Nikki Smith, founder of Nikki Smith Designs, believes hard work is worth it when you’re working on something you’re passionate about.
As a full-time mom and CEO, she knows when you love what you do, the energy it creates makes everything easier. Her positive attitude can be felt from the way she writes her emails to the size of her smile. Here, Nikki reminds us when you are passionate about something, you should go for it.
Miniluxe: Tell us the story of Nikki Smith Designs.
Nikki: In 2014 I fell in love with designing and hand-making jewelry I could easily layer and mix to wear to my corporate buying job. Women wanted the jewelry I was wearing, and it encouraged me to create a brand. When I would wear pieces to the office, I would literally sell them right off my wrist or neck! Each piece is designed and crafted using quality materials and is intentionally created to work alone or layered. We focus on making affordable, on-trend jewelry that you’ll be excited to put on each day.
Miniluxe: What about you do you attribute to the success of Nikki Smith Designs?
Nikki: I combined something I loved doing for fun, making jewelry, with my professional experience in retail. When you do something you love, it doesn’t feel like such a challenge because it’s something that means a lot, and you like spending time doing it. I have a background in buying for large corporate retailers and a boutique chain, so I realized I had the tools to enter the retail industry with the knowledge and drive it takes to create a business!
Miniluxe: You’re a mom and a CEO, how to do you balance both responsibilities?
Nikki: Being a mom and having a business has been the most challenging adjustment I have encountered so far. Both my son and my business are always on my mind and top of the priority list. I have another little boy on the way, but I feel much more prepared than I did with my first baby! First, it’s important to have a good team you can trust and lean on. You can’t be present at an office 24/7 with kids, and I had to learn that’s OK! Also, it took me a year to learn not to feel guilty when I focused on just my son or just the business. There is time for both, and there are times you have to shut one off to be present for what’s in front of you.
MiniLuxe: Can you share the best bit of business advice you received?
Nikki: I would have to say to just do it. Business and economic conditions will never be perfect. If you have an idea, actually start doing it and make small improvements every day. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect idea, or perfect logo, or the very best website — all of this will come with time and tweaking ideas along the way!
“I think we can all learn to improve and reinvent when we pay attention to what’s going on around us.”
MiniLuxe: Why do you think you work so well together?
Nikki: We are lucky because we love to do the same things. We love to hike and go mushroom hunting. We love to go kayaking. We made our MiniLuxe family do a kayaking party!
MiniLuxe: How do you find inspiration for your jewelery designs?
Nikki: As much as I would love to answer this question with something like “travel” or “sketching from my imagination,” the reality is that I design based on two things. First, I listen to and watch the customer. What do they want, what are they buying, how can we reinvent our best sellers? Second, what do my material suppliers have that’s new and different? Is there a new kind of clasp or chain we can start using, and what have our customers been most enthusiastic about? I think we can all learn to improve and reinvent when we pay attention to what’s going on around us!
MiniLuxe: When you get a chance to treat yourself, what’s your favorite self-care activity?
Nikki: Aside from painting my nails or having them done, I love to work out! If I can fit a workout class in daily, I consider that the best self-care win. It boosts my mood, creativity and positive energy… plus at the end of the day there really is nothing to prioritize above our health and well-being!
“Whenever I get my nails done, I feel like I need to go bold to accentuate actually having this moment of time to myself!”