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Daily Inspiration: Meet Nicole Alston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Alston.

Hi Nicole, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
My story is unique. My passion for all things fashion was birthed in my sophomore year of high school. My school, Lift for Life Academy, was cool enough to have a legit fashion design program. At the time, my instructor was Season 9 Contestant Laura Kathleen (Baker) of Project Runway, along with Elizabeth Wagner, Family, and Consumer Science teacher. Those two helped hone my skills on the sewing machine, and it was there that a desire to design, create and make clothing was birthed.

Over time, I developed a genuine love for fashion, styling, and being expressive through clothing, and I wanted to start my boutique. With this came a lot of challenges for me. I was afraid and didn’t know where to start. On top of that, I was afraid as so many others were already doing what I dreamed of doing. And that discouraged me. But in May 2020, during the pandemic, I enrolled in Porshia Jackson’s Boutique Academy (I love her so much). Let me pause and say this- people don’t have to be excellent. She was gracious enough to offer her knowledge and so many needful tips and tools to a group of us ladies who all had the same desire of one day having a boutique. After completing her boutique academy and getting all my necessary licenses and business, Aneka Couture Boutique was born. Although born, I still did not launch until the following year because, again. I was scared! LOL

I have to be honest. I talked myself out of this desire so many times because I didn’t think I had it in me. Isn’t that crazy? I had everything I needed to start and launch my boutique, but I was holding myself back such a scary place to be in. But I am so grateful for my husband (who had just become my fiancé at this time). His love and support for my dreams are why Aneka Couture Boutique was launched on September 15, 2021. Thank you, baby. I love you so much for believing in me the way you do.

In this first year of business, Aneka Couture has expanded from just being an online boutique to now being a Fashion Business that caters to all your fashion needs. We directly provide alteration services, personal styling, and personal shopping. We look to expand and broaden our reach as much as possible because we believe it is possible.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. If I am honest, this is not for the weak or faint-hearted. You have to have a genuine desire for entrepreneurship to be successful. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme or an overnight come-up. One main struggle I faced and did face was the days when no business was coming in. It can be discouraging (let’s be confirmed). But, even though the days when business is slow, and it seems as though no one is watching or buying, I keep in mind that someone is always watching, so I must stay consistent, and that is what keeps me going. Not only that, I understand that God’s timing is everything, and if I am stewarding where I am now the way I need to by being consistent with building my business, he can then release the next phase/wave of business to me.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a boutique owner specializing in styling, personal, providing alterations, and on occasion, creating/designing custom apparel. I am known for my classy yet chic and edgy style. When it comes to my class, I have my own rules. My motto is simply this “Wear your clothes,” meaning to express your authentic self the way you want through your clothing! I am most proud of owning that statement and being someone who empowers others to do the very same thing, and I think that, in itself, sets me apart from others.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some changes you expect to see over the next five to ten years?
Over the next 5-10 years, I see the fashion industry going in many directions. You’ll see many trends that will repeat themselves while seeing innovation at the same time. Fashion has a way of repeating itself, all while advancing or moving forward into the future.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Candid Aneka Couture Polo Shot – Chanel Davis Branded Photo Shoot – Martika Greene [@tikaboo on instagram]

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