Nicole Snobelen - Evelynn by Nicole Snobelen

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nicole Snobelen and I am a 25 year old entrepreneur from Blenheim Ontario. I have 3 amazing sister s and the most loving parents. When I was a little girl my aunt gave me a designer game for my birthday where I would create outfits and colour them. This game gave me a dream to become a fashion designer. I took the Fashion Design program at Fanshawe College and when I graduated I was put in a position to find a job. I began designing dresses for myself to wear to job interviews and would post photos of them on social media. Women started emailing me and asking where they could get a dress or if I could make them one. With only $100 in my pocket and very little business background, I began doing custom work. Every time I made a sale I would put it towards purchasing more material to make more dresses, essentially living dress to dress. Eventually I launched an online clothing store with a complete inventory that I handmade.

Earlier this year I was featured in Fanshawe College's "Your Story" campaign which was showcased at Cineplex, participated in a Libro commercial, received the Starter Company Grant and was nominated for the 20 under 4 awards. I am currently in the process of registering a Not-For-Profit organization and was awarded one of London's local heroes thru Community Living London. Currently I am writing a chapter for the book Dream Big Be Bold series about my business.

Tell us about your business.

Evelynn by Nicole Snobelen is a Canadian, handmade fashion line that keeps your money in your own community. We are a social enterprise that prides ourselves on giving back to through our Abby Fund – where we volunteer our time to meet with children in the hospital to bring dream dresses and superhero capes to life. We specialize in knit wear materials and feature no closures providing the most comfortable fit. Most of our dresses are only made 1-3 times keeping them "one of a kind" styles. We also have a men's sweater line and small children's collection. Evelynn won London's Best Women's Fashion by Our Reader's Choice Awards.

Was there something that drew (or pushed) you into being an entrepreneur?

In high school I took an entrepreneurship/business class, not knowing much about what that meant at the time. We were given an assignment to build a business plan on any business we desired. I created a fashion brand and ended up winning an award for it and received a 99% in the class. This gave me the confidence to pursue the idea of being my own boss one day. A few years later, I brought that idea to life and live it every day.

What's the best business advice you've ever received and why?

"If your dreams or ideas don't scare you, they are not big enough." This really sat with me! It's so easy to be comfortable or stay in your comfort zone, but you can't grow there! You have to take a chance on yourself and dream bigger.

What advice would you give to someone starting a small business today?

Advice I would give someone starting a business would be go for it! If you wait until you're ready you will never do it. Trust yourself and reach for the stars. Being an entrepreneur means taking risks, being uncomfortable and not knowing what's going to happen. There will be times where the easiest thing to do is to give up. Don't! Keep pushing and persevering. There is no better feeling than working so hard to build something and watching it grow.

What in the future for your business?

Within the past year alone, my business has grown so much! I am confident it will continue to flourish and become an even more recognized brand, not only locally to London but surrounding cities. Having an online store, Evelynn has the ability to reach customers all over the world. And that we will do!

Learn more about Evelynn by Nicole Snobelen by visiting www.evelynnbns.ca

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