I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Shatat for the first time at the New York Now show in January of 2015. I immediately took notice of her incredible smile and presence as she was setting up her booth for her company Moon & Lola. I was very familiar with Moon & Lola having shopped them for a few years but I was not familiar at all with the founder or her incredible story. As the time has passed I have gotten to know Kelly well, both professionally and personally, as she has become one of my dear friends. To know Kelly is to love her immensely for she has the largest and most dearest heart on the planet. I love to watch her get excited about an idea and immediately begin the research to make it happen. You simply can not be in a bad mood in her presence because before you realize it she has you laughing and counting your blessings for everything around you.
The journey to launch Moon & Lola is a fabulous story. The pharmacist turned jewelry designer started making jewelry on the side because she loved it and wanted to make others happy. She took her pieces to work with her and before she knew it she was selling them faster than she could make them. She took the plunge to leave her day job and started the jewelry, accessories and lifestyle brand with that mission in mind … to make people happy. Fast forward 13 years and she has made the Oprah Most Favorite Things list twice, been featured in Vogue, In Style, Lonny and that is just to name a few. Moon & Lola is truly a household name.
Image via Bedazzles After Dark
First of all, tell me about Moon and Lola. You are a true dining-room-to-board-room story … but actually you started on your sofa, correct?
I did start on my sofa, but the next stop was my dining room table. After I outgrew that I moved to my garage where I quickly painted it Tiffany blue and hung two chandeliers. Then once traffic and the comings and goings from my house became an issue, I moved into a 300 square-foot studio, then a 600 square-foot space and now we’re in a 3,000 square-foot studio where we’re bursting at the seams. Today, we have approximately 50-60 people on our team, five brick and mortar stores in North and South Carolina, a great online retail business at Moon & Lola, and we’ve sold to Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus and more than a 1,000 boutiques worldwide.
Looking back, would you do anything differently?
No, because everything leads you to where you are and I believe I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I try to learn from every experience and I believe that failures lead to future successes.
It’s been a great journey and we’ve been very lucky.
Raleigh was the birthplace of Moon and Lola and so I wanted our flagship to be downtown. It felt like it was a great representation of our brand and a nod to our roots.
Charleston was voted the #1 place to visit in the US by Condé Nast the year we opened on King Street. I wanted people to see a live billboard, learn our story and take it back to their hometown all over the country.
Our Apex location made sense to us mostly because our studio is right above our shop. It’s great that our team there can just run downstairs and see the store, re-merchandise, or connect with customers. It’s such a different experience to be in the store and helps us to remember the reason we all do this – to make our customer happy!
Cameron Village was where a lot of our customers loved to shop. We thought it would be great to have a location in such a high-traffic shopping destination.
We just opened a permanent location at Crabtree Valley Mall, and it’s off to a wonderful start. Crabtree is my mall. Growing up it’s where my mom bought my Easter dress and where we did our Christmas shopping so there’s a great sentimentality to it.
Coco Chanel and Oprah. Coco was a fashion icon that left her mark on the world and people still love and appreciate her designs. Henri Bendel brought Chanel to America and because I’m such a great fan of the brand, it was always a dream to be sold by them as well. So when they discovered us in Elle Magazine and started selling our line, it was a dream come true.
Oprah is a strong, self-made woman that has grown an empire while improving lives along the way. We’ve been chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for the past two years and the validation and awareness that it brought our brand has been overwhelming and we’re eternally grateful.
What inspires you to create?
I’m inspired by everything around me from travel to art to pop culture. I love to note the trends in music videos and fashion magazines, and I get tons of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram.
Favorite item on your desk/creative area.
My gold pop art balloon dog figurine that my assistant gave me for Christmas. I loved it so much that I added it to our Lola’s Loves collection and we started selling them in our stores. They’ll be available for purchase on Moon and Lola soon.
What is your favorite way to unwind?
Hanging out with my besties, talking and flipping through magazines.
Five must haves.