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Rising Stars: Meet Nikki Stokes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Stokes.

Hi Nikki, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
“I never planned to become a business owner. Crocheting and knitting served as art therapy for me as a caregiver. Soon I realized that creating was a healing tool for me and helped finance my son’s medical needs. HGE Designs Co was created.”

I started crocheting for therapy after my son was diagnosed with Autism. I began selling products to help pay for therapy and his care. When Covid-19 forced schools to close, I began creating sensory products from fiber and yarn to help manage his behaviors at home.

I created The Puzzling Disorder Project to support other families in our community.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There is no one path, look, or even set of behaviors for Autism.

I was creating from a place of need so I never knew how to really run a business. I did not know or understand marketing or revenue streams. I didn’t even consider profits or any of those terms. I made what I could sell for what my son needed.

It made me feel better because I was creating these different one-of-a-kind pieces.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am known for bright colors, unique designs, and vibrant eyewear! I am also known as an advocate for families and my community. I believe what sets me apart from others is that all of my work is heart-driven.

Yes, it is a product, but it was handmade from a place of love. The colors, the time, and even the designs make you feel better. The work can also double as a calming tool for anxiety or sensory issues.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
I believe God deserves the credit for this gift.

She gave me this heart. Next would be my sons. They both pulled this determination to succeed from a place deep in my soul I didn’t know existed.

I am blessed with friends that support my work even when I didn’t see its value.

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