SHOWCASE – FRANKIE & NICOLE
We spoke with Nicole Dixon, Director from Frankie & Nicole. Nicole has become a very successful business woman with her pyjama and sleepwear label. Nicole has described herself as a jack of all trades, delving in jewellery design, teaching and even co-hosting a childrens program. We spoke to Nicole about her journey, challenges and successes with her label and what’s next for her……….
Blog: How Sweet It Is – the most amazing food & images
Online store: Can’t go past ASOS
Album: I love Adele, Bruno Mars – anything cruisy & acoustic too
Book: The Power of One
Restaurant: I have two! Fellini on the Gold Coast and Tartufo in Brisbane
What is the Nicole Dixon/Frankie & Nicole story?
I guess you could say I’m a ‘Jack of all Trades’! A qualified PE teacher, I’ve tried my hand at everything from working in a bakery to working in one of the state’s top universities to designing jewellery and co-hosting a popular childrens program. I’m quite proud that I can now add sleepwear designer and entrepreneur to the list. Honestly, if somebody told me 10 years ago that I would be designing pyjamas, I would have thought they had completely lost it!
When I look back, I always knew that I wanted to have my own business – I just didn’t know what I wanted to be doing! Thankfully for me, my gorgeous mum made me finish my Bachelor of Secondary Education. It was during those teaching years that I started to develop my creative side and it wasn’t long before I was trying my hand at several new little ventures.
Together with my younger brother Francesco (aka Frankie), I started a men’s t-shirt label and then I moved onto jewellery design. Thriving on the creativity but lacking the passion for either of these, my attention quickly turned to women’s clothing. First I thought I would do a lingerie line (which I still think that I’ll do!), then swimwear, but it wasn’t until I really looked into women’s sleepwear that I discovered a clear gap in the market. When it comes to pyjamas, the market is saturated with either cutesy graphic prints or saucy lingerie style pieces. When I couldn’t find anything in between – I decided to do something about it!” And so, Frankie & Nicole was born!
If we get down to the nitty gritty of why I am doing what I am doing, it’s all about making you feel special. I’ll never forget the day that I received an email from a mother in country NSW who had recently bought my pyjamas. She said – “you’ve made me feel special again”. That was a light bulb moment for me, plain and simple. That right there defined what I was going to do. In a crazy world where we sometimes forget to slow down and give ourselves some ‘me’ time, if something as simple as slipping into one of my nighties makes you feel special, give you back that confidence…then my job is done.
How long has the journey been?
We’re actually celebrating our first birthday this week! So officially 12 months since we have launched, but the planning and research beforehand probably lasted 2 years before that.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
LOVE the creative side, the designing and the marketing. I want to inspire people and make them feel good about themselves. Giving is so much better than receiving.
What has been your biggest challenge?
So far, I feel incredibly lucky – we’re still going 12 months on! But we need to be creative and think outside the box when we don’t have the capital that big businesses have behind them. There are so many ideas, so many great ideas we’d love to bring to life but we need a few more $$ in the bank first!
Tell us about your successes to date.
A big koo for us was having Lisa and Jess from The Veronicas tell everyone about how much they love our pjs! We had custom made ones for them as they are so tiny – they were so cute! We’ve enjoyed a lot of media coverage and I guess our most successful days have been the events we have organised to raise funds for The Pyjama Foundation. We’ve held 3 now, on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane, where we have about 100 guests enjoying champagne and canapés, there are great prizes up for grabs and we also showcase our latest collection, which is then available for purchase on the day. Everyone enjoys a great afternoon with their friends and we raise money for charity – win, win!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about or just starting out in business?
Write a business plan and don’t ignore the financial side of things. You need to have a budget (and stick to it!) you must work out your cash flow projections and you really need to pinpoint, exactly, what it is your business does. It needs to be simple and it needs to resonate with you. If your not passionate about it, you won’t last!
Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years time?
We’d love to have a store in 5 years time, and we want to grab a slice of that international market and increase our wholesale customers. We also want to expand the range to include maternity and children’s wear as well as a range of candles and body products.
Any other information or details you might like to add?
A special deal we’d like to offer The Social Factory fans is 10% off their first purchase – simply quote SOCIAL at the checkout
Frankie & Nicole:
Website link: www.frankieandnicole.com
Facebook link: www.facebook.com/frankieandnicole
Twitter link: www.twitter.com/frankiennicole
Blog link: www.frankieandnicole.com/blog.html