We have been huge fans of Nikki Williams and her amazing work for awhile now, so when she said yes to a Q&A with us we were so excited!

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If you haven’t seen her absolutely stunning handbags and clutches you need to go and follow her on instagram now, having worked in the Fashion industry for over 10 years her ideas for her business are very on-trend but still unique.

Our Q&A with her also shows a bit of insight into the workings of a small business and her thoughts on social media advertising.

All we know, is that we want to collect all of her bags and a few are definitely going onto our Christmas wish list.


How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

I worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years and was lucky enough to work with some of the worlds best designers, before I decided to start my own business. My concept is simple, make beautiful bags –  which we are excited to say you are soon going to be able to personalise. Making a beautiful bag is all about finding the right leather. That’s one of the hardest parts of what I do – finding the best leather possible to make into the most beautiful handbags.

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To what do you attribute your success?

I’m very lucky to be where I am, but it’s a job and I have to work hard. Every day is seriously busy and a hustle for me. I am involved in every facet of my business – it’s full on. The key is to keep your head screwed on and stick with it.

What are your goals for your business?

I always try to keep my goals simple and achievable, otherwise it can get overwhelming, especially if you start looking at the competition. There are so many great designer handbags out there Chanel, Gucci, Tory Burch the list goes on.  For now, I am focused on sourcing some beautiful European leathers and launching a monogramming service to our customers. We are also looking to expand into more stores in Australia and Europe.

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What is unique about your business?

We have a simple set of values: Make beautiful handbags. Treat people well. And tell you all the story of the leather goods we make. We produce handbags as good as the high-end designer labels, but don’t charge a fortune. I am not sure if that makes us unique, but it’s these small business values that I want to take into a bigger business. Your business is nothing without your customers  – we are the kind of company you can email with a special request and we’ll do all we can to make it happen. Email us with any question – seriously we love hearing from people, you’ll definitely get an answer back!

If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out what would it be?

Go for it! Don’t let mistakes and failures get the better of you. Learn from them and keep going, adapt and change. It’s also important to try not to do everything at once. Just do one thing and do it well. I tell the story of starting my business, when I first stared out I didn’t write a plan. I just decided that I’d do one thing a day towards starting a business approximately 950 days later I launched.  Just start…you’ll end up somewhere and it won’t be the beginning!

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What is your most memorable moment regarding your business so far?

Oh I am lucky enough to say that there has been a few. Just after launching we were featured in Vogue Magazine – I thought it was too good to be true and even called the office to double check the email was real! We’ve also been featured at a New York fashion week event this year, we haven’t had an official launch party as yet, so I’m looking forward to doing that in the near future too.

What is the most rewarding thing about running your own business?

I love sharing my story with others. I hope that I can inspire others to chase their dreams too. I have learnt so much starting my own business and made many mistakes along the way – but I love them. It’s an opportunity to change and improve. Learning to overcome challenges is a huge reward.

What do you wish you had known before you had started your business?

I am not sure you can know everything before starting a business. In many ways I am glad I didn’t know about everything – as I don’t think you’d ever start. I think it would all seem too daunting. I wish I had told myself to start out a bit smaller. If you’re a small business you can work things out along the way. For example, don’t order in large quantities of things (even if it costs you less), your business will change. You’re better off paying slightly more for a smaller order than having a huge stockpile that will be out-of-date. You are better off making small mistakes as a small business rather than big mistakes as a big business.

What is the most difficult/challenging thing about running your own business?

You get the door slammed in your face quite a lot….well not even slammed sometimes – it doesn’t even open which is almost worse! You need to used to people saying “no” to you.  You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine, but there will be 20 other people who love your stuff, so persevere. There’s more than one route to a destination – find your own.

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What are your thoughts on the increase of social media advertising, do you think it has a positive or negative impact on businesses?

I think social media is fabulous for new businesses. It gives you an opportunity to reach out to people all over the world. It’s a fabulous way to network (that’s how I came across you gorgeous gals!)  and to look at what other similar companies are doing. Instagram is a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration. I think the key with social media is to be authentic. I don’t pay for followers (I never will) and create all my own content. It can be hard to get right sometimes and growing followers is much slower, but every single follower is real – they are engaged in what you do. My followers are an amazing bunch of people. Their ideas and comments inspire me on a daily basis. I reached out recently asking them to help me name a new design. The response was amazing!

 

You can check out the rest of the Nikki Williams collection here and on instagram

E&J
xx

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