A tale of unfettered dedication and heart, Sissy’s Bags and Boutique is not just a business; it is the story of Nikki Campbell – a woman who wears many hats – an entrepreneur, a mother, and an undaunted spirit – effortlessly juggled amidst countless odds.
Embarking on the Entrepreneurial Journey
Nikki’s voyage into entrepreneurship began when her AVON business burgeoned within the confines of her home. The shift came when her older sister encountered a less-than-ideal online shopping experience. Nikki remembers, “My sister tried to contact the seller and got no response. So, I decided to find the same bag or a similar one for her.” This was the genesis of Sissy’s Bags. “Initially the boutique started because my AVON business started taking over our house,” she admits. A year later, Sissy’s Bags transitioned from the trunk of Nikki’s SUV and shuffleboards at local bars to its first brick-and-mortar outlet at the CrossRoads Mall.
Fond Memories and Relationships at CrossRoads Mall
At CrossRoads Mall, the nascent Sissy’s Bags and Boutique began to flourish. Nikki’s voice brims with fondness as she recalls, “It just made my heart so full seeing the little ladies’ eyes light up when they would see what tutu or bow or dress we had created just for them!” It wasn’t just about selling products; Nikki created a warm community. “We had lots of regulars that have now turned into dear friends.”
The Remote Work Revolution
Transitioning to remote work was a monumental decision that profoundly impacted Nikki’s business and personal life. “Going remote was a great decision for us. It allowed me to be home more with my family and cut overhead tremendously.” It also meant more online work, but for Nikki, the trade-off was “worth it!”
Recognition and Impact
Sissy’s Bags and Boutique’s excellent reputation is echoed by its numerous accolades including “Neighborhood Fave of 2023,” one of the “Top 10 Mom Ran Businesses of Omaha,” and one of the “Top 25 Small Businesses of the Metro”. Nikki reflects, “We are so humbled and grateful for these honors. It inspires me to keep pushing and to do my best to go above and beyond for our customers.” And, in 11 years, there is not one complaint with the Better Business Bureau. These recognitions resonate with their clients, building trust and providing insights about the business.
Handcrafting Uniqueness at Sissy’s Boutique
At the heart of Sissy’s Bags and Boutique is the essence of handmade products that sets them apart. “The majority of our children’s products used to be made right in our store or on my living room couch after my babies went to bed,” Nikki shares. As the demand grew, a team of manufacturers was brought onboard, while still preserving the in-house creation of tutus, hair bows, and tees.
The Tightrope Walk: Motherhood and Entrepreneurship
Ask Nikki about managing a business and a large blended family of 14 kids and two grandchildren, and she chuckles, “Barely. The answer is…..barely.” She attributes her ability to maintain this delicate balance to her supportive family, from her husband, to her parents, and her older children, all of whom contribute to the success of her venture.
The Maternal Instinct: Choosing the Right Products
Nikki’s experiences as a mother significantly inform her business decisions. “I think being a mother myself helps me in the decision-making process of what products to carry….’would I put my kiddo in that?’, ‘is that safe?’, ‘would kiddos like this?'” Her maternal instinct aids her in choosing the right products for her clients.
Adapting to Challenges: Supporting a Child with Special Needs
When her son, Jack, was diagnosed as non-verbal and Autistic, Nikki made crucial business modifications. “We decided to close the storefronts so that I could be home to care for him and be available to do whatever he needed done.” Today, with Jack receiving his therapies in one place, Nikki has resumed her business focus. Sissy’s Bags and Boutique now have a vibrant online presence and are housed in four different Nebraska boutiques.
The Future and Beyond
While unsure about another physical location, Nikki is focused on growing the online presence, attending pop-up events, and fairs across the Metro. “My favorite thing about Sissy’s is definitely the people and the treasured relationships & memories we have created.” Her future aspirations include continuous growth, supporting other small businesses, and setting a stellar example for her children and grandchildren.
Sissy’s Bags and Boutique has evolved into a community-loved brand, driven by Nikki’s resilience and passion. It resonates in customer testimonials like Lindsey’s, who says, “I have always been thrilled with the service and products from Sissy’s Bags and Boutique!” Echoing this sentiment, another long-time customer, Jennifer, shares, “The boutique always has the perfect unique gift for every occasion.” Sarah, a mother of two, praises, “The handmade hair bows and tutus are my girls’ favorites!”
From selling AVON products and bags from her home to earning commendable recognitions, Nikki Campbell’s journey is a testament to perseverance and love. As she beautifully sums up, “We’re not exactly sure what the future holds for us, except the fact that we do want to continue to grow, support other small businesses, and work hard to set a good example for our children and grandchildren.” And in this spirit, Sissy’s Bags and Boutique continues to touch lives, one bag at a time.
You can find Nikki Campbell’s creations at Mainstreet Boutique in Blair.