By Jamie Shafer
Nikki Carlson and Kailynn Bowling knew that business principles rooted in faith could help to create positive experiences for their clients and a desirable place to work. As word of their success has spread, recently they were named by Entrepreneur Magazine as having one of the Top Company Cultures of 2017.
Nikki and Kailynn are the cofounders of ChicExecs. They began it to service other entrepreneurs after successfully starting two other companies of their own, ChicBlvd Magazine and ChicBuds (a line of fashion-conscious audio products for women).
They shared, “ChicExecs was born out of a desire to help other brands after finding success with our own product line called ChicBuds.” Nikki and Kailynn also note that their companies have been focused on the words from Proverbs 23:19: Listen . . . be wise and keep your heart on the right path.
Their own path has been one of consistent progress, and they enjoy sharing the lessons they have gained through their backgrounds, including extensive professional experience working with both corporate and nonprofit organizations. This expertise now benefits their clients and their network with tens of thousands of small businesses. ChicExecs has grown to help clients with public relations, social media, and channel management, among other creative services.
Working Values & Culture
As the cofounders have sought to keep their own hearts on the right path, they have focused on communicating their combined years of experience with their clients and creating a staff culture that brings out the best in their employees.
The company shares that in their California-based ChicExecs office they have three conference rooms named Listen, Wise, and Heart to help to serve as reminders of the verse from Proverbs.
“We carry this close to our hearts as we strive to make wise business decisions and seek the Lord’s guidance in all we do,” said Nikki. “We are not perfect, of course, which is why we seek him in all and are thankful for his grace.
“Our mission statement talks about using gifts and talents to make an impact as we all have unique qualities, and together we can make a difference. This is based on the principles rooted in faith, similar to 1 Corinthians 12, 13. Someone may be gifted in administration, someone may be gifted in leadership—but they are all equal, valuable, and crucial to effectively work together and service our clients.”
Nikki said that ChicExecs culture also emphasizes biblical principles like supporting one another, speaking highly of each other, learning through imperfection, and “no gossip.” The ChicExecs website states: “We believe in hard work, humility, integrity, creativity, teamwork and making work fun. We find solutions not faults. We believe in supporting not tearing down. We believe in love not gossip. We believe everyone has unique talents and together make an impact . . . We view every client as the most important and strive to do our best work. We believe in giving back and give credit to God for guiding and directing our path.”
Growing Individuals & Giving Back
The ChicExecs staff culture also places a high value on making sure individual employees are serving within an area of giftedness. Team members are encouraged to talk with leadership if they feel that they are working outside of their area of talent and passion so that their role can be adjusted to help bring out the best work for the company and a high level of satisfaction for each employee.
Nikki noted, “It’s important for our team to work hard but to also enjoy what they do. We believe God created us to work—but in a way that uses our gifts and talents so that there can be passion about work and it can be fun. Our company also has a great leadership team of managers who work closely with their teams to live out the company’s values.”
While both Nikki and Kailynn have entrepreneurial spirits and love creativity, they said that their work is all for a greater purpose. They hope to help young people in their careers and create a community of entrepreneurs who can work hard and mutually support one another. The company also strives to give back to the world by supporting various charities and nonprofits such as Compassion International, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and more. Learn more at chicexecs.com.
Jamie Shafer is a communications strategist for Fishhook Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.