Nicole Jordan-Gant has been with Spark*l since day one, literally. While scrolling through her Instagram feed a few years ago, one of Courtney’s first Instagram posts caught her eye, and within moments Spark*l’s first influencer wearing a band popped onto her feed. “I saw it, I liked it,” she said, “and there was no looking back.”
The owner of one of the biggest collections of Spark*l bands and accessories outside the four walls of the SLO, CA headquarters was born in Bogota, Columbia but has been in the US for 21 years since emigrating with her mother and sister.
Since then, it’s been a “busy and wild” ride. When she landed in Orlando, Florida, to stay with family friends, Nicole didn’t know a word of English, but she worked hard in school, eventually graduating with honors from high school and attending Seminole State College in Central Florida, earning a degree in graphic design.
Cut to meeting her husband, Josh, dating, marriage, and two children now ages 8 and 10; Nicole balances her time working at a dermatologists office with raising her kids and the couple—on their first trip out of state since the beginning of the pandemic—made a special trip to Spark*l Studios where she put her design chops to the test making four custom bands.
I guess my designer eye is really drawn to blending colors and coming up with something that is so different.
On moving to the US: We came here pretty much with four bags, we started completely over. We didn’t speak English, so that was rough. But we all committed to being here and eventually learned the language. I still sometimes can’t think of the right words [husband Josh interjects: don’t let her fool you, her English is incredible, she’s the teacher.] I was a graphic designer and eventually opened my own print shop and did design for several clients. I had it for three or four years, but the [housing] market crashed, and everything moved online in that time. By then, I was starting to have kids, and more of my time was needed at home. As a mother, I make sure they know about not only about [our] background but how lucky we all are.
On parenting through the pandemic: It’s always been a team effort. Josh and I met in 2005. We never went to school together, but we knew of each other. Then we hung out one night, and I think that was it. We dated for a while, five years, and then we got married in 2011. He’s got jokes and always makes me laugh. It’s been the hardest year to make it through, as a couple, as individuals, and as everything else we’ve been expected to do: therapists, educators, activity coordinators. As well as you know someone, as much time as we’ve spent together, you realize—I think we both found out a lot more about one another [laughs] being able to take a vacation to the West Coast, I mean, we don’t take anything for granted anymore. I don’t think many people do.
The timing of the trip to Spark*l: Couldn’t be better. Well, for starters, it was a surprise. October is our anniversary, my birthday, and our daughter’s birthday, so there’s a lot to celebrate, and then this, on top of it—was just—unreal. We did a few days up in Lake Tahoe, and I’d never been—I’d just seen pictures, and it was more, much more than I expected. Then we got to drive down [to San Luis Obispo], and it’s so nice to just walk around the downtown and see what it’s like to live here. Everything has been beyond what we thought it would be coming in. But really, it’s also about being somewhere and having new experiences together.
Her favorite bands: I think I’m like most customers. I tend to go toward unique drops. A lot of the everyday bands I try to pick up in certain colors or a leather that attracts me or that I don’t have. Courtney’s live drops are still the best. The way she accessorizes and the way she pairs bands with certain outfits. I think for me, at least, it’s showing me how to dress and how to add in a way that is natural and fun, and a way I never thought of.
I love Louis and Gucci and Dior and have plenty of those bands, but something about the original drops is really what gets me.
Her favorite color is Tiffany Blue: I love Tiffany, who doesn’t? But for me—and I was talking about this the other day—it’s about taking that color and putting it on an accessory. It’s something people can immediately recognize, and it just goes with so much. I love Louis and Gucci and Dior and have plenty of those bands, but something about the original drops is really what gets me. The Audrey, that’s the band I find myself going to again and again.
On being a Shibori icon: I just love different leathers; I love tie-dye and being able to mix up something on white leather. It’s just so beautiful and so unique. I guess my designer eye is really drawn to blending colors and coming up with something that is so different. And what works for me may or may not work for someone else; I think that’s the beauty of Spark*l is finding what really works for you—discovering your style.
The best part about Spark*l: I love it all [laughs.] The customizations—that’s really cool. Any time I can do something, that’s not the typical backing. I have customized a couple of bands and then share them on my [social media]. I’m not flashy in that way, but I’m careful about how I pick out outfits and how the band goes with what I’m doing overall. I get asked questions a lot when I’m out and about. Before Spark*l, I never really thought about color combinations or what it would be like to customize with this or that. I definitely want something that’s very unique and different to me. I love having something you can’t find anywhere else.
But sometimes… The best bands go too fast! It’s almost like something’s in the air during the drop, and you know it’s going to be something. Today I tried to add one to the cart, and someone already snagged it. I love the lives, and I love that everyone’s on the same platform. To me, when I think about it, we’re all from different places, and everyone has different lives, but we’re all on this platform, in this community. That’s something.