The Bay area jewelry designer and doctoral student is erupting fashion with her indie accessories line.
su·cre (ˈso͞okrā/) noun: sugar (origin: french)
Black-owned and operated, Sucre Couture is an accessories line made by black queens, for black queens. Strut Glam Lane enjoyed the pleasure of interviewing one half of the Sucre Couture duo, Kimmie Denise, about her successful jewelry business, what it means for budding black female entrepreneurs, and how she fits motherhood and her doctoral studies into the mix.
What initially inspired you to turn your love for accessories into an entrepreneurial venture?
Since I can remember, jewelry has always been a part of my life.
I had an aunt and grandmother who both loved shopping on the Home Shopping Network and QVC. Every time I saw them, they had new, beautiful jewelry being delivered to their doorsteps. Their collections were crazy. I mean, it was kind of ridiculous lol. As I got older, they started buying me pieces and taught me to always wear a signature pair of studs and other accent jewelry to top of my daily look. Today, I still take their advice. I can’t leave the house without studs in my ears, a necklace, rings, and a watch.
Ha! My first pair of jewelry I designed were some super gaudy, Swarovski crystal studded bamboo hoops. Those were so on trend a few years ago. Time flies and brands evolve. The brand’s aesthetic is refined and completely different now!
Your designs are very rich, bold, and give off an aura of opulence that is very reminiscent of African style and culture. Is this intentional, and how would you personally describe the aesthetic of Sucre Couture overall?
Not intentionally, but my partner, Victoria Sanders, and I are super big on gold.
The Sucré Couture aesthetic contains clean, sharp lines with a blend of subtle and strong crystal accents.
Sucré Couture is all about trends, but being able to wear something season after season without it looking hella off-trend is important. I’m also about introducing items that don’t phase out too quickly.
As a black female entrepreneur, how important is it for you to bring more representation to the industry through your designs, the people you work with and the culture that the brand represents?
As a black entrepreneur, it’s important for that I represent for black women. Our image is so boxed and limited in the media. I want to show the world that we’re the shit and can rock the hell out of grunge, too. It’s also important that I set an example for other entrepreneurial-spirited black woman like myself. If you want it, go get it! The world is your oyster.
Sucre Couture has been worn by some notable celebrities and even featured in Vogue. How were you able to make such a big splash in the industry as an independent entrepreneur?
Persistence. I know that sounds so cliché, but being persistent in launching new jewelry lines, establishing and nurturing meaningful relationships, and faith. Keeping a positive main frame works wonders, too.
Your most recent collection is a collaboration with ‘The Vic Styles.’ How did this collab come about and what was the development process like?
Victoria and I met almost four years ago and we just kind of clicked. We respect and admire each other’s work. We started with Desert Opulence and loved working with each other so much that we continued the relationship. As far as the development process, we worked hand-in-hand. She was responsible for the creative direction and I was responsible for the jewelry line up and operations. We operate on a project timeline, which entails drawing a mood board for the vibe we want, curating and designing pieces, approvals, and setting uplogistics to drive the collection to the finish line. There’s so much work that goes into these collections, but it’s so worth it!
Where do you see Sucre Couture being in the next few years and what are you plans for getting it there?
I see Sucré Couture being carried in retail stores nationwide, as well as carried in a brick-and-mortar store of our own. In regards to plans, I’m sharpening the saw and continuously working on the brand imagery and awareness.