So a couple of months ago, a friend of mine started to tell me about a dream she had of starting a jewelry/clothing company. Like most of us, she was hesitant and feared what the future might hold if she took this leap. Given that I took a similar leap in starting Gracefully Taylored, I began to encourage her to go for it. We only have so much time, so why put our dreams on hold right? Well, it has been born. Bluff is officially out there and continuing to grow. Beginning with beautiful bracelet stacks (they have been all over my Instagram), my friend has turned her dream into a reality and I am excited to tell you about this little gem! I had a little Q&A session with the founder of Bluff, Anna Kathryn Phillips, and am excited for you to learn more about this business that I am head over heels for!
First, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.
My name is Anna Kathryn Phillips and I grew up in Holly Bluff, MS in Yazoo County on the edge of the Mississippi Delta. I have two wonderful parents and four siblings (three sisters and a little brother). My dad was a farmer and growing up on the farm it was just us four girls (my brother came much later). Some of my most vivid memories are of Mom bringing us out to the fields to see Dad and to see the beautiful cotton crop he had been working on all summer turn white. Quite often, Dad would leave a trailer of cotton with extra room to fill, under the shed for us to jump and play in with our cousins. My family has always been super special to me and a huge part of who I am and how I got where I am today.
What is Bluff? And when did you first know that this was something you wanted to do?
Bluff is a company I started this year with hand beaded bracelets. Soon, it will expand to offer women's clothing as well so stay tuned for those designs! The first time I knew I wanted to have my own company one day was in high school. I have always had an interest in fashion but not just at the retail end. I wanted to create. My journalism teacher knew I was interested in this and took the time to teach me how to sew with a machine as well as by hand. The first project I did with her was a pair of high-waisted pants! By this time I was hooked and decided to pursue it in college. I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in apparel design in 2011.
How did you decide you wanted to start Bluff?
A business of my own was always something that I wanted but the timing was never right. I felt there were many things I still needed to learn. I have worked in all aspects of the fashion world from retail and merchandising to the wholesale side. While working, I have been fortunate to live in a few different cities and see new things as I was learning. After being here in Baton Rouge for a year I decided, with the encouragement of friends and family, it was time to go out on my own.
Where did the name Bluff come from?
My sisters and I were affectionately known as "the bluff girls" to my aunts, uncles and cousins and it has always stuck with me. The triangle in the logo comes first of all from the Delta. Some of my favorite memories come from there and spending my childhood with my three sisters. As we have all grown, my sisters have remained an inspiration to me, constantly reminding me to be true to myself just as they have done. In keeping with the three points of the Bluff logo, I have three amazing women role models in my mother, my aunt and my grandmother to look up to. From family and raising children to jobs and every day life, I have always wondered how they make it all look so easy.
Is Bluff mostly bracelets? Or is there more to it?
Bluff is currently hand beaded bracelets but there are many more exciting things in the works!
Is there anything else you would like us to know about Bluff?
I am excited to share new jewelry styles along with women's clothing coming out this winter! Also a website will be coming soon www.livebluff.com. For now you can check us out on Instagram @livebluff.
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography