With British roots and Southern charm, Nicola Ford has been able to develop a unique and keen sensibility for style throughout her life’s journey. Her passion for designer jewelry resulted in the launch of an online boutique, HAUTEheadquarters in 2012, where she exclusively edits an extraordinary compilation of faux and fine designer jewelry available to women of all walks and budgets of life. Nicola Ford offers a collection of hand-selected jewelry that combines current trends with classic, timeless elegance, from simple and delicate, to chunky statement stoppers. The website carries jewelry worn by celebrity A-listers such as Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez, as well as Bravo-lebrities, Kyle Richards and Heather Dubrow, just to name a few. Learn more about Nicola in our interview with her below!
What Inspired you to start your business?
“I was styling jewelry on clients and getting lots of questions about the high and low designer jewelry pieces I was sourcing so I thought I would put them all on line and ultimately HAUTEheadquarters.com came about.”
What advice would you give a student or aspiring entrepreneur?
“The advice I would give to a student or entrepreneur would be to learn as much as you can from others in your field or industry, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to be resilient.”
How has social media influenced or helped your business? Do you have an example?
“Social media has influenced my business in so many positive ways on multiple platforms all in different aspects. A good example is the relationships that HAUTEheadquarters.com has built with vendors and influencers on Instagram. Teggy French and I met through another connection on the platform and ended up becomming friends and creating the Frech and Ford line.”
Who do you admire and why?
“I admire my mother. She is a pillar of strength. In terms of business I admire a lot of women ranging from Tamara Mellon, to my friend Lauren Sebastian of BigBlondeHair. Even though their business models are totally different it is fascinating to watch them all grow and succeed. I really admire Tamara for building a mega brand then leaving and trying again. She is very forthright about her success and failures and I admire her drive (and her shoe collection). I truly admire so many female business owners, from the bloggers I work with, to the designers to the PR teams like Piqued.”
What is next for your business?
“Currently we are adding more designers, more SKUS, and creating a wholesale private line. I also have a jewelry collaboration with Teggy French called French and Ford that we are retailing on HAUTEheadquarters.com and plan to take to other retailers nationwide soon!”
What do you think has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
“I think my greatest entrepreneurial accomplishment thus far has been to preserve in the face of difficulty. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride and not for the faint of heart. For me it is a passion and I cannot imagine doing anything else.”
“I have so many favorite quotes. One in particular I appreciate because it is essential for anyone selling a product or service to understand is
“There is only one boss. The customer. He or she can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”. Sam Walton”
How would you describe your brand in 3 words?
“I would describe HAUTEheadquarters as chic, accessible, and fashion forward.”