How skater Nancy Kerrigan inspired Nicole Richie's love of design

PHOTO: Nicole Richie attends WE Day California at the Forum, April 19, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif.FilmMagic/Getty Images
Nicole Richie attends WE Day California at the Forum, April 19, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif.

Before launching the jewelry and fashion brand House of Harlow 1960, Nicole Richie would often make jewelry for her friends based on pieces she’d found in kiosks from cities all over the world.

“Anything that was inspiring me, I’d make jewelry and bring it home," she said. "That was just what I liked to do. But of course, building a business around it is a totally different thing.”

On an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits” with ABC News Chief Business, Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, Richie opened up about growing up as a “creative at heart.” Before creating jewelry or even launching her brand, Richie got her earliest introduction to the world of design through ice skating.

Richie grew up an avid ice skater, and remembered being struck by Nancy Kerrigan’s figure skating outfit designed by Vera Wang that Kerrigan sported at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Richie had long been training and competing in the ice skating world, but seeing Kerrigan’s outfit on the ice at the Olympics became the pivotal moment that launched a new love of design.

“It was my first introduction to any sort of luxury brand and that was my life," she told Jarvis. "I was very swept up in Nancy Kerrigan.”

Richie also gradually began to design her own ice skating outfits, working closely with the costume designers that worked with her famous musician father, Lionel Richie.

“There is this magical element of having something in your mind and then just making it come to life," Richie said. "And once you understand what the processes of doing that are, it’s really hard to go back.”

On Tuesdays we wear prints @HouseofHarlow1960 #HOHxREVOLVE - link in bio

A post shared by Nicole Richie (@nicolerichie) on Sep 26, 2017 at 2:52pm PDT

Richie officially launched her brand House of Harlow at just 26 years old. What initially began as a jewelry line expanded to now also include apparel, footwear, home fragrances, eyewear, and tech accessories. In growing House of Harlow 1960, Richie recognized the “many different ways you can go about building your business, and a lot of different people in your ear.”

She added, “These nine years have been a constant process of letting go of everything that’s not authentic to who I am.”

A lot has changed in the years since House of Harlow 1960 was born. Now a mother of two, Richie recognizes the importance of spending her time wisely and being present in every single one of her commitments.

“Each stage gives you an opportunity to understand yourself a little bit more," she said. "And it’s a lot of inward looking and understanding what’s important to you. Time is the most valuable thing I have especially now that I have two kids that need me.”

Richie later added, “It’s up to you to root yourself into the ground and understand who you are.”

Hear more of Nicole Richie’s interview on this week's episode of "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis" available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn and the ABC News app.