Nikki has been a good friend since we met at Clover Market a few years ago. I have to note - she is also one of my own personal local style icons. This woman's wardrobe, and sense of passion and empowerment, is nothing to be trifled with. I am inspired by Nikki's passion for storytelling, and how she is making her mark on the world with her teaching and writing. And, by being an example for women following in her footsteps striving to be strong, courageous Amazons of this crazy world. Nikki's story is below, along with some photos from our Wild Mantle photo shoot!!
When I was a little girl, my father told my sister, two brothers and me bedtime stories about a family called The Peppermints. It was his way of connecting with his children; letting us know that he understood, even as an adult, what it was like to be a kid. Years later, the stories nearly forgotten, were brought back to life again as Grandfather 'Goodie' shared his wonderful stories with his grandchildren. In an attempt to honor the gift of storytelling and precious childhood memories, I compiled a handful of these stories over four years. The result is a nostalgic children’s book series, entitled, The Peppermints.
Taking place in the mid-1950's the stories have a multi-generational appeal: providing nostalgia and enjoyment for Grandparents, and Parents, while providing a unique experience of a time gone by for younger readers. Readers can hop into the Peppermints’ station wagon and join them on their many adventures including: a ski vacation, summer camp, a trip to the seashore, and many more. The Peppermints’ Vintage Modern style straddles the past and the future.
Sharing experiences that mean so much to me is a blessing. Expressing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences through writing has helped me understand things on a deeper level. I enjoy reaching into the past and can relive events as I write them. As a Reading Specialist, I have seen first hand the power of a good story and its ability to inspire, transport, and transform. My passion is to focus, motivate, instruct and empower my students to see themselves as readers and writers. My role is teacher, and my purpose is to share my passion with others in the hopes that they will connect with their past, understand how it informs their present, and awaken new possibilities for their future.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that, “Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them” and I find that I am most productive and insightful when immersed in nature. Many of the stories have been written while I have been traveling within the United States and abroad. I am a natural observer and delight in finding commonalities in the young and old amongst different cultures.
Writing The Peppermints series has taught me the power of intention. There were things holding me back from writing the stories. I feared the stories weren’t good enough or original enough. Then I realized that two people can experience the same thing, but the way in which it happens is what makes it original and unique. Ideas come and go, but once you set an intention (for me it was ‘I will write for 10 minutes a day.’) you put forth your dreams into motion.
While the initial purpose of the books was to honor the past, I am rewarded each time I share the stories at my author visits at area schools. The students find ways of interacting with the characters that surprise and remind me of the way reading together allows us to really see one another and connect in an authentic way, and that is extraordinary.
Thank you Nikki for staring your story! AND, here are some photos from our Wild Mantle model shoot of you in the SNOW QUEEN mantle your amazing dog Grizzly :)