I keep focused on all the positive in my day, and even if it’s just one person who is inspired by something I’m creating or sharing, it makes it all worth it.
After spending the entire winter of 2010 shoveling her car out of snow every morning before work, Nicole Rosano had an epiphany: Upstate New York winters are freaking brutal. As she stood on the city street and dug away at the ice, she reminisced about a cross country trip to Nevada with her parents five years prior, when she’d fallen in love with the desert. Her parents had since moved out there, and Nicole would visit to escape the biting winters. But this time, the desert called to her, and she couldn’t ignore it. The next fall, in pursuit of her dreams and warmer weather, Nicole and her sister drove across the continent and moved to Las Vegas.
While unpacking, she found an old box of beads that had spent most of its time buried in her closet back home. A transplant in a new city and in between jobs, Nicole passed the time by beading bracelets each night. The next day she would post photos of her creations on Instagram — “arm parties”, as she called them. Soon after, she opened an Instagram account just for her jewelry, garnering more and more followers with each new piece she shared. Finally, on 11/11/11, she opened an Etsy shop. “My passion for jewelry design developed quite quickly from there,” she says. “I wanted to learn as much as I could about it so I started attending gemstone, wire wrapping and silversmith classes.” Eventually, her Etsy shop evolved into Nikdreamer.com.
As Nicole learned about her craft, worked on her store, and began working a day job, she became homesick. But even as she missed her east coast friends and family, and the transition made it difficult to make new friends, “I had more free time to be creative and work on personal projects,” she says, and the clean slate pushed her to start her business.
Nicole invents a whimsical narrative for each jewelry collection, letting the storyline guide her designs. Her mystical pieces are inspired by her southwestern surroundings: local gem and thrift shops, vintage Native American turquoise jewelry, and especially natural wonders such as the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and nearby mountainsides. “Being in nature is very inspiring,” she says.
To keep a proper work-life balance, Nicole tries her best to stay focused every day. “I meditate at least once a day for 30 minutes; it is probably what keeps me most sane,” she says. “I do make sure to always find time for friends and family, and those who keep me inspired.” Time is valuable, so Nicole surrounds herself with other like-minded creatives when she can. Consequently, balancing work and play has become an art. If Nicole goes out for dinner and drinks with a friend one night, she makes sure that she’ll stay in and work on orders and new designs the next night. “I have two days off a week and usually try and plan for some kind of inspiring fun adventure during one of those days: thrifting, gem hunting, or hiking in the mountains.”
Although she uses her time as efficiently as possible, Nicole says the greatest challenge of running her own business is feeling like there is never enough time to get everything done. As the marketing and social media manager for both Las Vegas and Red Rock Harley-Davidson by day, and a full-fledged jewelry maker and entrepreneur by night, she’s quite busy.
“I have so many ideas and new designs I’d like to be working on,” she says, “but it seems these days I only have time to manage orders.” So it helps that she enjoys spending as much time as possible on Nikdreamer, “[even] if that time means going to gem shops, sourcing, or even the post office.” The project has become part of her daily life, building pieces in her workshop for 3-6 hours a night, and dedicating one full day a week to photographing and designing pieces. She also has set days for posting on social media.
The most important thing the entrepreneur has learned through operating her own business is to focus on her own goals, and to not be so concerned with what others are doing. There are always going to be people who don’t like what you’re doing, and times when people put you down. To combat negative forces, Nicole says, “I keep focused on all the positive in my day, and even if it’s just one person who is inspired by something I’m creating or sharing, it makes it all worth it.”
Her advice to fellow dreamers is: Don’t ever give up. Nicole lives by five rules: Visualization, inspiration, stepping outside your comfort zone, not being afraid of failure, and trusting your intuition. “They are all so important and great reminders to anyone out there chasing their dreams.”
Nikdreamer’s new fall line drops this week, so check it out!