Nicole Ketchum

Founder of Hey Girl Décor

Don’t worry so much — dream big and often and focus on where you want to go. You will get there.

Nicole Ketchum is an entrepreneur and product designer who started her entrepreneurial career in 2008. After years of working for others, she created a modern décor line of acrylic chandeliers (Hey Girl Décor) that has been a game changer in the party and event niches. She has received numerous press accolades and has been written about for over four years. She has worked with Disney Springs, Mattel, Neiman Marcus and Brandee Buble to create magical spaces for their stores and events.

In 2020, Nicole Ketchum will be creating a new product she hopes to work with Target and Disney, as well as creating her design and manufacturing course for beginners.

Where did the idea for Hey Girl Décor come from?

The idea for the company was born from a desire to decorate without the hassle of lights. When I was renting an apartment, I wanted to decorate for Halloween. I could not find anything that was fun, modern and easy to put together, not to mention also not flimsy and cheap looking. So started that desire and it grew from there.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I check emails, social media platforms, gather orders together and prepare for shipping. I laser focus my time, since until Fall 2020, my daughter is with me part time. I actually get a lot done now, because it has forced me to be very serious about how much time I have and what I have to do.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I start visually with a Pinterest board or magazine and I zone out, just flowing with the ideas I have and how I can bring them to life.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The ever expanding home decor/interiors niche, which is always changing and growing. The trend to take our spaces in a creative personalized approach to express yourself is one I love and wish more people would do.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I get up early every morning to focus and get started on my day. It has made me more productive and efficient as a result.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t worry so much — dream big and often and focus on where you want to go. You will get there.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

If you don’t have focus on every area of your life, including your business, it will grow and evolve around you. Focus is the steering wheel of life.

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

Plan out your days, weeks and month so that measurable steps can be ascertained by you, which in turn will keep your momentum, positivity and focus going.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Reaching out for collaborations has helped my business grow.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I recently invested in a company that was a maker’s rep: they were going to help me scale, get in front of buyers, streamline my process and push to sell in retail spaces like Target. Even though I fully vetted them, or so I thought, they “closed their doors” one night citing a breach in their servers. I knew then I had been taken advantage of. We had been in the middle of a contract and a lot of money had gone to them. So that was a failure and I took it hard, knowing my family is in debt because of me. And although I am still recovering, I managed to help myself and about 60 other entrepreneurs to file a class action lawsuit with the Ohio State AG’s office. They took the case and are suing the company for fraud, malpractice and deception.

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

I would love to see a fun women’s clothing brand that is full of color, rainbows, glitter and models itself after kid’s clothes, but with an adult feel. I honestly would start this, because I know it needs to exist, but I have no time. Fun skirts (think rainbow in soft pastels), colorful tops.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I just hired someone to start streamlining my Pinterest account and grow it. Best money ever!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Trello is great because I organize all my ideas, actions and to do lists there, so I can visually see what needs to be done. For me, it feels a lot like an old school sticky note, but better.

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

You are a Badass with Money by Jen Sincero is a great book on how to build wealth, visualize and focus and go after your dreams.

What is your favorite quote?

“Think courageously. Think largely. Think audaciously. Think magically.” — Jen Sincero

Key Learnings:

  • If you have an idea that will not leave you alone, feel it out and start to build it.
  • Focus, Focus, Focus
  • Collaborate
  • See failure as another step instead of as a resolute. Keep going.
  • Get help from others in areas you struggle in.