We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Gutierrez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
Keep going, dont give up! How the saying normally goes. I don’t think there is a choice. I think theres a balance between the two. Hear me out. I use to have alot of self doubt. Some of the people around me doubted me to, so that didnt help. Especially taking on a path with no safety net. Growing up in a family like mine everyone had plans and back up plans. I just wanted to prove everyone wrong that I was going to become someone someday. I took on different job titles (teacher assistant and medical assistant) always trying to out due the next job. Until one day I was sitting with my Grandma, and I mentioned to her how I think I should stop trying to pursue this “Dream” that I have for owning my own business. She asked “do you love what you do?”, “of course” I replied to her. She said “well whats stopping you?” I didn’t have a complete answer for her when she asked. That question sat with me for awhile. Told her I would get back to her. I took a hard look at myself. Realizing that I was a productive procrastinator that feared failure. What a mix right? Ask your self the question when deciding to give up, if i wasnt doing this how would I feel? How would it be if I kept going? I made a list. Similar to santas lol. No, but a list to figure out whats stopping me. The list showed me that I was having this urge to prove everyone wrong. Once I realize those opinons never mattered and I was able to give up that fear that goal that hoovered over me. I was then able to continue my journey. It was not all rainbows and butterflies after that. The tornados and tidal waves came even more. That has built my character I have failed and I have succeeded. The push the pull effect. Its part of owning a business. When you feel that moment where you want to just give it all up and everything and I mean everything is coming against you. Look hard at yourself. Start with in and see how little everything else becomes. I say don’t give up, ever! Set backs take them as they come but don’t let self doubt or anyones opinon specially yours hijack your destiny. It’s not about whether to keep going or give up its about learning how to control the two to work together. You have to be capable to give up “things” in order to keep going. Giving up the fear of failure, the fear of loosing, and the fear of never becoming the person you are destined to be.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Did yall ever own a digital camera back in the day that came with a free design software program? Well I had one and self taught myself, how to create designs from a free progam think it was called photo explosion. From there learned about adobe and started creating more. This was before youtube was out showing tutorials lol. I later decided to get into college to get a degree for it learn more of what I might not know. I started asking local socialites if they needed any graphics, I gave away free work for awhile so I can get my name out there. It worked. People started coming to me asking for graphics. I loved it. It wasn’t always easy, I had self doubt. It felt seasonal, I would get alot of jobs at once to no jobs for months. Discouraged. It wasnt enough for me wanted to give it all up. Till I came up with the idea to start my nag clothing line. I started designing for myself for my brand. I then started finding clients that needed tshirt designs. So now I was desiging for other brands and for myself, as well as doing the screen printing myself. I learned as much as I can to cut the middle mens out. I wanted to know every in and out of the media world. I met so many people locally. I was designing for clubs and Houston models. I was designing for my bestfriend might of heard of her, Houstons Lala.

In any business you have good days and you have bad days. I felt discouraged when the jobs werent coming but if you continue just working on you and your brand and push through those trials the end result will always be worth it. I overcame my many challenges by giving alot of it to God once I gave up things I couldnt control on my own. I started to see Him in my business. As it started to thrive. Glory be to Him. I learned when owning a business that the saying goes dont do business with friends or family. I lost alot of friends along the way and some that definently took advantage of my talent. I let people down before in my business as I was let down. Its what built my character and how I now do business on a more organized and ensuring way, I want people to know about me and my brand NAG DESIGNZ is that, I will do my best to bring there visions to life. I love to hear “omg! I dont know how you do it!!” You always deliever” . I am a problem solver for all those that have a vision but are stuck.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in Houston, I have not completely explored all the things in HTX and I am born & raised here. But I would start off with a good meal. The food here is amazing, some of my go to spots are Laredo Taqueria 6904 Irvington (not the one everyone thinks of) but the one on irvington going towards crosstimbers (over the railroad tracks). They have the best Carne Guisada tacos!! Trust me. My bestfriend is from Houston, we love this place called Kiss on Edwards st. Its a whole vibe! Have to check it out if you love old school r&b mixed with some new school this is the place to check out. The food is great the music is the highlight! We love trying to new foods, and all places! Can’t forget discovery green, we own our own bmx bikes that we ride through out downtown especially on sundays for her bike group called Downtown Ryderz. Over all it be a fun, chill week and weekend. Come ride with us! 🙂

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Glory be to God!, I don’t have just one person I would like to shout out, A lot of people played part in the success of my story and continued journey they all fall under the title “Family” my Grandmother (who passed a year ago), my Mom, and Brothers along with others in my family. Who have either bought designs from me or apparel from my clothing brand. As well as invested in me and my business. To my bestfriends for always being there for me through all the ups and downs of the business life. Would love to also shout out my Prof. Mr. Duran who has never gave up on me who pushed me to the potential he always new I had. Shout out to allll those who are in my life and have gave me countless advice on many occasions. I love you guys so much! Thank you!

Website: nagdesignz.com

Instagram: instagram.com/nagdesignz

Other: nagclothing.com

Image Credits
@jaclynblohm @therealjkylie @houstonslala

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