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Featured Shop: Nicole Porter Design

May 6, 2013

by Nicole Porter handmade and vintage goods

Hello! My name is Nicole Porter and I make housewares and textiles for my shop, Nicole Porter Design.


I started my business in late 2010 in the bedroom of my tiny apartment in Astoria, New York. My business has grown six times since then, so I’ve relocated to Princeton, Minnesota, for the summer to work on my craft full time.  I think you can measure how much a person wants something by what they’re willing to give up. For me, that meant giving up a a secure job in New York City to paint wood bowls in Minnesota. Thanks to Etsy, I’m in the process of expanding my business, opening a workshop, and (hopefully) hiring craftspeople.


I’m a housewares designer because it’s the last thing I think about when I go to sleep and the first thing I think about when I wake up. I don’t necessarily have a “process” when it comes to creating a new piece — most often I get stuck on an idea or a color that I just have to use over and over until I get it out of my system. I put a lot of work into making sure that my materials are properly sourced and safe. I love things that are both well made and beautiful, which is my goal for all of my products.


Everything about my life has changed since I started my business, and the potential I see in my brand has changed as well. I was taught that if you believe in something, you shouldn’t be afraid to put your name on it. For me, my business is Nicole Porter. This year has been a huge year for me; my work has been featured in In Style, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Food & Wine Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, HGTV’s “Design Star” and on Daily Candy, Apartment Therapy, and several other design blogs.


I can’t really say there’s a specific formula to the success I’ve had so far, but I believe that it’s important to have a clear vision of where you want to go. My dad told me that the best runners don’t look to the side during a race; they’re focused on the road ahead. I’m walking my own path.

All photographs by Nicole Porter Design.

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