Be Brave. Take a Chance. Change Your Life. These words are the mantra of Nickel & Suede, believing that trying something new can change your life. What started out in a basement and now has become a multimillion-dollar business with a 12,500 square foot facility for their Headquarters, Nickel & Suede just opened their flagship store with many more retail spaces to come.
The Missouri local, Kilee Nickels and her husband Soren tell the story of how the idea and need for a pair of statement earrings became a bigger than life moment.
Kilee’s simple teardrop design made from a leather purchase inspired by her family’s previous belt business was an immediate success and she set about making earrings for others. Kilee and her husband, Soren Nickels founded Nickel & Suede in 2014 and have grown the company to thirty employees while keeping their product made in the United States. The Kansas City couple creates lightweight, statement earrings made of leather and high-quality materials such as 14 karat gold. They started their company in the basement of their home but quickly outgrew the space and knew they needed to expand. They reached out to Kansas City based Hufft Design, recognized as one of the top 50 design firms by Architect Magazine, to help them create a plan for growth. Hufft designed their retail store in their new 12,500 square-foot headquarters in Liberty, Missouri. The facility is a master’s course in retail design, providing a refined shopping experience that evokes the quality of the Nickel & Suede products. Hufft designed the Nickel & Suede floor system with a honey-colored wood island inset into a Bomanite Custom Polished concrete floor.
Bomanite Licensee, Musselman & Hall Contractors, LLC had previously worked with Hufft on their award-winning designs for the Tuft & Needle store in Overland Park, Kansas. The contractor and designers had worked together to choose a polishable overlay for the Tuft & Needle shopfront that would allow minimal issues with transitions, but still create a durable and attractive floor. That first installation ended up being just the ticket, so Hufft decided to utilize the same high performance self-leveling concrete polish overlay, Bomanite Modena SL in the Nickel & Suede flagship shop. The overlay was to be installed at only ⅜” thick, so preparation was key. The Musselman & Hall foreman, Johnathon Eggert, and his crew used large abrasive diamond grinders to profile the entire interior floor as preparation for the overlay. A five-man crew was able to place the entire floor in just one day using small onsite mixers. The new flooring overlay only needed 24 hours to cure before it could be finished. Diamond tooling was used to polish the floor to a satin finish. A Bomanite penetrating sealer was applied to provide resistance against stains while still keeping a low maintenance surface. The warm gray floors show no perceptible aggregate and are an integral part of the overall design aesthetic.
Soren Nickels had this to say about his experience, “We wanted to build up the concrete floor to the level of our decorative inset, while going for a refined concrete look. We were introduced to Musselman & Hall with the understanding that their creative work in concrete concepts would give us some trustworthy options. This definitely proved to be the case. We wanted to avoid any surprises, so we let our trust in their experience lead the way. We felt that the product they recommended would match what we were looking for-even with all the particulars we asked for. The team that showed up to do the work definitely proved to be careful masters of their craft. In our minds it was fine-finish work and they delivered. We even made a few last-minute adjustments that were handled with ease, flexibility and speed. ”
The finished retail interior floor is a simple, but elegant representation of the design flexibility of decorative architectural concrete and Bomanite’s diverse sustainable offering of flooring and paving systems. As Nickel & Suede continue to inspire individuals to be brave and try new things. We encourage you to imagine the possibilities and let Bomanite Decorative Concrete make those dreams a reality.
Awards & Press:
- Bomanite Decorative Concrete Awards March 2020: Bomanite Custom Polishing System Bronze Award
- Kansas City Business Journal Capstone Award March 2020
- Interior Design Magazine Oct 2019: https://www.interiordesign.net/articles/17074-teardrop-earrings-inspire-nickel-and-suede-s-office-by-matthew-hufft/