Nickel and Suede began as a side project for owner Kilee Nickels. In 2008, Kilee and her husband Soren started their first business, ONE little BELT, making and selling real leather belts for babies and toddlers. As the business grew, their skills and workshop expanded. Soon, creating with leather was just a part of everyday life, be it filling belt orders or crafting archery quivers and leather baseballs for their three young sons.
Kilee is a style and DIY blogger who will often alter an existing item or make something herself to get just the right look. One Saturday while getting dressed, she was looking for the right color of gold earring; everything she owned was too yellow. She remembered she had picked up a piece of gorgeous gold textured leather the week before and thought maybe it would work for earrings. She traced her favorite pair of silver teardrop earrings and cut them out.
As she attached the hooks, she could see that the look was perfect; what she didn't expect was that they felt even better than they looked! The leather was so lightweight, flexible, and comfortable. They didn’t pull on her ears, cut into her neck, or even make a sound. Soon, Kilee started wearing these leather earrings exclusively. When she realized she was even wearing them to mow the lawn because she couldn’t even feel them, she knew she was onto something.
In 2013, Kilee started selling leather earrings and eventually leather cuffs, which had also been spontaneously created as the perfect accessory to one of her outfits. The reaction from their first customers was so positive that Kilee and her husband Soren decided leather earrings were worth pursuing.
Nickel & Suede LLC launched in June of 2014 with Kilee and Soren both working full time from day one. Soren quit his accounting job and together they are working to change the way every woman wears earrings.