I’ve known Nikki Kule from the time my daughter’s were really young and I was told about her fabulous children’s line. The Kule children’s collection was luxurious, classic and had a smart fashion edge which made it irresistible.
I became friends with Nikki instantly upon meeting her. Her talent, sweet spirit, her courageous work ethic and integrity were all so admirable to me.
I followed Nikki’s path to her role after her children’s collection to Brooks Brothers, further to launch the Kule Women’s line and now focusing her brand around her signature Stripes.
With owning her pieces, I always found sustainability in the timeless fashion and classic wearable clothing knowing they were consciously made.
I am so happy to feature Nikki on The Joyful Approach as she is a great example of a leading lady in holistic lifestyle.
Name: Nikki Kule
Profession: Fashion designer and stripe lover
Education: Boston University and Parsons School of Design.
Previous design experiences:
I started my own children’s clothing company in 2001 when my son was 1 years old. It was also called Kule and I mainly sold through small children’s boutiques and through trunk shows all over the country.
What was your driving force behind Kule?
Kule started out a children’s clothing company and then morphed into a women’s clothing company in 2013. As soon as my own children grew out of the kids clothes, I focused the brand on more of what I love to wear and what I felt was hard to find. I have always been drawn to stripes and I based my women’s collection around that concept.
Did you run into challenges starting a business as a woman?
There are so many challenges to starting a business, but the number one challenge for me was being a mother of 2 small children and running your own business at the same time. Yes, it can be flexible in terms of your daily work schedule and vacation times, but the truth is that work never stops. It’s always on your mind and you are always working 24/7. You can never walk away or take a break especially in fashion. You cant just decide to sit out a season. I can say I survived it all since my kids are graduating from high school and now that they will be off and away from home, I am so glad I have my business to focus on.
Design Philosophy behind Kule:
The design philosophy is pretty straight forward in terms of look. I love stripes and I thought it would be fun to build a business around it. I also love that it’s so focused.
Navy is always in my color palette. I rarely ever use black. Especially when designing stripes the most popular combination and classic color way is navy and white.
Can you tell me little about your lifestyle?
I try to be pretty consistant with everything I do. I have a pretty full work week where I don’t get a chance to work out as much as I would like to, so that is always something that is hard for me. I also occasionally have to eat what’s quick and convenient rather than what’s healthy. If I wasn’t working I would spend more time focusing on my physical health, but working on my business each day is something I cant live without. I need to have both to feel good.
Favorite go to outfit for daily routine?
Well that’s a given. I always say “when in doubt wear stripes” I do sometimes need a break from stripes and revert to solids. I almost never wear a print or bright colors in the winter. I like to be comfortable and chic.
Favorite Vacation spot(s)..
I recently went to Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos for the 3rd time. That place truly rejuvenates you. You feel relaxed and calm and invigorated.
Recently, I have been into visiting my son, who lives in LA. I love the lifestyle there and I always have so much fun. It’s changed a lot and every time I go there I am loving it more and more. My all time favorite place is Italy. I lived there after college and I have been drawn there ever since. It feels like home to me even though I have no Italian roots. I can never get enough of it and If I could live there for the rest of my life, I would do it in a heart beat.
Spiritual practice or activity for connecting with yourself..
Running, it is weird for people to understand this, but I am relaxed when I run. Sometimes if i am in an open place, I even close my eyes. I love listening to music and getting into the rhythm of a run. It clears my head and I think deeply while running. I am hoping I can keep running into my old age. I often think about and try another sport in fear of not being able to run. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything that makes me feel as good physically and emotionally.
How does holistic align with your lifestyle and the Kule brand?
I have been manufacturing clothing for many years now. It’s not a holistic business and I don’t make a holistic product, but I have changed my view on how things are made. When i set out to make the “perfect stripe shirt” I started making them in the US. I wanted to create an American stripe shirt company. It was not easy to achieve a unique product like that here. In fact, because of the high minimums to create your own stripes and quality cotton in the US, I had to look elsewhere to get the right quality and pricing. I found a factory in Portugal that is a family run business that employs only women to cut, sew, and finish all their garments. They weave the cotton in a mill near by so their carbon foot print is small. They also use all their excess lint and threads left on the floor to create rugs so that nothing is wasted. It feels good to work with people face to face and try to create a product together that has so much thought and integrity. It feels very satisfying.