What’s the origin story of your business?
Since I was a kid I was always obsessed with keeping my shoes clean. Being a broke college student I started selling all my vintage shoes that were worn out. 2018 was when I got my first client, I cleaned a pair of dunks for them. Then after that, it was like a snowball effect, I started having people bring me shoes to clean, paint, glue, etc and I had enough experience to do it where I was comfortable with it. However, It was still a learning process along the way. I get in all forms of shoes and sneakers to work on, I’ve also worked on boots, sandals, wallets, and other leather goods as well, I’ve done it all. I’m trying to diversify my pallet as well, just as far as constructing and making my own shoes from scratch.
What’s an obstacle that you’ve had to overcome to build your business?
Being able to keep up with the demand of the market. It was one thing when it was just a hobby and something I did on the side, I could juggle the 10 to 20 pairs that I was working with. When I got to the point that I’m at now where I do it full time and it is somewhat the main source of income, that demand started to pick up. That can be a lot to manage at times but it’s something I’m learning to work with.
What helped me in this situation was going down YouTube and Instagram rabbit holes and researching what other accomplished artists have done in my situation. That’s definitely been the hardest aspect of it, it’s a trial and error thing. It has been comforting seeing that others have dealt with it and have made it out to the other side.
What is unique about owning and running a business in Murfreesboro?
At least in my opinion I’ve never seen Murfreesboro as an entrepreneur type of city, more of a college town and family-oriented with hard-working class citizens overall. Now that I’ve been here for some time I have learned that there are actually many entrepreneurs here in Murfreesboro. I remember a wise person once told me that “it’s lonely running a business sometimes” and it did at times feel very lonely. But going to the events and seminars that are held here and getting to meet all these other business owners, just like-minded people in general really shows you that the world is smaller than you think.
If you could travel back in time to the day you started your business, what advice would you give yourself?
I would tell myself to be patient and stick with it regardless, no matter how bad it may seem. Back when I started in 2018, it seemed like everything had happened so fast so going into 2019 I assumed the same thing would happen when that wasn’t the case. Fast forwarding to 2022 it has been a good year but I’ve still dealt with my trials and tribulations. I would just go back to remind myself that at the end of the day there are going to be ups and down to everything but overall the fact that I’m still in the position where I am, where I can do what I love and provide for my family is a blessing.
My Instagram handle is @NizziNick and you can also search for me @SoleClinique on Instagram as well.