It’s not uncommon for most celebrities or other influencers to think the only route into fashion is to partner with someone. Kristin Cavallari’s bucked that trend and found success on her own.
The former reality TV star has quietly built her jewelry line Uncommon James into what’s becoming a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Cavallari’s line of delicate, stackable jewelry will now also be sold at physical retail as Uncommon James readies for Wednesday’s opening of its first store. It’s located in Nashville, where Cavallari currently resides, and is just over 3,500 square feet of combined retail and office space, the latter of which handles e-commerce fulfillment.
“Opening a store is an idea that I had been floating around for a few years, but we were never in one place long enough because we used to split our time between Chicago and Nashville,” Cavallari said of her family. The Cutlers — Cavallari’s husband is football player Jay Cutler — made the move to Nashville full-time about a year ago, setting the stage for Uncommon James to put down more permanent roots.
“It’s been a really great, fun challenge for me,” Cavallari said of the store.
She’s being measured about how she’ll approach expansion, taking a wait-and-see approach as it relates to additional stores.
“I definitely think where the world is heading for my customers, most sales are happening online,” she said. “It’s a weird time for bricks-and-mortar. I do think Nashville, the city, is working in my favor because it’s such a destination for girls’ trips or bridal parties and things of that nature. I don’t see myself opening a store in every big city.”
At most, Cavallari sees the potential in three or four more stores, with Los Angeles, south Florida and Texas all locations that could make sense for the brand.
With roughly 15 employees across the organization and a one-year anniversary for the brand nearing in April, Cavallari said Uncommon James is in a good place.
“I feel like it’s a well-oiled machine and I’m ready to take on bigger and better things now,” she said.
The same day the store is set to open, Uncommon James will also launch into the home category. She also has a collaboration with the Australia-based baby line Sapling Child due out in July and is set to launch Little James, under the Uncommon James umbrella. Little James will be sold exclusively in the Nashville store for the first year before a full launch in spring 2019.
“I’ve been wanting to get into the baby space since I had my first son five and a half years ago,” Cavallari said. “Launching Uncommon James and starting my own company was really eye-opening for me in the sense that I can do everything myself. I was under the impression that I needed to partner with somebody in order to do it.”
Clearly, she hasn’t yet had to do that and said she largely owes that to social media with all of her energies going into the branding and the building out of Uncommon James as a lifestyle brand, getting firm footing with the store, home and Little James before anything else. She’s also got a cookbook — focused on gluten-free and limited dairy recipes — set for an April 3 release.
“I think right now I’m sort of maxed out. My plate is completely full,” she said. “But I think down the road, I would love to do purses. We’ll see. The sky is the limit, which is really exciting. I’m trying to be realistic. I don’t want to just do something just to do it.”