Mid North entrepreneur Nicole White admits that her business wouldn’t be where it is now without social media.
The fashion-savvy city-turned-farm girl launched Mickelloo at the end of 2010, creating hand-stamped jewellery for family and friends.
She now welcomes up to 10 customers at her farmhouse studio at Hilltown every week and fulfils about 15 weekly online orders with customers as far afield as Tumbi Umbi in NSW and even Singapore. With clients snapping up her “statement accessories”, Nicole (or Nicky as she’s more commonly known) has expanded her range, branching into handbags and clothing, some designed and made by Nicky and others sourced from designers around the country.
Instagram has been a boon for Mickelloo, not only helping Nicky share photos and behind the scenes studio action, but also for making business-boosting connections.
It was through Instagram that Mickelloo was discovered by Adelaide TV show, Adelady who featured Nicky and her farmhouse studio in a segment on their Channel 9 program last year. The producer of the Yorke Peninsula Field Days Fashion Parade also contacted Nicky via Instagram recently. As a result, Mickelloo’s fashion items will now be part of nine parades over three days at the popular field days in Paskeville in late September.
Nicky posts up to 7 times a day via Instagram during the week, sharing product photos, selfies, quote images and photos of customers out and about. When she meets prospective customers at markets, she always reminds them to follow her on social media, because that’s where they’ll “see everything new first.” In fact, some products don’t even make it to the Mickelloo website; they walk out the door thanks to a social media post.
Nicky created a closed group on Facebook about a year ago called Mickelloo VIP Club, where more than 500 members are the first to see the latest designs and sale items. It’s all about “making them feel special,” said Nicky. An added business benefit of this group is that members receive a Facebook notification with each post, whereas posts on a business Facebook page aren’t guaranteed to appear in every follower’s feed.
Social media provides Nicky with an inexpensive and accessible way to connect with a wide audience, yet it does have its drawbacks. Posting up to 40 times each week requires dedication. “It can be a hard slog,” said Nicky. “There’s a risk of it taking over your life, so it’s important to set boundaries. About every month, I feel the need to take a break from it.”