Niki Press Designs recently turned one year old and WOW— am I overwhelmed with gratitude. While my graphic design business is separate and very different from Nourish with Nik, everything really is intertwined. Because if I hadn’t had a moment of courage to start a little shop on Etsy, I don’t know that I would have had the courage to start this blog. Niki Press Designs has turned into so much more than I ever imagined, so I thought it would be fun to highlight the big things I’ve learned during my first year owning and running a business!
01. Just start.
Before you have it all mapped out. Before you feel “qualified”. Before you let the opinions of the world around you change your mind. Once you *start*, magic will unfold.
When I started Niki Press Designs, I wasn’t thinking to myself: I want to do graphic design as my sole career for the rest of my life.
What I was thinking was…
I really enjoy design and the process of creating something.
I’ve always wanted to start a business.
And I would love to help other couples planning their weddings to make it less stressful, more affordable, and still one-of-a-kind, true to their values, and representative of their love.
I didn’t overcomplicate it— I knew I enjoyed design + I had confidence that I could figure the rest out as I went. If I had given in to my perfectionistic tendencies and believed the lie that I had to have it all figured out ahead of time, I never would have started.
02. You don’t have to be the best— you just have to be you.
By no means am I some highly-trained, expert graphic designer. But I am someone who has always loved design and had an eye for it. I am someone who works hard and isn’t afraid to figure things out as I go. And most of all, I am someone who brings her personal style into her work.
No one else has my exact same style, even if they are a technically better or more experienced graphic designer than I am. And my style is what differentiates me.
You don’t need to have a college degree, or 10 years of experience, or off-the-charts talent to succeed in life. You just have to commit to practicing, learning, and showing up as your authentic self every day.
03. Trust the process + be patient with yourself.
For over half a year, I spent my mornings before work, my evenings after work, and my weekends off working on Niki Press Designs without a single extra penny in my bank account to show for it.
But looking back, I never once got down on myself for it. I never lost sight of the notion that growth is a process. I never stopped smiling or doing a little dance when my phone notified me that someone liked what I created enough to spend their money on it. Even when my expenses continued to be greater than my income.
The fact that people all over the world were choosing to spend their hard-earned cash on my work, instead of one of the other 2.5 million sellers on Etsy, just made me indescribably grateful.
To this day, it has never escaped me how special it is that I get to connect with people in dozens of countries all over the world during some of the most meaningful moments in their lives. I get to help make a typically stressful experience, like planning a wedding, a little more positive + smooth.
But if I would have gotten hung up on the numbers, I never would have given Niki Press Designs the chance to become what it is now.
That trust + that patience was everything. It is the most important thing I learned during my first year in business. And it’s hands down my biggest lesson of 2020.