How Nikki Nelms Went From Bartering Hairstyles For Grades to Styling Zoe Kravitz

From securing voting rights in 1920 to launching world-renowned corporations, we’ve come a long way as females! International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th this year, but it’s something we’re celebrating all month long at Mane Addicts.

It’s a global day that champions the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all around the globe. We tend to go full speed all year but for one day, International Women’s Day allows us to take a pause and applaud the baddies around us. Here at Mane Addicts, we love celebrating women and their accomplishments more than anyone. This series will take you inside the lives and minds of some of the biggest female names in hair.

Nikki Nelms was born to be a hairstylist and innovator. Even as a little girl, her teachers in Florida would allow for her to miss class in order to do hair. She was smart as a whip too, bartering hair do’s for grades from an early age. Fast forward a few decades and now Nikki is a celebrity hairstylist to women like Zoe Kravitz, Janelle Monae, and Maui Moisture brand ambassador and below, she’s sharing her wisdom on business, brand deals and more.

MA: Tell us about your business.

Nikki Nelms: I don’t have my own company, I’m self-employed. I’m my first and only employee so far.

MA: What was the first step you took to start your business?

Nikki Nelms: I grew up in Florida and just started doing hair for as many people as I could. I would show up on music video sets and get my name out there. My first job was hair for a Timbaland music video. Then I met Lil Wayne and starting doing his hair, he was one of my first regular clients.

MA: What have you found useful to get through the hard times?

Nikki Nelms: I pray. I call my grandma, and I speak to one of my mentors.

MA: What makes you unique as a female entrepreneur?

Nikki Nelms: What I think makes me unique is that I really enjoy searching inside myself for new ideas and I am constantly trying to see what I can create and come up without too much outside influence and research.

MA: What is the best advice you’ve received on your entrepreneur journey?

Nikki Nelms: Advice from grandma, “Get to know people for yourself and then create your own opinions, instead of listening to hearsay.” 

MA: What is your morning routine? How does it help you kick off your day?

Nikki Nelms: I wish I had a consistent routine. I don’t though. I wake up and hop on Instagram for the most part.

MA: What tech device or app do you credit for making you more productive?

Nikki Nelms: I don’t really use one honestly, my personal desire is to be better than I was yesterday, which keeps me super focused. That’s how I stay productive.

If you ever get to meet Nikki, make sure you don’t ASK her this!

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