Known for her strength, integrity, love of family and innate sense of style, Simone I. Smith launched her signature jewelry collection in 2011 with two goals in mind. First, to transform her life-long affection for accessories into a woman-run, thriving enterprise dedicated to and for women, and second, to offer a helping hand to those in need.
She was diagnosed in 2004 with stage III Chondrosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, which required an invasive surgery and two years of rehabilitation. After her surgery, the lollipop tattoo on her leg (inspired by her husband LL COOL J’s song Candy Girl) looked like a bite had been taken out of it. From there, Simone was inspired to create the “A Sweet Touch of Hope” lollipop pendant. For her, and the thousands of women who wear it, the pendant symbolizes how sweet life is and the bite represents what cancer does to individuals and families who are affected by it.
Simone formed a strategic partnership with the American Cancer Society, and a portion of the proceeds from every piece in the Simone I. Smith jewelry collection go directly to the non-profit to help save lives.
In 2013, Simone received the Rising Star of the Year award from the National Association Of Women Business Owners of Los Angeles and was honored by the Ladylike Foundation in 2015. She has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, The Talk, OWN, InStyle and Essence.
A dedicated mother of four (two of her girls, Samaria and Nina appear in her campaigns) and a woman inspired by her faith and all of the strong women in her life, Simone continues to design at the intersection of style and philanthropy. She remains focused on creating bold, beautiful jewelry for the women who love accessories as much as she does, and instilling hope for all people facing cancer.
1. What are three words that best describe you?
Bossy, God-fearing, funny.
2. Tell us why you’re awesome in two sentences or less.
I am a survivor who’s fearless, courageous, and nurturing, while staying fab. I know these qualities were given to me by God.
3. What are your three biggest indulgences?
Shopping, good food and Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.
4. What’s currently your favorite…
Restaurant: Currently Ysabel, Mastros, Madeo, Kiwami, Nobu
Food: Italian, Southern, Spanish
Cocktail: Patron Silver Gimlet w/ Agave on the rocks
Shopping destination/store: Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Hirshleifers, Barneys, Shag NY
Fashion item: SIS hoops
Place to hangout: At the house – I like to throw get-togethers
Travel item: Neck pillow and blanket
Beauty product: Mac Bronzer, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Becca champagne highlighter, Sisley & Tom Ford lip gloss
Skincare product: Mary K 3-in-1 cleanser & Mary K Daytime solution
Hostess gift: Purple Orchid
Home décor item: My purple couch & Voluspa Santiago Huckleberry Candle
Book: Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
Magazine: Frontgate and Food & Wine
5. What’s the ONE thing you absolutely can’t live without?
Once I hit 42, I now can’t live without my reading glasses.
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Sitting in traffic.
7. If you could have dinner with anyone (living or not) who would it be?
8. What does it mean to you to have a strong, engaging brand and how has having one helped you?
My brand is an extension of who I am and embodies fashion, love, strength, integrity, and style. Being able to express myself through my designs and through various social media platforms, it has allowed me to capture the following of many women who love quality jewelry that gives back to an amazing cause. With every piece purchased from my line, a portion of the proceeds goes to the American Cancer Society to help the fight against cancer! As a cancer survivor myself, being able to give back and help so many others is a true blessing.
9. What is your #1 tip for fellow women entrepreneurs?
Ground yourself with an amazing team who believes in your vision.
1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
This multi-tasker perfectly blends skincare and makeup to give skin a healthy, no-makeup look with a soft hint of color and SPF protection.
9. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
Read about the power of prayer and how it can effect and strengthen your marriage.