In a sea of delicate, minimalist jewelry, Tracee Nichols’ designs are a bold, fun departure. Defined by chunky 14 karat gold chains and gunmetal tokens (with just the right amount of diamonds mixed in), Nichols’ distinctive and easily customized collections proved to be a celebrity’s dream — her designs have graced the neck of Taylor Swift, comedian Lilly Singh, model Ashley Graham, and wellness guru Tracy Anderson, just to name a few. Nichols’ ethical approach to crafting, along with her goal of creating pieces imbued with meaning, is as refreshing as her designs.
Now that the former Los Angeles resident has fully settled into her new Dallas home, PaperCity caught up Tracee Nichols to learn even more about the famous jewelry designer, including the story behind her extremely popular Roman necklaces.
PaperCity: First of all, welcome to Dallas! What brings you here?
Tracee Nichols: Living in LA, I decided my chapter there had come to a close and that I was ready to embark on a new adventure. I had a trunk show in Texas several years back and was really warmed by the people – I just knew it was the right fit for both my family and my business, so we made the move. To this day, I am still closely in touch with my Texas clients from my first show here, which means a lot and speaks volumes about the quality of the people and place.
I feel like Dallas is the “it” place to be.. it’s such a community of creatives. — Tracee Nichols
How are you enjoying living in the city so far?
I just love Dallas. Mainly, I love the people. Everyone has been so helpful in my new journey here in Texas. Since moving here a year ago, I’ve watched the city grow, and it’s been such a pleasure to watch current businesses expand from the influx of people, as well as watch new restaurants and stores opening up. I feel like Dallas is the “it” place to be, with people excited to shop and gather again. I also love that it’s such a community of creatives, and I think this summer and upcoming fall will be a renaissance of the city coming together.
It looks like the Roman necklace is what really launched the Tracee Nichols brand. Can you talk about your experience creating that piece?
When I first set out to start my jewelry line, it was a challenging process for me. I quit everything to dive into this new adventure because I believed in it and I knew in my heart this was the right career path for me. To get me through this, I needed some courage. I decided to design a piece that represented courage for me, so that I could always refer back to it when things became difficult. I have a passion for Art History and started researching various time periods of cultures that were brave and courageous, and from there, The Roman Courage Necklace – modeled after the Roman soldier – was born. It seems that this design has resonated with so many and is still one of my most popular designs. Life is full of challenges, and I think it’s important to have a keepsake that reminds you of brighter days ahead.
How do you gather inspiration for your designs?
This part comes very naturally for me. In addition to being a stylish accessory for my clients, I believe that each piece I create should have meaning. I’m inspired by everything around me – what’s influencing me at the time, and what I feel is a meaningful and relevant message for myself and others. I always carry a sketchpad and a ruler in my purse so that I’m prepared whenever inspiration strikes, because it often happens when I’m not sitting down to design. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and have to quickly make a note on my phone so that I don’t forget about it in the morning!
I love the brand’s emphasis on sustainability and timelessness. What should people keep in mind when they’re beginning to invest in jewelry?
I believe that fine jewelry is always a good investment, both in terms of monetary and sentimental value. It has significance and meaning, often marking a special occasion or memory, and really means forever. I use all sustainably sourced metals and gemstones and love that the quality of my pieces means that they retain their value and can be enjoyed and passed down for eternity. I also think that personalized jewelry, like my Initial Token Necklace, or engraved jewelry, which I do quite a bit of, really takes that extra step to make a piece incredibly special and memorable for the wearer. Many people don’t realize this, but engraved personalization doesn’t de-value your jewelry investment and can also easily be changed later to a new personalization.
What feedback do you hear most from clients who’ve begun collecting/investing in your pieces?
I hear from clients often, which is my real pay. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that not only do they love their piece, but that it means so much to them. I have had clients reach out to me about how wearing their Roman Courage Necklace helped them to remain brave through very difficult times and served as a daily reminder of their own strength. In addition, clients have told me how much they love the weight and substance of my pieces.
What’s an essential Tracee Nichols piece that’s perfect for the summer?
My favorite for the summer is the Rainbow Love Triangle Necklace. The bright colors are perfect for the season, but of course, diamonds go with everything, so you can’t go wrong with any of my diamond pieces. Lastly, I just launched a Roman Courage Necklace with pearls, and I love the moment pearls are having in the fashion world right now.