Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meet Nicole from Little Trendstar and Formcode!

I reviewed a product from Little Trendstar a bit ago, and just fell in LOVE with their shirts for kids. Since then I have been tweeting with the owner, Nicole. Then it hit me! I wanted to share more about her and how she began her business. I also found out that she had another business! Read on about this busy Mommy and her fabulous companies, and I just LOVE those smiles from her little ones!

"Little Trendstar® is a brand dedicated to creating fashion-forward tees and onesies that demand a second look! We know kids love the spotlight, and we think their tees should be as fun and stage-worthy as their one-of-a-kind personality.  Our designs are all about capturing attention by focusing on fashionably creative graphics and lots of style. Drawing from inspiration that includes style icons, music and sub-cultures, we create modern and stylistic tees that have enough flair to say "look at me"! 

Little Trendstar® t-shirts and onesies are also produced with kids in mind! Each t-shirt and onesie is printed with non-toxic, water-based inks that contain no phthalates or PVC!  They are also 100% cotton, Made in the USA and sweatshop free." ~Nicole 

"Formcode was founded in 2000 Nicole Worth and her husband. A passion for art, design and architecture helps them approach every design challenge looking through the eyes of design. We see things not only in form and function but also in color, texture and dimension. Our work is our passion and we bring that to every project we work on. Formcode takes great pride in keeping designs fresh, edgy, original and innovative. We believe being a successful design company is more than just producing a website or brochure, it's creating a solution that is unique, visually stimulating and gives our clients something they can be excited about."~Nicole

How did you get started with each of your companies?

Both companies started differently and at separate times so I’m very lucky that both of them compliment each other. I use my experience and skill to help each of them and as I grow with one company, the other naturally benefits. For this, I am very thankful! The older of the two companies, Formcode, I started with my husband shortly after college. We were both working as designers for other companies, me as mainly a print designer and my husband as a web designer. When the company he worked for went out of business, his lack of a job became an opportunity for us to start are own business. Working together, we grew it and now 11 years later we are still going strong. We focus mainly on web design and pride ourselves on creating standout sites.

Little Trendstar® came later and using the knowledge and experience I acquired with owning Formcode, I was able to make an easy transition into another business. All the components that were needed to start Little Trendstar®, could easily be done ourselves. We built the website/online shop for the business and the connections we have from Formcode led us to a great photographer for the photoshoots. I focused on designing shirts and the marketing material and everything got rolling. I’ve been enjoying the ride ever since!

Did something or someone inspire you to start your own business?

It’s funny ever since I was young I have always said I wanted to own my own business. So I think it was just a matter of time before I set the wheels in motion! I always seem to have one eye open for opportunity and if I want something, I usually figure out a way to do/make it myself. So when certain inspirations came about in my life, namely my two sons for Little Trendstar®, I couldn’t help but start the business. Shopping for clothes for my first son made me realize how awful clothes can be for little boys- especially t-shirts! Everything is so one-note and mostly consists of loud, busy prints centered around trucks, animals or dinosaurs. Now I know these have their place, but I wanted something a lot more graphic and clean than that. I was always looking for a shirt that had bold, modern design that made statement or got noticed without being over-bearing and loud. So after a couple of years of constantly searching for cool shirts to dress him in, designing my own t-shirts was just a natural progression. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I decided to make it myself. I knew with Little Trendstar® that I would be able to fulfill the need to have the style of t-shirt’s I wanted for my son, and take my passion for design and fashion and create a business that would merge the two.

What do you LOVE the most about being your own boss?
Freedom! I have always gone a little against the grain and I love having the ability to choose what I want to do everyday and not have anything holding me back. There are no rules or restrictions, I can make my own destiny and get rewarded by my own success. I wake up everyday knowing that I am in charge of what I accomplish and that always motivates me to do more.

What is unique about each business?
Each business challenges me in a different way. They both encompass very different demographics and platforms. Little Trendstar® is about youth and making a bold statement on a very limited canvas. Whereas Formcode is about an unlimited canvas and I can be designing anything from corporate to funky and everything in between. The two businesses definitely keep my mind active and I am always looking for inspiration in both of them to help draw new and different approaches to each challenge.

What do you LOVE about Little Trendstar®?
I truly love creating t-shirts for kids. They are such a great demographic, they look great in everything and they have amazing spirit. You can dress them in the most imaginative design or funky look and they will just shine. This market allows me as a designer to really have fun with my designs and think more out of the box. With Little Trendstar®, I can create a t-shirt that you may have never have thought to do for fear that the end buyer couldn’t pull it off. With kids I never worry about that. The more creative the look the more attention they will get. And I’ve learned from my own two sons that kid’s LOVE attention!


Do you sell Little Trendstar® clothing anywhere else besides your online store?
Yes, I do. Currently it sells in a shop called Urban Baby Runway in Maryland, Truckermouth Clothing Company in California and Way TuTu Cute in Florida. I also just acquired a showroom in New York, so I’m hoping to get in a lot more stores come 2012.

What conferences and Expos have you been to? Which one is your favorite?
I have yet to enter the expo market. I attended ABC this year as a spectator just to get a feel for the scene. I considered it research and I took with it a lot of knowledge for when I do decide to do a show. If I were to choose one to do a first showing at, it would most like be ENK in New York. That show is a better fit for the brand. So we’ll see what next year brings.

I'm super thrilled I got the chance to interview such a fabulous business owner and Mom, Nicole. Thanks so much!

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