The idea popped into Kelly Shatat’s head in the first half of the New York City Broadway show “Sweet Charity” starring Christina Applegate.
“I wonder if I give it to somebody who works here, if they will give it to (Applegate), and she’ll wear it, and then I’ll have a celebrity that wore my jewelry,” thought Shatat, 43, founder and chief executive officer of Moon and Lola, an Apex-based jewelry company.
After making initial inquiries during intermission, Shatat ended up personally delivering earrings and a necklace, which she just happened to have in her purse, to Applegate after the show. The actress immediately put on the necklace and wore the earrings to at least five red carpet events that followed the spring 2005 meeting, Shatat said.
It’s those types of moments that have helped build Moon and Lola from jewelry made in Shatat’s living room to a brand manufacturing and shipping seasonal collections to more than 1,000 stores, including Nieman Marcus and Nordstrom.
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“Blessing after blessing,” Shatat said.
Shatat crossed an item off her small-business bucket list earlier this month when Moon and Lola’s monogrammed cuff links showed up on Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things” holiday list.
“Everyone loves a monogram,” said Adam Glassman, creative director of “O, The Oprah Magazine,” while highlighting the cuff links and four other products from Winfrey’s 72-item favorites list on “Good Morning America,” Nov. 6. “You can get them in 32 different colors and silver and gold.”
Shatat, a Raleigh native and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, started fiddling with crafts after transitioning from pharmacy sales to retail pharmacist and then working for Central Regional Hospital in Butner.
The work was so straightforward that her creativity had to be fed with jewelry making and painting chairs, she said.
In October 2003, a friend asked Shatat to sell her products at a holiday show in Greenville, and Moon and Lola was born. Shatat sold out of about 100 pieces, which included strings of pearls tied together with a colorful ribbon.
Shatat continued to make jewelry on her dining room table, and carried a little green suitcase of inventory from store to store and enlisted pharmacy technicians to help her fill orders at night.
In 2005, Shatat attended her first accessories show in New York City.
A difference between her and others companies, she found, is that celebrities were wearing their inventory.
Shatat attained her first celebrity client after meeting Applegate and later sought out a publicist to help her get products in magazines, which in turn increased her client base.
In 2007, Moon and Lola moved to a small space in Apex, followed by two more moves before landing at its current 3,000-square-foot production and office space. While Shatat had cut down on her hours as a pharmacist, she stopped practicing in January 2011 and put all of her energy into her company.
Moon and Lola opened a store in downtown Raleigh in 2012 and one in Charleston a year later. The company opened a third location in downtown Apex earlier this year.
Shatat said they started making the cuff links to appeal to men shopping in the Charleston area. Moon and Lola’s jewelry ranges from $8 for a charm to $13,000 for a diamond monogrammed necklace, but the company’s sweet spot is jewelry that runs between $38 and $78, she said.
Moon and Lola ended up on Winfrey’s list after Shatat’s publicist set up meetings with magazine editors in New York City in August. An editor at “O” magazine liked the cuff links and asked Shatat if she could send more.
“ ‘Yes,’ ” Shatat said she responded. “ ‘What’s Oprah’s favorite color?’ ”
To be featured on Good Morning America’s “Deals and Steals,” Shatat agreed to build a temporary website, which would sell the cufflinks at half off for 24 hours.
“We did a month’s worth of business in a day,” Shatat said.