Hi!
I'm Nicole. I am a wife, mother, shop owner on Mackinac Island, and lover of handmade. The little things and little moments inspire me. Follow me on my blog as I write about shop news, my travels, island life and motherhood.
Nicole
xo.

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little luxuries

March 5, 2018

Meet Nicole

Hi! I'm Nicole. I am the curator behind Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island, our sister store, The Artists Market of Mackinac Island and Canvas & Paddle. I grew up in a small town north of Lansing called St. Johns in mid-Michigan. My family and I would spend as much time as we could at our family cabin just an hour and a half south of the Mackinac Bridge. Just like my older brothers, I have always had a love for Northern Michigan. 
I graduated from Albion College with a bachelor of Arts in Communications and English in 2008.  The summer of 2006, I decided to do something different. I got a job waitressing (for my first time) at the Gatehouse Restaurant on Mackinac Island.  After an amazing summer experience on Mackinac and earning as much money as I could to be able to spend the winter semester in Australia, I decided to spend my last 'college' summer on the island again before entering the 'real' world. 
That summer goal of just wanting to have a good time ended up being a little bit more than I had imagined. Andrew, my husband and I, met. After a very memorable summer, I graduated in May 2008, and got a job at Grand Hotel. Working for Grand Hotel was such an amazing experience. But I did know it wasn't what I imagined doing for a long time. My first winter on the island, a retail space came up on Main Street. It was a very good deal and just a 600 squre foot space.  Andrew asked me if I wanted to create a gift shop. With no experience in retail and during a time the economy was not the best, we still took the risk. {We had both never really worked in retail before besides Andrew's grocery experience.} In 2009, Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island was born. I was most nervous about working the cash register my first day open! After learning SO much and working my butt off, three years later I expanded into the space that was next door to me, previously Michigan Peddler. It was a big risk for me to take and I am SO glad I did it. I now have a beer and wine license and was able to take over the prominent Michigan-made store. 
In 2015, The Artists Market of Mackinac Island was created. This was unplanned as well. The space was available and I was asked to do something with it, but what? After much thought, I decided a community home to several independent artists and makers from across the country would be a unique fit to downtown. 
You probably think I am either crazy, like to be busy, or enjoy the challenge... well, I would say all of those observations are correct. In 2017, I opened a small gift shop next to Little Luxuries called Canvas & Paddle. It is a rustic, up north-themed gift shop. 
In between, my business adventures, Andrew and I married in December 2010 on Mackinac Island. Our first son, Louis or Louie, he likes to be called, came into our world in December 2013 and Thomas {Tommy} was born in May 2015. 
I now enter my 10th year of business with Little Luxuries. At age 23, opening a business on Mackinac Island, I have learned SO much as a young entrepreneur. I have been through many ups and downs through the retail world and I am so very thankful for my awesome support system which is my family, friends, customers and most of all, my husband, Andrew. I would not be where I am today without his passion in small business, his loyalty, and his strength. 
I should probably mention that Andrew and I lived on Mackinac Island year-round for 11 years and now we live in Petoskey, MI from November-April and we commute to the island often during those months. 
Looking back over the years since 2006 when I decided to work on Mackinac Island, I still can't fully comprehend our lives. We have lived a very unique lifestyle, yet I wouldn't change it. 
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my story. If you are not a customer in one of my shops or lover of Mackinac Island, I really hope you can visit this beautiful island one day and make my shops one of your must-do's.
 
Love,
Nicole
xo.
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8 comments:

10/14/2018 | 02:47 PM
nancy purdy says:

Hi, Nicole I remember when I first met you ,when you started your first store. I have considered you a friend ever since. Been coming to the island for 18 years now. thanks for being such a nice friend, you always have time to speak with me and my husband. Your sweet as all my 8 grandaughters. Got to see you three times on this last visit. thanks for the tip about the carmel apples, Its who you know lol i got to enjoy several before we left for home. Nancy

04/01/2018 | 07:04 AM
Meredith Mclellan says:

Fun to read your blog. Now I know you better and respect you even more!

03/31/2018 | 09:27 PM
Jennifer Griffin Karhoff says:

Beautiful stores❤

03/31/2018 | 09:24 PM
Jennifer Griffin Karhoff says:

The stores are delightful with all the unique quality items. I look forward to seeing yourstore,something for everyone gifts❤.

03/30/2018 | 11:53 AM
Elouise says:

Love your store…been there many times. Thanks for your wonderful story. Wishing you continued success!

03/30/2018 | 11:52 AM
Elouise says:

Love your store…been there many times. Thanks for your wonderful story. Wishing you continued success!

03/30/2018 | 10:26 AM
Shaw says:
Nice story, thanks for sharing! Love your stores and continued success to you!
03/30/2018 | 10:01 AM
Kay Hoppenrath says:

Great article, Nicole!

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