The fashion landscape evolves with each bold creator and innovative idea. Aesthetics, empowerment and sustainability are defining traits of the most fashion-forward companies to emerge in this provocative, boundary-breaking landscape. Sadie Scott PZ ’25 has capitalized upon these newfound jewelry ideals with the creation of her company, Femme Fatale. Along with her partner, Purdue University first-year Kyra Slattery, she aims to redefine femininity through her uniquely inspired earrings.
The phrase “femme fatale” typically describes a woman who uses her sexuality to her advantage — specifically, to manipulate men. The sexist undertones that define this phrase were of special interest to the duo: Scott and Slattery chose their brand name to reclaim the power behind a characterization of powerful women.
Scott describes herself as a “femme fatale” and her business as an extension of this narrative.
“Two best friends skipping through the woods, making earrings and running the whole business at 18. Feels pretty badass to me,” Scott said. “The name ‘femme fatale’ implies both aspects of femininity and of boldness. We hope that our earrings are ones that feel fun but also make you feel good and like a reflection of who you are.”
A passionate partnership, strong social media presence and advertising helped grow the company to where it is at today. However, the company’s humble origins began at Pier 39 in San Francisco in the summer of 2019.
With only a box of earrings and a sense of purpose, Scott sold each pair for a price of $4. Already friends at their high school in San Francisco, Scott and Slattery decided to take the next step and form a business relationship. As their partnership developed, Scott discovered the true value of her jewelry and artistic expression. From that point on, the business was met with generous praise and increasing popularity through its online store.
However, Scott said displaying one’s art to the public sphere is still daunting.
“I think that any time you start a creative pursuit, that it’s an incredibly vulnerable process,” Scott said.
The duo found strength and support in their network of family and friends. Especially in a time when COVID-19 has upended traditional methods of sale and outreach, the company has adjusted. Scott and Slattery found the silver lining in the lockdown procedures that were implemented earlier this year; more downtime meant increased time to create and explore new styles and brand ideas.
In the eyes of Scott and Slattery, anything can become an accessory: a piece from a board game, a dollar bill, a piece of clay. The possibilities are endless when any trinket of life becomes recyclable. The range of artistry is reminiscent of Scott and Slattery’s creative exploration of femininity.
“It’s interesting because becoming a jeweler means that I’m looking at everything as an earring opportunity,” Scott said.
Pursuing success in the jewelry business has completely transformed the life of Scott: she feels emboldened by pursuing a creative outlet that consequently empowers those around her. Although the partners are now hundreds of miles apart, Scott and Slattery continue to run the company with as much determination and efficiency as before. They hope to someday open up a physical store to sell their goods.
“We both make earrings because we love to create and I love to hopefully bring people joy with earrings that feel personal and feel creative and fun,” Scott said.