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Inspiring Conversations with Kim Freeman of Okella

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Freeman. 

Hi Kim, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My name is Kim Freeman. I am a person who enjoys fashion. I always have and always will. In fact, I was selected as “Best Dressed” by my high school classmates. I was so very fortunate to have enjoyed my grandmother, Okella, for 49 years of my life. She was always the life of the party and had been a part of every memorable event that occurred in my life up until that time of her death. It was not an event unless she was in attendance. She created memories at every event she attended and would always share what was memorable for her. At 90 years old she was quick-witted and the neighborhood grandmother.On September 23, 2018, following the devastation of Hurricane Florence, my grandmother, Okella peacefully slipped away from us. Departing at the tender age of 90, Okella was the youngest and last surviving sibling of 20. Although gone today, Okella will never be forgotten. Before she departed this life, she performed one final astounding display of affection.

On September 12, 2018 (not knowing when she would return home) hurricane Florence caused Okella, my parents and my uncle to temporarily relocate to the Winston Salem, NC area, to escape the storm. Shortly after being away, we found out that she purposefully left her house unlocked back at home. Her thoughtfulness and foresight, allowed her home to be used as a place of refuge from the storm. A couple, from Pollocksville, NC , managed to find their way to the steps of her home after being rescued from their homes’ rising floodwaters. They noticed her door was unlocked and they were able to quickly get inside and have a roof over their heads for the remainder of the storm. When we asked Okella if she knew her door was unlocked, she simply responded, “Yes, I did”. This is who she was. She was always willing to provide shelter and help to anyone who needed it. And in this case, she had no idea who would need the help.

In addition to buying books for her great grandkids for special occasions, encouraging and praising my reading skills when I was a kid. I decided to combine my love for her, books and jewelry and accessories into a company that allows me to preserve her memory.

As a result, I formed Okella’s Book Club. Okella’s Book Club showcases both trendy and statement jewelry pieces and supports programs aimed at increasing youth literacy. This is my way of sharing a piece of my family and me with you. A portion of all proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations and agencies whose agendas align with the area of youth literacy.

In 2020, after considering the growth of the company, I decided to let Okella stand on its own. On 9/8/2020, the name was officially changed to Okella, LLC. Rest assured, we still donate a portion of every sale to organizations aimed at increasing literacy in children.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, the road has not been smooth. From marketing and social media company misalignments to low sales because of COVID-19. Trying to find jewelry designers and vendors have also been challenging. In fact, I am still trying to find a jewelry designer who can design pieces that align with Okella brand – creating memories that last forever. The good news is we have survived for over 2 years. I have a Virtual Assistant, Nova, who has been with me since day 1 and for that I am truly grateful. She keeps the backend running smoothly and her customer service skills are superb.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Okella is a namesake jewelry line, Okella, forming memories that last forever. Our unique approach to jewelry is inspired by our deep sense of connective support with our customers as we offer a wide array of jewelry that aligns with each individual whether you make a statement wearing minimalist pieces or more noticeable pieces, we’ve got you covered.

We see the truth in each client, and we appreciate the value that’s already in them. We try to offer pieces that connect to our client’s true personality with their unique way of attracting their desires, which manifests in a style that’s true to them. We didn’t want to offer just one type of jewelry. We want to connect women with what makes them feel their best. Whether it’s a statement scarf, a brooch, a belt, a handbag or a piece of jewelry, the question to ask yourself is “How does or would this piece make me feel?” We all know when we feel our best, we exude confidence and are able to interact in a way that allows others to feel the confidence we feel inwardly.

We continue the legacy of who Okella the woman was, being guided by the abiding spirit of encouragement. We want to encourage women to choose to wear jewelry and accessories that best match their style.

We want our customers to exude passion and confidence as they create memories, stand out, encourage family and friends, tell stories, increase literacy in children while wearing their Okella jewelry. If you have a recommendation for a non-profit organization who works to increase literacy in children, please email us and we will consider them at our donation intervals.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Increasing literacy. Why? Because it was important to my grandmother, it’s important to me.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Tanisha Walker

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1 Comment

  1. Jan Garner

    February 16, 2022 at 2:28 am

    Awesome story! Your purpose is wrapped in a legacy of love and service. I just love your accessories displayed. Best wishes for ongoing success!

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