Designer Spotlight: Tracee Nichols
A brief story of what you do and why you do it:
I developed a love of jewelry when my grandma and I would volunteer on Sundays at the local thrift store when I was 9 years old. My job was to sell the pieces in the jewelry case. As I arranged the pieces in the display, I became enchanted by the artistry and beauty of each individual piece.
My love for jewelry continued and I started a vintage collection throughout my teen years and into college, where I earned degrees in Interior and Architectural Design. Drawing on my love of artistry, I created The Roman, my signature piece. Using the finest materials, my jewelry is crafted in gold, silver, and rose gold, and set with diamonds, emeralds, or rubies, as well as some with beautiful semi-precious stones. It has always been my intention that each woman who wears one of my pieces feels sexy and beautiful, chic and classic.
The Tracee Nichols jewelry line creates a luxury brand of sustainable jewelry all made in the US.
How did you get into jewelry design?
It was an easy transition from architectural design to jewelry design. My love of drawing at a small scale in architecture and the passion for jewelry, it just came naturally for me. I took my skills in architectural drawing and put that into my jewelry design. I’ve always been surrounded by art, whether it was from my family or friends, so I have been lucky in that aspect.
What makes your collection unique?
The meaning behind the Roman soldier is Courage. The Romans were courageous and they built an empire that will never be forgotten. We all have that courage within us.“I see this quality every day in people. I see moms inspiring their children to do good things. I see athletes inspiring the world by showing people that they can push harder and do more than we think possible. I see the neighbor next door taking care of an ill family member. I see friends encouraging their friends to get through difficult situations. I see some of the most inspiring art by artists every day. This is all courageous.” So, in essence, the Roman is unique to each individual that wears it- it's what Courage means for them when they wear the Roman.
What are your inspirations?
To design a piece of art that can be worn and for it to mean something to the person wearing it. To create a jewelry line that captures today and in the distant future becomes a vintage find all on it's own. It is important to me that each piece is of the highest quality. Everyone should own a piece of fine jewelry and build on that collection.
How are you making a difference in your life?
By creating something that is very dear to me. To finally have the courage (there's a theme here!) to start my own company that in it self has created true happiness for me and this has made a huge difference in my life.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I wake up every morning excited about my job! I love what I do, I love to design, I love to create! I feel like life is an adventure and that it is important to travel and experience new things and along the way I find new inspirations.
I find beauty in the smallest things. I look at objects as a piece of art. I view objects and try to figure out how I could turn them into a piece of jewelry, or maybe I can make a sculpture inspired by the object. This is from my background in Architectural Design and also my father was a sculptor, so I think I have been trained to view things this way.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
I would have to say the biggest struggle in running my own jewelry business like a business is keeping up with the business part of it. I would love to be designing all day long. However, I have found that I need to be in control and actually run the business and understand the next phase or the next business decision that needs to be made. I have grown to love this vital part of the business, too.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tracee was surrounded by art and heavily influenced by her sculptor father. Receiving her degrees in Architectural Design and Interior Design, she naturally launched her career in the design world and most recently began her own jewelry line, “Tracee Nichols.” Tracee Nichols jewelry has a growing celebrity client list and continues to expand into stores throughout the U.S.