Pop Quiz, Monday with Nina Clark

Nina Clark

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Nina Clark

What is your job role?
Founder, customer services leader, fulfillment specialist, designer, marketing head and everything in between.

Tell us about your company?
Nightire was born out of a personal quest to understand sleep, and all that it entails, a bit better. Like many women I know, I have this thing called can’t-always-shut-my-brain-off-to-go-to-sleep syndrome. I overthink everything and am that person who continually makes lists in my head and who worries about things that I can’t change; all while lying in bed at night waiting for sleep to set in. This led to many years of patchy sleep and tired mornings. I began doing research into what could help a person sleep better and tried to apply it in my nightly routine: using black-out blinds, taking a relaxing bath, using no screens in the room (i.e. goodbye to Insta-sessions right before bed), and trying anything I could to keep my body temperature on an even keel. That included buying the right sleepwear, which, in turn, got me to focus on an industry that seemed like it had a lot of room for innovation (and a bit more personality) which is how the idea for Nightire came about. Made of 100% bamboo, a super soft fabric that is temperature regulating, anti-bacterial and great for the environment, it’s sleepwear made for sleep.

The sleepwear industry is tired. And I was tired of it. I wanted to create a sleepwear brand that could bring some passion back to bed-time fashion, breaking away from the plain vanilla mould of the industry bigwigs, and appealing to customers with pure character, stand-out prints and a relatable tone of voice. I also aimed to create a brand that had a bit more substance to it than just nice prints and a comfy cut (although Nightire definitely ticks those boxes too)! In all communication, sleep is the hero: across social platforms, blog posts and newsletters, I share information on how to sleep better, every night. Hopefully, through it all, I can help others who are struggling to get quality shut-eye. And not just by wearing Nightire PJs of course:)

What do you love most about your job?
I love getting feedback from customers who have bought a set of Nightire and enjoy them so much that they keep coming back for more. When customers tell me that they used to suffer from night sweats, but don’t anymore thanks to Nightire PJs, it makes all the admin & disappointments and stress of running this business, worth it!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Some say that it must be so hard to work for myself, without anyone to answer to. But I find that, with being my own boss, I’m a whole lot more strict on myself to get things done, make money, do better, be faster and so on. It’s a scary (yet exhilarating) concept that what I do/don’t do will affect the money in my back pocket, so to speak.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work on my own so definitely miss the inspiration and support that co-workers provide. I’ve made sure to surround myself with friends who are also entrepreneurs or freelancers, who inspire me on a daily basis with their drive, openness to help and share expertise and zest for what they do.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I love the fact that, running my business means I can be very flexible with life and work – so I make sure to make the most of this, e.g., brunches with friends walks around the city to explore to get inspired and working from coffee shops to meet other exciting business owners.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Needing to balance all the balls, when wearing all the hats. I often struggle to give everything on the to-do list the attention it deserves and would gravitate towards getting smaller jobs done in favour of more intimidating challenges or tasks that require a whole lot of thought and time. Sometimes it is difficult to see the wood from the trees when you’re stuck in the trenches. (apologies for all the analogies!!!)

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Failure really isn’t a failure at all – I’ve had a few business ideas crash and burn, but don’t regret them for anything. One will ALWAYS learn along the way, and that is normally worth the time and money that you spent on trying.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Just do it. In danger of sounding like a Nike ad – just tackle the mountain of to-dos and questions that will inevitably inundate you in the beginning, and push on. The fashion/retail industry is a fickle and unfriendly one, but there are some diamonds in the rough, so make sure to surround yourself with the right people.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.nightire.com
IG: https://instagram.com/nightire

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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