Creative Self Employment


Creative Self Employment

Pronounced “en-em-dee-sigh-nz”, NMdesignz is committed to transforming creativity into unique brand marketing solutions for small to medium businesses. Their vision is to level the marketing playing field for clients against larger corporations with big budgets. The values of integrity, creativity and commitment are woven into the fabric of their work.

NMdesignz is a mighty little team of creatives, photographers, videographers, strategists, mom’s, snowmobilers, coffee-drinkers and Hobby Lobby enthusiasts located in Pepperell, Massachusetts, a little town that borders New Hampshire. No matter the client’s focus, they look to work with those who share similar values and excitement to making an impact.

NASE member Nicole Murphy is the founder and President of NMdesignz and she grew up in Pepperell, Massachusetts and still lives there today with her husband and two daughters. She has a passion for creativity in painting, graphic design, photography and videography. She also shares a passion for snowmobiling with her husband. If someone was to describe her, they would say that she is independent, headstrong, loyal and creative.

When and why did you join NASE?

We joined NASE in October of 2023, looking to branch out of our networking bubble into a community that is geared towards small businesses.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?

Since grade school, I have always been creative. Art was by far my favorite class. Also, growing up, I was mentored in the business field by my father’s family business. Together created a thriving environment to become an entrepreneur as an artist.

When and why did you start your business?

I started in 2011 when I felt working for someone else was stifling me in my creative ability. I wanted to love what I do for work, and starting my own business to fully exercise my artistic side was the only way to do that.

How do you market your business?

I market my business through referrals, networking, and hopefully gaining exposure through NASE!!

What challenges have you faced in your business? How have you overcome them?

This economy has been very very challenging with cash flow. The rising inflation has eaten up all cash flow, putting a strain on lines of credit. How I have / am trying to overcome this is a few different ways: curb the spending for expenses, signing on with a free business financial coach, educating myself by joining financial webinars, and building a solid business plan.

Do you have any employees? If yes, how many and are they full or part time? 

Yes, I currently have two part time employees, Stephanie and Brianna

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?

A typical day involves getting my two young children ready in the morning, then dropping them off to school, then heading to the office. In the morning I set my day up by writing down a to-do list, then try and mark off all the “small” things on the list in the morning / mid-morning. By the early afternoon, I spend time with meetings and / or big projects that take time.

Some days vary, some days I can spend all day in front of a computer, other days I could be at the summit of a ski mountain doing corporate photography! Each day is different, which is one of the things I love about entrepreneurship.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?

Every day is different, one day you can be in front of your computer all day crunching numbers, the next you can be watching a sign get installed with a crane, or standing at the top of a mountain taking photos, or you could be in scaffolding in the middle of Boston getting social media content.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?

“Nicole is the most creative person I know” or “(Working with Nmdesignz) has been the best thing I’ve ever done for advertising.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?

If you are passionate / talented with something, GO FOR IT! And NEVER, EVER give up. You will feel like you are a fool at times, but DO NOT give up.

Which NASE member benefit is most important to you?

All the resources NASE offers is a wealth of information for my small business, and it’s all in one place! I love that I don’t have to research hundreds of websites for one topic, when all the valuable information is right at my fingertips with NASE.

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