Nicky has been a best friend for over a decade. She's a brilliant artist, savvy business woman, and incredible mom. She's the brains behind Studio Ramiii where she makes earrings that are truly "art for your ears." She's got a cult following not only because of her incredible earrings, but also because she's so relatable and cool.
Tell us a little bit about you and how Studio Ramiii began.
So, I’m Nicole Morris! Studio Ramiii was born out of a desire to create more, coupled with my unexpected PPD that lasted a couple of years with my first son. I had him with two years left in art school and honestly felt directionless. I knew I needed to create, and I have always loved the idea of having my own business but I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I spent loads of late nights collecting skills: cake and cookie decorating, cooking, makeup (I went down a deeeeep youtube hole on this one), bookbinding, sewing, fabric designing, rug making, you name it. I tried it all. One day I tried making earrings from leather scraps, and I loved how light they were. I started looking for other materials that were lightweight and versatile and I found polymer clay. I didn’t think it would be possible for me to stick with something this long, but I have such a love for this medium, for artful fashion, and especially for the community I have found. Earrings are fun, universal, and size-less. I love the versatility!
If you could go back and give yourself some advice as a new mom, struggling with PPD, what would you say?
Well first, I wish I would have recognized my PPD sooner. I didn’t think I was experiencing depression because I didn’t hate my baby, or want to kill myself, which I thought were the only signs of PPD. What I was experiencing was obvious looking back, but not in the moment. I had feelings of total darkness, or doom. A lot of asking myself ‘is this it? Is this what I will do for the rest of my life?’ I was always tired, showered less, and wore my pjs all day. I couldn’t find my motivation for anything. But once I realized what was going on (I took a depression test online) I was able to get help, get medication, and most importantly get support.
Something that really helped me was in a book I read. They were discussing how motivation doesn’t equal action. It’s the opposite, actually. Action=motivation. This simple concept gave me my power back. I forced myself to shower. To go on walks, and it bred more motivation, and more action, and snowballed into more consistency for myself.
How has creating and starting your own business been important for you as a mother and individual?
I have found so much purpose in being a mother, AND a business owner. I realized that I was less depressed, and more present with my family when I had the time to focus on my own creative pursuits. Making things is a mindful practice for me. It forces me to slow down, and just be with myself. So having more moments like that, and motivations outside of motherhood has been crucial. I feel like a human still, a woman outside of motherhood and for me that came in the form of running a creative business. But I really think it could be as simple as reading books YOU love. Or signing up for a 10k. Or taking a workshop. I truly believe that it is important for our children to see us as people with dreams, with goals, with a life.
How do you instill creativity into your kids?
You should see my kitchen table right now! Ha! Something I have intentionally done is have art supplies out at (almost) all times. It’s a glorious mess. It’s also been an interesting and rewarding experiment. My kids start drawing in the morning, and throughout the day. They prefer art over TV the majority of the time, and blank paper over coloring pages. Watching their creativity has really inspired me. I have turned a little corner of my studio into an art space just for them, and hope to pull inspiration from them! Their color theory is off the charts.
Any advice for moms who are wanting to stay home with their children, but also want a creative outlet?
First of all, moms who stay at home deserve so much praise, and truly the biggest paychecks every year. The job is relentless! And rewarding, of course. What really helped was to find something I was interested in and research it. Watch some youtube, learn a new technique, and try it out. I made it *me* time. When the kids were asleep I would get out my supplies on my coffee table, turn on Gilmore girls, and get going. It doesn’t matter what it is, just how it makes you feel when you are making it. I spent well over 100 hours painting patterns on blocks for my son’s second birthday. The blocks are his, but this project was all mine.
When you feel mom guilt, what helps?
I still battle mom guilt, but this is what has helped me the most: I was expressing my constant mom guilt to my therapist and she told me that in grad school she learned about how the number one, and most important factor in ‘successful’ child raising is an environment where the child is allowed to feel their feelings, and is told that they are loved. Pretty simple, and two things we can all do. I take it back to the basics on the days I feel guilt. Are they fed? Are they dressed? Do I love them? Can they tell me how they feel? I realize I am doing so much more than I give myself credit for.
What’s something your children have taught you?
Self love. They truly love themselves and are unapologetic about how they are. My 3 year old decided it was snowing today (the weather is sunny) and wore her snow hat, gloves, and scarf to preschool. When I tell my son I think he is the coolest, he says ‘yeah I am!’ When did I lose that kind of confidence? I think it gets lost somewhere in puberty and high school, but watching them gives me the confidence to love myself more.
You’re such a fun mom. What helps you not take things too seriously?
Ha! Thanks! I think it’s partially a personality thing, but I don’t sweat the mess. It just doesn’t seem worth my energy. I do a big clean up before bed (and sometimes I don’t!) and just focus on the moment. I also learned that being fun isn’t hard to do. Like, ‘best mom ever’ trophies are handed out after a good 10 minutes of playing zoo keeper with my kids. Or turning on the most annoying song ever ‘gummy bear’ and dancing with them.
What’s your favorite Emme piece and why?
This is the hardest question you have asked, because I love all of them. I own the Faye dress in Evergreen, and the Beatrice Button Jumpsuit in Ebony. I love that you guys carry extended sizing! And the quality is remarkable. I feel like I’m wearing pj’s while getting asked where I got my dress constantly. The perfect combination! And the jumpsuit is gorgeous. I am in love with how versatile the pieces are. And linen is just the best.
Thanks, Nicky. We adore you. Follow Nicky and support her business here!