RSVP Magazine

RSVP Businesswoman of the Week: Nicki Hoyne – Founder, My Shining Armour

A passionate online shopper with an eye for finding that perfect item, it seemed a natural fit for Nicki Hoyne to create her own one stop shop for gifting and accessories.

Her eye for detail made it an instant hit, even gaining the ultimate approval from Vogue!


What sparked the idea for your business?

Entrepreneurship is in my DNA and the concept for My Shining Armour was in my mind for a long time. I am a big online shopper, obsessed with accessories. Over the years, I saw little online stores open and I thought “I can do that, and better!” I was working in London but I spent my time sticking my nose in all the other departments too. I reached the point where the job I wanted didn’t exist so I had to create it for myself”.

What is the most difficult aspect of running your own business?

Anything can happen in My Shining Armour, from getting emails from the jewellery editor of Vogue, to trending on Twitter. The buzz is addictive and I am always on, trying to deliver the best customer experience whether it’s a Friday or a Sunday morning. I wouldn’t change it for the world but it is not sustainable long term. You need a work-life balance. I try not to work at weekends and I have a trainer three times a week which I find a great destresser. I hope in 2017 as I come out of the start-up phase I will get better at balance.

What has been the biggest lesson?

Listen to your gut! In Autumn 2015 the business was really starting to grow and I took on a recommended web developer to deliver an amazing new site. I ended up with a beautiful website that didn’t work. It was as if I had closed the front door of my shop and couldn’t let anyone in at the busiest time of the year. I had my doubts once he started, but with everything else that was going on I didn’t take the time to question him. A year on, I am still dealing with the repercussions. It was a hard lesson to learn, but it will save me from worse situations in years to come.

What are your plans going forward?

My plan is to make My Shining Armour the biggest and best accessories and gifting store in the world. In 2017 we are stepping it up a gear to grow in other markets, introduce more categories and I will be fulfilling a life-long dream of designing my own lines.

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