Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Yeast.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 2017, I took a solo trip to South Korea. I was so inspired that a little black boy from small town Kentucky has traveled to another country all on his own to learn about himself on a new level. During my time in South Korea, I stumbled across a fragrance making class. I was so intrigued and touched by the passion the facilitator had when talking about the notes of the fragrances and what fragrance means to them. I made my own bottle and was so memorized by what I created. I brought it back to the states and when wearing the fragrance in public and at work I notice I had a lot of people from all spectrums compliment me on my fragrance. I realized very quickly that I had something going on. I researched how I could go about doing this on my own and decided to start my own fragrance brand.
I quickly knew that if I was going to do this that I needed something that included everyone from all backgrounds and genders because a lot people in our community are breaking the binaries when it comes to shopping but a lot of businesses are still sticking with binaries which to me is unfair. This is why I like to say we are movement first towards gender equality with an added piece of a product to elevate your narrative. I decided to name my brand after me, Nick Ricardo because I was named after my father. When I came out as gay at a young age, I was scared of course because my dad is this huge football star, very big and very buff. I was afraid that we would be ashamed of me especially when it came to friends and family. My father always told me to be myself and nobody else but Nick Ricardo Yeast. He would say “you are apart of me son”. When I did come out he embraced me with open arms and told me that he is proud of me for being me. That’s why I decided to name the brand after the both of us because this is an embodiment of being your true authentic self.
Great, 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?
Entrepreneurship so far has been such a blessing. It hasn’t been the easiest but It is rewarding seeing something you produced with all your head and effort out there for people to experience. I would say the biggest challenges came from me because I am a trustworthy person. I see the good in everyone and unfortunately sometimes that can work towards your disadvantage. When I first started my business a lot of people said they could help me with certain entities of the business to get started. Manufactures promised things they couldn’t keep, I felt I was taken advantage of because I was young. Consultants I hired were not following through on their deliverables so a lot of things were happening before my launch that really discouraged me a lot. I felt like giving up but God had other plans for me and gave me the strength to pull through. Now I have a clear understanding of what exactly I’m looking for when it comes to people being apart of my team and I’m not saying that I have trust issues now, but I am very careful with who I let in now.
Nick Ricardo Collection – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Nick Ricardo Collection is a gender-neutral fragrance brand breaking gender barriers in the beauty and cosmetic industry. Our mission is to slash gender norms and elevate the narrative of the POC, nonbinary, transgender, and gender non-conforming individual.
NRC is more than a brand; we are a movement toward a world in which all of us — no matter our gender expression — can be our fullest, highest elevated, and proud selves.
Within the fragrance industry it is always the same narrative. You see the same person who 9 times out of 10 is someone who is not of color, you see the same looking masculine presenting male and a feminine presenting women. With my brand, I want to showcase more authentic beauty. I want people from all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds and all genders expressed to be represented in what I do. It is important for people to see people like them on billboards and magazines. I’m proud that I am able to do that so far and will I continue to do that in my business.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being able to share my story with others and seeing people so interested in my products. To hear peoples feedback about the work I am doing and people reaching out to me to come speak, showcase my products and being able to give back to my community has been so rewarding.
- Website: www.nickricardocollection.com/shop
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Nick Ricardo Collection
- Facebook: Nick Ricardo Collection
Photos by @aw.876 Alexander Wong; Product photos by @capturedbygicquel Gicquel Boris Aphanou