Making the best out of a bad situation — that is what a Fanshawe graduate did after being diagnosed with two chronic illnesses.
After numerous visits to the hospital and being sent home with the diagnoses of ‘attention seeking’, Nicole Snobelen finally received acknowledgment for her pain. A specialist diagnosed her with Interstitial Cystitis — a chronic bladder condition — and Endometriosis, which is when cells lining the uterus grow outside of it, causing severe pain.
Due to her chronic illnesses, doctors informed Snobelen that she would never be able to work a job with standard hours and to apply for disability. Despite doctors recommendations, Snobelen decided to take matters into her own hands and create a lifestyle that incorporated both her health needs and passions.
Dusting off her feet, Snobelen became a self-made entrepreneur and boss of her own clothing brand, Evelynn by Nicole Snobelen.
“Honestly in a way, going through those illnesses made starting my own business easier. I could not maintain a regular traditional job, so being able to choose which hours I could work and doing so while pursuing what I am passionate about, allowed me to get out of bed every morning. Essentially, I was and am living out my dream,” commented Snobelen.
Her desire to become a fashion designer started at a young age and she was able to quickly realize that she could make this dream a reality. After posting a photo on Instagram of a dress that she designed, she received numerous comments asking where it was from and if they could get their hands on one.
“Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed about being a fashion designer. I remember receiving a game for my birthday that let you create different outfits and ever since then I wanted to pursue a career in fashion,” said Snobelen.
With no background in business, Snobelen struggled at first to make her brand profitable and turn it from a hobby to an actual business.
“In the beginning, I lived dress to dress for a few years and it was not until I started getting resources that were available through Fanshawe and the Small Business Center that I was actually able to build a sustainable business,” mentioned Snobelen.
Since opening her business, Snobelen has created a charity for sick kids called The Abby Fund, been a keynote speaker at high-profile events, and won a Top 20 under 40 Award for Entrepreneurs. She truly is a real-life testament to what hard work and dedication can accomplish.
*Photo Credit: Nicole Snobelen*