"The best way to predict your future is to create it." ~ Peter Drucker
On a recent trip, I attended a conference in California. While the conference was amazing, what really added to that experience was really feeling a connection with the people in attendance. Today I have one of these wonderful souls here at the Jungle, sharing a bit of her story. Liz Nonnemacher is the founder and creative genius behind the very popular Wickedly Chic, a site dedicated to helping small business owners get the word out on their products and services.
Please read along, as Liz shares a more in depth look at who she is and what she has created.
1. Tell us a little bit about who “you” are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
I’m Liz Nonnemacher and I have a full life. It might be a little bit too full at times but that’s okay. I have a husband, two daughters, two stepsons, two golden retrievers. We currently live in the Chicago suburbs and we are planning a move to sunny Florida this summer when my youngest daughter graduates from high school. Enough is enough with the long winters. This will be the 5th (and warmest state) that I have lived in.
Lance's Commentary: Liz, what's the deal here??? You know…I'm your neighbor to the north…and here you go ditching me!! (hmmm…as I look outside at a cool, rainy morning…) How about this? Since you're going to Florida, I expect I'll now have a tour guide when I come down there!
2. I love the concept behind your site, Wickedly Chic, and how it creates a space for budding entrepreneurs to share their wares. How long have you had this, and what led to creating it?
I started Wickedly Chic on a whim in May of 2006 (which means that “she” is just about to turn 5). Creating Wickedly Chic was not really something intentional or something that I wrote down and worked up a plan for. You know how there are some people who have to read all of the “rules” or make lists or can’t make decisions without consulting their list of whatever? I’m not one of those. Somewhere on the web (maybe Twitter), I read a quote about successful people having a very small gap between idea and action. That’s me.
Basically, I have always loved small businesses, felt that they needed more attention, someone suggested that I start a website and it’s really gone from there. When I started Wickedly Chic, I could do two things online. Place orders and use email. That’s it. I had no idea about anything technical or how to create and what to do. But my oldest daughter was going off to college and I thought this would be a nice little hobby since I was a stay-at-home mom. Maybe I would even make a couple hundred dollars. Imagine that!
But I found that I enjoyed working on Wickedly Chic so much and it gained attention quickly that I went with it and have built it into a full-time endeavor with a team as of today.
Lance's Commentary: Happy 5 Year Birthday Wickedly Chic!! And that's what is really so great about this thing we call the Internet – if someone has an idea, they can go out there and do it – and the web makes it that much more possible! Liz, you are a gift for small business, giving them one more way to reach out and share their products – and that is awesome!!
3. You arrive home, and there happens to be a genie in a bottle awaiting your arrival (stranger things have happened!!). You are granted one wish. What do you choose, and why?
Health and happiness for myself and my family…always. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s so basic but often we don’t give much thought to the things that really matter.
Lance's Commentary: Our health and happiness, these are both things that are so easy to just take for granted, until one (or both) are taken from us. I love this…
4. Tell us one unexpected thing that has happened to you in the last year.
I seem to be creating a lot of my own “unexpected” lately. For example, meeting Lance. I wasn’t planning on going out to California for the event but at the last minute, I knew I needed to be there. I just find myself doing more and being part of more endeavors that I never imagined I would be.
I’ve also found that Wickedly Chic has given “birth” so to speak to a number of new things that I didn’t know would happen during the past year. Wickedly Social was born within the last month as a most fabulous way for businesses to get the word out about their products and events…via me.
Lance's Commentary: I wasn't planning to go out to California, either! It was a last minute decision – and I'm so glad I did!! What a great conference! And what's the deal with this picture you sent me (note – Liz is not in this photo…she was sitting back enjoying the *ahem* "entertaintment")??? What was I thinking, anyway, "trying" to dance?? (ummm….thanks Liz, for passing this on). By the way, I've kind of committed to going back again next year (it was sooo much fun!), so I'll expect to see you there!
That's a great point though – about listening to the voice inside (and knowing what's needed for you). It's all too easy to let this voice sit on the back burner – and look what we miss when we do.
Social media is really becoming an important strategy for reaching out and connecting with others – so very awesome that you're helping people reach an even greater audience!
5. If you had to pick one thing as your greatest achievement, what would it be (and why)?
Oh, the kids. I have two daughters (22 and 17) and while they drive me crazy on occasion (as I am sure that I do to them also), they are really wonderful and caring girls. I have a plaque in my house that says “It’s Nice to Be Important But It’s More Important to Be Nice.” The girls seem to have followed that.
Lance's Commentary: Our kids most definitely provide that two-way "crazy" (I know!!). And yet, behind all of that, what a gift…life that we've nurtured in this world.
6. A fun day for you – tell me what that might consist of.
Well, I love to travel and I’m quite happy when I am doing so. But in ordinary life, it’s probably as simple as just meandering around with no plan at all and checking out places that I have never been. On second thought, I like having no plan at all when I travel. I’m also perfectly content laying in bed all day with a book.
Lance's Commentary: Those days of just wandering, they really can be some of the most meaningful – getting off the beaten path, and just being in the moment (whatever that brings).
7. Deep-down, Liz, what makes you, “you”?
Off of the top of my head, I feel that the biggest thing that defines me is that I truly believe in serving others when I can. It doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of myself but I will help someone in need without thinking about it or thinking if there is anything in it for me.
I’m also very quirky, a bit “off” and a lot of fun. And I love to read. It gives me a lot of knowledge and I am always surprising myself and others by how much I know.
Lance's Commentary: Liz, I could realllly use some help with…. (ha!!). When we serve others, it shows we really care. That's something that shines through so brightly with you! Mix that with quirky fun…and life is pretty darn grand!!
Closing Thoughts: Liz, thank you for being here and for sharing "you". As I learn more about your journey, I'm drawn into what is possible when we just go out there and do it! You have, and you've created something very special in the process.
And next time we meet up (January, yes??) I'm buying lunch for you…not only will it be great to catch up, I'll also find out what kind of crazy pictures you're stashing away that I don't know about! Liz, this has been so much fun having you here, and I look forward to knowing you even better.