As every small business owner knows, turning your passion into a business that you make money out of is tough. Based in North London, Nicola Desnoes, is owner and lead designer of Nicol DeNoir™, a bespoke fashion brand looking to offer a new concept to corsetry.
After studying Fashion Design at University, she went on to work in various creative industries before eventually settling in corsetry design. Today, she trades under her own label.
Nicola came across GIG at a time when she was looking for a second income solution – one that would give her the freedom and flexibility to work around her busy schedule.
We managed to catch up with Nicola, as she looks to take her label to the next level, to get her advice for other young entrepreneurs looking for a similar success story.
What is your long term vision for Nicol DeNoir?
The goal is to make full use of the skills and experience that I have gained over the years and create a label that is innovative and fresh. I want to empower women of all ages and background – whether you are a professional singer performing on stage, an actress attending a red carpet event or just need something extra special to stand out
from the crowd.
How has your role changed within the business?
As a one woman band – I have many, many roles! Ultimately though, I see myself as a couturier/corsetiere as well as a designer as so much work goes into each piece. It is just as important understanding how to construct a garment rather than simply just designing one. Each piece should be a reflection of skill, dedication and true craftsmanship.
“I stay motivated by constantly surrounding myself with people. Even as a sole trader, it isn’t healthy to isolate yourself.”
How did it all come about?
My passion for corsetry came about after reaching a crossroad. Once graduating from my studies in Fashion Design, I really didn’t know which direction to go in – I enjoyed everything about the industry!
I knew however that what I wanted was variety and flexibility – to experience working in various fields and industries in the creative and entertainment sector. I don’t see myself as a typical 9-5 type of person.
I had touched on corsetry slightly at University but only pursued it fully once I’d graduated and built up a range of industry experience. Since then I have been figuring it all out as I go along…
What has been the highlight?
It was really difficult at first to find my feet and get set up, so when I won the 09 Twelve Fashion of London Design Award, I had a real sense of achievement and vindication for all the hard work that I had put in to get the label off the ground.
Off the back of this success, my confidence really grew and I was able to reach a whole new audience for my garments and meet with a host of new clients that had discovered the label.
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated through sheer passion for what I do, but recently have felt the need to surround myself again with like minded people. Even as a sole trader, it isn’t healthy to isolate yourself.
That may mean just getting away from your computer and going for a walk, gym etc – inspiration can come from everywhere and anywhere. Meet with your clients, get in front of new customers and continue that dialogue. You never know who you’ll meet or what opportunity will come your way!
What made you choose GIG?
I stumbled upon the app while doing a Google search and decided to give it a go. It was getting towards Christmas time and I was looking for something to help relieve the pressure to earn. It seemed like the perfect solution for anyone who, like me, was looking for flexibility in between other commitments.
I also had got to the stage with my business where I felt I could benefit from a bit of a break. I wanted to separate myself from my regular job and just try something completely unrelated for a few hours.
How did you make GIG work for you?
The GIG app is perfect for my situation as it’s enabled me to work as and when I choose, without restriction and the commitment you would need working for any other type of company.
I am now able to turn my attention back to my original business and enjoy it again as I’m not constantly having to focus on unexpected overheads/events.
The odd day here and there has been perfect as I’ve been able to work flexibly, recharge my batteries and also meet new people too which is great!