Simone I. Smith is an eleven-year cancer survivor, mother-of-four, and proud wife of rapper LL Cool J. She’s also a jewelry designer whose charitable line SIS by Simone I. Smith benefits the American Cancer Society.
Before her diagnosis she was a connoisseur of jewelry, but her survival inspired her to take her love of baubles to the next level. I spoke to Simone, who was accompanied by her superstar husband, at a special meet-and-greet and trunk show at Macy’s Culver City, to talk about all things sweet.
Your collection features a colorful variety of lollipop pendants, hoop earrings, and a mix of trendy and classic pieces you can wear everyday. Where do you find your inspiration?
“I find inspiration from different things that I love. I’m an 11-year cancer survivor. The lollipops were inspired because my tattoo of a lollipop got disfigured during my surgery. So when I created my jewelry line, the lollipop was the first piece I created. It has a bite in it because after the surgery, it looked like someone had taken a bite from the lollipop. So the candy represents how sweet life is, the bite represents what the bite does to the patient, to their family, and to their friends. In the bite, you can see my logo, which represents my journey. It’s just a sweet touch of hope.”
You have a large selection of pieces but the trend I see throughout the collection is hoops. Is this a favorite style for you?
“I always loved hoop earrings and there was a void in the market for a good pair. You can always find cheap ones— not to knock anybody because I used to wear them— but I’d have to buy three or four at a time. So I created all different kinds of hoops in different shapes and sizes. A lot of women like it and there are some women who don’t think they can pull it off. But I think all women should wear hoops.”
Are the hoops your favorite pieces from the line?
“My favorite piece is the lollipop because it has so much sentimental value to me. Every time I put my lollipop on, I thank God that I’m here eleven years later. When you’re first diagnosed, you just don’t know what they’re going to say. I had it in my tibia bone and it was a long road to recovery. But I’m here and I’ve got on wedge heels on today. It was a long time until I could even wear heels. I am truly blessed for so many reasons.”
Your husband is a very busy guy and it’s wonderful that he is here supporting your event. What has his support meant to you?
“His support means the world to me. It doesn’t really get any better than having the full support of your children and your husband. He was there for me 100% and he helped me by giving me ideas for the jewelry line. He told me what he liked, and didn’t like. His support has been very important to me and I give him all my support too.”