Ladies, I am truly honored to bring you this exclusive interview with the wonderful Nikki Moreno of the “Inspired by Nikki” Youtube channel. Nikki is a devoted wife, mother of four, as well as a loving daughter and grand-daughter. “Making the everyday beautiful” is her channel’s tagline and I’m sure you’ll agree she manages to inspire and uplift her viewers with her life-affirming and beautiful content.
Dear Nikki, what inspired you to create your Youtube channel “Inspired by Nikki”?
I was quite new to YouTube when I decided to give my own channel a try. Lying in bed awake one night, I searched for “linen closet inspiration” and came across a young woman’s video. After watching it, another was suggested and before I knew it, I started liking this woman as if she was a friend I could count on.
I looked forward to seeing her posts. She started making these “Clean with Me” videos – “Clean with me?” I had my own home to clean. How could I clean with her anyway? She lived in Canada! (This was all before even watching one). Needless to say, I found myself enjoying the way she would almost choreograph her videos to the music.
Her videos really inspired me to get things done. At the time, Janine’s channel was “A Young Mum” which she later changed to “Along with the Youngs”. I soon started thinking how great it would be to create my own videos.
Granted, I had no experience filming but I was a photographer so how hard could it be, right? Finding new ways to challenge myself, especially in artistic ways, is something I love. My main goal is to inspire others and I felt I had a good message – I just didn’t know what that would look like yet.
I am known for taking giant leaps in my life. I call it having faith.Nikki Moreno – Inspired by Nikki
I remember writing her (Janine) on November 1, 2016 letting her know how much she inspired me and that I was thinking of beginning my own channel. You could imagine my surprise when I woke up the next day to her encouraging response! This ignited a fire within me to take action immediately, before I could change my mind.
It turned out to be the permission I needed to move forward. I am known for taking giant leaps in my life. I call it having faith. I created my first video the next day and spent the whole day editing it (even though it wasn’t even two minutes long!)
On November 4, 2016, I posted my first video “Introducing Inspired by Nikki” (more like “Inspired by Janine” if you ask me.)
I prayed that if God would give me this platform, I would use it to His glory and bring His inspired word to the world through me and that is how I decided on “Inspired by Nikki”.
What did I want to share exactly? What was I going to create? I had absolutely no idea. All I had was faith.
How has your personal style evolved through the years? (I remember you mentioned in a video that Christina Aguilera used to be one of your fashion icons.)
Oh my goodness, did you have to bring that up? I’m shaking my head right now. Well, yes, I did go through a Christina Aguilera phase.
You were either for Britney or Christina back then and I felt Christina had so much natural talent. After trying to re-create a smokey eye of hers I had seen in a closeup, I walked out on my mom’s deck assuming she would appreciate my artistic expression because she was such a cool mom.
That’s when I received the “If someone compliments your makeup, you’re wearing too much” speech. Not that she was complimenting me of course. Oh no, she said it was way too much! I thought she would let it go but I had to go take it off.
In step with Christina, I also started exposing my midriff. Like many young teens, I confused sexy with beautiful. At the time, I had done a little modeling for one of those photo stores in the mall.
One day I included that picture which was a bit provocative on my AOL page. I’ll never forget the call I got from my Dad. He had searched his own name on the internet as a way to see if his brand was being represented as he want it to be.
I had listed my Dad proudly on my page but he quickly told me to take that photo down because he didn’t raise a Britney Spears. I was so ashamed. This set me on the path of seeking beauty and style through the eyes of what was wholesome and pure.
I didn’t always get it right but I appreciated my father’s instruction. Now I use him as a measure to determine if something is modest. If I wouldn’t be comfortable with my father seeing me in it, I shouldn’t wear it or post it. This is also a reflection of my heart towards my Heavenly Father.
That was my rebellious phase, I suppose, but I’ve always been intrigued by a beautiful dress ever since I was a little girl. I remember reading an article a long time ago, about how a lady would have loved a wardrobe full of dresses but it was near impossible because they cost so much and good ones come few and far between.
Relating to her struggle, I told myself I was not going to let that stop me because I absolutely love dresses and I want to fill my closet with the most beautiful ones I could find.
When approaching my thirties I wanted to have a “style”. I liked to look put together growing up but I had my share of struggles and identity issues that I think many of us go through – my closet was a mishmash of styles.
Turning thirty was going to be a turning point for me. I needed to mature and look more sophisticated. This was when I decided to rid my closet of all the ugly sleepwear and any t-shirts because I had always despised them and never wanted to look too casual.
I tried out the “Dressing Your Truth” program to better understand what fit my personality and learned that dark colors, especially black, weren’t for me. I identified with the Type 2, soft and subtle. Around this time I also learned about the Ten Item Wardrobe in a Ted talk Jennifer L. Scott gave. This helped me want to narrow down my wardrobe because I had so much I didn’t wear packed in my closet.
When I would think about what things I liked on me, it was feminine, soft, flowing fabrics in lighter colors. I thought that meant loose blouses paired with pretty skirts or jeans. Well, wearing jeans just never felt right to me. Since I filmed myself all the time, I was noticing how much of the videos I would edit out because of the horrible angles.
I came to accept it wasn’t about the angles, jeans just didn’t suit me. For a time, I decided I would ditch the pants and only wear dresses and skirts. It was great for a while, until I realized how much I hated standing in front of my wardrobe feeling overwhelmed with all the decisions about creating outfits with so many items.
All I wanted was a pulled together, beautiful look that functioned well for me, covering what I wanted it to without the fuss. Another thing I disliked, was how I looked in those loose blouses paired with the skirts. It made me look like a box and definitely didn’t give me that much sought after hourglass shape.
After watching yet another video by Jennifer L. Scott on “A Dress Uniform”, I decided to get rid of all of my skirts and blouses and strictly go for dresses. That was only this year but I finally feel as if I have come into my true style. I found the right cut for my body and it makes it easier than ever to find what I’m looking for.
Now, after much trial and error, my style can be summed up by what I call “The Leading Lady Wardrobe”Nikki Moreno – Inspired by Nikki
Gal Meets Glam has been a source of beautiful yet functional dresses which I have purchased mostly through Poshmark and continue to search for at a price I can afford. After reading Jennifer’s books, I was inspired to make sure that whatever I had would fit into my wardrobe. While I don’t hold to the 10 item wardrobe, I like the idea of having a small space to hang my clothes and to make sure whatever I have fits comfortably because that’s manageable for me.
I have found I enjoy variety the most but not the decision of making an outfit. Now, after much trial and error, my style can be summed up by what I call “The Leading Lady Wardrobe”, much like that of a leading lady in a film. This consists of all the feminine details, beautiful colors, and a wardrobe full of dresses.
I am a huge advocate of bringing back the vintage slip and have a section of my wardrobe that houses my collection because every beautiful dress deserves a lovely slip.
I keep my accessories quite understated. I love small pearl earrings, a simple pearl necklace, a more vintage style small face watch with a rose gold or blush band, blush ballet flats, and a small, blush handbag. My overall look is timeless and beautiful yet modest (including my makeup). My fashion icon has gone from Christina to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
You used to be a model, ballet teacher, and wedding photographer. How did your many talents help you in creating the content for your Youtube channel?
I grew up enjoying gymnastics, ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical and even hip-hop. This kept me focused, out of trouble, and always working towards a goal. Challenge and competition ran through my veins, but not so much so that I would push others away or have an inflated view of myself.
I looked at competition as more of a way to push myself to do my best. I majored in dance in college and was part of their Ballet Company but dropped out before acquiring my degree. I was ready to move forward with my life and didn’t need a degree to prove that to anybody or even myself.
I’m not against furthering one’s education mind you, but college wasn’t for me. I worked a few other jobs from sales to receptionist and even healthcare just to pay the bills and have health insurance but all were very unfulfilling. After having my son I started doing a bit of modeling, mainly for a company called Eccoci.
I enjoyed being called each season to run off to different photo-shoots. Once, I had a shoot not even a month after giving birth! I still remember being told to “suck it in”! Having found my love of photography I became a freelance photographer and could do that on the side.
When my girls were young I enrolled them in ballet and while watching them in class , I asked myself why I was paying for them to learn something I could easily teach them. It was important to me that they be part of a class because there were so many fond memories I had in such an atmosphere.
One of the greatest ways to get others to see things as you do is through art.Nikki Moreno – Inspired by Nikki
That’s when I decided to apply to teach. I could bring the kids with me and then Jorge could pick them up on his way home from work while I finished with the older classes. I enjoyed that for a few years, teaching ages 2-19. It was hard finding the quiet time though which was what I needed to choreograph.
There was so much added stress to come up with something and not much pay. I was still taking photos at this time so I always had several outlets and things going on. I made my own schedule, it was great.
Everything changed when I learned about YouTube. I went into this just wanting to give it a shot, challenge myself a bit, see if I could. I never had the desire to make money from it in the beginning because it was just a hobby. Once you acquire a base and people start asking for more and more, being compensated for your time only seems fair.
I haven’t “made it big” on YouTube, nor is that a goal of mine but I started a Patreon channel to help support my efforts and the time it takes. So, here I am, back to the added stress of coming up with something for not much pay but this time is different. This time I’m successful because I’m fulfilling my purpose. Thanks be to God it has also been a way to help out our family.
My channel has been a great way to bring all of the things I love and practiced over the years together. It sheds light on what is most important to me which makes it even more meaningful and fulfilling to me.
From my diverse occupational background, it’s clear I am very much a dabbler. Maybe this could be explained by my birth order, being the middle child and trying to find ways to adapt to everyone around me. Exposing and challenging myself in different areas, I found I take tremendous joy in the visual and performing arts.
Being an introvert, caring deeply to make others feel appreciated and welcomed with a desire to fix problems, I try to express this through my art. One of the greatest ways to get others to see things as you do is through art. Creating something that evokes emotion, often thought provoking and life changing in the heart of another is a job well done and time well spent.
In hindsight, I can see how learning different skills has made it possible for me to create what I do today. I love thinking God opened my heart to the various opportunities to prepare me. I’m not the best or an expert in any one of these areas but I think that’s the appeal and how my audience can relate to me because I am not coming off as better than and what I share doesn’t feel unattainable.
How do you balance your homemaking and family duties with your creative projects?
Let’s just be honest here, to pursue any projects or endeavors, whatever or whoever else is in your life has to suffer. There has been a lot of sacrifice, not just with things I have missed or had to go without, but for my family as well.
Anytime I have created, I have had to separate myself from my family and friends. It’s a tough business, that of a creator. Sometimes I think I have it all together and can juggle everything and other times I drop every single ball.
I used to let others influence me on my posting schedule and content. Now, I sacrifice what I am comfortable letting go of. This has resulted in shorter videos and less frequent of a posting schedule but given me more quality of life with family, friends and most importantly, in my relationship with God.
It’s then that I remember, anything worth creating must be worth the sacrifice. Therefore, I want whatever I am creating to have a worthy impact because it is taking something out of my hand and from the hands of those closest to me. Something I’ll never get back. I have to count that cost.
By picking anything up, be it a career, an after school activity, an extra hobby, whatever it is, something else will have to be dropped. When I see a person posting all the time, I know what it’s costing, I’ve been there, posting every. single. day. Letting so much of life slip through my fingers.
It makes me glad my kids weren’t younger when I started this channel. To me, the balance comes with me placing more responsibility on my children because I need the help which is important for them to learn anyway. I’ve had to become less of a perfectionist.
My husband and kids are on this journey with me so we share my triumphs and losses. I show them how being dedicated can be fruitful and it’s helping the family financially while also taking care of other aspects within the home. That to me is the real balance if there is any to be had.
When my kids are older, I hope they will remember my performance as a sacrificial gift to the world, with that stage being our home.
Did you grow up dreaming of being a homemaker or was it something that developed gradually?
Making a home was something I’ve been doing since I was a very young girl. This has been important to me on many levels. I learned early on, the value of having a home made by someone who cares to bring that comfort and stability into the lives of those they dwell with.
I’ve always found something to keep my mind going, challenging my creative skills and find some way to work with my hands. Sometimes that has been outside the home and sometimes inside but I’ve always considered myself a home maker.
It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my fourth child, sitting down with my Grammy talking to her about my job – I was splitting up babysitting between my mom and my mother-in-law since Jorge and I had opposite schedules. My Grammy looked at me and said matter of factly: “If you’re going to be having all these babies, you need to stay home with them.”
I remember sitting there, completely at a loss for words, wanting to say something in my defense, maybe tell her how I can do all these things just fine, we needed the money and the insurance my job offered that Jorge’s didn’t and so on. Instead, I sat there and let those words hang in the air.
And then, I did what I always do when my Grammy or anyone I know with more wisdom than I do says something: I take it to heart.
My stomach in a knot, throat tight, fighting back tears because that is what being rebuked feels like. And then I feel it even deeper because I know it’s God’s own chastisement.
Well, who can argue with God? It was clear to me from that point on what I needed to do. I told Jorge I was going to stay home with our babies because that is my responsibility and would let him handle his responsibility as provider.
All of those excuses he used to give me about not being able to find a job with benefits went out the window. He stepped up to the plate and applied for a job he had always wanted. I prayed so much in that time and laid everything at God’s feet. Handed in my resignation letter and did what I do best.
I took a leap because I had no doubt God was in control – I had faith.
Wow, that was a big leap! Where do you see the direction of “Inspired by Nikki” going in a post-covid world?
Something anybody who watches my channel can count on is change. I like to change things up all the time. When I’m inspired, it’s sure to make its way into my videos in some form or another. While my channel evolves, allowing God to work through me remains the same and that direction is up.
I like to leave my audience wondering, revealing less is most alluring and an art all its own. Some just don’t understand it, but I’ve learned to be okay with that. I hope to continue inspiring my audience to make the everyday beautiful and allow God to make everything beautiful in its time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Nikki and were inspired by her story.
If you would like to support Nikki and her channel “Inspired by Nikki” you can join the party and become one of her patrons at Patreon. For a very reasonable monthly fee you will have access to behind the scenes videos and get to know her on a more personal level.
Another way to help support her channel (she does not accept any paid or sponsored posts) is through her Etsy shop where she sells beautiful original watercolors and stationary.
Until next time!
xoxo, Mrs. Hannover
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If you enjoyed “Inspired by Nikki” check out more interviews with other elegant ladies here.