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With a longtime love for fashion and crafting, Niki White has managed to merge the two into a very successful NYC based children’s design studio. Since launching YoungnRoyal Couture in 2012, Niki’s uber cute creations have quickly become a fashionable must-have amongst a lot of our favorite celebs such as Yandy Smith, Kimbella, Christina Milian, Lil Mo, Disney actress Skai Jackson, NBA Baller Meta World Peace, and rapper’s Ace Hood and Ghostface…just to name a few. Oh, and the cherry on top? She is absolutely sweeter than you would ever imagine. I’ve actually known Niki for a few years as our kids happen to attend the same school. However, it wasn’t until I stumbled across her Custom Kicks Couture Instagram page, that I discovered that Niki was actually the curator of cool behind this dope brand.
I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share Niki’s story with you today. So, read on for all of the deets on how this busy wife and mother of two has managed to cultivate her dream job, and for plenty of great advice on how to evolve your own talents into snagging the career that you’ve always wanted.
Niki, please tell us a little bit about your baby, ”YoungnRoyal Couture.” How did you get started and how long have you been in business?
I’ve been in business officially since August of 2012. I’ve been designing little things here and there all of my life as a hobby. I love art and crafting. I started designing sneakers for my children and then their schoolmates, and then people in the street began to inquire about them. It was then that I realized that I could make a business out of this.
What has been the hardest part & the best part about stepping out on your own as an entrepreneur?
I think the hardest part is trying to please everyone, to make time for everyone, and then to still make time for myself. The best part about being an entrepreneur is being able to say that I have my own business. This is mines! No boss, no rules! I wake up when I want, I take vacations when I want, and I’m able to participate in school events with my kids.
I’ve noticed that your gorgeous creations have become a “must-have” amongst some of today’s most influential tastemakers & celebrities. What was your first “big break” and how did you make that happen?
Awww…thank you! Kimbella of Vh1’s Love and Hip Hop loved my work. I designed some cute little pink sneakers for her then newborn daughter Bella. She posted the sneakers on twitter and Instagram and my life literally changed forever. This was within weeks of me turning my hobby into a business. Kimbella gave me that extra boost of confidence. There was no turning back after that.
Well, without giving away all of your secrets (smile), what has been your most effective marketing tactic used in establishing your brand?
Social media plays a huge part. You can get your product into the hands of so many people in so many different places through social media. I have clients in the USA and even overseas because they saw my work online somewhere.
In addition to running a successful business, I know that you’re also a very busy wife and mother. Since this is something that a lot of my Nautie girls struggle with…how do you manage to balance your personal life, family, and efforts towards building your brand?
I still struggle with these things on a daily basis. It’s so hard. I wish I had like 5 of me. I try to set schedules. Things usually don’t go as planned but it has helped me out a little bit. I’m open to advice and suggestions..Lol!
What advice would you give to other women who have a vision, but are afraid to make the leap into running their own business.
Just go for it! I never envisioned myself running a business. It was something that I didn’t think that I could ever do…and I am so glad that I did! It gave me such a boost of confidence. It changed my thought process. I feel like whatever I want to do now, I can. Once you take that leap, you will not regret it.
I love it! So, what’s next on the horizon for Niki White?
I have a few projects that I’m working on. Stay tuned! Wink*
Now, Nautie girls are known for being “Fly, Fab, & Fearless!” So, I would like you to share a few secrets behind your hustle with us by finishing the following sentences:
In business a woman should never be afraid to… say no. I’ve learned that I can’t please everyone. I must say no sometimes. In the beginning I was afraid to say no and I would only end up stressed out and miserable.
None of my success would be possible if not for… God! He has truly blessed me! I thank him multiple times a day.
Everything changed for me when I… started to believe in myself! Everyone around me believed in me, but I didn’t believe in me. If you don’t believe in yourself, you will fail because you’re not going to be putting in your all.
Awww…we love her! For more information on Custom Kicks Couture or better yet..if you need to snag some of Niki’s fab creations for the little fashionista’s in your life, be sure to check her out below: