Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Feature: Brittany Michelle of Irie Soiree

Once again, I'm contemplating Christmas gift ideas for mi amigas this year. As I already concluded that I'll include some fab makeup goodies in my previous post, I thought that jewelry pieces would be the perfect pairing in my pal's gift baskets. Of course, the pieces must be unique, stand out from a crowd and have a back story of its origins. And so, I thought of my friend from my hometown, founder and head designer of Irie Soiree, Brittany Michelle. As a personal fan from afar, it's been incredible to watch the evolution and continued success of her brand. 

Get more on the young, up and coming designer and entrepreneur, Brittany Michelle and her brand, Irie Soiree, below with an exclusive interview and photos:
Square Biz Studs

Trinity II Studs

Brittany Michelle

Trinity Studs

Rendezvous Studs

Show Off Earrings

Kimbella from Love & Hip Hop rocking FLY studs.

Trinity II Studs

Brooke Bailey from Basketball Wives LA

Rendezvous Studs 

Brittany Michelle & Daughter

Initial Studs

3 Stacks Ring

Xiomara: As a jewelry designer, where do you find inspiration for each collection and piece?

Brittany: I draw my inspiration from the world I live in. From architecture, nature, to traffic signs -- the way I see it.

Xiomara: When did you discover your love for designing jewelry?

Brittany: Growing up I was a tomboy, I didn't even start wearing jewelry until my sophomore year in high school. When I actually started buying/wearing jewelry I would always alter the pieces somehow -- from adding chains and rearranging earring posts until they were pieces I loved. I was still a little shy then, so I didn't wear my altered pieces around my friends.

Xiomara: What inspired you to establish Irie Soiree?

Brittany: At the end of high school/first year in college, I started expressing my creativity in different ways. From starting a photography business then later a T-shirt design business. I always believed in running my own company, but after starting and stopping two businesses I realized that my heart wasn't in those two areas. At the same time, I found myself walking into stores looking for statement accessories and they were nowhere to be found -- at that point I realized that I wasn't going to find certain pieces in stores because they were designs I created in my mind and they were not in the world yet. That was my moment -- to create my visions and share them with the streets.

Xiomara: What's the story behind your brand's name?

Brittany: Irie Soirée is a play on words. Irie means peace, at your current state and of course soirée means nightly party. Designing and creating brings me peace, and my pieces are worn all around the world by women who are in love with originality and show it when they step out.

Xiomara: Describe your brand in three words. 

Brittany: Original. Untamed. Handmade.

Xiomara: Is your fashion style a reflection of your brand? How so?

Brittany: Most definitely. Each piece is a direct reflection of my style and my world. My brand has given me an outlet to express myself in a way that I never have before. There's no boundaries, no apologies, no regrets. Some of my visions are risky blow me away and I am in love with that. I will never conform.

Xiomara: What are some of the difficulties you've faced while building your brand?

Brittany: Anytime you put something into the world you're going to come up against critics that just don't believe in your work or want to discredit your work by comparing your brand to another designer's. I haven't had to deal with this too much, but it has happened. I just use it as fuel. I have a lot of exciting things coming that will keep people talking -- whether good or bad.

Xiomara: Biggest accomplishments so far in you jewelry designing career? 

Brittany: I have to admit I was pretty fucking hype to see my pieces air on season 10 of Basketball Wives LA. Brooke Bailey was showing out in my Trinity Studs! Oww!

Xiomara: How do you manage it all and still succeed--jewelry designing, full-time job, motherhood?

Brittany: Honestly I have no idea. Its either the grace of God or adrenaline. Probably a mix of both.

Xiomara: What are current projects happening right now for Irie Soiree?

Brittany: I can't say too much but I'm branching out, jewelry won't be the only thing you see me create. Spring 2013 is going to be ILL. Stay connected!

Xiomara: Where do you see yourself and your brand in 10 years?

Brittany: In 10 years I still want to be so in love with creating. I would like to own my own boutique. It would be on a completely different level though -- a place strictly for the arts. Of course I would showcase my work but it would host freestyle battles on Fridays, runway shows, photo shoots and it would have chalkboard walls that my customers could throw up mad ideas on. I just want to continue to create an serve the streets some ill shit.


For more on Brittany Michelle and Irie Soiree, check out and follow on Facebook and Twitter! Get the perfect gifts for your best gal pals (and don't forget yourself)! Customized pieces available!

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