UPDATED — A Kansas company that is about to have its first retail presence has its roots in high fashion in New York and Los Angeles.
“I just decided that I needed more,” designer Nicole Boles says.
In designing high fashion, Boles says she began to feel that “I was making women feel bad about their bodies.”
“What I really wanted to do was something better. I wanted a bigger purpose. I wanted to basically show more love in the world.”
She and her parents, Robert and Jayne Boles, are now doing that through a business called Same Tree.
Nicole Boles says she decided she would use her skills from working with her father as she grew up helping him repurpose antiques, which he did as a hobby, to make repurposed high-end furniture and lighting.
The idea, she says, is to “take vintage and making it into something new.”
“It’s just all about taking things and looking at them in a new way.”
That could be taking a tumbleweed, sculpting it, making it fire resistant and creating a chandelier out of it. In fact, that’s one thing that’s proven especially popular since the family started the company a year ago.
“Our lighting has expanded just because that’s kind of been the more popular thing,” Nicole Boles says.
Same Tree has been online only so far for sales, but it will debut its products Nov. 9 at the Workroom, Janelle King’s home decor business in the Domestic Design Building at 1425 E. Douglas.
“The Workroom will be the first retail establishment,” Boles says. “We’re really excited to finally have a retail spot in Wichita.”
She says she’s also talking to boutiques in New York.
“That will be our next expansion after this,” Boles says. “I’m hoping in the next six months.”
She says she and her parents would one day like to have their own retail shop as well.
“Eventually, that would definitely be in the plans.”
Robert Boles is a design engineer who does aeronautical design for Galaxy Technologies. His hobbies include wood crafts and metal working, which is what he also brings to Same Tree.
Jayne Boles is an operating room nurse at Wesley Medical Center.
“She (is) the organization part of it,” Nicole Boles says of her mother’s contribution to Same Tree.
She says her family likes to use artisans in the Midwest to create their designs from repurposed materials.
“It’s a big part of what we’re doing.”
So far, Same Tree products range from just under $1,000 to $10,000.
“It just depends on what we’re repurposing,” Boles says.
That could be rare wood or a one-of-a-kind piece.
Boles says a significant component of the business will be a charitable donation with each product it sells.
“It’s really centered more around being able to give unexpected blessings to other families that are in hardship,” Boles says. “Ultimately, that’s what we really feel like our calling is, to reach out and help other families.”
Same Tree is a play on family trees and also making items from the same tree they were already built from.
“It was a big adjustment coming back home to Kansas and recentering on these things versus being a city girl,” she says.
It’s not a bad thing, though.
“It’s really interesting,” Boles says, “especially going from working in the high fashion world to working with your family who loves you.”