Kelly Brett, Creator of Vivienne Kelly
Up next is a very talented designer and artist from New York City. Kelly Brett is the creative designer behind Vivienne Kelly, an accessories line featuring intricate hand painted pieces of wood mixed with elegant touches of metal. The Vivienne Kelly woman is fierce, independent and defines her own style. Kelly started her career at Ralph Lauren and decided to start her own business with the tools and resources she acquired as an Accessories & Footwear Planner.
Location: New York City
Year Founded: 2012
Company Name: Vivienne Kelly
Education: Spelman College + Parson Paris School of Art + Design
Social media handles: @vivavk (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter)
Can you give a brief introduction about your company and when did you know Vivienne Kelly should become a full-time business?
My passion to design independently was born at Ralph Lauren New York during the Summer of 2010 while working as an Associate Planner of Accessories and Footwear for RalphLauren.com. One evening while working late, I stumbled across an old photo album from a trip I took 4 years prior to the Antonio Gaudi House in Barcelona, Spain. The rich images painted on the houses walls led to the most profound epiphany I’ve had to date; that being an independent artist is something I can creatively master just like Gaudi. From that day forward, I set my sights on building an independent accessories empire that would reach women and men of style all over the world.
What inspired you to launch Vivienne Kelly and what did it take to get your brand where it is today?
Obviously hard work, perseverance and never giving up are key, but ultimately I believe being a genuine person and developing meaningful relationships has been the most important factor in developing my brand and getting it to where it is today.
Where does your design inspiration come from and how do you keep your creative juices flowing? What advice can you give others looking to start their own company?
I am inspired by art – all types. From graffiti art to abstract, I find the source of my inspiration from art in all different forms, traditional and non-traditional. The inspiration for my collections generally stem from two seeds; The rough yet technical consistency of graffiti art and the more refined color blotching of Antonio Gaudi.
My advice for others looking to start their own company is -JUST DO IT ! – You wont know if you don’t start so just prepare as much as you can but every entrepreneurs journey is different. The most important part is starting!
Can you explain your process of starting your company, funding, designs, graphics, adverting, etc? Was this process harder than you expected?
Yes, none of these processes were easy, but my goal has always been to remain owner of my business, so I started VK using my savings from my job at RL and have slowly built from there constantly reinvesting all earnings back into the company.
Do you have any current projects you’re working on and is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Well! I’m moving the company headquarters to the West Coast in January. I’m super excited about moving and building the brand in Los Angeles. I hope to collaborate with different stylists and fashion apparel brands once we touch down!
Self doubt sometimes stop people from trying new ventures. What advice can you give to help others overcome doubts or challenges?
You must remember that being a entrepreneur and pursuing your dreams is 90% mental game. Master the mental game and I believe you will be extremely successful.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far and what can we look for from Vivienne Kelly in the coming years?
The best moment so far was when I received a call from Brazil that Beyoncé had one of my rings and loved it! I still haven’t seen it on her in social media, but as a black woman business it was an incredible feeling to get that call to know she even saw one of pieces let alone has one. You can expect that in the coming years VK will continue to grow and become more of a free expression, I really want it to develop into an artistic expression more so than a typical “business”.
Be sure to check out Vivienne Kelly and follow their social media channels.