Nicole (Newman) Brecht graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris, in 1996. She taught high school math for one year and then worked in direct sales for about four years. After taking time to be a stay-at-home-mom for three children, Nicole embarked on owning and operating her own business. Simple-Trends started in 2010 with Nicole sewing and selling fashion exercise headbands. Operating her own business afforded Nicole a flexible schedule and the opportunity to continue to stay highly involved with the children while taking on the challenge of being a small business owner and operator.
As the children grew older, Nicole was able to devote more time to the business while still having a flexible schedule for the family. She expanded her products to include mittens. Upcycled wool mittens with fleece lining were first. She enjoyed the process of finding used wool sweaters and repurposing them into individually designed and hand-sewn mittens that are as beautiful as they are warm and functional. Nicole soon added fleece and reversible sequin/bling mittens to have fun options for children and those looking to add a theme or some color to their winter attire.
There was an addition to the family in 2017. A new Malti-poo puppy became the inspiration for Nicole to add dog collars and leashes to Simple-Trends. Collar embellishment accessories, including flowers and bow ties, were soon added.
Many of the traditional direct sales shows and events were canceled in 2020 and early 2021 due to COVID. Nicole turned her time and knack for using fun fabrics to sewing and donating more than 2500 reversible cotton masks using the North Memorial mask pattern. The downtime also allowed her to perfect adding zippers to the back of her mittens, creating a secure spot to carry cash, cards, or keys. Zipper mittens will be part of the product line beginning fall and winter 2021.
Currently, Nicole wholesales and direct sells all of her products and maintains an online store at Simple-Trends.com. Her business has continued to grow, and she is still able to devote time and attention to her family, who have also become involved in the business. Ideas for new items abound. However, Nicole's products started as, and continue to be, designed and hand-sewn from individually selected quality materials to fit the Simple-Trends focus of "Artfully Handcrafted.”