Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Rowe.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew doing musical theater, thinking I was going to be on Broadway one day. A year before graduating high school, I became very active in my church and believed I wanted to start doing Mission Work full time (a position like in the World Race). My parents were not too happy since I spent time and money on musical theater for at least ten years prior to this self-discovery but they were fully supportive. I went on a Mission Trip to Rwanda, Africa for a few weeks and lead a sports camp. I loved the work I was doing and the person I was turning into. When going to college, however, I realized how much I really missed performing. I was praying for balance so, I could serve and perform. I found the Miss America Organization. It is a scholarship pageant program that is nationally known and respected. Each girl not only competes in each stage of the competition (Lifestyle & Fitness, Talent, Evening Gown, Interview and On-Stage Question) but, they bring in a personal platform (something they advocate for) and they serve the community and their reward is scholarship money. This was the balance I was looking for. I ended up competing for three years and have won three local titles.
It was hard to find a full-time missionary major at my school so I went with Communications/Marketing and a minor in Christian Studies. I was given so many options and opportunities to any career I want with this major/minor. I became very interested in marketing and social media. I changed my route and decided to start a blog and work my way up to a freelancing position. I have had every internship under the sun and I am receiving my Social Media Marketing Certificate through a community college (I took eight classes at once… yikes!).
After going to Rwanda, my heart was still in the mission field. My school offered mission trip opportunities so I went to the Dominican Republic, Thailand and Cambodia with them and fought sex-trafficking and was a social worker. In high school, I dated the foreign exchange student (lol!) and went back to Italy with him for a good month when I was 16! I feel as if I had so much to share about my life and my travels that I felt blogging was the perfect path for me in my free time and that Marketing was the goal job.
Going back to the idea of having a personal platform for pageantry, I started with Childhood Cancer Research and Advocacy for two years then I changed it my third year. I promise, this all ties in back together. My friend was killed by a wrong-way drunk driver on April 14th, 2017. I changed my platform to Stay Alive: Don’t Drink & Drive to advocate against drunk driving in honor of her. A lot of my work revolves around having conversations with high school students about how to make better decisions once going to college because of many things changes. I have this conversation but on their level.
The platform work did not fill the void so my best friend (who lived with the victim) and I started a jewelry company called The Rise Company. Our friend was an explorer so in honor of her, we handstamp coordinates onto bar necklaces of some of the most beautiful places to hike and travel. 10% of each purchase is given to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.
This is the story of how I started both of my companies at the age of 20 years old. Never let anyone tell you that you are too young to follow your dreams.
Great, 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?
Nothing in life is smooth, how can we grow if it is? Finding Marketing jobs in college in nearly impossible because everyone wants a degree and experience. I had to live a routine lifestyle all through college so I probably only went to two college parties in my life. I felt like I had to grow up faster than anyone else and in a constant state of stress. I would go through that 100x again to be the person I am today because of it.
Please tell us about The Bare Minimum & The Rise Company.
For my blog/freelance company, The Bare Minimum, I specialize in social media, blogging, branding and advertising. I like making your social media pretty but also provide Call to Actions and strategy for your customers. I blog about personal rants, funny stories and life tips. I will never be a fashion blogger because I have a strong relationship with my t-shirt and leggings combo. I think that is what sets me apart is I am doing it for myself more than to be Instagram famous.
For The Rise Company, I explained a little about what we do and why we do it. I am proud of how fast this company has grown. It is hard talking about my friend’s death on a daily basis but it helped me handle it better. What sets us apart is the message we are providing and the fact we donate to an organization. Simon Sinek, in a TED Talk, discussed successful business and he said something along the lines of “people do not buy what you do but why you do it” then he said something like “people didn’t love Martin Luther King Jr. because he said I want this, this, and this but he said I have a DREAM.”
This is the motto our business relies on.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I lived in San Diego when I was 2-7 years old (I don’t know why we moved). Before yearly passes to theme parks were a billion dollars, my family had one for every park from Disneyland to Legoland. Since I was an only child, I had to ride all the rides alone because my parents could not handle the motion of each ride. Every time we went to the parks, my parents would buy me a Build a Bear to ride the rides with me. I know that sounds sad but I was a young girl with eight million Build A Bear’s, so I was living my best life with a churro in each hand every weekend.
- Website: thebareminimums.com
- Instagram: @thenicolerowe