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Professor Shares Entrepreneurial Adventures with her Students

When it comes to entrepreneurship, Professor Shelly Nicholas has a lot of wisdom to share. For example, when business plans are discussed, she’s able to offer insight about the amount of time and effort required to conduct market research and can speak about how to create compelling narratives for potential investors.

This is because Professor Nicholas has done — and is doing — all of these things.

In launching her new company, Pretty Knotty FIT HAIR ties, Professor Nichols recognized her own personal need as a gap in the marketplace. A lifelong athlete with a long, curly and sometimes “wildly unmanageable mop of red hair,” she’s played competitive sports from soccer and karate to ice hockey and lacrosse.

“I’ve always had trouble finding hair ties or accessories that could securely hold my hair without damaging it while I was training or competing,” says Professor Nicholas. “Instead of waiting for someone else to make a better product, I felt empowered to make this product myself.”  

There are two kinds of FIT TIES hair ties. GRIP FIT TIES have a smooth surface that securely holds hair while SLIP FIT TIES use a clear coating to limit friction on hair and reduce hair damage. Both are manufactured in the USA.

In her classes, which also include E-Commerce, Social Media & Mobile Marketing, and Interactive & Internet Marketing, Professor Nicholas shares her Pretty Knotty startup experience, as well as knowledge gained throughout her career.

One of her first jobs was working as an E-Marketing Manager for the yoga equipment and lifestyle brand of a small startup e-commerce company. She also started an artist management company, as well as an online marketing consulting business advising on website user experience, email marketing strategy, and social media management.

“I’ve learned so much from each of these experiences — including the grit and determination required to start a business, the importance of being passionate about your product and industry, and the need to place value on the brands, products, and services being offered.”