Nicole Williams is a multi-talented go-getter that really knows what it is to Aspire. She’s a mentor on Aspire-Canada and a self-made entrepreneur who isn’t afraid to push the boundaries to innovate. Nicole is the Founder + CEO of Nicole Williams Collective, a boutique communication agency specializing in event planning, integrated marketing, public relations, personal branding and content creation services, created to empower professionals, small business owners and nonprofit leaders. Nicole shows what it takes to leverage all your passions to create a suite of successful business verticals – that are successful and can serve as stand-alone projects in their own right.
Nicole says its her mission in life to ‘help as many career-driven, entrepreneurial-minded, and small businesses as possible reach their full potential through the help of my friends called style, personal branding and media“. Nicole has worked with brands such as the Roosevelt Field Mall, Merrill Lynch, Army Swiss, Vera Moore Cosmetics,U by Kotex, Bud Light, and the American Beauty Pageant (to name a few). She has been featured in publications like ABC’s Event Planner Magazine, Allure Magazine, Empower Magazine, and SHE Caribbean Magazine.
What did you do before starting your own business. How did you take the leap to start your own business?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. At 14 in high school I had a developed client list. I grew up in Jamaica, West Indies, moved to NYC, and wanted to work in fashion. While in college, I freelanced as a makeup artist, personal stylist and event planner. I graduated with a degree in Fashion Marketing, and then gained a certification as a Professional Bridal Consultant. After years of working in fashion and entertainment, I figured out how to turn my passions into a business.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I didn’t decide to become an entrepreneur, entrepreneurship was just the result of me following my dreams and passion. I didn’t know what my career would be, but I always knew I wanted impact people’s lives; and I get to do that as a creative consultant, event planner and the editor of Nicole’s Lifestyle Lounge.
Tell us the inspiration behind NicoleWilliamsPR.com and Nicole’s Lifestyle Lounge?
My websites are lifestyle platforms through which my mission is to help as many career-driven, entrepreneurial-minded, and small businesses stand out and compete through the help of my friends called “style”, “personal branding” and “media”. I am constantly striving to be known as the place for creative, career-driven and entrepreneurial minded women in search of alluring style, bespoke career and an inspired life. My readers keep me accountable and inspires me, and in turn I strive to inspire and empower them.
Do you feel entrepreneurship is really a viable path for young women graduating college?
Correct me if I am wrong. Entrepreneurship is defined as taking an idea and turning it into a profitable business venture. So if I am correct, yes I think entrepreneurship is a viable path for young people graduating. As I wrote in an article promoting Aspire-Canada, women in Fortune 500 c-suites and boardrooms may still be the minority, but the number of women entrepreneurs striking out on their own, to launch kick-ass startups is still growing. Even Dow Jones released a report hinting at the fact that women are the ones at the helm of successful startups.
Nicole – a lot of things have happened for you since we last chatted – tell us about the beautiful weddings that you are now styling and how that part of the business is going?
Well, I’ve actually been planning and styling events for well over 13 years now. I love helping clients plan their special day: from weddings to quinceaneras and anniversaries. Event planning helps to hone my skills which includes styling, project management, storytelling, and definitely my communications skills. The best part is that clients entrust me with their ideas and allow me to infuse my passion and creativity to plan and implement events which reflect who they are and that their guests will love.
What has been the most rewarding part of running your own business…what has been the most challenging?
The most rewarding part about running my own business is getting to do what I love. My superpower is strategic thinking, so I help others’ be more believable, visible and remarkable.
What business accomplishments are you most proud of today?
The business accomplishments I’m most proud of is my lifestyle blog (Nicole’s Lifestyle Lounge). Blogging awoke my creative muscle and became the cornerstone of my brand and business. It has been a rewarding experience. I have learned more about business by running my blog and working with brands. That said, as my brand grows I continue to book speaking engagements and media interviews. I have now returned to school to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and to refine my knowledge and bring more to the brands and clients I work with.
How do you feel about the importance of mentorship for youth in today’s economy?
First of all, I think everything in life should be seen as mentorship. Mentorship is very vital, as it provides professional association, knowledge, skills and support. I personally feel blessed to have the opportunity to be in a setting where I have a closer perspective and the ability to learn and take notes from awesome women like Vera Moore of Vera Moore Cosmetics. I also access mentorship via the blogs, websites, books, social media profiles and interviews of key thought leaders.
What would be the key piece of advice for young entrepreneurs today?
The advice I would give young entrepreneurs is simple – whether you are seeking to excel in your career, business and ultimately life, is to be yourself. Be authentic to who you are, as a copy of anything is always a poor imitation. I would also recommend bringing their goals to life on a vision board. It really works! Last but not least I also recommend asking for help and use a checklist.