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Exploring Life & Business with Nicole Spracale of Thrivacy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Spracale.

Hi Nicole, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve had a unique path to where I’m at today.

I first started out with a dream of being a performer and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting and voice. After several years, of earthquakes, fires, floods, and other disasters, I moved back to the Phoenix area. Not long after returning, I met my husband and never looked back. With that very happy turn of personal events, I returned to working in retail – which was something I had done throughout high school and college.

I soon realized my deep passion for the people side of the business and went on to build a career working with amazing companies and teams leading the talent and people function. About seven or eight years ago, I left “corporate” and embraced my entrepreneurial spirit by co-founding a short-lived retail bakery concept with an amazing partner. That lead me to work with other founders and CEOs as an executive coach and fractional leader helping companies to scale and grow.

I loved the work and the various companies I had the honor to be a part of. During COVID I took some time to reflect on what brought me the most personal joy, and what I felt was missing professionally and realized I missed being part of a team. I decided it was time to pivot away from my coaching & consulting practice and find that perfect new home to join. In March of 2021, I became an Advisor for an exciting startup, Validide.

Later in the summer, I was honored to join the team full-time as their COO and Co-Founder. Today, I couldn’t be more excited about our team, what we are building, and where the future can take us!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s funny – looking back at the last 20 years of my career, I imagine that while I was in the thick of things it all felt bumpy as heck!

In reality, each bump was actually just a small blimp that was a necessary learning moment to prepare me for the next opportunity ahead. I have definitely learned hard lessons around capitalization (or the lack of it), making poor hiring choices, making decisions in haste, acting from a place of desperation, and not staying true to my gut.

I would say the biggest lesson along the way that I had to re-learn a few times, was to not worry about what others think/say. Of course, this is a fine line… to be vulnerable and open to feedback and suggestion is key to growth and advancement, what is hard is learning how to quiet the voice inside that is crushed by critics and haters or those who say things not for the sake of helping you improve, rather they have their own agenda which is not in service of you or your business.

This is still a work in progress, and may always be that way.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Thrivacy is a digital wallet solution focused on making it simple for anyone to download and store their own, verified identity credentials and then share them quickly and safely. We are unique and different from other solutions because we are decentralized, meaning we don’t keep a master database of everything our customers order, protecting you from hackers and other bad actors who want to steal your data.

We are super proud to have been incubated on the campus of the Unversity of South Carolina, as an idea by Co-Founder and recent graduate, Erica Barnette, and our CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Gordon Jones who is a professor there. Along with my fourth Co-Founder, Seth McGaugh, we are proud to be a company led by 2 women.

Veteran-owned, and all huge dog lovers (check our social feed, we picture our pups all the time)! Our app is currently in beta and will be launching later this spring.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I grew up in New York City, in mid-town Manhattan. I remember as a kid having very specific rules about what I could and couldn’t do, where I could and couldn’t go, etc. My school was 30 blocks or so north from where we lived, and in about second or third grade, I was finally able to take the (public) bus to school alone.

While I could take the bus back and forth to school, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere else alone until I was about 10. It was coming up on my parent’s anniversary and I got permission to go to the store by myself and buy them a present. To me this was huge. B. Altman’s (a department store no longer in business) was about 2 blocks from where we lived. It was the first time I went shopping alone, and I can still remember feeling nervous as I walked over to the store and walked in all alone. Even though the store was right in front of the bus stop I went to every day, it felt very different actually going inside.

I still clearly remember walking in, picking out the gift, and spending $31. Crazy that I remember the price! I bought a blue and brown china pot with white and pink china flowers. I was so proud of myself for going there alone, picking the gift out, and buying it all by myself. My parents had that gift until they passed away some thirty years later. Looking back, I’m pretty sure they never really liked it – they just kept it because it was a symbol of me growing up and learning to be independent.

Now as a mom, I so appreciate all those firsts, no matter how big or small.

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Image Credits
Karianne Munstedt

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