10 questions with jewelry brand KML Designs
What started as a creative outlet for former social worker and stay-at-home mom Kelly Lachney has taken on a life of its own. Where she was once just passing out her pieces to friends and family, now, her jewelry brand KML Designs is stocked by boutiques across the Southeast. The appeal, according to Lachney, lies in the classic designs that allow the earrings, bracelets and necklaces to appeal to a wide audience–from teens to their grandmothers.
Read on to hear about the start of the brand, its inspirations and what to expect in the future.
1. What is your professional background?
I was born and raised in New Orleans and graduated from LSU with a master’s degree in social work in 1994. Shortly after graduating, I relocated with my husband to Overland Park, Kansas, where I worked as a social worker and started my family.
2. What inspired you to open KML Designs?
In 2007, my family returned to Baton Rouge. I was a stay-at-home mom to my three children for many years. However, as my children got older, I wanted to return to work but desired to be in a more creative field. I began dabbling in jewelry-making as a hobby and selling to friends and family.
3. When did KML Designs open, and how has it grown or changed since then?
I officially opened KML Designs in 2010. As customer interest grew, I began wholesaling my jewelry at a local art and décor store. That opportunity quickly evolved into having my own space within the retail store. For the past 10 years, I have been selling my jewelry in clothing boutiques, gift shops, and home décor stores around Louisiana and the Southeast region.
4. What sets your pieces apart?
My pieces are current and within a price point that is accessible to a wide variety of shoppers, from high school girls to more mature women.
5. What are a few of your favorite items in the store right now?
Right now, I’m in full gameday mode with LSU football season starting soon. I have been working on many new pieces which will be available in early August. My other favorites include my Mary medal necklaces and earrings.
6. What is a typical day like for you?
A typical business day can include making new pieces, restocking local stores, shipping wholesale orders, photographing my jewelry, and working on my website.
7. What are some of your best-selling products?
The mainstay of my business since day one has been religious jewelry, which makes wonderful gifts. They are most popular around the holidays, Mother’s Day, Easter and Confirmation, as well as for teachers’ gifts. My house blessings are also gifted by Realtors when their clients purchase a new home.
8. What is one thing you think customers should know about your line that they may not be aware of?
As a small business owner in my community, I happily support other local business and appreciate the support that the Baton Rouge community has shown me over the past 12 years. I treasure the relationships that I have developed with other local business owners as well as the friendships that have grown from my business.
9. How can customers find KML Designs?
KML Designs can be found locally at Vertage Clothing, Hey Penelope, La Belle de Maison Designs, The Local Lagniappe Shoppe and seasonally at LD Linens. My website is kmldesignsbr.com, where I offer shipping or local pickup in Old Goodwood. You can also follow KML Designs on Instagram and Facebook.
10. Can you share a hint about what shoppers will see in the future?
At this time of the year, I’m thinking ahead to the holiday shopping season and giftable options for most any woman in your life. And of course, LSU football.