Hi! I'm Nicole. Someone had told me once that I shouldn’t pick a career that is my hobby. Do you agree?
A quick history of how I started sewing. I started sewing in 1995 in a sewing class in school. I really enjoyed it! After that, I made skirts, dresses, but never much on accessories. In high school, I made the main characters’ costumes for the high school musical.
Ni-Chern Designs was started in 2005. I was actually still in school for architecture and interior design at this time. I started selling at craft shows before I brought my business online in 2006. Since I was paying for my college loans, I thought starting my business with my hobby would be a great way to help fill my love for sewing and pay for my loans too. … oh boy, was I wrong! This ignited a fire for me. Sewing really took over my life; in a good way!
Another one of my passions is giving back to the community. I didn’t know many non-profit in Kansas City that I could connect with at the time, and websites weren’t a big thing for the small non-profits. I just choose a large organization to donate 10% of my proceeds to from 2005 – 2009.
I took a break for almost 2 years while I was taking care of my two boys and trying to climb my way up the corporate ladder. I started selling again in 2012, and again, it took over again. This fire just wouldn’t go away!
As the economy is starting to affect the architecture world, I held on as long as I could. I lost my job in August 2013. The day I lost my job, I told the owner that when God closes one door, another one will open. As shocked as I was at the time, I truly feel blessed. Life took a big change as we are now living with one steady income, but I am now able to be home with my boys, focus, and work with them and homeschooling them. Even though Ni-Chern Designs is still not my full-time job, I am able to sew without feeling like I have to put it on hold for the corporate world.
In 2014, I wanted to give back to the community again. KidsTLC.org is probably the best decision I have made this year! The things that they do for the kids in our community really touched me and the opportunity to help out by donating is something that I am really proud of!
There is not a day that I think I need to go back to the corporate world. I love where I am now, I love being with my children full-time, and I love sewing without holding back. There are always setbacks in life, but there is nothing to regret when I can be with and help teach my boys. This is more rewarding than a plaque on the wall.
The lesson that I learned is there is nothing wrong with having your hobby as your career. You will enjoy life a lot more, and not always thinking… “what if”. I often think “what if I decided to do something that involved sewing, costume design, fashion design?” ... “what if …” … don’t let the what if’s get in your way. Do what you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
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