You know those go-to accessories you have that you can’t stop reaching for? Whether it’s a pair of pearl earrings or a delicate necklace, we all have them. For me, my LK MEYER Anchor Necklace has become a go-to this summer (previously seen here). My good friend, Lauren Raeburn and her brother, Kyle started LK MEYER a little over a year ago and I’ve loved following along with their new venture. Oh, and of course wearing their jewels!
LK MEYER is a New England- based company, handcrafting their awesome necklaces and cuff links right in Rhode Island. Today, I’m going Behind The Brand with Lauren to learn a bit more about what inspired LK MEYER, how New England inspires them and her advice for budding entrepreneurs. So grab a cup of coffee (or wine, depending on the time of day ;)) and get ready to go Behind The Brand…
You and your brother started LK MEYER a little over a year ago. What inspired you to take the leap and start the business?
LR: In the spring of 2015, my brother, Kyle, was in Boston for a visit and we were perusing some stores in Beacon Hill. While looking at some of the products that were available, it occurred to us that we were in a perfect position to leverage our very different skill sets and create something of our own. I have a strong sales and marketing background while Kyle is an expert in jewelry manufacturing. Before we had even returned back to my apartment, we had already figured out the company name and our initial product offering.
That’s awesome! So I have to ask- how did you come up with the name LK MEYER?
LR: The name is a play off of our families’ original manufacturing company, N.S.Meyer, named after brothers Nathan and Samuel. Meyer is my great grandmother’s maiden name and also my middle name. So by combining our two initials (L and K), we played off of that to create LK MEYER.
Your products are all made in New England which is amazing! Why was this important to you as you started your business?
LR: A New England based brand was a natural fit from the start. We both grew up in Rhode Island and love the diverse culture and style of the people who live here. We reflect that style in our own lives so we wanted to celebrate it in our products. There is a rich tradition in what we are doing–our family began producing military insignia during the Civil War and we are now the sixth generation making these types of products. Jewelry is a perfect medium for us to express our style as well as our entrepreneurial spirit.
Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
LR: As I mentioned before, there is a rich tradition in what we are doing at LK MEYER so many of the designs are inspired from the military pieces our family has been manufacturing for centuries. I also draw inspiration from my own personal travels throughout New England and beyond.
How would you describe the LK MEYER girl and guy?
LR: The “typical” LK MEYER guy or girl is someone who embodies the diversity and style of New England and everything in between.
As native New Englanders and obvious beach lovers, what are your favorite beaches in New England?
LR: Great Question! We have so many beaches that we love to visit each summer from Second Beach in Newport to Nauset Beach in Cape Cod. The one beach that sticks out the most is probably Cisco Beach on Nantucket Island. Kyle and I grew up visiting Nantucket in the summer with our family and continue to make it an annual tradition every July.
LK MEYER is sold both online and in boutiques in Newport and Boston. Where are you looking to expand to next?
LR: Sky’s the limit! We are currently working on organic growth through social media and our e-commerce site. We also love partnering with NE based boutiques to carry our line and are always looking to expand our presence.
What personality trait of yours do you feel has made you most successful when running your own business?
LR: The benefit of starting this company with my brother is the fact that we both have very different personalities and strengths. Kyle is extremely detail oriented and focused. He ensures that each one of our pieces is of the highest quality and finish. While I consider myself to be confident and goal-oriented which helps when meeting with potential buyers, working with our various suppliers, and creating fun new ways to market our brand to our customers.
As business school grads, I know you both took a number of business and entrepreneurship classes. What did you learn through starting your own business that they didn’t teach you in school?
LR: We are actually both Bentley University Grads and have been able to apply a lot of what we learned in school to our current business. However, there isn’t a handbook for success when it comes to being an entrepreneur. As the company grows, we have learned so much through trial and error (sometimes more errors than we care to admit). But through it all, we have learned how important it is to stay authentic to our brand. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that everything we produce reflects our vision for LK MEYER and reason why we wanted to start the company.
What advice would you have for Boston Chic Party readers looking to start their own business?
LR: Don’t be afraid to fail and go with your gut. I learned very early on in starting LK MEYER, that everyone will have their opinions – good, bad, or indifferent. If you have an idea, trust your instincts and go for it. You will surprise yourself – I definitely did.
Many THANKS to Lauren for letting us all go Behind The Brand at LK MEYER and learn a bit more about the background and inspiration of the brand. Be sure to check out LK MEYER’s site– I am sure you will fall in love with their pieces as much as I have!