62. Growing an Upholstery Business Through Intentional Entrepreneurship
Nicole Crowder is the independent furniture designer and upholsterer behind Nicole Crowder Upholstery based in Washington D.C. She has been upholstering furniture for clients since 2013. Previously Nicole was a Photo Editor for The Washington Post and Netflix.
In this episode, we discuss Nicole’s journey to launching her upholstery business, how she made a deliberate attempt to be more intentional about her lifestyle, and how she manages her business.
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- In college she was involve in art and design and she ended up doing an internship with Essence Magazine which introduced her to the world of photo editing
- That started her 10 year career in photo editing and she moved from NY to DC to work for AARP; She also worked for the Washington Post for a bit before moving to Cali to work with Netflix
- Throughout this period she grew a love for upholstery which ultimately led her to move back to DC
- She loved thrifting and antique markets and she loved decorating her space with found objects
- In 2011-12 she worked with Apartment Therapy doing house tours and she noticed she was drawn to chairs while photographing spaces
- After being told about a store in Baltimore she bought some chairs and never looked back; an interior designer interested in her upholstered chairs told Nicole this isn’t a hobby it’s a niche
- 2016 she left her full time position at Netflix and made the decision to do this full time; She started 31 January 2017
I wanted to just be more intentional about the lifestyle and the work I wanted to do for myselfNicole
- 7:40 She decided to relaunch her upholstery business in a way that she would thrive; That meant creating structure around what kind of work she wanted to do, price point, where she wanted to live, how she wanted to work
- Nicole discusses how she originally tried to open her upholstery business in 2013 and lessons learned
- We discuss insurance and accounting [links below]
- Main streams of income goals: sell on her website, have a studio, and work with hotels
- Majority of her work is residential, but she wants to do more commercial so she can produce her own work
- We discuss offering high end furniture to those with disposable income, but offering classes for those who want something more affordable
- Through her workshops she’s been able to create a community
- We discuss how to be intentional with the money you want to make so you can maintain financially as a small business owner
- To stay motivated Nicole meditates, journals and sketches; also creating work that’s not already out there
- Geico Insurance – auto, renters, and business
- Little Fish Accounting
- Upholstery Retreat
- The Lemon Collective
- A Creative DC
- AR Workshop
- Dolcezza – thai coconut milk gelato [Nicole can’t live with out it]
- Hadiya Williams – jewelry designer episode
- How to Start a Bullet Journal
Nicole Crowder Upholstery
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