The PD Women In Business Series is an interview-style blog series on the Pangea Dreams blog that highlights female entrepreneurs who have joined us on Retreats over the past several years. In this series, we will get to know these Alumni better and learn about the incredible businesses that they are running.
Lucinda (Luci) Nixon
- Current Position: Business Owner & Designer at Hello Luci Creative
- Currently Living: Tampa, FL
- Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX
Hey Luci! We are so excited to have you featured in this series! Can you tell our community a little background about you and how you started your business?
My business is called Hello Luci Creative, and I am a brand strategist and designer for design-obsessed, people-centered brands! I love to help founders create full brand experiences that get their ideal clients excited and engaged. I am especially passionate about working with mission-driven lifestyle brands and boutique hospitality brands.
My background is in graphic design and interior design, and I felt like this path has been a perfect combination of my interests! My business came to fruition after having a tough time fitting into my corporate roles.
I didn’t want to only be a graphic designer or only an interior designer. I emotionally struggled a lot with this “either/or” when I was working, and none of my previous jobs ever felt like the *perfect* fit. While I did really love some of my jobs, I also really wanted to figure out how I could be my full self and explore all areas of interest.
After longing to work with clients who had similar visions, to be more in control of the type of work I did, and to also create the perfect “job” for myself, I decided that entrepreneurship was the only solution. Once I have a firm idea planted in my head, I become quite committed!
For the more technical aspect of getting into my current role, I received an undergraduate degree in graphic design and printmaking, and my master’s degree in interior design. I learned a lot of my technical skills from school, internships, my jobs, and also supplementing what I didn’t know by experimenting, taking courses, and reading design blogs/publications!
I think that everything I have learned and done so far has really helped me with creating my business.
Have you always been entrepreneurial? What led you to take that first step and setting up your own business?
In some way or another, I have always wanted to have my own business! When I was a kid, I really wanted to own a bookstore or stationery shop. That sounded like so much fun, and to be honest I still probably want to incorporate that into my business ventures in the future!
When I went to college and graduate school, the more traditional corporate path felt like a main area of focus. Even in design school, I thought I wanted to climb the ladder at an architecture firm to have a leadership role. Starting a business wasn’t really on my radar then, but I really admired people who did. My dream at that time was to work for a well-known design firm and work on massive design projects!
Around 5 years into my corporate design career, I felt something tugging at me to start my own business. After working a few different jobs and never quite finding the right fit, I felt called to make my own fit for myself. It still took me a couple of years to listen to that feeling inside (and save up money), but after working 7 years as an interior designer I finally decided to take the leap into business ownership. Although I had been working on freelance jobs in my free time, in February of 2020 I officially started working for myself full-time.
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your overall career?
Specifically, as a Black woman, I feel like a big overall challenge has been a lack of representation. For starters, the percentage of BIPOC in the industries I’m in is quite small (graphic design and architecture), and in some instances early on, it felt very discouraging.
It felt scary when I was in school because it was challenging to find a mentor to gain insight and advice from. In the corporate world, it felt like I needed to work even harder to prove my worth and my talent. And now in business ownership, I want to see more representation on stages at conferences and online summits.
That is something that is still lacking. However, this one specific challenge has also kept me motivated to keep going on this path, show up, and help other BIPOC who are interested in working in the design industry.
Where would you say your business was at before the Pangea Dreams Retreat and where would you say your business was after?
I had such a great and life-changing experience attending the Pangea Dreams Retreat in Bali! I had never been around so many women who had carved their own paths.
I loved meeting women who took their interests into their own hands to make businesses for themselves. It was such an inspirational and magical week!
Before attending the retreat, I was definitely still in mind-limbo about what I wanted to do, how to move forward, and if even leaving my job was a good idea. After talking with everyone during the retreat, I absolutely knew I wanted to take the leap, even though it felt scary!
The retreat was definitely a big turning point in my journey, and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go. It really ignited something in me to push even harder and make my ideas happen.
What is one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs just starting out in their journey?
After almost one full year in business, the biggest piece of advice I have is to listen to yourself and trust your own timing.
There is information overload on the internet and social media, and honestly, it can make you question and compare yourself. But, you know more than you think you do, AND your journey is your own! Once you tap into yourself and your why, your business will start becoming clearer.
Trusting my own compass is something I’m still actively working on, but it feels great!
Also – FINANCES. As a creative, I really just want to design cool things and talk with people, haha. But for your business to be sustainable, it’s essential to really look at your numbers and plan your business model, products, services, etc. accordingly. Don’t be afraid to look at them!
How can someone get in touch with you?
Personal IG: @helloluci
Thank you, Luci!
Lucinda Nixon of Hello Luci Creative is a Pangea Dreams Bali Retreat Alumni.