We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Nicolls and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how do you think about risk?
When we first started our business back in 2012 it felt like every decision we made was high risk. I had just had a baby, we were starting a brand new business in a town that neither of us were from and it was our first time being our own bosses. There was no one to ask for a day off or if we could have a raise. We have both been really good at assessing the risk of our major decisions and we have come to realize that most of the major growth in our business has come from taking risks. We had a home office when we started which meant lower overhead so when we made the leap to get an office/small shop it felt like a major leap. After about six months we realized we had already outgrown our space so we took another risk and expanded into the space next door. Now that our business is established (and we are older and wiser) it has become much easier to make decisions on what risks to take and which ones to skip.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Karyn and I started Bungalow 56 Interiors in 2012 from the front room of my house. We had both been working at other design firms and finally took the leap to join our creative forces. Karyn had been living in Tahoe and I convinced her that the beach is always better than the snow. In the early days we carted around my newborn daughter to showrooms, job sites and client meetings. She became the bossiest assistant we had every had. We are so proud of the business we have created over the years from designing gorgeous homes to creating the shop of our dreams in Coronado but it wasn’t always easy. There were days where we dreamt of getting “real” jobs where you actually got a day off and could call in sick but we wouldn’t trade anything of our experience. Every challenge provided a new learning curve and helped us setup better systems. Every time we encountered a problem we would take a day or two to really think about why it happened, how we could have prevented it from happening in the future and what the solution was. Karyn has a saying “never schedule your worry” which has been out motto. We try not to worry about the things we don’t have control over and to come up with creative solutions for our clients and ourselves. Over they years we have grown so much and we now have our own custom line of furniture and have plans to expand our store in the near future!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Day 1. Coronado beach would be first up for a nice day of swimming, lounging and walking in the sand followed by a nice dinner at the Hotel Del. Day 2. Brunch at the Crown City Bistro in Coronado is always a favorite of ours with a fun boat cruise in the San Diego Bay. Dinner at Born and Raised in Little Italy would be a must as well. Day 3. A hike a Torrey Pines a coffee break and bite to eat at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. (would probably need a night in this evening) Day 4. Drive up to Temecula for a little wine tasting and then dinner at Blackbird Tavern. Day 5. My Mother In Law works on the Midway so maybe a quick tour followed by dinner at Del Friscos (can you tell we like to eat a lot?)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Not many people get to go to work with their best friend everyday but I am lucky enough to have that opportunity. My business partner Karyn is the perfect compliment of skills to my own. I have a very artistic brain and she keeps me grounded in life and at the office.
Samantha Goh Photography