What started out as a simple passion project that would suit her travel needs blossomed into an income-generating venture for visionary creative R. Nicole. The founder of Tashka Luggage and R. Nicole Collection is all about creating something that is functional, easy to use, comfortable, multifunctional, and attractive at the same time. Despite the challenges she encountered along the way, she did not let go of her vision until it finally came to life.
While R. Nicole was familiar with the manufacturing process, she had no idea what it entailed to get a product patented. She also found herself traveling back and forth overseas in order to find the best materials that would suit her designs. It took her a couple of years before she finally found the perfect manufacturer who would share her vision. Three product samples later, R. Nicole successfully launched her products online and made sales right away.
Question: Tell us about how you started your business venture.
R. Nicole: Since leaving corporate America, I decided to become a “slash/slashie” entrepreneur. You’re probably asking, “What is a slash/slashie entrepreneur?” A slash/slashie entrepreneur is someone making multiple income streams simultaneously from different industries. So I turned my passion projects into money generating businesses by becoming a shoemaker, shoe designer, travel bag designer for 2 different brands.
Since creating my products, I’ve had so many people ask me for advice on how to start a business; I decided to write a book and launch a course on my showing others how to become a full-time entrepreneur.
Question: What makes you stand out from your competitors?
R. Nicole: We are different because the customer has a say during our made-to-order process. I release a new design that is voted on by customers each year. Once the shoe is released, the customer can let us know if they have foot issues before making the shoe. This is a new approach to the made-to-order process. I have a lot of colorful shoes to match the travel bag.
Question: What can you tell us about the travel bag line?
R. Nicole: This stylish travel bag is unisex, and it comes in two different sizes: the carry-on and extended stay. The travel bag looks like a duffel bag, weekender but unzips into a rolling garment bag with seen and hidden compartments. It is perfect for suit travelers that take short trips or that need a stylish gym bag to ensure their clothes will never wrinkle.
Question: How did you get the idea for this multifunction bag?
R. Nicole: While working in corporate America, I would travel often for work and I found it difficult to pack suits, travel clothes, and gym clothes all in one bag. I searched the market for a carryon that would accommodate a traveler like me, but I couldn’t find anything. At the time, a lot of travel bags and luggage were coming to the market but not very many that met my style and needs. So I decided to make a few designs and patent the bag myself, but there were a few setbacks throughout my journey. I could have never prepared for such a setback as caregiving for an aunt with Alzheimer’s along with my own health scare that led to emergency surgery.
Much can be learned from R. Nicole’s determination to succeed in her new venture. She did not allow life’s different challenges to get in the way of what she wanted to achieve but instead used them to fuel her passion and vision.
Learn more about R. Nicole’s Tashka Luggage by visiting this website. Follow R. Nicole Collection on Instagram to see her shoe line. For more information about her upcoming book and online training, visit this website.