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March 22, 2015

Nautical Collection

Many of us would love to turn our hobby or special skill into a business. That is what designer and illustrator Nick Hanzlik did 17 years ago when he started R. Nichols.

The founder: Nick Hanzlik discovered his talent for designing colorful paper collages in the 6th grade in Washington, DC. Many years later, he left a high-pressure job with a major retailer and remembered the satisfaction he felt working on that school art assignment. He decided to turn his cuts and pastes into collages and his collages into a line of greeting cards.

The company: Based in Orlando, R. Nichols is known its for witty and sophisticated stationery items, such as greeting cards ($4.50), note cards ($15 to $22 for a set of eight to10) and other fun gifts, like luggage tags ($6) and tote bags ($26). All designs begin as intricate hand-cut collages.

Inspiration: “I draw on my own life and everyday observations of the world around me,” said Hanzlik. “The lawn mower guy comes from my Dad. My Paris designs are from the year I spent living in Paris, and the black cat designs are from my own black cat, Peanut.”

Best-selling category: Any product with a pet theme.

Unexpected sellers: Luggage tags ($6) and Gratipads ($12), a 100-page (100 page, right? where you write down what you are grateful for that day.

Claim to fame 1: Custom design projects for Fresh, Neiman Marcus, Target, Walt Disney World, The Metropolitan Opera, Barney’s, Veuve Clicquot, and Gump’s San Francisco. Also his illustration of the “French Women Don’t Get Fat” series of books by Mireille Guiliano.

Claim to fame 2. In 2013, partnered with noted fragrance designer Gary McNatton to create a candle collection. Oprah named the candles ($45) one of her favorite things in 2013.

Where to buy: In the Atlanta area, check Erika Reade (, 3732 Roswell Road. In Orlando, visit the R. Nichols Shop, 2910 Corrine Drive, in the Audubon Park Garden District. Before or after your shop stop head down the street to the East End Market for artisanal eats, coffee, fresh juices in canning jars and craft beer.

Floral Collection

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