WILMINGTON — Stephanie Nicoli, Wilmington resident, took her time and ambitions during the COVID-19 quarantine and started her own small online clothing business, Aspirexlothing.
When asked what inspired her to create Aspirexlothing, Nicoli talked about how she overcame fears with passion.
“I used to be scared to fail. I never wanted to be the person to try something new and see no progress and feel like a failure. But I realized that failing is a part of life. It makes you stronger and gives you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and improve the next time around.
“I got tired of being scared of failure and I finally decided to go for what I want. That is how aspirexlothing happened. I have always been into fashion and always enjoyed the more creative side of things. I never wanted to have a career doing something that I don’t enjoy.
“I knew that if I put all the passion I had for something into my work that it would pay off. So I created something for others and myself as a reminder that they can aspire to be anything they want and follow their dreams.”
The name Aspirexlothing came from her own ambitions.
“My initial thought when creating the name for my business was ‘what is the reason I wanted to start my own business? What was that push that made me go for it?’ I started to brainstorm. The main thing was that I have always wanted to be my own boss. I know that when I set my mind to something, I am going in giving everything I have.
“Just like with everything else in life, finding what I wanted to do for a career came with trial and error. I have worked a handful of jobs but never had that feeling of wanting to do more or that urge to be at the top. Once I started creating Aspirexlothing, I automatically had those feelings. I have always given my 100 percent effort, but with my own brand I want to excel. I wanted that to be in my brand name because that is who I am, aspiring to be the most successful I can.”
Nicoli outlined what she sells and who her target audience is.
“I would say my target audience when creating clothes would be ages as young as 15-16, to people who are in their late 20’s. I like my designs to be modern, minimalistic and mainly neutral colors and I feel as if that type of design targets the ages I want to see wearing my clothes.
“When creating my clothes I also try to make it wearable for both men and women. The neutral colors and minimalistic designs definitely make it easier for that to happen. The kind of clothes I make are also unisex so all clothing could be purchased by either.
“My brand is mainly loungewear, including hoodies, crewnecks, t-shirts, and lounge shorts, a recent addition. I hope to add more to my brand like sweatpants and outerwear.”
Her greatest challenges and rewards are as follows:
“Some of my greatest challenges so far as a business owner would definitely be not having the support from people who I thought would be there for me. But I quickly learned that the only person who I need support from is myself.
“I should not have to rely on empty promises from people that are not contributing to my business, as long as I know what I am worth and keep striving to be better. Of course I am extremely grateful for everyone that has supported me thus far. Consistency and determination is what will get me far with my business.
“Some of the most rewarding aspects of my business would be people that I don’t even know telling me they love my designs and supporting me. I post on social media to get my name out there and as advertising.
“And, in the past few months that I have had my business, I have gotten so much support and kind words from people that live in all different states. It is definitely a nice and rewarding feeling to know that people other than myself also like my work and it gives me that extra push to keep working harder.”
Nicoli thanks her parents and her town as her greatest inspirations.
“My biggest inspirations are definitely my parents. They have raised me to never rely on other people for my own success, and have always supported me in anything I have done.
“Living in Wilmington also plays a part in who I am today. Ever since I was little, I remember Wilmington being a small town that has a strong community, that gathers for local events and supports other residents of the town. I feel like even though I obviously didn’t know everyone that gathered for local events, I always had a sense of support within the community, and I think that feeling has carried over to my business.”
Nicoli talked about what her goals are for her brand, one being to open a physical store.
“One of my main goals is to have a small shop in Boston so it isn’t just online. But before that can happen, my other goals are to expand my inventory and maintain steady orders, so that I can turn my full attention to my business in order for this to be my full time job.
“I am going to continue to be consistent with content on social media and putting out clothing that I am proud of. I am beyond excited to see what happens next with my business, because I am ready for this to turn into something big.”
Finally, she detailed how Wilmington residents can support her business.
“I would love for Wilmington residents to show support for a local, small business. The best thing to show support is to follow my social media pages and visit my website. My instagram and Tiktok are both @aspirexlothing and my website is aspirexlothing.com. Eventually I would like to do a pop up in Wilmington with a small quantity of my inventory for people to come and see what Aspirexlothing is all about.”