To her friends and on social media, this mother of five is just Nikky. To the rest of the world, she’s Nikky Azura. She runs Nailsmith Spa & Bar with her business partner Jane, where the target audience are people just like them – mothers and businesswomen.
A common, almost cliched question she gets asked is how she finds the time to do both? She perhaps sensed that the question has crossed our minds too and told us that her brand of balance didn’t come immediately. Nikky was an assistant manager, or regulator, at the Securities Commission for about seven years. When she knew that she was about to have twins, she left her job.
She couldn’t do a full-time job and take care of twins and her older children. Being a stay-at-home mother was rewarding but she found that she yearned for more. “When I was a housewife, I felt a little low because I used to work, I used to earn my own money. I needed to do something, I needed to make myself feel good apart from being a mother,” she says and started looking for business opportunities.
She met Jane, her business partner and they wanted to start a nail spa, but it couldn’t be just any nail spa, it had to be different. “I wanted to be different, I am a risk-taker,” she adds. Nikky may owe her savvy business sense to her father Nik Aminaldin Datuk N Jaafar, a prominent stockbroker who started his own business in the late 80s and ran it successfully for over twenty years before selling it to a local bank.
ON BEING A FEMALE BUSINESS OWNER:
“It’s only more difficult if you’re a mother, if you’re not, you can do whatever you want to do. When you’re married with children, you have to put your family before yourself. But nothing is impossible, there are always ways to do it.”
DO TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES KEEP WOMEN FROM BEING IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY?
No, we live in a world where women become politicians or leaders in their country so it is about how confident you are. There are many strong women out there.”
MOTHER FIRST, OR BUSINESS WOMAN?
My family is always first for me. Who I am and what I’ve achieved is because of them. They make me want to work harder, without them I don’t think I have as much motivation.”
NIKKY’S FORMULA FOR PRIORITISING:
“When your family is sorted other things will fall into place. I have a good support system from my husband and my parents, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”