Interview by Carol Wright | Photos Courtesy of Short & Suite
We got to chat with Reidie MacDonald, the founder of Short & Suite, about the lessons she has learned from creating her own company and having public figures wear her pieces.
Growing up did you often do arts and crafts or create beaded necklaces and bracelets?
Growing up I played a lot of dress-up and was obsessed with fashion. My sisters and I loved to play with clothes and create little dream worlds. It made sense why I went into the luxury ready-to-wear space later in life. I fell in love with accessories while working in the fashion industry. I worked for Brock Collection and was always excited when we would do jewelry collaborations with different brands. So you could say my love affair with jewelry started very early on.
What motivated you to create Short & Suite and what lessons have you learned along the way?
I wanted to create a luxury brand that was fun, beautiful, but also affordable. I come from the luxury world and I always wanted to create a brand that made you feel as if you were in the Valentino showroom, but also had a lightness to it and was more attainable to consumers.
The biggest lessons I’ve learned from creating a brand is to be patient and to keep creating, even when you feel like you are in a rut! Scheduling also helps a lot and having people in your life to share wins and challenges with. It is so important to open up to your close circle and ask for feedback, some of my best designs have come from collaborative brainstorming.
Tell us about your latest collection, Candyland. What was the inspiration behind it?
Candy of course! I always loved visiting the mall and seeing the old-school candy machines where you put in a quarter and get a little sweet treat- specifically jolly ranchers and gumballs. I wanted to take something nostalgic and make it modern and wearable. The collection is all about mixing and matching colors, stacking, and standing out with excessive amounts of “candy.” I wanted to introduce color to the Fall season, not just Summer. Color should be worn year-round, it instills a sense of happiness in everyone.
Do you use social media or other platforms to see what’s trending in the jewelry space as you create new collections?
Yes and no. I think clothing tells the biggest story when it comes to color trends. Follow seasonal color trends, but at the end of the day, I pick what I think works best for me and follow what my customers love. When you follow things too closely based on what you “think others want them to be” and not what you feel creatively, it takes away from the magic of designing. Sometimes you just need to design based on your feelings, and of course at times – sales.
You have had public figures such as Bella Hadid and Emma Chamberlain wear your pieces. Is it rewarding when you get to see Short & Suite pieces go from a design to styled on a customer?
Seeing Short & Suite organically worn by anyone gives me the biggest sense of pride. Of course, it’s incredible to see my designs on people like Bella Hadid and Emma Chamberlain, but I also love to see it on everyday customers just as much! I was at dinner the other night and a girl was wearing the chunky gem choker and I almost fainted. I thought, wait I MADE THAT! It was such an incredible feeling.
What advice do you have for other women who would like to start their own companies?
Just start! Take time for yourself, at least one day a week where you can focus on your craft. Entrepreneurship has so many ups and downs, so you always need to re-fall in love with what you’re doing. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help or express yourself to friends, family, and colleagues. It’s great to “keep it real” during your journey, and other female founders will always want to help you so don’t be shy and reach out. We should all support one another.