We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Meyerdierks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I started my business I had just quit an untenable job where I had been treated poorly and taken advantage of. I had zero work/life balance, and I was ready to get out from under the micromanagement and cruel leadership! I sat down and examined my skillset to see what marketable skills I had that I could use to make money. I settled on offering website design services as I had a small amount of experience building sites and had connections to other business owners that I felt I could tap into. My main thoughts when going out on my own were that: 1) I wanted control of my life and my time back, 2) I wanted to build my own dreams, not someone else’s. Eventually as my business grew I’ve been excited to use it to support other people as well. Now, my thought process about my own business is that it brings me joy to connect with amazing clients, to outsource work to incredibly talented people, and to be able to support and employ friends and family who have skills my business needs! They enrich it by bringing in new ideas, new methods, and new skills to the table and I’m so grateful that I’m afforded these opportunities by owning my own business and having the ability to call the shots.
What should our readers know about your business?
Bear Branded is a creative studio specializing in Shopify and Squarespace website design, logo/branding/social services, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I am an accredited Squarespace Expert, and Shopify Partner and Expert. My team and I have worked with clients around the world, and served over six hundred small businesses to help them develop and optimize their online presences since opening in September of 2018! Something that sets my studio apart from others is our aesthetic and design style. We prioritize a clean, modern look with a high level of functionality and an emphasis on conversion-driven design. Our expertise in SEO heavily influences our style, and clients can expect their website to align with their branding while remaining focused on conversions. I’m most proud and excited about my team, and the incredible work they produce! Between the five of us we’ve taken businesses from concept to launch, covering every stage of the process. We’ve designed brands, created logos, built websites, implemented search engine optimization, and then launched them with our social media promotion service for a seamless client experience. My team makes up for my weaknesses and when all of our skills combine the product blows me away! To get to where I am today required constant hustle, adaptation, luck, and stubbornness. Opportunity comes when you’re hunting it down. I focused on customer service, quality work, reasonable prices, and building my network. It was not easy, I was working the craziest hours and pulling 12hr+ days almost seven days a week. At one point before I built my team I had almost thirty website designs at the same time and frequently worked until 3-4am. I was so determined and so laser focused on my business that I made it work! But it was nothing less than maniacal on my part! Along the way I learned how to continue to lead my business as both of us grew together. I am self taught in every aspect of business, including managing people, and needed to make sure my business didn’t outpace me and that I never stopped learning. I also learned how to find the type of client I work best with, how to set boundaries, and not to undersell my business. It’s hard to say no to work, but that was an extremely important lesson. The biggest thing that I have always been most proud of is my work ethic and business acumen at my age. I had just turned 20 years old when I started Bear Branded. I’m 22 now with a four person team and a six figure business that I’ve built every step of the way. My core belief is that you create your own reality, and I’m extremely proud of the reality I’ve manifested, and grateful for it.
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.
I’m based in Oceanside, California which is about 40 minutes north of San Diego. If a friend came to visit me I would take them to some of my favorite local restaurants! Dini’s Bistro, Breakfast Republic, and Valerie’s Taco Shop are my frequent haunts. I’m very food motivated so that’s always the main attraction with me haha! I’m also a huge gear head and car enthusiast. If you’re spending time with me, you’re likely in my 1971 Chevelle cruising Coast Highway, or you’re in my Dodge Viper GTS on a Supercar Rally in Los Angeles ripping through Angeles Crest Highway! Some of my favorite locations to visit are Palomar Mountain, Julian, and Mammoth. The mountains have my heart and you can’t come to California without seeing Mammoth and Yosemite!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to the people in my life who have been there constantly supporting and cheering me on, but also the people who have tried to tear me down or diminish me. Sometimes the people who want to see you fail are your biggest motivators. If you know me, you probably know which category you fall into! Each group provides me with motivation and fuels my drive. But nothing is quite as personally satisfying as succeeding in front of people who really tried their best to work against you. So this is a big shoutout to both parties in my life, you make me who I am!
Dana Magnus Photography: https://danamagnusphoto.com/