Industry veteran Maria Dueñas Jacobs loves a challenge. The former Elle accessories director sharpened her taste with deep dives into the market, but it was a task from her daughter that sparked her latest project — Super Smalls, an accessories collection for kids.
Jacobs explained that her oldest daughter, Luna, would often try to wear “mommy’s jewels” because, as her daughter put it, her mother’s jewelry was “prettier, sparklier and shinier.”
“I felt challenged by her,” Jacobs said, and it set her on a mission to find a kid-friendly jewelry line for her daughter to covet like she does the baubles in her mom’s jewelry box. Something Jacobs says, she “just couldn’t find.”
So last March, Jacobs, now the director of brand development at Stitch Fix, began her own side hustle and created Super Smalls — boxed sets of rings, bracelets, necklaces and shoe clips that are inspired by her three daughters and her years in the fashion industry.
“It’s for anyone — girls, boys. It’s meant to let their imagination run wild,” she said of her collection, adding that the name Super Smalls is a play on “little kids dreaming big.”
The debut collection of colorful faux gem stone pieces is priced from $19 to $39, and is intended for children ages four to 10. The sets are packaged to look and feel like gifts, like “The Power Lunch,” a mixed set of colorful cocktail style rings.
“I wanted to keep the look elevated but playful,” Jacobs said, naming Graff, Tiffany & Co., and the types of pieces one might find in New York’s jewelry district as points of inspiration.
“I mean, kids don’t know who is who,” she said with a laugh. “But I wanted to still keep it inspired by what high jewelry looks like.”
Jacobs debuted the kids range in early November with her own web site, Supersmalls.com, and a few children’s wear retailers such as Maisonette and Ever After. At two weeks into the launch the brand was 90 percent sold out, with her retailers placing reorders and Jacobs fielding new requests from some yet-to-be-revealed national retailers, just in time for the December holidays.
“It really has resonated,” she said. “Way more than I even realized it might.”