We were lucky to catch up with N’Ckyola “Nikki” Green recently and have shared our conversation below.
N’Ckyola, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
I started Xtraordinary by Design in 2006 to help people decorate their homes & offices without the limits of trends & budgets.
In 2012, I met a client with some unique requests. She explained that she had a career she loved but that could be very stressful. She really wanted to come home to her own personal sanctuary everyday. Even with a limited budget, furniture she was not quite ready to replace, and loads of style, I was fully ready to take on the challenge.
Less than a year later, I met a sweet young couple with a child who struggled with mental illness. They too wanted a sanctuary for themselves and their child, and again on a budget.
After that, I realized that I was doing more than beautifying spaces. I was changing lives by creating meaningful spaces that nurture mind, body, and soul. Without knowing how to explain it initially, THAT has been the goal all along.
I am always thinking of ways to serve the community. Everyone has a gift & to be able to use our gifts to give back to others is a true blessing. The gift I love to share is the ability to plan out spaces, decorate homes & offices working within any budget because everyone truly does deserve a place they love to come home to.
Our next venture as a family is to work toward affordable luxury housing, specifically geared toward the challenges of single parents. It’s a dream I’ve had since becoming a single parent in my early 20’s that I am now praying to bring to life!
N’Ckyola “Nikki”, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I didn’t start out as an interior designer. The exact opposite actually! I spent 20 years in government & corporate America as a programmer, systems analyst, & project manager. When I started my business, it was an event planning side hustle I did with a friend. After she bowed out, I shifted to event & interior design. Initially my goal was to bring design to the masses, people who may have thought interior designers are only for the rich & famous.
A lot of people think they can’t afford to have beautiful functional homes they love. I say you can’t afford NOT to.
Once I started focusing on interior design, I started to see a transformation in client’s lifestyles & mindsets about their homes. People don’t want to just buy things and follow trends. Most people really want to have what they love, love what they have, and love home.
With that, my goal with Xtraordinary by Design shifted – I bring great style home by decorating consciously, holistically, and sustainably. Because when you love home your soul feels nurtured and that makes you better able to nourish others, perform at your optimum level, and feel an overall sense of well-being.
I truly love all my clients & the beautiful functionality I am able to bring to their homes & offices. The 1 project I am most proud was a 2013 makeover of a Catholic (& Montessori) school library that served children from pre-k through 5th grade. It was not easy but was so fun & rewarding.
I volunteered my time & expertise while the parents, teachers, staff, and parishioners helped raise money & worked right alongside me to give the children an improved space to grow & learn. It still warms my heart when I think about how happy everyone was to see what we could accomplish together as a community! Let’s just say there were tears.
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
Xtraordinary by Design started out an event planning side hustle I did with a friend while I was working hard as a single mom to come up the government & corporate ranks as a systems analyst & project manager in IT.
I found my true calling midway through my IT career & my business was born in 2003 as a joint Event Planning venture. In 2006 when my business partner could no longer dedicate the time to full-on event planning, I shifted focus to Interior & Event Design.
Since my skill set was on the more creative & organizational side, it was natural to focus on my strengths and passions. So after a few years of working under the direction of a licensed contractor & custom home builder, Xtraordinary Eventz became Xtraordinary by Design.
Yeas later, after my youngest son was born & having taken off 4 months with him, I was laid off because 4 months was 1 month too long. Secretly I was happy about it because I really needed the break. But I didn’t really dive in to being an entrepreneur until I went back to work for 2 years as an IT contractor.
By 2012, I was so stressed that my health & my family were suffering. That’s when my husband & I decided that I should do what I truly love – help people through interior design.
That same year, after helping several clients with unique requests & some with special needs, I realized that I was doing more than beautifying spaces. I was changing lives, including my own, by creating meaningful spaces that nurture mind, body, and soul. Spaces that help spark joy, promote peace, & soothe the entire being.
And that is how I came to be The Holistic Interior Designer.
In 2019, after our family matriarch (& my very dear friend, my grandmother) passed away, once again my health declined dramatically in the face of grief. I found solace in gardening, which she so loved & fed us all with over the years – it was & IS a time of meditation & connection for me!
After starting & expanding my own garden, I added kitchen garden design and eDesign to my offerings. That’s been an exciting learning process but all these visions add up to a life well lived. For me & my clients!
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
Do. Great. Work! Repeat & referral clients are my bread & butter. And you only get that from doing great work! I actually become friends with most of my clients & many of them won’t buy a throw pillow without asking my opinion first. Funny but true!
I treat every client like family – I may see a bit of my mom in 1 person, my sister in another, my children in others – and I interact with them as such. I think that, coupled with the attention and the detail and the love I bring to my craft, keep them coming back AND keeps them sending more people my way.
- Website: https://blog.xbydesign.biz/
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/4thHouse_OnTheRight
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/4thHouseOnTheRight
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nckyola/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/4thHouseOnTheRt
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/4thHouseontheRight
- Other: https://pinterest.com/4thHouseOnTheRight