The crazy thing about running a label is that people have no idea how hard you have to work. In recent weeks, I’ve launched the new collection, received press in Weekend Edition, become the first person to win the start-up package at The Village Markets. My label has been featured on the same page as articles about H&M, Topman, RVCA, and Thriller. I’ve received so much support and recognition from people outside of my immediate circle but not within it.
"I find strangers support me more than people I know, because people that know me have a tough time accepting I come from the same place."
The editors think my story is quiet inspiring but the people that know me still don't take me serious (chuckle). I’m still in the process of building up my label’s reputation and making sales. While that’s happening, I still have to work to make ends meet. On paper, I’m getting all this recognition from the fashion and creative industry. But in reality, I’m still a long way from where I need to be.
"When Rihanna comes out with Pumas everybody buys them. When Kayne drops a new album everybody buys it. When Beyoncé drops a new clothing line everybody buys it. Your friend wants to open a new business and nobody spends a dime because they're all skeptical about supporting someone they know."
Previously, I was working in a retail position but I knew I couldn’t work there anymore. What I thought was helping me get closer to what I love was the very thing that was tearing me away. I made a promise to myself a while back if I wasn't happy in my life - change. I remember the train ride home after I walked out on the job - it was one of the loneliest moments of my life. I felt lost and helpless in what felt like an unforgiving world. But the stars aligned. Within a couple days of leaving that job, my dad sold our backyard to a developer. I asked the project supervisor if there were any jobs. Next thing you know, I had a full-time position right in my own backyard laboring and helping out with any tasks needed in the development project.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
-Thomas A. Edison
Balancing this new job with the responsibilities of the label has been quite the juggling act. I work 10-hour days Monday through Saturday. I wake up at 5 a.m. and read articles from Business of Fashion and I read few fictional books as well to get my brain up and running. I have breakfast and head out back. On my lunch breaks, I walk through the back door of my house and start working through my daily tasks for my own business. I check my sales and prep shipments to be posted. My mom posts them for me when she can. Then I walk back out again and start a completely different line of work! Even though I’m absolutely exhausted by day’s end, There's something rewarding about the struggle - there's a sense of pride.
"Go with your gut feeling". he said and I replied, "why do you think we always bump heads dad?" It was a special moment where I felt for the very first time my dad finally understood me.
I asked my dad what did he learn from selling the property to this developer, because my dad had dreams of one day developing our backyard himself but he said he had to much to risk. So instead as years past buy a developer came along and bought it from underneath him and is now build that very same dream my father once had.
It’s hard yaka but I know it’s part of the journey. Right now, I’m focused on expanding my brand’s awareness. And I realize that people are acknowledging my work and that Nikke Horrigan is starting to make waves, but that’s not even half the battle. It's the battle within myself that I fight each day. But as sure as the sun rises I will see to it that my dreams will become a reality.
"Fashion Imitates Life" - Nikke Horrigan