4 MOTHER’S DAY STORIES: NIKKI REED
4 Mother's Day Stories:
Designer, Nikki Reed
You know Nikki from her accomplished acting career, but this environmentalist is making a name for herself in the fine jewelry world, with her sustainable jewelry line, BaYou with Love.
April 23, 2020
Nikki Reed, best known for her work as an A-list actress, has recently pivoted into the world on fine jewelry with her new line BaYou with Love. One crucial aspect she incorporates in her life and in her business is sustainability. Nikki has been instrumental in pushing the jewelry industry forward toward a more environmentally friendly process without sacrificing her design integrity and originality.
We sat down with Nikki to talk about the practical ways we can all become less wasteful and more spiritually fulfilled.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
The year you founded the company: 2017
You are an accomplished actress, musician and the founder of sustainable jewelry company BaYou with Love - how do you see these career paths overlapping?I find that my connection with art has deepened since launching BaYou. While I have a tremendous amount of love and passion for both acting and writing music, BaYou has enabled me to wear many different hats, pushing me to grow and expand in areas I didn’t anticipate when I was dreaming up the company. I design all of the pieces, I shoot all of the product photography, I build our product pages for the website, I manage our blog, I write a lot of the copy for our website; I am exercising many creative muscles all at once. I am constantly stimulated, inspired, and learning, which allows my mind to continue to dream even bigger.
Sustainability is a core tenant of your jewelry designs - can you explain the ways you are pioneering a way forward for jewelry to be more environmentally friendly?We create jewelry out of recovered gold found exclusively in technology through our partnership with Dell. For a long time I have felt a stigma surrounding sustainability in fashion because understandably, people are afraid to spend their hard-earned money on products made from recycled materials. They fear recycled products will not compare in quality, which makes sense. Gold was the perfect medium to explore sustainability in a way that felt comfortable for people because gold is gold, no matter where it comes from. It also allowed us to open up a conversation about sustainability and luxury living together. You don’t have to compromise quality when you purchase earth-friendly products, and I hope that through our jewelry people will begin to see that. Educating customers, encouraging them to ask questions and to shop consciously is the most valuable tool; one we can all share.
When you became a mom, did you notice a change in your designs? Any specific pieces inspired by your daughter?The entire company, our mission, and designs are inspired by my daughter. Her middle name is Soleil, and most of our designs incorporate our signature Soleil beading. Our Soleil collection and designs throughout are visually and symbolically circular to represent our need for a circular zero waste economy, while also honoring my greatest source of inspiration; my little Soleil.
Speaking of your daughter, how did you come up with her beautiful name (Bodhi Soleil)?We wanted something that felt grounding and we always knew she would come into this world with wisdom we couldn’t ignore. Her name to us felt like the perfect fit because she is like a little Bodhi Tree. In her almost 3 years on this planet, she has taught me so much already. Soleil stuck around as her middle name even though it was vetoed out as a first name. We loved the strength it brought. She is both wise and strong, so it seems like her names actually chose her and not the other way around!
Any suggestions for ways to incorporate sustainability into motherhood? Especially in a world of endless plastic toys!We are a family of hand-me-downs. For my daughter’s two birthdays, I told friends and family we will not accept gifts unless they’re second hand. There is so much wasted in this world! While I want my daughter to feel inspired and stimulated, I believe there is plenty we can borrow from friends or find on craigslist. The best advice I give mamas who are expecting is not to buy anything, but instead to put it out there to their community that they would appreciate second-hand! So much will land on their doorstep!
How do you manage to run a business, be a mom, and also find time for self-care? Do you have a free-flowing approach or do you prefer a schedule?I love a schedule! Without it, my brain wouldn’t be able to manage all that I have to juggle throughout the day – I live for a calendar! That said, life with a business and a two-year-old plus two other part-time jobs and a foundation is a LOT. Schedules sometimes get thrown out the window and you improvise.
If I am being honest, time for myself is harder to come by these days, but I still try and find it when I can. I have found that my best “me” time is early in the morning when the sun is coming up before the world is up and the madness begins. I have a cup of tea, I do an online yoga workout, and if I’m lucky I read a page or two from a treasured poem or book. I write best in the morning as well, and writing is such a huge part of my self-love/self-care routine. I think the bottom line is, balance is at times, embracing the imbalance.
As you look to the future, what are your greatest hopes for BaYou with Love?I want to be a landing page for women to find attainable and sustainable products, from US companies founded by women. It’s not just about BaYou; I have always felt that any platform I have should be shared with other brands who are also working hard to run a sustainable business.