In this episode I interview Nikki Duong Koenig, the founder of Cykochik Custom Handbags, in Dallas, Texas.
Nikki started the vegan handbag company back in 2003 when she was an art student. After graduating, she took up a career in corporate marketing as an art director and creative director, working in New York City and Dallas for American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Barneys New York, Hilton Worldwide, Hewlett Packard, and many other global brands.
In 2013, Nikki left the corporate world to focus full time on growing Cykochik, collaborating with local, national and international artists, while supporting environmental causes and animal and human rights.
Within a year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) honored Cykochik with the “Compassionate Business Award” for being an “exceptional cruelty-free company” and Nikki became the first Texas fashion and accessories designer to collaborate on a collection with PETA.
In this interview Nikki discusses:
• Why she chooses to manufacture her bags in Dallas (and the challenges that brings)
• How she chooses which artists to collaborate with on collections – and how to pitch her
• How she ran a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013 to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary
• How getting customers involved in her brand and creating a community around it has resulted in the business’s success
• Why she decided to stick to an online ecommerce model instead of selling her products through retailers
• And much more
Visit the Cykochik Custom Handbags website
Brands mentioned in vegan business news roundup: