The Sisterhood of the Colorful Bracelets

Picture two best friends laughing and sharing stories, while designing and making their own colorful, vintage jewel-infused bracelets and necklaces. This is not your average slumber party, it’s the life of Frieda&Nellie founders and designers, Stacy Herzog and Sarah Reid.  After meeting in New York City a few years ago while working in the fashion industry, Herzog-a Denver native and Reid-a Houston local, discovered their mutual adoration for friendship bracelets and shared influence gained from their grandmothers’ flair for style. From then on, a sisterhood was formed that would take them from fashion industry executives to up-and-coming designers. Paying homage to their grandmothers, they girls named their line of one-of-a-kind pieces after the women who inspired them. Get to know Stacy and Sarah as they chat with us exclusively about their rise to success.

Stacy and Sarah

Izabella De Souza: Frieda&Nellie is named after each of your grandmothers. What can you tell us about them and how they inspired you?

Sarah Reid: Nana Frieda and Nana Nellie appreciated things that were beautiful, detailed, and one-of-a-kind, and they possessed the kind of glamour that we’d be lucky to have even a little of!

Stacy Herzog: We try (to mimic their glamour), of course by wearing their vintage hand-me-downs every day, trying to capture that old-school joie de vivre, and by toting our jewels around in Granny Frieda’s amazing jewelry case. It’s a beautiful velvet case with a delicate satin lining.

I.D.: Stacy, you’re from Denver and Sarah, you’re from Houston, but you two met while working in New York City. Where did you two meet and how did your friendship grow into what it is today?

S.H.: I was doing an internship during summer vacation in college. I was a design intern at the lingerie house Sarah worked for.

S. R.: A month into Stacy’s internship, I mentioned I was going shopping and I thought it would be great to show Stacy some places in NY since I had lived here for a couple of years already. Long story short, we got ridiculously lost, and had no idea where we were. We had a really adventurous day and we bonded over a lack of direction and 100 degree weather.

S.H.: Once I moved to New York the following Fall, we really became best friends. We’re best friends first, business partners second. I think it takes a really special relationship where you can speak your mind, work together 24/7, but then still want to hang out on the weekends and have date nights with our fiancés, etc. We really are sisters from another mother.

I.D.: You attribute the birth of your brand, along with your grandmothers’ influence, to a trip you made to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador in late 2009. Take us on a journey of that trip.

S.H.: The Galapagos are obviously an inspiration as they are naturally pristine with moments of bright color.

S.R.: Stacy toured the islands in late 2009 on a trip with her family. She wore her usual medley of chains and bangles from the 1940’s and 1970’s, and began layering them with a few of the bright, intricate woven bracelets that the South American women around her were wearing.

S.H.: Exactly Sar, I just really loved how the earthy bracelets looked next to my vintage ones. Once I got back to New York I started fiddling, talked to Sarah, and a few weeks later, we were like 12-year-old girls, braiding embroidery thread and looping in sequins and gilded closures on the floor of my tiny Chelsea apartment.

I.D.: Your mantra is reuse, repurpose and reinvent. Can you elaborate?

S.R.: We are both big believers in rifling through our moms’ and grannies’ jewelry boxes, or through a flea market or vintage store, to find the perfect thing to spruce up an outfit for a fancy dinner out. But since such jewelry can look dated or over the top…

S.H.: …we wanted to find a way to take beautiful, meaningful, ornate vintage elements and make them look modern, sophisticated, relevant and fun. In a nutshell, that’s how Frieda&Nellie was born!

I.D.: We love that your pieces are one-of-a-kind and have such fun and interesting names. How do you decide what to name each piece?

S.R.: We name them after whatever they remind us of, from our best friends to our favorite songs from eighth grade.

S.H.: It’s an interesting and hilarious process, where a stream-of-consciousness meets nostalgia, with a dash of Trivial Pursuit®.

I.D.: Frieda&Nellie is mostly described as a hybrid between vintage costume jewelry and summer camp friendship bracelets. Did both of you attend summer camp growing up? How was the experience?

S.R.: Starting at age 10 or so, I pilfered embroidery thread from the arts and crafts shed at my summer camp outside of Austin, Texas and Stacy did the same at her camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We’ve discussed how by the end of each summer, we’d both leave our respective camps with wrists stacked in painstakingly knotted/braided friendship bracelets in every imaginable color.

S.H.: My dad has told me how he remembers me at age 9 or 10, with the beginnings of a bracelet safety-pinned to my shorts in the back of his yellow Toyota® on our way to my soccer practices and ballet lessons, in fierce production mode. We love that the bracelets give people a happy flashback and a sense of nostalgia. In my soccer team photo from 2nd grade I’m wearing a pair of Nana Frieda’s yellow clip on earrings and half dozen friendship bracelets on my wrists. No joke.

I.D.: Who are some of your favorite designers?

S.H.: We love those classic women whose designs conveyed easy sophistication, especially Coco Chanel for her casually elegant costume jewelry and Miuccia Prada for her boho, hippie glamour.  Her pieces are so smart.

S.R.: We love seeing what Stella McCartney (Stacy’s favorite bag in life is a Stella), Karl Lagerfeld, YSL and Tom Ford are sending down the runway today. We really love color, patterns and prints…but in real life, for the most part we wear a more affordable mélange.

I.D.: You say your business is “a marathon, not a sprint”. What do you hope to accomplish long-term with your jewelry?

S.R.: We just mean we’re not “sprinting”.  We want to continue to build our little brand and we’re brimming with new ideas.  We are really excited to slowly but surely develop different, unique, detailed, handmade, high quality products in addition to our bracelets and necklaces.

S.H.: We feel that we’ve already turned a fun hobby into this little business that could.  The possibilities seem endless!  We are so over the moon with gratitude and excitement.  We are so amazed at the response to our jewelry and we can’t believe we are being sold at Barney’s CO-OP!  Stay tuned, definitely more to come!

– Izabella De Souza, E-Commerce Copywriter


  1. Anwaar Al-Ghareeb
    Posted 01.26.11 at 6:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i realy admire your hand made Bracelets,it’s one of akind &I would love to get few psc soo badly
    wish u girls all th best

  2. Anwaar Al-Ghareeb
    Posted 01.26.11 at 6:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Dear sisterhood!
    All what i can say is that i realy appriciate a hand made especialy ur bracelets they ‘r one of a kind!plz tell me where &how can i get them asp
    All th best

  3. Posted 11.28.11 at 9:00 am | Permalink | Reply

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    Fii Margo!!!!
    Comanda produse in valoare de 100 lei, pret de catalog si primesti 25% discount – platesti doar 75 lei!

    Pentru a comanda produsele noastre ai variantele:

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