Location: New Hope, PA
Education: Pennsylvania State University
Professional Background: Currently studying Advertising at Penn State
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Fashion Designer
What you are: Purse and Accessory Designer
Brief Summary of your Start Up: I create fashionable wearable tech purses and accessories that allow you to use your smartphone through your purse while keeping it protected from rain, scratches, and theft.
Where you are located: An hour outside of Philadelphia during summers and State College during the academic year.
Company Website? www.nicolekelnerdesigns.com
What inspired you? I was tired of losing my phone in the depths of my purse so I decided to create my own purse that would allow me to use my phone while it was still in my bag.
How long have you been in business? Since December 2011
How did you fund it? Personal funds
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Currently no but I am looking for a mentor!
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Etsy.com
Current Business Challenge? I would like to sell in boutiques and I am searching to find the right fit.
What are you doing about it? I have been going around my hometown and seeing which stores are interested so I can start locally. I live in a very artsy area so I know that I will find a good fit soon enough.
Favorite motivational quote: “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward” I love this quote because I am learning to not be afraid of failure. I learn with each step of my business and I know that I can grow from every mistake I make and move forward.
Family? My parents are very supportive of my company and have inspired me to pursue my entrepreneurial spirit. They both are entrepreneurs so I have always wanted to own my own business.
If so, how do you balance family and business? I actually combine business and family. They are my biggest support system. My father is my CFO and helps me with all my financial advising. My mother helps me with design and quality control. They inspire me every day and I am so grateful to have them.
Favorite book? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
What do you do to relax? I find the beach the most relaxing place. Most of my products are designed to keep my phone protected from the sand and water.
What are you most proud of? I am most proud of starting my business during my freshman year at school and still being on Dean’s List. I worked very hard to balance my business and academics.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? I would advise other Start Up Princesses to take the risk and go for your dream. Even if it does not seem like it is the best time to begin a business, try it! I didn’t think it would be easy for me to start a business while in school, but it worked out great. Don’t wait around just thinking about creating something amazing, actually do it!
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? The internet. I absolutely love social media networking. There are endless possibilities to spread the word about your business. I particularly have been using my twitter account, @NicoleGenevieve , to reach people that I normally would not be able to find an email for!
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Blue Opal. I am obsessed with anything aqua and after a recent trip to Israel where Blue Opal is abundant it is my new favorite stone.
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your business? I am constantly looking for new ways to improve my designs and become more innovative. If you have any suggestions please feel free to contact me! My email is Nicolek13@gmail.com