A masked entrepreneur readies for Halloween (and beyond)

YOUNG BLOOD OLD SOUL is Nicole Mikkelsen's brand of vintage products and interesting observations on life, music, books, friends and food.

Her initial product line features men's and women's clothing and items that she finds at estate and rummage sales. They're things that "no one else wants" but have a certain 'joie de vivre' that Mikkelsen is able to see.

But it is her most recent line of products, handmade masks, that has Mikkelsen thinking bigger and beginning to plan for a move from her Etsy store to a brick and mortar studio. "In fall 2012 I began making Halloween masks," she says. "I had no formal training but I put them in my Etsy store and they sold like crazy. I never expected them to be so popular."

Mikkelsen says she was inspired to make the masks by the Wes Anderson movie, The Incredible Mr. Fox, and she now makes a wide variety of masks such as cats, bunnies and foxes. Mikkelsen says she crafts the mask from fake fur, wire, ribbon and other craft material and currently sells them for $59 through her online business.

Feedback about and sales of her masks have been very encouraging. She says sales have tripled this year and she even had a customer from New Orleans, a city where pageantry is part of the culture, tell her, "Now, these are real masks!"

Working closely with GROW, Mikkelsen, who works as a nanny, is taking taking a business-like approach moving forward: "I have a vision for the store and studio. I do not want to go into debt so I am  building up capital." She says this Halloween season will help determine her next steps.

Complementing her products, Mikkelsen is also an avid blogger, posting on subjects such as her "huge vinyl collection," road trips, Americana, rock and roll, and classic clothes.

To learn more about Mikkelsen's ventures you can visit her Etsy shop here, her blog here and her Facebook page here.  

Writer, John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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