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

Hi Nicole, what’s been your favorite thing to do during quarantine?
This quarantine has given me lots of time to come up with ways to grow my business and to streamline my customer experience. I have also been using my seamstress experience to create masks for those in my community. Initially, to help with the shortage of masks for our frontline workers and I was able to donate well over 500. Lately, I have been adding my style the face coverings to offer a different and fresh look.

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.
Most handmade companies shy away from custom orders, and I have embraced the process. I offer a unique experience for my customers to buy my designs as seen, customize the colors, or design the bag to work for their needs. What makes me most proud is taking customers’ ideas and making them real. I love seeing their faces or getting their messages on how excited they are about their custom bag. It brings me much joy.

Professionally, I have been sewing most of my life. Although my bag design journey started four years ago, I can honestly say every year, my bags and designs get better and better. Practice and dedication in my craft have taken my bags to a new level, and every year gets better.

I overcome challenges in my business and personal life by hitting them head-on. For example, suppose I make a mistake with a design or business deal. I take a moment to understand what it was and then do the work to know how to do it better next time, which has helped me learn so much over these past few years. The biggest lessons have been remembering my worth and pricing accordingly, that not everyone will be your customer, and to treat each customer as if they are your only customer. I want the world to know that with my brand, they will walk away with a VIP experience and get a stylish, functional, and fun handbag customized just for them. There is no need to go looking for the perfect bag, create the handbag/accessory you need in one stop.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a visiting friend town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston is a city with so much to do, and it is hard to narrow down a list because I have lived here 14 years and still find new exciting adventures. Now that I am a single mom, most of the places I dine are kid-friendly. My favorite spot currently is Pablos Mexican Grill in Katy, Texas. It as great drinks, a family-friendly atmosphere, and the food is delicious.

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?
I can honestly say I have the biggest and best support system in the world. Between my family and closet friends, I have never felt alone on this journey. As a single mom trying to follow her dreams to get a business off the ground, a strong community is a must. I feel beyond blessed to have such a reliable support system. They have always encouraged me, and I know they had had confidence in my business since day one, even when I was feeling low and needed a little push. I dedicate this story to all of them; they know who they are. I would name everyone, but the list is long, and I am sure the interview would be cut short. LOL.

Website: www.simply9designs.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simply9designs/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simply9designs

Image Credits
Nicole Tripp

Nominate someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.