Niki Pfeiffer – Founder and CEO of Niki Pfeiffer Designs

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Niki Pfeiffer - Founder and CEO of Niki Pfeiffer Designs

Get in the habit of taking action every day and making something happen.

Niki Pfeiffer is the Founder and CEO of Niki Pfeiffer Designs and the designer behind the Wine Gabby™. As a former sales executive in the technology industry, Pfeiffer is excited to use her creative thinking and marketing talents to change the way wine totes are thought of and turn the industry upside-down. Her diverse career experiences spread across the globe, from her roots in Montana, to living in Philadelphia, to international travels across the globe. She’s using her network and experiences to expand the world of Niki Pfeiffer Designs into a global brand.

What are you working on right now?

I am in the process of launching my Wine Gabby™ product into stores. I designed the Wine Gabby as a stylish, multipurpose wristlet handbag that unfolds into a wine tote. When you are done with the bottle of wine, the tote folds back into a wristlet for a fun night out. I wanted to give women a more fashionable way to carry a bottle of wine that could also carry their essentials in a small compact bag.

Where did the idea for Wine Gabby come from?

After having a girls’ night out and one broken bottle of wine, I knew there had to be a better way for carrying wine. There are occasions when women need to carry a bottle of wine, and they do not want it to look like a picnic basket, briefcase or lunch tote. I set out to design a tote that could securely carry a bottle of wine while carrying other essentials that resembled more of a fashion accessory. I also am a big believer in multipurpose items that simplify our lives, so I wanted to incorporate that as well.

What does your typical day look like?

It depends on what I have scheduled for the day, so there is not really a typical day. I have two kids under four years old, so mornings start out getting them ready and taking them to childcare. Once I am back in my office, I check email and my social media channels and have projects/meetings throughout the afternoon. In the evening, I take a break to make dinner and go for a walk around our neighborhood with my husband and kids. When the kids go to bed, I typically work for a few more hours.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am constantly taking ideas in, evaluating them and running different scenarios through my mind. Once I get to a point where I want to explore the options behind an idea, I have a process I like to go through where I visually sketch out it out. I find inspiration from business models across all different types of businesses. I like to get feedback from friends and colleagues, and then it is about taking action.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The fact that there has been a shift in the wine industry in the past decade and you no longer have to feel like a connoisseur to enjoy wine. Drinking wine has become more about having fun, the social experience of trying different wines and learning the stories behind the wines without the intimidation. Most wine consumers are now everyday women who love the social experience that drinking wine represents.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

I have not necessarily had a bad job, but the path that led me to starting my own business actually came about by experiencing aspects of jobs that I knew I did not want to do. I decided to learn from those experiences and gain some self-awareness on what I was good at, really enjoyed and things that drained me. It is amazing that once you have this self-awareness, it really helps guide you as to what you should say “no” to, which most entrepreneurs struggle with.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

The one thing I might change is realizing earlier that I was meant for entrepreneurship—but then I may not have learned the lessons climbing the corporate ladder that are helping me build my business.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Get in the habit of taking action every day and making something happen.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Keeping the balance between my family and work can be challenging. I have to continuously work at time management by making my lists and prioritizing them each night for the following day and setting aside time where I do not work, but just hang out with my husband and kids.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I will give you two. I think there is a great opportunity for restaurants to partner with childcare businesses, making it more convenient for parents to go out to a nice dinner and also have healthy fast food options with a drive-thru. There is no better audience that is willing to pay for a service than a sleep-deprived mom who wants to enjoy some time out without kids…or one who is trying to lose weight after the baby.

Tell us a secret.

One thing that not many people know about me is I love watching sci-fi shows.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources, and what do you love about them?

1.  Google – Anything I need to find, I start with Google.

2.  Pinterest – My visual search board for inspiration.

3.  Facebook – Easy way to stay in touch with family and friends.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It teaches you how to communicate your business model on one page visually and develop more innovative business models.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

1.  Me, of course! I will be sharing some of my lessons learned at @nikipdesigns.

2.  @mcuban – I am a big Mark Cuban fan and enjoy his regular insights.

3.  @garyvee – I always like to see what Gary Vaynerchuk is up to.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I laugh almost every day because my kids are always doing or saying something funny.

Who is your hero?

I really admire so many people that I cannot name just one hero.

What is the best advice you ever received?

“Don’t be afraid to speak up.” You may have the same information as others, but how you interpret that information and the recommendation or solution you may arrive at based on that information is uniquely you.

What inspires you?

The ability of others to see possibilities and act upon them.

Connect:

Niki Pfeiffer on LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/nikipfeiffer
Niki Pfeiffer on Twitter:  @nikipdesigns
Niki Pfeiffer on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/nikipdesigns
Niki Pfeiffer Designs’ Website: http://www.nikipfeiffer.com/
Wine Gabby’s Website:  http://www.winegabby.com/

Published on November 5, 2012 .

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