ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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DYNAMIC DUO Alexis and Kimberly Kissam with Buster in their Isabel Harvey store in Wellesley. A Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll THE TWO WELLESLEY SISTERS BEHIND CULT JEWELRY BRAND ISABEL HARVEY LOOK TO EXPAND THEIR GROWING EMPIRE. BY JANICE O'LEARY choices they make for Isabel Harvey, which, Alexis jokes, is like the Donny and Marie Osmond lyric—"a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll." Alexis is more rock 'n' roll, with a fondness for motorcycle jackets and funky fringe, whereas Kim adores cowboy hats, boots, and country music. This fall, they're most excited about fringe on handbags, both in a classic version and in a more extreme style. They're seeing lots of rich leather in taupes, creams, and browns for bags as well as jewelry, bracelets in particular. "It's all about the wrist this season," Alexis says. Lucite and horn also feature prominently for fall (especially dotted with high-sparkle Swarovski crystals); the duo believes mixing and layering them with leather wrap bracelets and even pearls is a style of the moment, one that works for all ages. "It's all about texture," Kim says. Alexis recommends mixing heirloom pieces with more fashionable jewelry—a combination that reveals the full story of who you are. "It's important to pull it all out," she says. "Jewelry is meant to be enjoyed." 41 Central St., Wellesley, 781237-3038; BC PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA SCRANTON A lexis and Kimberly Kissam knew they wanted to be entrepreneurs. But what kind, exactly? The sisters had two models to follow: an entrepreneur mother who encouraged independence, and a grandmother (whose name they borrowed for their now-booming jewelry business, Isabel Harvey) who taught them that confidence and character come from the inside, but great style also helps. The duo had both worked at Thompson Reuters for about a decade when one night Alexis announced to their mother that she wanted to start a business. Kim said, "Count me in, whatever you do." Alexis first took some sewing classes, thinking maybe ready-to-wear would be her thing. She made a few skirts, but it wasn't a calling. In 2005 the sisters settled on fashionable jewelry and accessories, and started holding trunk shows at homes and selling at church fairs. In 2009 they made the leap to their first brickand-mortar store on Nantucket, then were off and running. They've since moved to a bigger space on the island and opened a second location in Wellesley. This fall they're scouting spaces for their next store (or stores— they're not limiting themselves) and plan to expand in 2014. Working together as sisters, they've found a groove built on family—and their own brand of optimism, which they call "elegance, sparkle, and grace." "We complement each other," says Kim, "which we really didn't realize until things got bigger. When one of us is creative, the other executes." Alexis adds, "Our personalities are similar in so many ways, which is why we can go on buying trips together. But where one of us falls short, the other can pick up and go." Their personal aesthetics also complement each other and inform the 64 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 064_BC_SPR_P_DynamicDuo_Sep13.indd 64 8/2/13 2:25 PM

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