Nicole Ketchum founded Chandelier By NK in 2014. The company provides modern acrylic décor. She turned a chic chandelier without lights into a successful business and career. Learn more about Nicole in our interview with her below.
What inspired you to start your business?
"I started my business primarily out of my own desire for a fun chandelier I could use to decorate for the holiday. There was nothing on the market, only flimsy cardboard. I wanted a glamour and color with a punch. When I realized I had designed something new and different, I got goosebumps and decided to go for it."
What advice would you give to an inspiring entrepreneur or student?
"Research and lay the groundwork before you begin. Ask questions, form a community of friends or family who can serve as your sounding board. Find out if they would buy your product or idea. Research on your own, whether there are existing ideas like it, what makes yours different and what angle would you use to make your idea or product stand out. We spent upwards of two years researching, forming a marketing study, gathering ideas, materials, manufacturers. We made a checklist on what was the bare bones of what we needed to start and then proceeded to get them done."
How has social media influenced or helped your business? Do you have an example?
"Yes, it has helped tremendously. It has helped spread the word about our brand. It visually compels customers to buy and follow us when they see the chandeliers in various settings. It has helped us reach customers, businesses and retailers we would not have otherwise reached. One example would be a customer bought 7 of our chandeliers for her wedding in Thailand. She had seen our chandeliers on social media and bought them on the spot."
Who do you admire and why?
"I admire all the women I am in the Instagram community with. All of them are working hard to realize their dreams. They are balancing life, motherhood, a business — that is so amazing to me. I strive to be the best I am because of their support and encouragement. That sense of community over competition has helped me overcome my own doubts and insecurities common when you are an entrepreneur."
What’s next for you and your business?
"I would like to showcase at a trade show and order new chandeliers to expand my line. We would like to expand out into more retail and party spaces and focus our growth as a lifestyle decor company. So many ideas, so little time!"