From Retail to Boutique-Nikki Smith Designs
I would tell everyone to find their “side hustle”! It’s that thing you do in your free time that you will love!
WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO ME...
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m from Prior Lake, MN. I’ve been in Dallas for 7 years now! I moved here after college to work at JCPenney’s corporate office in Plano. I have a Bachelors of Science- Retail Merchandising and Management concentrations and a minor in Business Administration and Supply Chain. I did buying and planning for JCP- I was so lucky to get my first career experience with a large company that invested so much in training and development in its people. Now I have my own business! I have been a jewelry designer full time for 8 months now. I have my own website (Nikkismithdesigns.com), I also make jewelry wholesale for boutiques- I currently have my line in 48 stores! (When I interviewed Nikki this was only 12!)
Favorite workout(s) and/or Sport:
I love rollerblading at white rock lake! It’s not the coolest sport in the books, but it’s a great cardio workout and tones the legs! I also love Vital Fitness inside the Joule hotel downtown Dallas- they offer a variety of classes so I get to mix it up!
Favorite personal development book/podcast/blog/book:
Start something that Matters, Blake Mycoskie (TOMS shoes)
I learn the most about entrepreneurship through the shopify blog, they post about every topic you could think up!
What are you working on now?
Nikki Smith Designs- owner. I work out of a co-working space downtown Dallas called WeWork. I would not have my own company if it wasn’t for my experiences leading up to going out on my own. Being with a large company allowed me to develop professionally and learn the best practices of a large company. Transitioning to a small company gave me a taste of what it’s like to work for/own a small business. These experiences combined, along with finding my talent that I can make money doing lead me to where I am today. I absolutely love the freedom, hard work and passion that go into being an entrepreneur!
“ To me success is waking up everyday excited for all the things the day will bring.”
What does success mean to you professionally?
To me success is waking up everyday excited for all the things the day will bring. I love that I never have to look forward to the weekend getting here, because I truly love Monday as much as Saturday. Prior to owning my own business, success was making it in the corporate business world. I would never take back that experience. I know that is an environment I can thrive in, if I ever needed to go back. But starting my own business is the best feeling of success!
How have you brought innovation to your industry/current profession? What is one way you’ve used your personal skills and talents to produce a better product, process, or leadership style that has yielded positive results?
I am still pretty new in entrepreneurship role, but I am most proud of my creativity. I don’t spend time looking at what other people are doing in jewelry design, I design each piece myself. I’m also extremely proud of the fact that my business is already profitable. I never spent more on my business than I made, and that has made the process less stressful because I don’t have debt to pay back.
Did you have any obstacles along the way to your current role/profession, how did you overcome them?
There are obstacles everyday, because I am experiencing so much newness. I take each day 1 day at a time and I don’t get too caught up in any single issue! Everything will work itself out in the end, and if it hasn’t, it’s not the end. 😊 I’m lucky to have a pretty stress free personality!
How has health and fitness brought you success in the workplace? Does this play a role in your (current or previous) professional life?
I work out every morning! It gets me mentally ready to take on the day. I wouldn’t have the attitude and the energy to do what I’m doing with getting exercise every single day. The best asset we have is our health, it matters more than anything, and I believe in putting that first.
What is your best advice for someone who is unsatisfied in their job or their overall career industry?
I would tell everyone to find their “side hustle”! It’s that thing you do in your free time that you will love! It may be cooking, crafting, working out, blogging, ect. Find your passion and learn how to make money while doing it, which may come later down the road. It make take a few tries to find that thing you love and can make money doing. The key is dedication and consistency. Slowly transition into spending more time doing your side hustle and let it develop naturally! We are all so lucky to be born in a free country with the resources available to help us learn and grow, many people around the world would give anything to be in our position. Do not waste the simple blessings we are afforded- take advantage and you will grow more than you know you are capable of!
How do you make time for it all? What does balance mean to you?
As my business grew, it began to get difficult to manage a full time corporate job and have a jewelry website on the side. So I switched to a job that was closer to home and gave me a better work life balance in terms of the workload. Then once by business became sustainable to support myself, I went full time with it! Having patience and getting a little bit done over the course of a few months can get you quite far!
Why is it so important for women to have professional goals?
Professional goals give you a sense of self-worth. Everyone is a little bit different, but we are wired similarly in the fact that accomplishments bring us joy!