Small Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Nicke Minder of page261

 

One of the ways I’ve grown my own business is by subscribing to the philosophy of “community over competition.” I talk about that a lot on this blog, but I live this philosophy every day of my life.

In fact, if I ever feel jealous or envious of someone, or I ever feel like my own success isn’t equal to someone else’s, the way I combat that is to GIVE. I give praise, I give encouragement, I give time, I give money. Doing those things gives me fulfillment, and reminds me that:

  1. Everything’s not all about me.
  2. You manifest what you think.

So if those things are true, then giving — in whatever way you’re capable — should bring you more positivity, more joy, less negative thoughts and emotions. I challenge you to give it a try… it truly does work.

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And that’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about today’s guest, Nicke Minder, the founder of page261. I have gotten to know Nicke and her kind heart through The Collective {of Us}, a confab of women who have come together online (and sometimes in person!) to support each other’s business goals. I’ve mentioned it here countless times, and if you’re a woman small business owner, I highly consider looking into it.

In any case, Nicke is best known for founding Minivan Mafia® and No Shame in My Mom Game, designs that speak to moms on a personal level and create community. Nicke is always quick with a kind word, always supportive, always uplifting other women, and don’t you think we need way, way more of that?

Can’t wait to share her interview with you today, it is featured below.

Small Business Spotlight: 10 questions with Nicke Minder, founder of page261 and creator Minivan Mafia

Small Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Nicke Minder, founder of page261

Glad to chat with you! First, tell us where we can find you online.

My business is page261 and you can find me online at pagetwosixtyone.com. See all my business mixed with real life shenanigans over on Instagram instagram.com/page261.

What inspired you to start your own business?

My business is named after my favorite page in my favorite book. Long story short, when I read this specific page my life slowly started to change. It was the first time that I felt that I could be truly accepted for EXACTLY who I was, even if I was connecting at the time, to a fictional character.

What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?

My designs are inspired by real life events of being a mom, a lot of sarcasm, and a love of monochrome. I am best known for Minivan Mafia ® and the No Shame In My Mom Game Movement. I think what sets me apart from other brands is that I try to come up with original designs and content that relate to people’s real life. In addition to original designs, I think my followers on social media are loyal to me because they trust me as a mom and a business owner, because of my transparency. Through my posts I am connecting women all over with love, laughter, sometimes tears, and a safe place to land when the world seems a little too harsh. They get to see my real life, my struggles, my successes in both my personal and business life, and that connects them to me as more than just a buyer. Many have become my friends and feel safe sharing their stories with me.

The absolute best place to get to know me and tons of other amazing women is in my Facebook group “page261 peeps“! It is full of women who don’t hesitate to interact and support you with your best interest at heart. No politics. No ‘one uppers”. Just a great group of ladies that I look forward to chatting with everyday!

What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?

Before I began page261 I was a teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students ages 3-7 for 7 years. All of what I learned about running my business was self taught in the beginning. It was probably a huge mess! But when I figured out what direction I wanted my brand to go, and really starting niching down my target market and designs, I began to take classes to learn about social media, Etsy, SEO, etc. The biggest help to my business so far was joining The Collective (of Us) with Cyndie Spiegel. As my brand continues to grow I really try to focus on connecting with like minded business owners through social media or on a local level as well.

What has been your biggest success to date?

Connecting with the author of the book that my business is named after! Talk about a huge fan girl moment! I had been following her on Instagram for awhile and after a few glasses of wine I decided to reach out to her. She responded! And since then I have made her drink ware items for the record label she owns, she is my friend on Facebook, she comments on my Instagram posts, and has sent me some music from her record label for my music collection. She also signed my copies of her books so I get to keep those forever! She’s super down to earth and I’m so glad that I was bold enough to connect with her since her book really did change my life. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge as a business owner right now is finding a way to grow my audience in a way that doesn’t feel fraudulent to my personal values. I’m from a very small town (500 people) and it can feel very daunting at times to try to explain what I do to people. People want me to copy other people’s designs. They don’t take my business seriously. There aren’t a lot of local business owners to connect with, that truly understand what running a self made business is all about. When I feel these frustrations I start to play the comparison game and that can get super ugly. “Why does she have more followers than me?” “I bet they have way more sales than I do.” The list could go on and on of these challenging thoughts!

Describe your typical work day.

A typical day starts with me getting up around 5/5:30 to get orders ready to ship before my kids wake up. I have 3 kiddos ranging in age from 16 months to 9 years old so once they are awake it’s a little crazy! I work from home but I am a HUGE proponent of self care and asking for help… so two days a week my littles go to a babysitter, while my oldest is at school. Once they are all dropped off I go to the gym, grab a coffee, and come back home. I spend the rest of the day working on any work things that I can. This could be writing my newsletter, creating new designs, responding to emails, shipping more orders, taking pictures for social media, etc. I don’t have any employees…it’s a one woman show around here. I grind out a lot of work those two days a week while they are gone! When my kids are home with me, the other days of the week, I do some naptime hustle….or if it’s super pressing work that needs to be done I let the t.v. babysit them. No one ever died from an extra episode of Mickey Mouse. :) I also have a great husband who does so much with our kids and our household when I have vendor shows or a busy season. He’s kind of the bees knees. Most days. 

Which small businesses are you inspired by?

I am super inspired by any businesses that find a way to give back to causes they are passionate about. I also admire brands that make me feel connected to them, on a personal level, through their social media posts. Some of my favorites are Wire and Honey, Cheeky Days: Outside the Box, Compliment, Wee Rascals, & This Unscripted Life. I have so many more but I will stop there!  

If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

Oh wow! That list is LONG! I read in a book once the line “Start as you mean to go on.” I think if I could go back I would implement that from the beginning. Yes, your business is always going to evolve, grow, and change. But knowing how to treat your business as an actual business, and the outcome you want from that business at the very beginning, is something I wish I would have focused on in year one instead of year three. 

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start her own creative business?

BE YOURSELF. People respond to that. Be prepared to work hard and be patient. Find a tribe of women (and men!) who support you and hold you accountable. Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. And most importantly…Have Fun!! You didn’t start your own business to be miserable.  

Read more about Nicke at page261. Follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/page261

Tell us YOUR small business success story for a chance to be featured in the small business spotlight! For a chance to be featured in one of our small business posts, email info {at} cuteheads [dot] com & tell us about your business.

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About Esther

The Cuteness: sharing daily inspiration, kids fashion, work/life balance + small business how to's from mom & business owner Esther Freedman