n




Featured on IndiBeauty.com

Just Trying To Brighten Someone's Day


One of the best things about life is that when you help someone else, you always get a blessing. When we reach out to others to offer comfort and joy, what we have given always comes back to us several-fold. Nicole Perkins is a case in point. A few years ago, she was helping to plan her sister's bridal shower at a day spa in Harlem. "I wanted to give a really nice gift to all of the women who attended," Nicole recalls. "I decided to give them gift baskets containing some of the products I had been playing around with at home so I could reflect our day of pampering, relaxation and bonding with close friends and family." Nicole's gift baskets with soaps, body butter and lotions were such a big hit that the women who has businesses began placing orders for their clients.

What's In A Name?

In Nicole's case, it's her name, and those of her two sisters who are the inspiration for her business, and she loves telling the story behind her business name. "Since my sisters are part of my inspiration for starting this business, I decided to combine the first two letters in each of our names -- Nicole, Danya and Siica -- to form the company name Nidasii, pronounced Nee-da-see," says Nicole. The name is not only exotic and tropical, but Nicole says it also proudly reflects her Caribbean and Latin heritage.

There's No Rush ... Or Is There?

Nicole makes all of her products by hand from scratch. Her most popular offering is Sugar Rush, a bath scrub that cleanses, exfoliates and moisturizes. "I developed Sugar Rush because I was tired of the slippery mess left in the shower after I used an oil-based scrub. After enjoying my weekly ritual of cleansing and exfoliating, I decided to combine the exfoliator and the cleanser and Sugar Rush was born," she recalls. Nicole says that the name describes the product's main ingredient, and also takes into account modern women with families, careers and businesses who don't always have the luxury of time. "Sometimes we are in a 'rush' yet we still need to pamper ourselves," she says. Next month, Nicole plans to release 3 new Sugar Rush and whipped body butter fragrances.

Slowly Creating The Life Of Her Dreams

Nicole runs Nidasii alone at this point but she plans to include her sisters as business partners as the venture grows. "Actually, even though they are not formal partners now, they help me every step of the way," she says. Nicole's younger sister, still in high school, is a fantastic marketer who brings in orders from the teens at her school. Her older sister helps with product mixing, pouring and labeling. Nicole's sister's daughter, just two years old, is also being introduced to entrepreneurship by putting jars into boxes for shipping. Nicole's brother rounds out the sibling "contractor" pool by doing heavy lifting around the manufacturing space. Nicole also works with an accountant to help with the finances.

"My product photos were taken by Rebecca Picard, recommended by dM, and she did a fabulous job making my products look like works of art," says Nicole. "I love all things tropical so many of my products are scented with fragrances of tropical fruits and florals." Nicole chose props to reflect her loves, like tropical flowers and fresh coconut. The labels help give the products a finished a professional look. "I feel that investing in professional quality labels lets customers know that although I am a small company, I take what I do seriously and our product are manufactured to the highest standards," she says.

Nicole Recommends ...

"For anyone thinking about starting a business, I recommend that they research the product or service they want to offer in advance. It is important to know what is currently out there and think about how you can offer something unique. In addition, before starting a business ask yourself if it's something that you are passionate about. Would you do it for free? If your answer is yes. You will most likely overcome any obstacles to be successful.

 Not Sugar Rushing ...

Nicole works 8 hours a day as a clinical research associate at a pharmaceutical company, then returns home to spend up to 4 hours working on Nidassi. "At night, I do everything from prepare product, to answering emails to getting orders reach for shipping," she says. Doing all of this with a "real" gig is Nicole's biggest challenge. Nicole has plans to exit her job, but she's in no rush. "First I want to meet a specific financial goal, and I’m happy to say I’m a few months away from meeting it," she says happily.

[Editor's excited exclamation: "And another full-time employee bites the dust! Wa-hoo!!"]

Love Being Indie

"The best thing about what I do is that no matter how tired I am after work I still love pulling out my purple kitchen aid and mixing up product. I love working on my terms, creating a legacy and possibly building a “lifestyle” empire. I also really like the new Indie Beauty Network website. It’s easy to navigate and the addition of the new “featured indie” and “success stories” give those who are thinking about starting a business insight on how being a member of IBN and using its many resources can help you grow your business"

Downtime

As you might imagine, Nicole does not have much downtime, but when she does, she loves a good meal and spending time with family and friends. "One great thing about living in New York City is that there are so many great restaurants, and my friends and I try to get together from time to time for dinner. I also love reading and I mentor high school students," she says. Nicole would one day like to establish an after school program for teenagers that shows them how to start businesses that will allow them to supplement their income during college and inspire them to own and control their destiny."