We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Hoekstra and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I wanted to create a styling business that wasn’t intimidating or too specific for a certain type of person. The idea around Hoekstrastyles is to help anyone with any budget, style preference, age range, etc. to be able to get ready in the morning with ease and feel confident in themselves. Whether we think about it or not, we all represent ourselves first in the way we look, and this doesn’t mean you have to look perfect but it means that you show off how you feel, what your personality is, and how you want others to perceive you all in the way you dress. Being able to have this part of your day down allows for you to feel confident and do well in other aspects of your life which creates a more well rounded you. Style is accessible to anyone and doesn’t have to be just for those who care about fashion or trends.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Once I continued to do research into colleges and schools that had fashion departments, I was able to do my own research on careers within this field as well. It wasn’t easy to want to study something that most people don’t understand how it could be a lifelong career or job. I really made sure to keep in mind that I can do things differently than others and to always keep in mind what makes me happy, and that it is possible to work hard and do what you love successfully. I’ve learned that you are always going to hear other peoples opinions whether they are warranted or not, and that it’s good to keep an open mind but to never doubt yourself or your abilities. Personally, I always wished there were more people talking openly about starting their own business, being creative, and saying that you can do whatever it is you set your mind to when I was growing up thinking about my future. So now I hope to bring inspiration to others when it comes to wardrobe but also to those who were like my younger self that knew they wanted to do something unique.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I will also always take visitors to Oldtown because it’s been there forever so showing them the older buildings that mix in with the new is really fun, it’s so easy to walk around for food, drinks and to go shopping. Another activity I always make sure to fit in is a hike, whether it’s small like going to hole in the rock or big like camelback, I like to be able to get people outside to really see the landscape of Arizona!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A big influence on my life would be my teacher in College who ran the Fashion department, she always made sure we were staying creative and pushing ourselves to do new things we though we couldn’t do. She inspired me to go into the Retail and Fashion world as a career and allowed me to see how I can follow my dreams even if it may not seem as common or realistic to others.

Website: hoekstrastyles.com

Instagram: @hoekstrastyles

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.