I love this week's feature. Nicole, the owner and creator at Salt Water Tea, is one of the sweetest people. Not only does she make the most charming and gorgeous jewelry, she co-owns one of the city's cutest boutiques, Greater Goods. She is also a fierce community builder, bringing together Calgary's great female entrepreneurs to inspire and encourage each other. Read on to find out more about this incredible woman and business owner!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your work. Where are you from? What do you do?
My name is Nicole Bracey, I’m the owner of Salt Water Tea, co-owner of Greater Goods, and Vice-President of YYC Girl Gang! I’m a born and raised Calgarian with a BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design, an avid knitter, Netflix addict, and dog lover. I create jewelry and accessories using a variety of materials (although my all time favourite materials to work with are gemstone beads), and natural soy candles with gemstones hidden inside! I also co-own a shop dedicated to supporting small businesses and selling quality handmade and locally designed items!
What inspires you to do what you do? How did you start doing this work?
I mentioned before I have a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts, so I always knew I’d end up doing something creative. I left art school thinking I would work as an exhibiting artist, and after two exhibitions I realized that it wasn’t for me. I managed a pub for a while but was wildly unhappy. I started making jewelry to re-connect with my creative side, and fell deeply in love with it. An Etsy shop was born, and the rest was history!
What inspires you most about your community (city, group of friends, etc.)?
The community in Calgary is amazing. I’m constantly surrounded by talented individuals who are so eager to collaborate, and share ideas and stories. I’ve met the best friends I’ve ever had in this community, and am always being inspired by their work, their experiences and their successes. Not to mention if I need help with anything, they’re literally always there with ideas, feedback and more. YYC Girl Gang keeps me constantly inspired – I run the blog, and every week I get to read amazing stories, articles and tips from other entrepreneurs in Calgary. It’s amazing.
If you could give anyone who is starting out in your field (business, non-profit, etc.) one piece of advice, what would it be?
I have two – the first one is that there’s never going to be a good time to start your business. There will always be a reason to put it off, and if you keep doing that, you’ll never get it started. Start small if you have to and let it grow.
The second is that the more you put into your business, the more you’ll get out of it. Quitting my day job was absolutely petrifying – but I found the more time I had to focus on Salt Water Tea, the more sales I ended up having. You get what you give.
Tell me three fun facts about yourself or your organization.
- Salt Water Tea started as a vintage shop on Etsy in 2012. I think I had one sale. I carried the name over in 2014 when I started my jewelry line.
- I’m kind of a craft addict. If it was feasible, I would sell jewelry, candles, knitwear, stationary, home décor, and more. I have to force myself not to continuously make new product lines (because realistically, that is not sustainable for a one person business!)
- I love writing. I always have. While I’ve never been able to successfully keep a blog of my own, you can find my writing all over the YYC Girl Gang blog and a few others that I’ve been featured on.
Get in Touch
Facebook: Salt Water Tea
Pinterest: Salt Water Tea
Do you know of a person, business, non-profit or other organization doing amazing work in Calgary? Tell me about it! Visit the Feature Friday page for more information!