24-year-old Toronto native Sherise Cromwell began her entrepreneurial journey at the mere age of 19. With a clothing, jewelry and swimwear line, she has filled a void in the fashion world. “Being able to be the trendsetter who doesn’t follow ‘trend forecasters’ is what is needed in this industry. I am a firm believer that it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it,” Cromwell explains. Having described herself as a bona fide tomboy, Cromwell offers a unique blend of androgynous pieces with feminine appeal. Arguably best known for her handcrafted jewels, Cromwell associates her brand with an organic, raw feeling. “Making each piece of jewelry is an emotional experience each time,” she says. From hand selecting her materials, to individually naming each unique design, no two REESE jewelry pieces are quite the same. REESE has been featured in Front Row Magazine, ELLE.com, LiveFastMag.com, The Los Angeles Fashion, Hoop LA, Groomed LA, among other notable publications.
We sat down with the beautiful and talented Sherise Cromwell to discuss her brand REESE.
How did you get started as a jewelry designer? Do you have any formal training or did it just come naturally?
I’m a self-taught designer.
I started with clothing about six years ago, and then I took a break. During my downtime I found my love for creating timeless statement pieces. Creating jewelry was an interesting venture. I started travelling a lot and would always be into the culture. The one place that has inspired me the most is Los Angeles. From my constant visits to the flea markets and beaches, I fell in love with the beach bum lifestyle. I enrolled myself into courses such as metal smithing and wax carvings. This helped me develop my technical skills. A year later, I branded myself as a designer that caters to those who would like to make a statement. In 2013 REESE became a full-service brand.
REESE consists of apparel, swimwear, and a unique approach to accessories.
What has been the most exciting part about your job?
The most exciting part of my job (besides material shopping) is seeing my work on clients and in publications. It’s mind blowing to see how others put “REESE” together and into their daily attire.
What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made?
I think the first piece of jewelry I ever made was a stone-beaded bracelet, completed with a rhinestone charm.
We’ve noticed you have a lot of press on your bathing suit line. What do you think makes your suits stand out from others?
I like to pride myself on fit. What makes REESE swimwear stand out from others is that I cater to women of all size. I am curvy, and I understand how difficult it is to find garments that make you feel sexy, while flattering your curves by making sure that fit is perfected, while working with shades that provide comfort. I also focus on the details to make each piece timeless so that you are able to incorporate them throughout your day to night attire.
You are a fantastic marketer; any marketing tips for other designers or entrepreneurs?
Thank you! It took me a while to figure out what inspires me most, and an aesthetic that’s true to me. Once these things were established everything tends to fall into place. Make sure you continue to push the limits when it comes to creativity. I personally feel that it’s a must for an entrepreneur to constantly set goals, big or small.
What’s next? How do you plan on growing the “REESE” brand?
I’m always trying to learn new ways to expand my technical skills. This will help my approach to jewelry making when using precious metals and stones, and designing garments. My goal every six months is to make sure my product becomes stronger when it comes to quality and fit.
If you could have any woman wear your designs who would it be?
There are a few women I would LOVE to see in REESE, but I cannot choose… The Olsen twins and Zoë Kravitz! These ladies are amazing!