Our JST Contributor Wins Small Business Administration Award!

Nic Hyl is on fire, and we’re so proud!

Every year the Small Business Administration honors a handful of small businesses for their work, efforts and dedication in every state. This year, for the New York District, Jetset Times contributor and vendor, Nicole Hylton aka Nic Hyl of Nager By Nic Hyl won The 2017 Home Based Business of The Year Champion for the New York District for her contribution to and significant development of small business. 

To kick off Small Business Week, the SBA held a ceremony at their downtown New York office, to present all of the winners with their awards. It was such an amazing morning. We had the opportunity to network with the other award winners, as well as invited guests about all of the things each of our businesses are doing in and around the city of New York. They presented us with a beautiful breakfast, before we each gave our speeches to accept our awards.

I started my swim line, Nager By Nic Hyl, on a part time basis when I was working in the Fashion industry. I was so inspired with what I was seeing that I had to bring Nager to life to express my opinion on fashion and specifically swimwear. So naturally, winning this award was not only a huge honor but also validation that all of the hard work that I’ve been doing is actually paying off…and that someone other than my mom noticed! There’s nothing like confirmation to inspire you more to continue on the path that you’re going.

At the same time that I was in the pre-startup phase for Nager, I started a blog to self promote my swim line, since I was operating on a shoestring budget. So I had to create a blog and I named it Tie Sides and Scoops, to help market my swim line and build community. I still operate this blog and today it has grown into something larger than I could have ever expected. While the blog was not considered in the award that I won, it is an integral part of the work that I do, and is part of the brand that I am building.

While this is my present story, it isn’t how it all started. About 7 years ago, I dropped everything, sold what I could and moved to New York City with $300, 5 suitcases, a dream, and a job as an apprentice to a designer. I learned invaluable lessons that I still utilize today. I got laid off from that job and got a better job. I learned some more and got an even better job. All the while, creating my business in my mind and using every opportunity at these great companies to soak up any fiber of knowledge that I could get. Then one day, with God’s blessings I was able to step out on faith and create what I had imagined.

Part of bringing Nager to life meant working from home on the weekends and after work. My home became my design studio, corporate office and sample making studio. My web development, sourcing offices and graphic design department were and are still based out of my apartment. From time to time it even doubles as a location for photoshoots. Conference calls, meetings, shipping & logistics and think tanks all happen under my roof. My little New York apartment has become a corporation, for all intents and purposes…all based out of 650 sq feet. We have no dining table, but we do have an industrial sewing machine in its place, and we eat on the couch instead.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented or fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not in some of us; it is in all of us. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Nelson Mandela from his 1994 Presidential inaugural address.

I carry these wise words with me and remember them every time I do something that scares me, which is almost every day. I truly believe that without moving past our comfort zones, we are not able to progress to become who we are meant to be.

Photos: Nic Hyl

Are you starting your small business? Ask questions to Nic by comments below.

Nic Hyl

Contributor, JST SHOP Vendor

Nic is a fashion designer who loves to write & travel--always eager to immerse herself in local culture & explore off the beaten path. Her ambitious goal is to visit every country!

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