Nikki Patrick: “Growth and comfort do not coexist”

In addition to adding several charity partners in the near future, we have also been approached about creating a Greek line for sororities. Many of the hand signals associated with each organization incorporate two hands, so we are looking into adding some sorority partners as well. Some exciting projects and collaborations are on the horizon! As […]

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In addition to adding several charity partners in the near future, we have also been approached about creating a Greek line for sororities. Many of the hand signals associated with each organization incorporate two hands, so we are looking into adding some sorority partners as well. Some exciting projects and collaborations are on the horizon!

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Patrick.

Nikki Patrick is a Florida Native with a BS in Critical Media and Cultural Studies from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She utilized her education grounded in equality, human rights and social justice to excel in a marketing career, currently employed as a Marketing Director in South Florida.

With a passion for philanthropy, paired with her admiration for women supporting one another, Patrick launched Strengthlets, a female-owned jewelry brand designed to empower women and give back to charitable organizations. The company launched in August 2020 and has already secured several national partnerships with non-profit institutions.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

The concept of Strengthlets originated about a year and a half ago when a close family friend was navigating through a difficult time in her life. I spent hours searching for something I could send her that would serve as a constant reminder of strength and support. I was unable to find any items that properly conveyed the message I wanted to send, so I decided to create a product that aligned with what I had envisioned. I stayed up all night sketching various bracelet concepts, and the next morning I began contacting jewelry design teams to see who could bring my (terrible) artwork to life. It has been a long road with a considerable amount of trial and error, but I could not be more pleased with where Strengthlets is today.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Strengthlets is bringing fashionable bracelets to market that are nothing like consumers have ever seen before. We are a female-owned business focused on women’s empowerment and building each other up.

Our team spent months searching for design partners capable of replicating realistic-looking hands that we could incorporate into each one of our designs. Each bracelet in the Strengthlets portfolio utilizes two hands, symbolizing support from one woman to another. Some designs are light and fun, while our “ribbon line” integrates awareness ribbons in an effort to raise funds for various non-profit organizations throughout the country.

We have secured partnerships for every bracelet in the ribbon line and have pledged a minimum 10% of profits to a charity supporting each ribbon’s cause. Currently, our ribbons support breast cancer, blood cancer, SIDS, racial equality, and Alzheimer’s.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I launched Strengthlets in August 2020, and I have already made several “rookie mistakes”. My background is 10+ years in sales and marketing, but I have no previous experience with e-commerce.

In order to gauge which designs would be in highest demand, I decided to launch my website in a pre-order phase so that I did not end up with an excess of inventory.

I had the word “pre-order” listed next to all the designs, which I assumed was sufficient…needless to say, I was wrong. I did not include an anticipated ship date and pre-order details on the confirmation emails, which resulted in a ton of inquiries on why orders had not yet been received and whether the purchase was legitimate.

Luckily, all of the items are now fully stocked, so we have overcome that hurdle, but I definitely re-learned a lesson that was taught to me many years ago…communication is key. I have since updated all the website details to ensure that no questions are left unanswered.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I have had many amazing mentors throughout my career, but I would have to say that my previous CEO, David, had the greatest impact on my professional development. He respected me enough to allow me to fail and believed in me enough to trust that each experience would mold me into a more knowledgeable businesswoman. He took me under his wing and pushed me to learn every single aspect of the organization so that I could become a well-rounded executive at a young age. I am forever grateful for the impact he had my life both personally and professionally.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

As the old saying goes…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If a system or structure has “withstood the test of time” there are typically several factors that play a role in that. Being disruptive gets a negative connotation when we try to completely reinvent the wheel to appear innovative.

An example that immediately comes to mind is The Coolest Cooler, a project that my husband and I personally backed on Kickstarter. They took a product that consumers were previously content with, a standard cooler, and promised to design a version that would take tailgating to the next level. Those of us backing the project were excited about the innovative features such as a blender, Bluetooth speakers and a phone charging port, to name a few. Although they received upwards of 13 million dollars in crowd funding, they were not able to deliver a finished product. As a result, myself and thousand of other hopeful consumers now appreciate our one-dimensional, yet tangible, coolers just a little bit more.

When disrupting the industry, I believe the most effective strategy is to thoroughly examine all of the competitors in that space. Read consumer reviews, find out what the best and worst features are, and use that research to bring the strongest possible product or service to market. Utilize the information history has afforded you and add your creative spin to improve the industry as a whole.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

In addition to adding several charity partners in the near future, we have also been approached about creating a Greek line for sororities. Many of the hand signals associated with each organization incorporate two hands, so we are looking into adding some sorority partners as well. Some exciting projects and collaborations are on the horizon!

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

When women are assertive and persistent in the workplace, they are typically viewed as being irritable. When men exhibit the same qualities, they are perceived as being leaders. Personally, I have witnessed a slight decrease in gender disparities in the workplace, and I believe women are slowly closing the gap between themselves and their male counterparts. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but it is encouraging to see so many inspirational women advancing gender parity in the workplace.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I love learning from other women in business, so I really enjoy listening to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast, “Goaldigger” They are easy listens, so I can play them in the background at work, listen to them as I drive, or grab a glass of wine and tune in before bed. They are always very informative, and the content is always intriguing. One of my favorite episodes was when Jenna was discussing the obstacles she faced when she was beginning her journey into entrepreneurship. It is incredibly reassuring to hear someone who has built such a successful business speak so openly about her personal experiences and learning curves.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire a movement, it would definitely be centered around women’s empowerment. It is saddening to see women judging one another and putting each other down, especially on social media. We are so hard on ourselves already, making an effort to support one another and build each other up could make such a positive impact on women everywhere.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A quote that I live by is “growth and comfort do not coexist” by Ginni Rometty. I have always been my biggest critic, leading with the fear of failing as opposed to the possibility of succeeding. When I get out of my head and out of my comfort zone, I find that my aspirations are much more attainable.

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can check out our website at, follow our Instagram at @strengthlets_ or our Facebook at @strengthlets. Looking forward to connecting!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you for having me, I enjoyed it!

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