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Meet Nicole Swartz of Sprout Law in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Swartz.

Nicole, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My background is in startup law. I worked to regulate publicly traded companies and I’m published in the area of cryptocurrency regulation. But I started feeling pretty burned out and uninspired.

So I started a skincare company. I created a formula, started making them in my kitchen, and selling them at festivals. In two years, we went from side hustle to international company. We were in the Golden Globes gift bags and Extra TV and in hundreds of stores around the world.

While I was running this company, I met so many women entrepreneurs and they started coming to me for legal advice. I realized that I loved working with women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. So I sold the skincare line and started my own law firm for women.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s a lot of work! The biggest struggle in the beginning was pricing: am I charging too little or too much? There’s so much fear and confusion that goes into pricing.

In the first few months, I had a consultation with a woman who wanted to start a franchise. We talked about all the legal documents that you need to franchise and the price I gave her for that was $600. And she flat out said, nope that’s too expensive. I started second-guessing myself and doing research into what people charge for that work. The average price to have a law firm create franchise documents was $80,000. I was so embarrassed that I quoted someone $600 for $80,000 worth of work. And I’m so glad she turned it down!

It goes to show you that the price will always be too expensive for some people and that’s ok. They’re not your people.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Sprout Law story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m an attorney + founder of Sprout Law. We work mostly with women-owned businesses. I help women with llcs, contracts, copyrights, trademarks, and funding.

I realized it was important because a lot of women were telling me that they felt so stressed talking with an attorney that they were skipping the legal parts of their business.

I wanted to create a new kind of law firm where women felt comfortable. We don’t wear suits. We work in an instagrammable space. We talk about the Bachelorette. We’re like friends who happen to have a law degree. We take our client’s businesses seriously, whether they’re a nail polish line, a blog, or a lingerie brand.

I’m most proud of the businesses that we’ve helped start. Working with clients and seeing their businesses grow is my favorite thing!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
There’s a lot of luck involved. I’m very lucky that I was able to attend law school and start my own business. There was definitely luck in how I met my husband: we met at a bar in New Orleans. I found one of our rescue pups because I was scrolling Twitter at 4am and an urgent post about a puppy at the shelter came into my feed. These are things that I can’t really explain, other than luck.

There’s a lot of hard work involved too, especially when it comes to running a business. I speak at a lot of events for entrepreneurs, like South by Southwest, and people always ask how the events find me. I know they’re hoping that I say it’s all luck and you just have to wait for someone to find you. But the truth is that I worked hard to craft a speaking application and I put myself out there to apply. There’s definitely luck involved in being selected, but hard work makes the luck part easier.

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Image Credit:

Krista Mason Photography

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