Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Nicole Geilen. I’m 43 years old, I live together with my husband and two sons in Sittard. I studied Fashion Designer in Maastricht and product design at the Fontys College in Sittard. One of the many passion that I developed in my studies is upcycling.
From there it grew and I started to put existing products in their own environment and thereby says something about the durability, the market and society. I develop new features for existing products -upcycling- them and make them last (much) longer. This contributes to having less waste. Navigate | managing sustainability, Innovation | upcycling of existing products, Creativity | creative solutions, Ecological | consider your environment… this evolved into NICEway
What do you consider your distinctive achievement?
It’s embedded in delivering the awareness of living in a disposable society, and I am convinced that every little step helps. We can’t stay still watching and hoping that the big industrial factories for once will do something about, including their CO2 emissions. We can all contribute in our own way to this issue.
With my practice, I hope to inspire people to design upcycling objects and therefore boost the circular economy. By providing workshops I show that YOU CAN be sustainable and innovative, starting with yourself and your surroundings.
What are you looking forward too?
I look forward to being conscious every time, in every object I design or workshop I give. I hope I can be an inspiration for the young and old.
I hope that soon, we will live in an environment where sustainability and innovation will predominate, and everyone will be more conscious about the world we live in…. Yesterday rather than today. We are guests on this planet and not owners, and we must realise THAT.
Which advice would you give to other professionals?
My biggest advice would be: stand consciously for what you believe. Look for the exception that you want to be. Try everything, make sure you become specialised in a field and you develop better than the rest. This is one of the most important resources that you should use to sustain yourself and your growth in this society.
Research what you want. Make a brand book of your business and write your goals, what you want to achieve and hold on to it. Another important thing is to work together and helping each other, give and take. Finally, it will all paid back and be appreciated. You will achieve so much more… more than you think.
What are the challenges that we need to come to make about cultural entrepreneurship more accessible?
A good education is never wrong but follows your heart. Show to everyone your passion, it will be recognised and appreciated by those who believe in you. Work with other entrepreneurs, because you cannot do everything by yourself. You need to invest in order to grow. Share and talk to everyone, if they can, they will help and support you. Be confidence in yourself, your work is the cornerstone of your existence. And above all, enjoy it!