We are beyond thrilled to have a sit down chat with one of the most inspirational women in my life Restycle Founder; Sunny Kamara. Unsure of how she is able to juggle her super hectic life, the full time student, employee and entrepreneur shares with ALUX her inspiration for getting into the online world of sales, her plans for the future of Restycle, and of course their new spring 2014 lookbook which I am super excited about. Not only that, she narrowed down 5 products you could purchase for your significant other this Valentines day!! Read the interview below.
- How did you get into the accessories business? What did you do before that? Was there a particular moment you realized this was what you wanted to do in life?
I’ve always had a passion for accessories! It’s been my firm belief that no outfit is complete without a dash of accessory to finish it off. Before starting Restycle, I was an ambitious student with a full time job at a health insurance corporation, so the last thing I wanted to add to my already hectic workload was to be an entrepreneur. In 2010, I decided to cast my fears aside and follow my dreams! I’ve never been happier.
- Who inspires you when it comes to business and why? What is your favorite part about doing what you do.
Someone who really inspires me is Nasty Gal’s creator Sophia Amoruso. She is so young and motivated; she literally created a multi-million dollar company out of nothing. She followed her heart and it led her to great success. Another inspiration to me is Mr. David Hillman. He became a billionaire without even obtaining a college degree. Now he pushes young entrepreneurs to finish school and start their businesses! I actually have an enterpreneurial scholarship from him to get my degree in business at the University of Maryland College Park. It may sound crazy, but my favorite part is staying busy. I love working hard! My daily life is so unpredictable, juggling being a full time student and a businesswoman with a full time job is not easy but I love every minute of it.
- Do you have any pieces that you have created or would love to collaborate on a designer with? Who?
When I initially started I would create some pieces, but I wouldn’t really call myself a designer. Now, I focus simply on the business aspect of things and finding all these beautiful pieces to share with everyone! I would love to collaborate with accessory designers Jodie and Danielle, two sisters who created the brand Dannijo. The pieces they sell speak for themselves. They’re absolutely breathtaking, elegant, and jaw dropping, just like the pieces we strive to showcase on restycle.com.
- How often do you get new pieces in the store? I see that you love to travel, how do you incorporate the pieces you sell in your store with that?
It’s actually a very long process. I have to do research, talk with the designers and figure out how long it will take for the pieces to be made and delivered. I would say we get new things every 2-3 months. I love to travel! It is really my only escape from work. It’s such an adventure because everywhere I go I learn about the culture and try to incorporate them into the pieces that I try to acquire for the site.
- You carry accessories for both men and women that’s pretty awesome, I simply have NO idea how to shop for a man. Please share 5 products we may be able to gift our significant other on Valentines day.
Well for starters, I would say some everyday bracelets from our Bands of Leather Collection. They’re super cute, diverse, and made for everyday wear!
Then we have our bowties, some are reversible, some are plain, but either way they can spruce up and outfit you pair them with!
Then we have our rings, oh my goodness our rings! We have so many to choose from, but our faves are from the True Dynasty Collection. Not only are they absolutely fabulous, but unisex as well.
For another unisex piece, you can treat your love to an awesome necklace from our Locket of Sundara Collection. These super cute necklaces are perfect for layering, and adding that minimal but fresh touch to your outfit!
Last but not least, this is for you fellas. You want to get something really unique for your lady? Treat her to a clutch from the Ornate Crystals Collection! These clutches are made out of recycled glass from India. Your woman would really appreciate the uniqueness and splendor of this gift.
- Is there a particular material or stone you are most drawn to when shopping for pieces?
We really strive to collect eco-friendly and unique pieces for our customers, so if any of the designers we collaborate with can provide that for us we are certainly interested. One stone that we really love in particular is the Blue Gem Turquoise! It is such a beautiful, rich color that looks good with almost everything.
- Have you thought about selling your items in stores?
One of our goals is to definitely open up a store front, but as for right now our main focus is to make our products accessible by being online so people from all over the world can share in the beauty of our pieces with us!
- If you could have any one celeb don pieces from your store, who would it be and why?
I would love to see Gwen Stefani in one of our pieces. She’s so diverse in her style, and over the years she has definitely proven herself as a style icon. Her whole attitude defines the ideal Restycle woman!
- How do you think a woman should wear jewelry? Minimal, or over the top. What is your preference?
My personal style is very simple, I know, hard to imagine! But I love elegant, statement pieces. The Restycle woman is an icon, mostly because of the confidence behind her style. So whatever you are confident rocking, you do it the way you love!
- Not only are the pieces that you sell unique, but so are their names. How do you come up with these?
We usually wait till after the photoshoot to name our pieces. My assistant and I go through each product and come up with a name for our products based on our moods, the way they look and in general, how we would feel wearing them! We get very creative, and often create collections for our pieces since we get so many.
- By the way we totally love the New Redesign of the website, how hard is it to keep up with the ever changing trends in technology and your vision?
It’s a very hard process to keep up with the changing trends and technology but it’s all part of the job. We are always researching ways to make the online shopping experience easier for our clients not only by providing great customer service, we also share our look books so they can have a better feel of how to incorporate the pieces into their closets and simply just by constantly updating the website so it is easier for them to navigate through. You just have to keep pushing to be the best, and even then the best is not enough!
- Where do you see Restycle in the next 5 years?
I see us growing into a worldwide accessories brand, collecting pieces from all over. Then in turn, giving back to the local communities we get pieces from.
- Where can we purchase your pieces (Social Media and Website)
- Restycle Pieces are currently on display at the Crystal Couture show in Crystal City VA, ( please provide address)
The address is 251 18th st South on the 11th Floor! From 6-10 pm from Feb 4-8th
The Spring 2014 Lookbook