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Nikky Starrett – Pomp & Sass

Nikky Starrett is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Oakville and Mississauga, in Ontario. She is the Founder of Pomp & Sass, a Canadian social enterprise offering an exclusive line of luxury woven towels. Specializing in customization, Nikky’s products are ethically made and environmentally friendly, and she donates a portion of profits back to charity. We’re excited to share Nikky’s Success Story!

mompreneur Nikky Starrett of Pomp & Sass featuring ethically made turkish towels

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
The birth of my daughter cured me from my disabling syndrome and gave me a second chance to live my best life. I’ve always wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and decided to go all in. With new parental responsibilities I needed to switch from freelance textile design to a more structured schedule. The choice to launch my own ethical brand of goods was a natural progression. I found a fantastic product and made it my own. The journey has been really rewarding and a dream come true.

mompreneur Nikky Starrett of Pomp & Sass featuring ethically made turkish towels

mompreneur Nikky Starrett of Pomp & Sass featuring ethically made turkish towelsWhat inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My late father was an entrepreneur. He worked really hard for many years and what he built gave him freedoms only available to entrepreneurs. He was able to have a flexible schedule, travel, give back to his community and so much more. I want to continue in his footsteps. My logo is a pinecone, it reminds me of him and everything his journey, and mine, represents.


What’s the best part about owning your own business?

The best part of owning my own business has been the thrill of possibility. How far can I take this? How much good can this company do? How much better can we be, function and produce? I’ve also met a lot of incredible people.

What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
This question makes my heart feel full of joyfulness. I’ve been blessed with a lot of amazing people in my life. My family has been my foundation. My husband has been the most incredible support as I took a year to build the structure of the business. My mother loaned me the seed money to get started and my sister supported me through the events I needed to attend. My friends have been there to help me promote, proofread and even pack orders. I wouldn’t be this far without them. The incredibly supportive community at my co-working space in Mississauga called EDGE has been a dream. The mentors, other entrepreneurs and support staff have been my allies, cheerleaders and guides.

I’ve had the pleasure to be supported by an industry connection who first introduced me to woven towels. Oliver has been invaluable and continues to support my journey without asking for anything in return. He believes in me and what I’m doing. My manufacturer and I didn’t start off well but we have become friends. We now work well together and encourage each other. Through social isolation, we found friendship when I encouraged him to prioritize the safety of his staff over finishing my order. He saw who I am and we found the last piece of mutual respect we needed. The delay in my online shop launch may have set me back in the short term but my strong relationship with my manufacturer will last a lifetime. My wider online and in-town community has also been really supportive. Between Ben talking me up around town and my social media friends sending me recommendations, encouraging messages and links I’ve been inundated with encouragement.

What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
Let your light shine. This is how I live my life and it’s influenced the core of my business. I reimagined a beautiful product by integrating my design style into it. This differentiated my products and value proposition. I now sell a unique line of towels and a service no one else offers. Allowing myself to shine through has made my company stand out and offer something no one else does. It has always been important to me to use my company to be a positive influence in the world. From day one I’ve been making sure I’m doing that in as many ways as possible. So far I’ve managed to produce a sustainable product, packaging and a set of corporate practices. We give to charity and have goals to expand our giving as the company grows. I also have plans built into our future goals so that as we grow, so will our giving and sustainability.

mompreneur Nikky Starrett of Pomp & Sass featuring ethically made turkish towels

The only thing we hope to shrink is our footprint. Some of my values are shown through the companies advertising. I believe that we all should be represented by luxury products. As I develop lifestyle ads and photography for 2020 and 2021 I’m making sure to do so with an inclusive company of people. This will include people of different ages, ethnicities, races, genders and orientations. We should all be able to see ourselves in advertising. I couldn’t stand if my company wasn’t inclusive and welcoming to all. It’s the same with my freelancers, I make sure I hire qualified people from many backgrounds. Diversity makes everything better and my company is proof of that.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
I’m most proud of my resilience and tenacity. There have been so many setbacks and struggles. My virtues and ability to pivot, work through and look forward have served me well. I have a lot to be proud of.

What does the future look like for you and your business?
I certainly have a lot of work ahead of me and I’m eager to see us grow. The foundation I’ve set up in Pomp & Sass is lean, strong and forward thinking which will serve us well after our season of pandemic. We may not know what global changes will be but we will face them with kind, loving hearts. The future for Pomp & Sass is going to be inspired, prosperous and encouraging. Look forward to seeing Pomp & Sass on various online shopping platforms as soon as our borders open up for imported goods. We also offer custom towels for fundraisers, private brands, spa and accommodations. It’s going to be amazing.

mompreneur Nikky Starrett of Pomp & Sass featuring ethically made turkish towels

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
I encourage you to not be an accidental entrepreneur. Make a strong, forward thinking and detailed plan before you dive in. In that plan, focus on the people, planet and community you are serving before the profit margins and personal gain. When we prioritize the people we serve, the product and brand are stronger. Surround yourself with support systems. Entrepreneurs are prone to mental health issues and we need people in our lives to help us through and keep going.

 

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Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Julie Rock of Julie Rock Photography

Julie Rock is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Award of Distinction, recognizing her success and leadership in the service industry as a successful business owner with Julie Rock Photography.

Mompreneur Award finalist Julie Rock of Julie Rock Photography

Julie has had a passion for photography and a camera in her hand for as long as she can remember. She was gifted her first camera as a young child. That camera went everywhere with her! Eventually, Julie inherited her stepdad’s Minolta, which she used until she was introduced to the digital world. She was now able to to explore her creativity to the max! In 2008, Julie married her  husband Tyler. Between 2010 & 2014, they added three more beautiful children to their growing family. Their family was now complete. Today, the Rock household is full of life, laughter and a whole lot of noise.

From capturing their first few days of life to their first birthdays and catching those sweet natural expressions of innocence that only children have, Julie loves providing captures of those special moments for each of her clients. Maybe it’s because of the unique joy and experiences children bring to her life, that Julie is so passionate about giving each family she works with the gift of memories.

Julie’s Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Find your entrepreneur tribe. Being able to give advice, share ideas that are outside the box, support one another through the highs and lows, are what will you help get navigate the roller coaster of being an entrepreneur.
  2. “Don’t worry about what others say or do, just stay true to you.” Don’t get caught up in what others are doing in your industry. Figure out what you want to do, what is best for you and your business and stay focused on that.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is ok to admit that you don’t know it all. Starting and running a successful business is hard work. It takes time to learn. Find a mentor. Reach out to someone that has been running their business for a while and pick their brain.
  4. Have a stress outlet. Running a business and juggling a family, learning to balance is a real struggle. Remember that you have to look after YOU in order to be able to look after everyone else.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say “No”! It is ok to say no to something or someone that may not be beneficial to you both.

How I wish I knew all of this when I was starting out! These tips are from personal experiences over the years. I have gained this knowledge through not the best circumstances, but these have helped me to become the successful entrepreneur that I am today.

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9 Networking Tips to Help You Truly Connect with Others

Written by Julie Boyer

networking tips for female entrepreneurs and mompreneurs at events

Where are you creating connections in your life? Learning to network and creating positive relationships is not only a skill that we need in business, but also a very important life skill. What I have found is that networking is about building relationships and serving others. I have always enjoyed meeting new people and building networks.

When we network, it can be at a specific networking event or in our everyday lives. A networking event is not a place to simply give your card to everyone you see. The most important thing is to create a connection with them first. We can also be of service to someone by connecting them to someone else. Not everyone enjoys networking, but in my opinion, being able to create connections quickly with new people is a life skill, whether you are in business or not.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to network:

1. Greet everyone you meet with a smile, and look them in the eye.

For some, this is obvious and simple to do. For others, this is a challenge to overcome on a daily basis. Practice doing this next time you are out running errands. Simply take a quick moment to catch the eye of people walking by and quickly smile. The key to this is not to worry about what the other person does. It’s not important whether they react or not, it’s about being present for one small moment and acknowledging another human being.

2. Start a conversation with an interesting question. 

Most of us will start with the same question – what do you do? One of my favorite questions is: what do you like to do for fun on the weekends? It starts the conversation on a different tangent and can help you to find common ground quickly. Our goal is to create a connection, and often it’s our hobbies or passions that connect us immediately.

3. Listen to what others have to say. 

This may also seem like an obvious thing, however we often find ourselves formulating our own response in our mind while we are listening to others. In order to become a great connector, we’ve got to listen carefully to find out how we can be of service to others.

Continue reading 9 Networking Tips to Help You Truly Connect with Others