This month I’m talking to Nicole aka “Colleke,” the designer, brains, and creator behind Colleke Creations, where Nicole helps busy moms organize their lives with the perfect bag.
These monthly features of other creative businesses are a way for all of us to get to know these wonderful makers; it has been a long-time interest of mine to explore how other creative people make their way as professionals.
Welcome, Nicole and Colleke Creations!
Nicole, I’m so interested in your business! You combine something I love—bags—and something I want, organization! Let’s get right to it and find out what Colleke Creations and you are.
Q: I always want to know who impacts creative business owners at various stages in their business development. So who is your very important person?
A: There have been a couple of people I turned to at the start of my business last year. But the one I felt and still feel most comfortable with is Tara Swiger. First she helped me, through listening to her podcasts, to understand what it means to be a business owner.
Then earlier this year I joined her Starship program and there are just so many courses and opportunities to learn more about being a business owner. I mean I knew how to sew from my mom and grandma, there were no mysteries there, but there is so much to learn about having a business. Tara and her community give me the confidence I can do this, just like other moms who want to work from home. I bought Tara’s book, Map your Business and really started to work with it. Literally mapping out where I was now and where I wanted to go at my own pace. Tara doesn’t tell you how to do stuff, instead she lets you think about the process yourself and helps you feel comfortable with the steps you need to take to get where you want to go.
Tara is such a great connection for creative businesswomen. She seems to speak to us in a way that a lot of people with the same message don’t.
What Makes Colleke Creations?
Q: What is Colleke Creations and what drives you?
A: My main product, the Allison bag, was born out of necessity. When we were on vacation, I found myself carrying more and more stuff for my whole family. I needed a bag big enough. But all the bigger bags I found had no good design inside. So I designed one myself.
I wanted a big, practical bag with lots of pockets, to have a good idea of where everything was tucked away. I thought there had to be other moms and women like myself who wanted this sort of bag. That was the start of Colleke Creations. (Colleke being my nickname by my dad).
The Allison bag is a bag you can put together yourself. You can choose your own interior lining, and you can choose from 3 inspirational words for the outside: Dream, Smile or Shine.
I also offer boxed zipper pouches in 3 different sizes to put inside your current bag, in case you already have a bag you love but still want to get more organized
Besides making my products, I blog about organizing, especially being organized, and getting organized in your life, home and bag.
I’ve mostly just read your blog and your newsletter, but I am tempted by those zipper pouches. I like how you examine your own experiences and then try to derive a solution that actually works. It makes me feel that your physical product would be the same. The inside of the Allison is inspirational.
Where is Colleke Creations?
Q: So where does your magic happen and can you describe why it is unique for you?
A: After emigrating to Norway from the Netherlands we now live in a big red house. It has 6 bedrooms, one of them downstairs. I turned that one into my workroom. That 12 m² (~40 ft²) room is totally my piece of heaven on earth. I have 3 big tables there. A cutting table, a sewing table, and a computer table on one side of the room and 2 big bookcases against the other wall with all my fabrics, zippers, materials and binders. It’s really the one place in the house where I’m totally Nicole, not a mom and not a wife.
I love that! I feel the same in my studio/office.
Q: Please tell me what is going on in your business now, and any exciting projects you have going on or coming up.
A: A lot of time goes into learning the ropes of being a businesswoman and building a business. I aim to do as much as possible in the mornings, when my 3 teen girls are at school and my husband is at his job. Like many others, I always could use more time.
For the near future, I’m going to experiment with dyeing my fabrics for the Allison bag after requests from my subscribers and potential customers. I’m also going to start making flat zipper pouches, my new fabrics and zippers just arrived the other day.
Of course, I’ll keep on blogging and keep on stretching my English writing muscles. Plus I would love to publish a little ebook next year with all my “How to organize” posts from 2017.
Thank you Nicole. Please keep up with the blog posts, and of course, making bags that help us keep organized as we race through our days!
Find and Follow Colleke Creations
Find and follow Colleke Creations on social media…
Website – https://www.collekecreations.com
Shop – https://www.collekecreations.com/welcometotheshop
Facebook – @collekecreations
Pinterest – @collekecreation (without the s)
Instagram – @collekecreations
And don’t forget to sign up for the Colleke Creations newsletter! As a subscriber you’ll receive you “Do you have everything in your bag?” Essential Checklist, and get immediate access to exclusive organizing tips and tricks, so sign up here!