Penn State entrepreneur juggles fashion, business and school

Video posted April 15, 2013 in News by Ashley Pose


Penn State student Nicole Kelner proves chasing your dreams and completing college at the same time is a possibility.

 Kelner is a sophomore pursuing a major in advertising and minoring in entrepreneurship at Penn State. She enjoys engaging in typical student life activities such as cooking dinner with her roommates or going out to socialize with friends.

Vogue11Besides fretting about upcoming finals, Nicole has other worries such as owning her own company and brand.

Nicole knew all along she had a passion for fashion but once she came to Penn State she learned she could make her interest turn into a business.

Freshman year all the girls would go out and complain about carrying their phones and wallets. Many would break or lose their phones. They needed something small to bring on the go. This is when Nicole thought of creating a wallet that could fit an iPhone.

Nicole Kelner Designs,"where design meets technology", includes products such as the SmartWallet, the SmartSleeve, the SmartWristlet and the SmartPurse.

She now controls her own line, website, and social media sites. She meets with designers and organizations each week to promote her business. 

A typical day for Kelner is not even close to simple. Her mornings usually entail sewing her products and finishing up homework assignments for class. During the day Kelner meets with business contacts and engages in different interviews to further advertise her designs. Two social media interns work for Kelner and on her many social media sites.

Kelner says she just wants to "create products to simplify women's lives while they stay on trend." 

Video: Potential customers talk about the SmartPurse

Megan Alexis, Karly Alexis, and Angelina Hoffman discuss why they would like to purchase one of Nicole Kelner's iPhone designs.