Mixing it with the best – International win for Virginia couple

Virginia entrepreneurs Nikalene and Michael Riddle have taken out one of the top awards at Shopify’s inaugural Build a Bigger Business competition.
The couple, who created an online community called Skinnymixers, took out the award for highest percentage growth, with an impressive 300 per cent increase in sales in the past 12 months.
Nikalene and Michael were presented with their award at a special ceremony in New York last month, where Nikalene also had the honour of officially starting the day’s stock trading at Wall Street’s Stock Exchange on September 6 by ringing the opening bell.
The pair became accidental entrepreneurs in 2013 when their recipe company Skinnymixers grew a highly engaged online community that now boasts more than 145,000 followers.
Nikalene has also written five top selling cookbooks and is currently overseas researching her next four books.
Speaking from New York last month, Nikalene said she was on cloud nine following the award win.
“We were completely blown away,” she said.
“As a small and quite new business from Adelaide, we didn’t expect to win.”
The competition aimed to help later-stage start-ups and trend-shaping entrepreneurs scale their business to reach new heights.
The winners received a one-of-a-kind, eight-day entrepreneurship experience in Fiji, including mentorship from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs; Tony Robbins, Daymond John, Tim Ferriss, Marie Forleo and Debbie Sterling.
Nikalene said Skinnymixers had grown from selling 1500 books each month to 6000 books per month and now had four fulltime staff.
“This has been completely overwhelming and so intense,” she said.
“There’s been so much energy, I’ve never experienced anything in comparison, I’m definitely on a high.”
Another highlight for the couple was seeing their company logo displayed up on the famous New York Times Square screen, where thousands of people pass each day.
To enter the Build a Bigger Business competition, participants needed to have an existing business on the Shopify Platform with sales between $1 million and $50 million USD.
The contest ran from March 1, 2017 to July 2017, and eight winners in eight different categories were selected.

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