Kristin Cavallari Brings Uncommon James to Charleston

The Two-Story King Street Lifestyle Boutique Opens in December

We sat down with TV personality and Uncommon James founder Kristin Cavallari on the eve of her fourth retail location opening in December - this time, in Charleston!

When you think about Charleston, what is it that made you want to have a retail location here? Was it something about the way the city made you feel?

Charleston is one of my favorite cities in the country. It has so much charm, the food is amazing, the people are great. I love King Street, the water, the restaurants, the hotels - I love the whole vibe of Charleston!

It’s also a destination city — for girls’ trips, bachelorette trips, holidays shopping trips — and as an owner of a retail brand, I care and think a lot about where people are going. Charleston is obviously one of the places they’re going. That, and my love for it, made it clear Charleston would be where I opened my next Uncommon James store. 

Your brand is both accessible and aspirational. How do you think you’ve been able to connect with so many people who want to be part of your brand?

When I launched Uncommon James, the whole point was to make fashion accessible. Accessories don’t need to cost a fortune - everyone should have access to great pieces. I like stripping things down and making it simple; so with my jewelry, I want all of the pieces to mix and match with what people already own and also with our other Uncommon James pieces.

And with our skincare products, I started with five core products that could be the foundation of anyone’s skincare routine. I don’t think people need 20 different products – just a few really great ones. 

Our jewelry pieces are really effortless and simple. I don’t want people to have to overthink it. I want people to be able to just put them on and feel good. I design with the intention that most people can find a piece that speaks to them and that they can envision it working with a piece of their own jewelry.

Collectively, the aesthetic and price point of your pieces, plus you being the face of the brand, inspire women to take a little leap and try something new. When they see you wearing Uncommon James jewelry, they can imagine it on themselves.

Up until a few years ago, high fashion pieces were being created that not everyone could afford. Today, a lot of brands – not just Uncommon James — are doing a really good job making those trendier pieces more affordable so that everyone can participate in and try the really fun fashion pieces.  

How do you effortlessly create your jewelry line, which is essentially age-agnostic and welcoming to all women? Is it something that you’re intentional about?

I pay attention to the trends, and then I un-complicate them. But I think because I have so many sides to my personality, I gravitate toward different pieces for the various areas of my life. I have the “entertainment me” who’s on E! News promoting the line; but that’s just one part of my life. My every day is being mom and being at school doing functions with my kids. Women have these different parts of our lives - I’m not going to wear the same pieces on E! News that I wear to school.

I think that because everything is so simple, it’s easy for girls and women of any age to find something that works for them. My mom is 70, and she has pieces she loves, but my 11-year-old son has girls in his class that wear my jewelry.

I think it’s empowering that you acknowledge there are different sides to yourself and that you take care of those sides.

Yes, thank you. For all women, we have so many different sides to ourselves. We’re not just “mom” or “businesswoman.” We wear so many different hats. 

Having pieces that are versatile enough to wear with all of those sides is great, so I’m definitely designing for all facets of my life, not just for one. 

It’s How it Makes You Feel

I really believe that accessories can make or break an outfit. I could be wearing something really basic like jeans and a t-shirt, but with a pair of shoes and great earrings, it elevates the look. It does affect how I feel, and I think it does for all women. It gives you that pep in your step. 

If I can make women feel really good about themselves when they put Uncommon James jewelry on, for me… that’s everything. That’s why I do it. 

Rewarding Top Customers

At Uncommon James, we know who our top customers are, and we do a lot to not just reward them but engage with them, get to know them, understand who they are and what they feel and want. 

How have you been able to achieve a work/life balance, particularly as a single mom?

Honestly, I couldn’t do it without my C-suite team. I no longer have to be at the office every day, on emails until I go to sleep and back on them the second I wake up. There was a period I was maxed out for sure, but I’ve gotten it to a great place. My team at Uncommon James is so incredible that I’m able to let go, and I don’t have to worry about every single thing. I have final say in anything product-related, I have a hand in marketing, I plan the big campaign shoots, but other than that, they really do it all.

The work/life balance sometimes seems intangible. How do you approach it? 

When I got divorced, I created a very hard line between my work and family lives. If I get a call to do something, and it’s when I’m with my children, I say no because it usually means I will have to travel to L.A. or New York. 

My time with my kids is so precious because I don’t have them all the time. I want them to know that when they’re with me they’ll have consistency, stability, and will always know what to expect. I make sure my kids know they are my number one priority – that will never change. When I have my kids, I have my kids. That’s it. 

Kids really need their mom, and besides, I would rather be with my kids than any other people. I enjoy spending time with them, they make me laugh, they’re at really fun ages: 11, 9, and 8. 

Fourth Store

I’m so excited to be opening up my fourth retail store in Charleston! My other locations are Nashville, Chicago, and Dallas, but Charleston will be my biggest store yet.

Learn more about Uncommon James at uncommonjames.com, and about Kristin @kristincavallari.

“Regardless of location, I want people to walk into an Uncommon James store and be excited and have a really warm, welcoming feeling. I never want any of my stores to be intimidating. I want people to feel really comfortable and confident.”- Uncommon James Founder Kristin Cavallari

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