Get to Know: Gabi Nickas

Name: Gabrielle (Gabi) Nickas

Company/Title: CMO and Co-Owner at Original and Digital Marketing Consultant at Gabrielle Rose

Current Location: New Jersey, but splits time between Portland, OR (where our skateboard HQ is) and NJ. 

Tell Us About Your Business

For our skateboard biz here’s our mission: Original is driven by travel, the experience, your friends, that life, those adventures: the whole thing. We build longboards to get you there. Because once you’re there, there’s no going back.

For consulting and digital marketing services, I help lifestyle brands and bloggers grow their businesses by gaining more quality exposure in the digital world. AKA, I work in digital advertising, and I eat/sleep/breathe big data. 

Now, do it in 6 words only please:  

Help lifestyle brands grow their online businesses. – it’s 7 🙂 

If you had an extra 5 hours a week to spend on your business, where would you invest the time?

Furthering my education and learning more. I’m a lifetime learner. I used to be a college professor, so research and post-graduate work are just in my blood. In 2018, I went back to school and got a certificate in big data analytics from MIT, and I learned so much more on the development side of building audiences and audience behavior. In my 20’s for 4 years, I battled with neurological Lyme Disease. I lost the ability to read/write due to what it did to my short-term memory (temporarily thank goodness), so to me knowledge is precious. 

What goals do you have for your business?

For my skateboard business I would like to continue pushing the industry forward and not just in terms of board designs (which my husband leads) but getting more girls on boards and changing what the skateboard culture looks like. Skateboarding is a great escape from the world. It’s a sport, much like surfing and snowboarding, where you have to be present. There are no other options. More people need this kind of meditation in their lives. 

For my digital marketing, I’m at such a good place with it. I’ve been working on it for over ten years. In those ten years, I’ve learned what I love and what I don’t love. My goal is to keep growing and evolving into projects I love because there’s nothing worse than spending time working on things that don’t bring you joy. I know there’s privilege in that statement, but if we have the ability even in small ounces to make our day more enjoyable then I’m all for it. 

What business task do you dread the most? 

Administrative tasks and gosh darn zoom calls 🙂 no one needs to see me in my tiny house on my computer with hair I probably haven’t brushed in ten days. 

Give Us Your Wisdom

What will you always spend money on? 

Good Coffee, Wine, Moisturizer, and Mascara 

What is a piece of advice that you received that has stuck with you throughout all phases of your career? Write your end goal on a post-it note (this was actually told to me during my master’s thesis, so sub end goal for research question). Anything you’re flirting with doing, ask yourself does it answer that question or get you to your end goal. If the answer is no, tuck it away for later and move on. 

If you could save readers from one misstep, what advice would you share? 

You don’t have to be good at everything, and you don’t have to know everything. BUT you do have to know enough to discern the good folks from the bad. Hire well and cherish the good people. If it’s not working out with an employee or contract worker, just let them go and move on so you can continue to build a team that fits you and your needs. Then, spend more time doing what you love and what you’re good at.

Do you have an absolute favorite business tool or resource?


Connecting Personally

What’s your favorite quote/life motto?

It’s better to be lucky than good sometimes. “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

Is there a pipe dream/bucket list item you are willing to share? 

To be a Venture Capitalist. I would like to help other women build their businesses in a larger capacity than I currently do. I think being a VC would be my pipe dream and next career move. 

Do you read or listen to anything on the regular?

I really enjoy Neil Patel’s blog

What else should we know about you?

I play the ukulele and even have a YouTube channel. Up until about 20 years old, I was certain I’d be a professional musician (I was studying music in college at the time). My dream was to play piccolo in an orchestra. I realized later that I didn’t enjoy the business of music, so I still play flute/piccolo/ukulele/piano as my therapy but did not choose that as my career path. 

How can readers connect with you and follow your journey?

Check out the Original Skateboard website and follow us on Instagram

Click here to learn more about my digital marketing business and to read my blog. You can find me on Instagram @Instagabber

Prequal Profiles are intended to capture the diverse stories of womxn in business to spread wisdom and create connections. If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please fill out our questionnaire here.