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.  

Earn prizes   

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

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.  

Digital Coursebook  

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. 1:1 Coaching available now with  new nookSTART session starting in 2022!