When Nik Nak took off in February last year, Nirukshi, who was contemplating retirement, had no idea her life was about to change. With the pandemic slowly becoming a reality for Sri Lanka, an idea she had tossed around with for a couple of months, suddenly became a real option. As the world paused, she too, evaluated her priorities and soothed her worries about life after retirement by bringing the idea for Nik Nak to life.
Nirukshi, although not one to accessorise herself, always had a fascination for ‘shiny’ things. Choosing to live vicariously through her daughter, she started looking beyond the shores of Sri Lanka to find statement jewellery to match her daughter’s larger-than-life personality. Around this time, she was enjoying her last year at the Emerge Lanka Foundation; a charity that works to empower survivors of sexual abuse. Nirukshi supported the Beads-to-Business program that taught entrepreneurship through jewellery creation. She spent 15 years in this organisation and is fondly known as "Niru Amma" among program participants. It was at this crossroads that she decided to take the road less travelled, freeing her to be the captain of her ship for the first time in her career at the age of 63.
Almost a year later, this idea has grown into a small business that Nirukshi commits to running daily, sourcing pieces from across Asia, creating content with her daughter, learning technology on the go and meeting women from across Sri Lanka, usually going from business owner to friend in no time.
Commenting on her one-year milestone, Nirukshi said, “I never understood why shops locally didn’t sell the chunky and vibrant jewellery that I had seen in my travels to India. Women with skin like ours look so striking with colourful jewellery. So, I just re-connected with suppliers who I purchased from for my daughter, used the lockdown time to understand how to run a business on social media and launched Nik Nak with a few pieces. I am over the moon about how amazing it is that I get to enjoy my retirement at home with my family and pets, but still get to connect with inspiring women who want to wear the Nik Nak’s I have sourced. I consider myself Blessed”
With the support of her Nik Nak ‘Fam’ Nirukshi hopes to expand from her curated collection of ready-to-wear pieces inspired by bohemian trends and street style, to supply a wider range, perhaps at shop space of her own. Above all, she aims to provide options for women who want to experiment with looks that make put them front and centre at any occasion.
She added “Nik Nak is for women like my daughter, who are unafraid to have a personal style that would have been considered too daring when I was growing up. Just like her and the rest of the women in my family, we have always believed in representing ourselves most authentically by wearing what we love”.
For more information on Nik Nak, check out their Instagram and Facebook page by searching for @niknaksl
About Nik Nak
Nik Nak is a female owned and run online accessory store that focuses on celebrating brown –skinned women who want to express themselves authentically. We are focused on creating a community or ‘fam’ that allows women to express themselves through flamboyant designs and dramatic patterns. We are also committed to collaborating with other women for our packaging, design and content. Nik Nak is a playground of colour, and everyone is invited.