A B O U T F E M I N E S T

At Feminest we are builders.

Builders of creative empires. Of bridges to your business’s next big break. Of connections and confidence. Of the next wave of kick-ass female entrepreneurs and the businesses they’re working overtime to create.

I believe in the power of face-to-face chats, the magic of technology, the joy of being comfortable in your skin and the importance of showing up Every. Damn. Day. I know whatever you’re building and whatever stage your business is in, it’s special. And that’s why I'm here to lend you tools, resources, tissues, coffee and high fives whenever you need it.

Let me inspire, empower and help you navigate your business into its bright future like a warrior. I know you’re really good at what you do. I'm really good at what I do, too. And that’s why, together, we’re going to take over the world.

 

A B O U T M E

feminest_headshot_nikki_ricks.jpg

I'm a business coach for creative women-owned businesses.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications and master’s degree in urban planning, I was working at a Chicago architecture firm when I had my first daughter. I wanted a more flexible way to work, which sparked the idea of creating a coworking space with in-house childcare. As I researched the market and held events at local coworking and play spaces, my favorite part of the business was meeting more of Chicago’s incredible, inspirational, powerful women and talking to them about their work.

I have been helping women get organized since implementing the rotating recess snack with my first-grade girl gang and overhauling friends’ rooms on play dates.

Now I work at Feminest, where my goal is to help build scalable businesses straight from the brains of female entrepreneurs. In my free time I mentor at Now to Launch and consult at Scale Investors. I love goals, business models, to-do lists, brainstorming, efficiency, and getting you a freaking paycheck.

I'm currently living in Melbourne, Australia and traveling the world as much as possible. 

PAST & CURRENT STARTUPS

2014-2015 | Collide Coworking pivoted to The Village | service | blog post - COWORKING WITH CHILDCARE: WHAT I TELL EVERYONE

2014 - 2015 | Love Bop - product - Facebook page

2015 | Chicago Preschools - service

2015 - current | Gab Lab pivoted to Feminest | service

2018 - current |Sunday Founders - tech

 

C A L L I N G A L L W O M E N O F C O L O R !

LOVE APRIL KAE_FEMINEST BUILDER.png

Do you read Cup of Jo? I’ve been obsessed for 10 years. Joanna does this fantastic style series “A Week of Outfits.” One of them featured April Kae and I loved her approachable, effortlessly cool, layered style so I headed over to her instagram and clicked the follow button. I'm so glad I did as I have been inspired by not just her style but her activist voice and powerful presence. ⁣⠀
⁣⠀
Last year, in August, she posted this:⁣⠀
“Confession: When people hire me to model, they’re almost always white. Why? Because the people who have the resources to do so are almost all white. Of course, there’s not a lot I can do about that. But what I can do is make an effort to work with more women of color, and make it cost-free and easy for them to work with me.”⁣⠀
⁣⠀
It inspired me and I wanted to reach out to her, but I was nervous, not really knowing if I would say something wrong, or maybe the whole point of her post was to collaborate with women of color and not white people, and was I missing the point? ⁣⠀
⁣⠀
I decided to email anyway. I told her how I worked with women businesses and that I wanted to work with more women of color and asked if she knew anyone that needed help. ⁣⠀
⁣⠀
I’m so glad I did.⁣⠀
⁣⠀
She responded enthusiastically which sparked ongoing conversations that stretched, challenged, and made me cry - in the best way possible. ⁣⠀
We talked about how I could help more women of color, what that could look like, how to talk about it, what to say, what not to say, I read a lot, reached out to people, and joined FB groups. ⁣⠀
⁣⠀
I know there are plenty of women of color that can afford my services, money is not really the point. The point is that POC have been systematically held back and continue to be, and I want to do my part in acknowledging that, creating a safe place, helping people feel seen, and giving a boost of encouragement.⁣ I’m also not trying to be a white savior or charitable, but be an advocate for justice. ⁣⠀
This isn’t a pretty conversation, I know I don’t have the right words. But if you are a woman of color or someone you know is and needs help, please reach out. Let’s chat, and see what we can make work. ⁣⠀
Email me - hey@feminest.com


QUOTES