November 07, 2017

Meet Nicole Ferrara - a super mama to twin boys, the powerhouse behind Nico Made, AND a frequent designer for our very own Coco Moon. We just love her style, her vibe, and her sweet disposition. Our newest collection will feature two of her designs and we can't wait for them to join the line up. In preparation for their release, we wanted to shine a light on this bright Hawaii talent and all that she brings to the table.

Read on...

For those not familiar with Nico Made, can you tell us about your business?

Nico Made is a stationery and design studio based in Honolulu. We create illustrations for our own line of greeting cards, art prints, and other paper goods, as well as custom designs for businesses in the apparel, interior design, and of course, baby industries. 

What drew you to stationery and what keeps you passionate about it?

My background is in Graphic Design, and I got into the biz when we still heavily relied on this old-fashion thing called paper (yes, I’m old-ish). The graphic design studio I was working for went out of business so I decided to attempt working on my own, and designing cards seemed like the right creative outlet for me. It gave me the creative freedom I was longing for, and was able to stay in the paper world. The stationery industry is filled with the most caring, creative and giving people. Our industry is all about giving thanks, celebrating milestones, and showing compassion in times of need. Who doesn’t love that? 

You are a super mama to the cutest twin boys…how do you balance the demands of motherhood, business, and time for yourself? (if there is such a thing)!

Ahh, the elusive work-life balance. Well, first and foremost, I drink a ton of coffee. I have also accepted this “balance” thing just doesn’t exist. Something’s always got to give, and I’m alright with that. There are times when work demands all my attention, so nothing gets done around the house, but there are other times when I can completely shut the door on work and devote myself to the family, and finally catch up on the endless laundry, cleaning, and all of life’s other demands. Also, after having twins I stick to the “don’t stress the small stuff” motto. Seriously, just don’t because you’ll go crazy. Also, did I mention lots of coffee?

Did you find that your art changed at all after becoming a mother? If so, how?

I started Nico Made the same year by boys were born. Yeah, maybe not the smartest decision but you live and learn. Like all moms, I had days when I really need affirmations to get me through, like, “sh*t just got real, but you got this!” kind of mantra. I felt there was a need to create something something small you can put next to your mirror, office, kitchen, where ever, that will remind you of all the good times. So, I came up with these mini-wall hangings with sayings like, “Make Paradise Happen,” “Always Aloha,” and “Stay Stoked.” I keep the “You got this” mini-wall hanging in my office to keep me going.

What do you do if you find yourself in a creative slump? How do you push through and get your creative juices flowing again?

I’d love to say I go on creative retreats (oh, a girl can dream), but that’s not my reality. Sometimes a change of environment is all I need to get things going again. I can’t even count the number of ideas I’ve had while watering the plants or walking to the mailbox. I also keep a notebook handy at all times, because I never know when an idea will strike, and if I don’t jot it down I. will. forget. it. On the opposite side of that spectrum, if I’m having a creatively kick-ass day, I don’t stop and keep it going. 

How do you feel seeing your designs come to life on baby essentials?

It’s so cool, and I get all sorts of warm fuzzies from seeing the admiration people have towards Coco Moon’s products.

What’s next for Nico Made? Any exciting things coming up that we should look out for?

Maybe it’s because I’m in a time in my life when I need a kick in the pants to keep things going, but right now I’m really into the new mini-wall hanging we created. We are also about to release a new line of notebooks, which I hope will be super helpful for all those multi-tasking ladies out there. On the greeting card front, we are always adding to the line up.