Boss Lady: Natalie Holst

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Natalie Holst, founder and creative director for the New York based jewelry line Holst + Lee. Natalie shares with us the uniqueness of her latest collection, her inspiration for creativity and her advice for those wanting to thrive as an entrepreneur.  

natalie profile

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
Well, I’m originally from the South and moved to NY 14 years ago. I worked in Fashion for many years (Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler to name a few) and I was a maitre’d at some of NY’s trendiest restaurants. I used to have to get dressed up every night for work and I started making statement jewelry to accent my outfits. People responded and would try to buy things right off my neck and HOLST + LEE was born.

2. What prompted you to start your own jewelry line?
The response from people was what really got the ball rolling but Mara Hoffman gave me my first shot on the runway, styled with her collection. That’s when I went full steam ahead with the line and started selling in stores.

3. Tell us about your latest collection. Is there a story behind it?
Yes! I’m obsessed with my current collection because it really speaks to my soul. I wanted to hark back to the defining things that make HOLST + LEE what it really is. The current collection is called Color World and it is a celebration of vibrancy and strength. I was pregnant when I was designing it and I think it has a strong sense of optimism and passion. Something maybe we all need in these tumultuous times.

4. Describe a typical work day.
Well, I am a new Mom with a 6 month old so days have certainly changed in the recent months! I recently moved my studio into the bottom floor of my Brooklyn home. It’s such a great thing to be able to work out of my house. My day starts around 9 AM and the first part of the day is logistics (emails, bills, organizing…you know the fun stuff :)) Then my assistants get in around 11 and we go from there. They work on making orders and I work on designing or doing more business related things. My son hangs in the office and plays while we work and takes naps in between. Thank God for naps :).

5. What is the best part about being your own boss? The worst part?
I think the best part of being your own boss is to know that you get to do the thing that you love. It’s such a treat to be able to be creative everyday. I think if I didn’t have that I would go a little crazy. I’ve been making things since as far back as I can remember. It really fills my soul. I also love that I can have a flexible schedule.
I think probably the worst part is the stress of staying on top of everything. There are a lot of nights where I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m making lists in my head about what has to be accomplished and by when. I mean I think all women do that actually but it’s different when you’re itemizing your taxes in your sleep.

Natalie Holst

6. What is your brand’s most successful form of marketing?
I would definitely say Social Media and word of mouth. Social Media has really changed the whole game. It’s a great thing to be able to communicate to the world through an app and to tell visual stories.

7. Who would you love to see wearing your jewelry?
I’ve had the privilege of seeing some really amazing women wear my jewelry. Some highlights were Solange Knowles, Vanessa Hudgens, and Mary J. Blige to name a few. I would love to see anyone who is confident and feels amazing in my jewelry, but while I’m dreaming I’ll go with Iris Apfel!!!

8. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Oh wow, so many things. I draw inspiration from art, fashion, travel, and popular culture to name a few. I’ve always got my eyes open looking for inspiration.I studied Art and Art History in College and I’m still a painter (when I have the time) and I feel like my jewelry speaks to the painter in me with the use of color and unexpected materials.

9. Who is a Boss Lady that you admire and why?
I think I admire any woman who is out there being a Boss. Women are so important. I became a mom this year like I said and that experience really made me realize that awesome power women have. You definitely don’t have to have a child to obtain that, but it was very empowering to see exactly what a woman is capable of. I think women who are able to “give birth” to their dreams and seek out a way to run a business speaks to that awe inspiring power. If we’re talking about specifics though I’m gonna throw it back to my girl Iris Apfel. She has lived such an amazing life and was able to curate such a cool and confident existence. And to be hitting her stride in her 90’s is just unbelievable.

10. What advice do you have for anyone wanted to go from employee to entrepreneur?​
I think the best advice I ever got was, “get as much advice as possible from everywhere.”  It’s then up to you to take what you’ve learned and apply it or don’t apply it. I ask questions constantly when I know someone has information to offer. Also, I would say to anyone starting a business, never give up. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to take everything you have. Sometimes it will be tough, sometimes it will be great. it is not linear. It is a struggle. But if you want it enough, you have to work hard to achieve it.

Natalie Holst

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No. 109 Holiday Look Book

 

WIth the holiday quickly approaching we are gearing up with gift guides, special events, exciting promotions and more for our clients!  We put together this gorgeous holiday look book for client  No. 109 to showcase what the gorgeous fashion store owner Heather Robitzer hand-picked this season. From chic evening dresses to stylish everyday looks and accessories, this look book has a little something for all customers. Our photographer Carly Abbott captures the true meaning of beautifully edited clothing that this boutique has to offer.  Tis’ the season for high-end holiday fashion!

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Boss Lady: Allie Phillips

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business.This week we chat with Allie Phillips, owner and designer of Ann Revere Jewelry. She shares with us what a typical work day is like while also constantly searching for inspiration.

Boss Lady Allie Phillips | Social Stylate

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.

Hi! My name is Allie Phillips and I grew up in Phoenix and spent my whole life in the desert until my husband, our dog June, and I moved to Oregon two years ago. If someone had told teenage me that, at 30, I would be a jewelry designer living in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, I would have thought it sounded too good to be true.

2. Why did you decide to create a line of jewelry? Why did you decide to name your collection after your grandparents?

While on leave from my job as a research consultant, I decided to take up a hobby to occupy my time and chose jewelry. A hobby quickly turned into a passion, and I now spend my days learning new techniques, photographing my work, and being paid to do something I love. Ann Revere Jewelry is named after my grandparents, Edna Ann & Paul Revere Baker. They were the two most supportive and creative influences in my life from as early as I can remember. My grandfather was a watercolor artist and photographer and my grandmother was one of those creative minds who could make anything my cousins and I could dream up.

3. Where do you find your inspiration for your collection?

Most of the time, the inspiration for my creations comes from the gemstones that I find. I’ll become obsessed with a certain stone and then work backwards to try and design the right way to showcase it. I’m also often inspired by clothes- I’ll see a gorgeous dress at Anthropologie that I can’t get out of my head and spend my day dreaming up what type of jewelry would complement it best.

Boss Lady Allie Phillips | Social Stylate

4. What is your most effective form of marketing for your business?

Instagram has been absolutely wonderful for my business-traffic from the social media platform accounts for over half of my sales. It’s also such a great way for customers to easily interact with me and ask questions about pieces they see. Since I offer customized sizing and lengths on every item, I often receive a lot of questions and customers seem more comfortable leaving a comment on social media rather than sending an email.

5. If you could design your jewelry for anyone person, who would it be and why?

Hands down, Gina Rodriguez! In addition to being stunning and able to rock any style she tries, she is a truly inspiring woman. You can tell that even though she worked her butt off to get to where she is, there will never be a day she isn’t grateful for and humbled by her success. Gina Rodriguez is a phenomenal role model for young girls with dreams, and I dare anyone to not be inspired by her Golden Globes speech.

6. What is a typical day of work like?

My day typically starts with my favorite part—the actual making of the jewelry. Sitting down at the bench with my torch, tools, and cup of coffee is my happy place. After the pieces for the day are made, cleaned, and ready for the customer I package orders, print shipping labels, and get them ready to head out. My afternoons are usually spent doing administrative work, design sketching for future pieces, and photographing pieces. Trying to dream up and take interesting new shots for the jewelry is one of the more challenging but also one of the most rewarding aspects of the business.

Boss Lady Allie Phillips | Social Stylate

7. What has been your biggest challenge in running your own business?

Confidence has always been the biggest challenge for me, and I think it is for a lot of creative people. There is never a guarantee that even one person will like what I decide to put out there, so I have to enjoy the process for it to be worth it. The book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was truly a breakthrough for me, it should be required reading for anyone who wants to live a creative life. At the end of the day, the risk is so incredibly worth the reward. Those days when it seems like everything is lining up, and someone is responding to what you are doing—there’s no feeling like it.

8. With so many evolving jewelry trends, what makes you stick with the simpler, more delicate designs?

I’m that person that when they find the perfect shirt, they buy it in every color available. I love simplicity, and the jewelry designs that appeal to me always stay within that delicate style. This fall, my collection with a dear friend Lavenda Memory of Lavenda’s Closet is launching which will showcase a different side of Ann Revere Jewelry- edgier, and at least a few steps out of my comfort zone. It has been so fun designing with another person and finding a way to incorporate both of our styles into something that feels like the definition of collaboration.

9. What are your plans for Ann Revere Jewelry in the next 5 years? 10 years?

In the next five years, I would absolutely love to find more ways to give back with my company. During college, I focused on social entrepreneurship, and I truly believe it has the power to change the world. Working to find the right partnerships and causes is a big priority for me moving forward as the company grows. When I try and fast-forward ten years in my mind, the only thing I know for sure is that I want to continue to be involved in every aspect of this business. I always want to have my hands in the design, the creation, the photography, the packaging, the marketing, and the customer service. This business is my baby, and being able to put my love for it into every step makes me grateful every single day.

Boss Lady Allie Phillips | Social Stylate

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