Meet Nicole Doud - a true island girl and founder of Little Luxuries of Mackinac.
Inspired by a love of Mackinac Island in Michigan and the simple delights that make it home, Nicole took a leap of faith and opened Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island in May 2009. She had little retail experience at the time, but Nicole knew her weekend shopping trips to cute stores and small towns with her mom growing up had to count for something!
Things like using a cash register were eventually learned, but traveling the country and her beautiful state for unique gifts was something Nicole knew how to do by heart.
Now entering its ninth year, Little Luxuries has blossomed into a popular charming gift shop that’s filled to the brim with home accents, body products, stationery, accessories, handmade goods, and more.
Of the 200 artisans featured in her shop, 75% are Michigan-made. Our store celebrates the spontaneous discoveries that happen when you slow down, stroll around, and embrace life’s simple joys.
Little Luxuries has a sister store, Little Luxuries Artists Market, est. 2015. Here you will find an ever-changing curated collection of handmade goods from established and emerging artists and makers.
Follow us @littleluxuriesartistsmarket
Little Luxuries is open from May to October, but you can shop us online year-round.
We were lucky enough to borrow some of Nicole's time as she answered some of our questions about how being niche really is the key to her success.
Q: What has been your biggest success with Little Luxuries and your other shops?
A: The part that has made Little Luxuries a success in my eyes, are the details. I truly believe life is about the little things. Customers love the vintage displays I use to display my products, our cute bags, the note that is included in each customer's bag, and so on. I want customers to feel at home in my stores and I feel like I have created a cozy atmosphere at all three of my shops.
Q: What has been your biggest struggle?
A: I learn new things about owning a business each year. The biggest struggle I have encountered is making sure I find the right products my customers want to take home with them while they are on vacationing on Mackinac Island. I have to remember that they may be buying a gift to take home for someone, a keepsake for themselves, a wedding gift, a baby gift, and the list goes on. There is a lot to think about while buying for the store each new season, and our season is only three months long.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
A: I am inspired by many things, but mostly handmade goods with a story behind the product. I love vintage, floral, the color teal and pretty packaging. Put me in a flea market or handmade market and I will be in my happy place!
Q: What is your niche?
A: I think that Little Luxuries is my niche - it is filled with pretty little luxuries that I have hand-picked for the store, including the displays, music, staff, exclusive designs and attractive packaging. I never thought I would own a store of my own, let alone live and work on Mackinac Island. Retail is now a part of my life in everything that I do.
Q: What keeps you going?
A: I will admit, there are times I wonder what life would be like if I lived in a big city or was home with my boys. But that thought doesn't last long! I am addicted to my work and I love finding new artists/vendors to work with. I enjoy making the shop a happy place for others and hearing customers say, "This is my favorite store. I love everything in it!" Sweet comments make my heart happy. xoxo.
Join Nicole Doud on the show floor at the launch of Niche Fair at their Winter Market. To register to attend, simple click here.