about retiring and sitting on a beach somewhere, and it’s more about how excited I am to be able to keep doing what I love to do. My entire career has been guided by my instincts. I’ve taken so many risks that others would have shied away from because I’ve learned to trust my intuition. It’s those moments when all the hard work turns to butterflies in my stomach that I know I’m on the right path. I’ve never stopped chasing those butterflies and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. The beach can wait.

1 Response

Jennifer Leyton
Jennifer Leyton

February 01, 2022

My truly beautiful friend! I’m so proud of you. ❤️❤️❤️

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