nookSTART Business Competition
Learn everything you need to know to build a successful handmade business
Build the foundation you need to transform your artistic passion into a successful and sustainable business—in both retail and online with nookSTART.
The only business course designed specifically for makers
nookSTART is our hyper-focused digital course that guides you through all aspects of setting up shop, promoting your brand, capitalizing on peak shopping seasons—and everything else you need to hit the ground running.
Inspiring professional creativity and business aspirations
Give yourself the freedom to do what you do best while learning how to launch, manage, and grow a creative business.
Establish an actionable business plan
nookSTART targets everything from pricing, taxes, and finance to branding, marketing, and customer service. Work smarter, not harder with a clear action plan that defines your path to success.
Master selling online and in retail
Move beyond your local area and find new customers across Canada. Our proven tips and strategies have been used by our own Nookies to build profitable businesses in the competitive retail and online marketplaces.
Learn at your own pace
Master your selling workflow no matter where you are in the world. Learn on your own terms with an interactive classroom environment powered by Google Classroom.
Work hard and get rewarded—our grand prize is based on attendance, assignments, and a final live pitch. We’ve awarded more than $40k worth of prizes in just five years.
Join the maker community
Welcome to a community of independent creators. Grow your business, form partnerships, and celebrate your successes with The Nooks family.
nookStart success stories
“Without TRYING, you'll never know the true growth and success your business can potentially gain. You have to first and foremost INVEST to succeed. The Nooks has offered my business the opportunity to grow, expand and LEARN by offering amazing retail opportunities and resourceful tools to help you succeed.”
Meghan Paterson - Blazing Bombs
“The Nooks has been a fantastic way to grow my jewellery business. I started out with no idea where I wanted to take my business or what it could become. But when I joined The Nooks it allowed me to try different things and get a sense of what works and what doesn't.”
Molly - Neon Lace
“I plan to grow with the Nooks and I can’t wait. I have a great respect for The Nook’s owner Colleen Imrie and her amazing innovative team that are always working hard for their Nookies because our success equals their success.”
Angie - Freckle Face
“If I can communicate one thing about being a part of The Nooks community, it's that they are constantly pushing forward. The Nooks is not afraid of innovation, and it shows in the success of all of their locations.”
Laura - Fluid Concept
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds with The Nooks. The Nooks has taught me to love my business and it will love me back.”
Earth Appeal - Shyanne
Work your way toward the grand prize: your own Nook to call home
We select one outstanding student to receive an outstanding reward. The grand prize winner receives:
- A free, 3-month Nook of your choice at any retail location (valued up to $2000)
- $200 in Facebook ad credit
- A featured section on The Nooks homepage and mobile app
How can you win the grand prize? Judging criteria is based on attendance, assignments, and a live pitch.
Empowering new creatives with an all-in-one digital course
For a one-time payment of $150, we guide independent creators like you through the ins and outs of successfully running your own business.
We cover two chapters every week, followed by one hour per week of virtual classroom time and four hours a month of facilitated discussion.
Six-week lesson plan
Pick up practical information about pricing, branding, marketing, growth, legal structures, and more. Apply the right strategies with confidence.
Special guest speakers
Jot down tips and tricks from proven success stories. Hear from past winners on what it takes to develop and promote your brand beyond borders.
Online group support
Stay up-to-date with details on events and other latest news. Keep the conversation going with lifetime membership as part of The Nooks community.
What will you learn through nookStart?
See what’s in our digital coursebook.
- Chapter 1 Business Vision
- Chapter 2 Business Mission
- Chapter 3 Setting Goals
- Chapter 4 Analyzing Your Business
- Chapter 5 Your Customers
- Chapter 6 Pricing
- Chapter 7 Branding
- Chapter 8 Merchandising
- Chapter 9 1-Page Biz Dashboard
- Chapter 10 Pitching
Add on: Four support calls with Nooks founder Colleen
Get personalized guidance with the founder of The Nooks herself, Colleen Imrie. Receive advice, guidance and inspiration with four founder-to-founder phone conversations.
Discover how to build a profitable handmade business. Sign up for nookSTART today.
Sign up for our virtual course if you’re ready to launch fast—and grow even faster.