In our latest community spotlight, we are learning all about Nikki Villatoro. Nikki is a graphic designer and photographer and runs Moni & Vee as a one-woman powerhouse. During our interview, she talked about the ups and downs of running a business by yourself. She shares some great advice and encouragement to other solopreneurs out there!
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Nikki, the face behind Moni & Vee. I specialize in both graphic design & photography and I'm currently based in Tempe, Arizona.
How did you get started with your business?
Moni & Vee just recently turned a year old, but I've always been in the 'design world'. I started designing when I was 15 years old and have grown from that. Prior to owning a business, if you asked me whether I ever wanted to be a business owner, I would've told you I never had the intention of doing so. But the universe has a funny way of throwing you a curveball and I'm so thankful for it. I was lucky enough to find amazing clients that were on the hunt for a designer/photographer and I found myself taking the leap from being a full-time designer to being my own boss.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been so many challenges along the way with not only learning how to be a business owner but managing your time– whether it be replying to emails, meetings, marketing the company and or just doing the daily grind of designing or shooting photos. I found it hard to find a rhythm when I first started but after a year of doing so, I think I've finally started to piece everything together and learned how to be time efficient.
What would you say has been one of your biggest “wins”?
My biggest win has to be being happy! It's definitely been crazy being the sole person behind Moni & Vee, but my work has made me so insanely happy and I couldn't have been more blessed with amazing clients that know how to keep a girl on her toes.
Did you have any help building your website or did you do it yourself?
I designed the website myself but with the help of Station Seven, of course! I honestly couldn't have asked for a better look and feel for my website and have never been so beyond happy with a site that holds all of my work, but also shows my personality within it too.
Any advice for others looking to start out?
Go with the flow! The universe throws so many curveballs at you– whether they're scary or exciting; be yourself, value yourself and work hard. You'll get to where you need to be soon.
Is there anything else about your story you'd like to share?
Remember to always value yourself and push yourself, there may be moments where you may be taken advantage of but know that your work is worth what you make it! Also, work your butt off but don't forget to treat yourself with some good time off.
Lastly - where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on Instagram, my personal account is pretty relaxed and has some of my favorite pieces of my life @nikkivillatoro but you can find my company instagram at: @moniandvee. I also have my website where I post a lot of my newest work and keep my blog up to date: www.moniandvee.com.