MEET OUR SUMMIT SPONSOR: Taylor Reese
We are thrilled to introduce your to Alum, Member, and 2023 TSC Summit Sponsor, Taylor Reese. Get to know the founder of Taylor Davis Reese Creative with a fun Q+A!
Taylor Reese is the CEO and founder of Taylor Davis Reese Creative, the home to her three creative endeavors: Shop Taylor Reese Jewelry, Always the Host (table styling), and Reese’s Hardwear: a style blog for home & fashion inspiration. Taylor is an artist and entrepreneur at heart and loves leaving a little sparkle and a lot of color wherever she goes. On a rare day off, Taylor loves to read, visit the beach, and spend time at home with her husband and two sons.
Read more about Taylor’s story here.
Q: You operate three creative ventures under your brand. How did you get here and how is it going?
A: I do! I have Shop Taylor Reese (jewelry), Always the Host (table styling), and Reese’s Hardwear (style blog). I first started designing jewelry when I was 14. The first time I chose to make it a business, I started a blog to style the pieces I had at the time. It wasn’t long before the blog/ influencer space took off and I found a lot people coming to my blog for the outfits as much as the jewelry. Some of the earliest brands to get on board with blogging started pitching their products to be styled while I was pitching some of my favorite brands for partnerships. After a few years of hustling, LTK, ShopStyle, and monetization of content started happening. From there, the blog became my primary business. The more time I was spending shooting outfits meant less time making jewelry. The shift happened very naturally and it was a fun change. I shot looks and styled events faithfully until the COVID19 pandemic hit and everything came to a screeching halt.
There were no events to attend or dress for, and it felt out of touch to be sharing links to outfits and higher priced retailers when so many were out of work. I wasn’t going anywhere that would require those looks but I was having small gatherings for close friends and family. I was pregnant with my second child that year and trying to keep life somewhat normal for my first so family dinners, baby showers, birthday parties were what we had to look forward to. I spent a lot of time styling those events, setting elaborate tables and coming up with fun themes to keep it light-hearted. A girlfriend of mine suggested that I start styling tables for others in similar positions. I loved the idea and realized there was an opportunity for the service in my area so Always the Host was created. Local magazines and websites I contributed to at the time were having similar thoughts and challenges and asked if I would shift my freelance articles from fashion to table styling. I’m happy to share the pivot was a success as ATH turns two this December. I’ve admittedly become somewhat of a homebody after the pandemic. This venture gives me another creative outlet and opportunity to explore a new vertical I wouldn’t have otherwise thought to pursue. I’m happy to help inspire others embrace staying home and creating beautiful, intimate events for their guests.
While I was planning those small themed gatherings at home and nurturing ATH, I started getting the itch to create jewelry again. I set a few tables and thought, “I could make a set of napkin rings to go with this” and I did. Once I had all my boxes of beads in front of me, I started to feel inspired and began creating. I kept creating, invested in a new professional camera, gave the website a much-needed overhaul and took myself to the Southern C Founders Retreat in Round Top, TX. I was already inspired by the product, but being surrounded by this community in such an inspiring town like Round Top ignited a fire in me I hadn’t felt in a long time. I came home ready to bring a more thoughtful, cohesive, and purposeful line to market and haven’t looked back since.
Today, each venture has its own social account and identity for clarity and ease. I have a lot of clients/ followers that follow all three accounts and some that only follow one or two. My focus is to keep each vertical pure so clients know what to expect and where to find it.
Q: You offer a lot of Sports and team-colored jewelry. Why is this a big category for you?
A: I grew up a sports fan and have been equally passionate about sports and fashion for as long as I can remember. In high school, I was the one hosting march madness parties and handing out brackets. In college, I was always told sports and fashion don’t go together. That may be true on the side of a mountain in the dead of winter but I have always believed they do and in the south, I know they do!
When I re-launched the Taylor Reese jewelry site, I was personally frustrated with the lack of trend-right jewelry (and apparel for that matter) options in my team’s colors. My husband and I don’t go to many games, but when we do, I like to feel equally comfortable and put together. Team colored jewelry is a great way to do that but at the time, my only options were big team logos in a one-size-fits-all style. Appalachian State was still (and by comparison is) a smaller university with a directly proportionate fan base. I knew my sports broadcasting background gave me a good working knowledge of a lot of teams and the resources to figure out what I didn’t know so I set out to create a handful of styles for smaller fan bases. Selfishly, I started with App State so I’d have something for the game, and worked my way through the state and then the south to represent as many teams as possible. I’m passionate about making fans a little fancier and offering options to the style conscious, sports loving lady.
A lot of people have told me that this is a seasonal business. Teams aren’t my whole business, but I have found the collegiate / team category to be less seasonal than many believe. For my brand, it’s not just the 3 months of football season. Offering customizable options and carrying stock for over 30 teams gives me opportunity to sell during football, basketball, baseball seasons as well as college acceptance letter and graduation seasons. My all-time best-selling styles are for colleges & universities that do not and may not ever have a football team. The fans are just as excited to pull for their team and I’m happy to be there for them.
Shop the new game day collection online now!
Q: How have collaborations impacted your business?
A: Collaborations have been so fun and a direction I’d like to explore further. I love the product development side of my business. I also really love finding new, wonderful (mostly Southern C) brands to support. I’ve been fortunate to have two great partnerships already. The most recent, with Courtney of CB Grey, challenged me personally and creatively. What I appreciated most about that partnership was that it was a true collaboration in that we each owned our areas of expertise but had a creative voice in the other’s. The whole process of designing a scarf was new for me but Courtney was a great person to do it with. Personality wise, she and I are very similar and cliqued instantly. On a professional level, it was challenging to hand over some of the creative voice in the jewelry pieces Courtney brought some great ideas to the table and some of the pieces she really fought for are now best-sellers.
I am already planning which collaborations I’ll pursue and move forward with in 2024 and 2025. They are such a great way to stay fresh and constantly offer the customer something new and exciting while reaching a new audience but I am strategic about which partners I take on. It has to be right for both sides. I’ve learned the hard way that a partner you want so badly may not be the right fit for one reason or another. I’ve learned that there are reasons things do or don’t work out and ultimately, I’ve felt God’s protection when it hasn’t worked. From a design perspective, I like having the new input and ideas. I am guilty of getting too close to projects or designs and appreciate the value of fresh eyes and a different style. If anyone wants to collaborate on a project, I’d love to chat and welcome any conversations about working directly together or helping find the right partner.
Check out the Taylor Reese x CB Grey Collab.
About The Brand:
Taylor Reese is a vibrant jewelry & accessories brand that believes in making game day, wedding day, and every day a little fancier + colorful. Each collection is inspired by the colors found in nature and in everyday life. Taylor is a maximalist and a sea lover at heart and incorporates a variety of shells, pearls + a little sparkle into each collection to make days a little fancier. She believes a great stack can add pop and pizazz to any look. Every piece is made by hand in Taylor’s North Carolina Studio and strong enough to withstand hard days and the toughest little hands.
How To Shop:
You can shop the current game day jewelry collection online or at one of the upcoming pop-ups
Where to Follow: