My name is Nici Holt Cline (Nici pronounced like Nikki). I am a fourth generation Montanan raising a fifth with my childhood crush, my husband. I am a small business-owning creative type who dreams big, believes perspective shapes reality and loves life’s lessons.
Our family recently moved into a home bordering wilderness, at the edge of Missoula. I gratefully spend my days with my two daughters, Margot and Ruby. Together we explore mountains and rivers, garden, cook, create and operate our growing family business: this online space and dig this chick’s GEO, a line of appliquéd handmades featuring geographical silhouettes. Right here in western Montana we sew clothing and homewares depicting the place(s) you love. Click here to read more about the business of dig.
I am hopeful, optimistic and grateful. I am honest and vulnerable, a wee speck in the wide universe. I find the benefit of the doubt to be a lovely, heart-opening place to begin. I want to inspire, take risks, connect, create, encourage, explore, make choices that nourish my family values and support my community. I like dirt, growing and making food, simplicity, art, friends, martinis, authenticity, running, stretching, seasons and witnessing the magnificence of the world alongside my daughters and husband.
I have a weekly column, mama digs, published by mamalode.com every Monday morning.
I sincerely love hearing from you. I read every comment and email and do my best to respond. I value and find encouragement in the words you choose to share with me. Thank you!
* photos above by Logan Castor Parson
PO Box 9173
Where do you sell your clothes? Do you appliqué other states or countries on shirts?
I sell my clothes on etsy and in a handful of shops around Montana. I do all states, countries, continents…any geographical silhouette your heart desires!
Can I find your writing anywhere else? Will you write a book?
I have a weekly column at mamalode.com called mama digs. It comes out every Monday morning. I really want to write a book and am getting closer to pulling the trigger. You’ll know about it when it happens!
What kind of camera do you use? Lens? How do you edit?
I have a Canon 60D with an 18-200mm lens. This Dreamboat was acquired in March of 2011. All photos from April 2008 until then were taken with my trusty Canon Rebel XT and kit lens 18-55mm. From March 2007-April 2008, I had an ancient Canon Powershot. I studied art in school but, when it comes to photography, I am mostly self-taught. I get as much info as I can from friends whose photos I love and admire. I ask a lot of questions. But, the best education for me has been trial and error.
I shoot in manual mode. On average, I take about 10-20 photos for every one I keep. I edit minimally in iphoto and photoshop. Mostly cropping and adjusting levels and contrast.
Can I link to your site? Can I copy your idea?
I share ideas and thoughts here and am happy for you to take them and make them your own. It’s polite to credit and link to the source of your inspiration. Please don’t take images or content from my site to use on your own site or business without my permission.
I am considering a home birth/birth without drugs. I do not have support from friends and family. Do you have any advice or resources?
I believe there are so many ways to have a positive, best birth experience and I recommend making the choice that feels the best and most comfortable to YOU. There is so much unsolicited advice surrounding pregnancy and birth. There is also so much support and information to help you make informed and smart choices that feel best for you and your family. Listen to the information that makes you feel good and strong.
Margot was born in December 2007 at out Birth Center in Missoula. It was the most wonderful experience we could have imagined. We worked with the same midwife for the birth of our second daughter, Ruby, in November of 2009 — this time choosing to have a home birth. We loved our home birth so so much.
How do you get outside so often with your kids? What stroller/carrier/sunscreen/hat/snowsuit etc. do you use?
Getting outside is an essential part of our family dynamic. I wrote a detailed post about gardening and exploring with kids in rain, snow, garden, sun, rivers etc. Also, our amazon shop (my family earns a small commission from sales from our ‘shop’) shows many of the things we love when adventuring outside.
Your kids really eat the food you eat? How did they become such adventurous eaters?
Yes, our kids happily and willingly eat most anything. I don’t have a formula for making this happen but I can share our approach. I wrote a post here: kids and food bravery.
I want to start a business and work from home with my kids but I can’t imagine finding the time. I am afraid to pull the trigger. How did you make that choice? How do you do it all? How do you fit it all in?
I left my full time job (that also insured my family) with the birth of Ruby in November of 2009. It wasn’t a hard choice for me because it felt right and I am a big believer in trusting my gut. I know that is a scary and intangible leap for many. I think that if you are moved to do something or change something in your life, you can make it happen. My instincts have never failed to lead me to the right place. I believe we all have this power.
My business is very much a family business and my kids are with me most always. Sometimes it works really well — my daughters play family and read books by my side while I sit with my sewing machine or computer. Sometimes it’s really hard and I have to abandon my work (and finish it during some sleepy dark hour, after bed or before rise) and give my kids attention.
I work with a wonderful local seamstress, Kathie Pomeroy, who sews a ton of our clothes and homewares. Until recently, I also had an assistant, Sarahjess Hurt. She moved and I will hire another assistant soon. Margot is in preschool three days a week and Ruby is in preschool one day a week. It’s all a balance involving many needs. Through my working while mothering, I have learned to be flexible and present. I continually check in with myself and make choices that feel the best in the moment. I learn everyday and everyday is different. Systems constantly change.
Most importantly: my business grew slowly and thoughtfully. I started blogging in 2007 and started my sewing business in 2008. There were MANY trials, stumbles, steps back, steps forwards, shifts and tweaks to get where I am today. And it continues to change!