biz ladiesLife & Business

Biz Ladies Profile: Nicole Shariat Farb of Darby Smart

by Stephanie

Biz Ladies Profile: Nicole Shariat Farb of Darby Smart
When she noticed a gap in the DIY market, Nicole Shariat Farb decided to take matters into her own hands. Nicole was tired of trying to piece together all of the tools and resources needed for a single DIY project. She thought that there was an opportunity to create  DIY kits that come straight to your door as well as a marketplace for DIY supplies and inspiration. The end result was the launch of Darby Smart  and an active online DIY community. Today Nicole shares more about her journey from DIY frustration to DIY biz owner. —Stephanie

Read the full interview after the jump…

Biz Ladies Profile: Nicole Shariat Farb of Darby Smart

Why did you decide to start your own business?
I started Darby Smart because I was tired of #craftfailing and thought if no one is going to change this, I am! I felt this big disconnect between Pinterest and Michaels … I see these gorgeous DIYs online and then drive to Michaels to try and piece together what I needed. And, I just kept failing. I wanted a place where I could find inspiration and buy the supplies I needed all in one spot; so I decided to build a business that gave that!

When you first decided to start your own business, how did you define what your business would be?
I talked to a ton of folks. I would talk to the big pinners and bloggers and ask what challenges they faced. I would stand outside of Michaels (literally!) and ask shoppers what they wanted to improve. Through all that talking, I heard what people were frustrated with and focused on building a business that solved those problems.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?
Pick somewhere to start and just do it.

What was the most difficult part of starting your business?
Finding my co-founder. I spend as much with him (Karl) as my husband. I wanted to find someone that I would work incredibly well with, had a different skill set than mine and was as passionate about this business as I was. I met with loads of people over several months and was ultra-picky. I’m glad I was.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
You can’t do it alone.

Biz Ladies Profile: Nicole Shariat Farb of Darby Smart

Can you name a moment of failure in your business experiences?
Trying to do many things at once. I learned that to build a great company, we need to focus on doing a few things incredibly well.

Can you name your greatest success in your business experiences?
I see successes each day as we help our designers launch their ideas and our customers succeed in DIYs. The biggest successes is building a place where people can launch, discover and buy their DIYs! Getting invited to the White House to spend time with President Obama and 100 other influencers in the Maker’s Movement was also incredibly cool!

In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?

1. Are you beyond passionate about this.

2. Do you think this opportunity is better than all the others that may come your way?

3. What is the bare minimum you can do to get your business off the ground. Do that and get going!

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  • Would love to check out the Darby Smart website but cannot do so without liking on Facebook. My FB account is just for friends and family. I do not think it makes business sense to only allow people on your website that like you on FB

  • Comment on Darby Smart’s website – it’s really annoying to have to register either by email or Facebook BEFORE I can look at the website and decide if I want to register or not. I wonder how many people leave and don’t come back because of this? I know I don’t.

  • A great interview about a great business. Especially the part about the research you did. Nothing beats talking to folk. So thank you! I’d love to hear more about the process of finding a business partner when that hasn’t happened organically and you’re a small creative business. I am working towards my own creative business and it’s dawning on me that I need help/support. Whether that’s a partner – or to employ people (better earn some cash first) I’m not sure. Anyway, thanks for another great interview – always learn a lot x

  • Way to go! I love Darby Smart and its great to see the person behind it is actually real, not just some corporate marketing scheme that you can’t relate too. Bravo for following your passions xo

  • great great business idea, but I agree with the other commenters. I’m tired of the “exclusive” sites that insist I sell them my personal info before even allowing me to LOOK at their site content. Sorry, the marketing spam is not worth it, and I won’t return. I hope Darby Smart and others like them will start to rethink this policy.

  • I too attempted to check the Darby Smart website but I always had the window from Facebook stop me. I do not wish to have a Facebook account so at this point– I guess Darby Smart will remain unavailable to me. This is sad as I would have liked and I am sure enjoyed what Nicole Shariat Farb has to offer. Perhaps in the future—

  • I also would like to browse without having to submit all kinds of login information. Thanks!

  • I followed the link to Darby Smart, but can’t get on unless I surrender some personal information. So I guess I won’t check them out. I have no problem sharing info when I need to, such as when I order something or request a catalog, but I really, REALLY resent this kind of forced sharing.

  • Also want to add that I am so sick of websites that try to force you to join before you can even look at the site. Just for feedback to this business owner

  • Love Darby Smart and all of it’s DIY options. My daughter and I LOVED making the dino ring dishes together. Thanks!!

  • As an internet business owner and designer I’m actually curious about their use of Ryan Gosling meme’s in their marketing, where that lays under copyright legality? Just curious, I love the humor but I personally would be nervous to do something like that in my own business marketing, although I might like to. Maybe something under satire? However, when you send their photo in an email, it makes one wonder. Simply curious…

  • I’m with all the people that say they’d like to check out the site and see what’s being offered without using my facebook to log in. I will not log in through facebook. I hope that one day Darby Smart will allow potential customers to visit the site without offering up facebook or email information just to have a look. Until then, I guess I just don’t need it that badly. I can drive to the craft store, and ignore my curiosity on this one. It won’t be the first site I’ve missed out on for this reason, and it probably won’t be the last. A shame for the business owners though.