What if you discovered a new way to shop online? One that saved you time, gave you attainable and chic options and made your life easier
— all while sourcing the best finds and giving you style inspiration that’s actually realistic? Imagine a curated experience featuring the best independent brands from across the country — think of it as your own digital co-op.
MiniPinkBook will give you an insider’s look into the world of indie fashion, accessories and beauty. We find it, you browse it. A one-stop shop for all your needs. For a little extra inspo, MPB adds a snapshot of the hottest trends and delivers a subscriber-only pass to exclusive deals and monthly giveaways. And because we love to celebrate makers, MPB will cue up conversations with the world’s most entrepreneurial minds.
Who’s in charge here?
Nicole Benoist, founder of MiniPinkBook
With a career path that has wound from coast to coast and back again, I’ve settled into my midwest roots for now. And creating MPB is the next stop on my journey. My career best-of list includes an internship-turned-tour management gig with an iconic rock band, working for Todd Oldham and Chanel in 90s NYC, launching indie design brands, producing NY Fashion Week shows and writing and editing in the fashion editorial space. After setting up one of the first retail co-ops in the country, MPB is my next venture.
Follow along and experience a new kind of online shopping featuring the chic and attainable products from the best brands from indie retailers across the country.
I invite you to experience MiniPinkBook — style edited just for you.
Fashion, travel, family, discovery and above all — risk taking. Follow along to see where I’ve been and what inspires me.
roots in france
It’s been said that my family has an unbroken lineage dating back to Guillaume Benoist, chamberlain of Charles VII of France in the fifteenth century. That hardly translates to much now—except a lot of cousins and a strong sense of history. My relatives eventually made their way to St. Louis in the late 1700s. Fast-forward through the lives of a fur trader, chevalier of the Royal and Military Order and the first banker west of the Mississippi — with those genes, I couldn’t escape a love for adventure.
I left St. Louis at eighteen to become a scientist — yes, a scientist. When the University of South Carolina offers you a scholarship, you take it. But sporadic class attendance translated to a less than stellar freshman year (we won’t mention the G.P.A., but it began with a .8) and my scholarship vanished in a pouf of air. The rest of college consisted of several majors in rapid succession and — a bright spot during my second year — an unexpected internship with a local band. Little did I know they were about to become one of the most successful bands in music history. Things got busy fast, and I spent the next four years working for Hootie and the Blowfish.
I was one of those young women who were desperate to work in fashion but had no idea what that meant. Without much (any) career research, I cashed out my 401k at the wise age of 24 and moved to New York City. Countless interviews (somehow I’d thought the process would be easier) finally led to a job at Todd Oldham’s studio. Segue to the big league: I landed at Chanel, managing public relations and basically living in that overstuffed sample closet. It was the late ’90s in Manhattan and I was working for one of the most iconic brands in the world — and I was completely miserable.
california state of mind
Longing for sunny skies and warmer temps, I headed west. First stop was San Francisco (btw, it’s not that sunny and definitely not that warm) to work with an indie fashion designer. This was my first taste of a start-up, and I fell in love with every part of the process, from showing up at the factory in Italy to beg for an almost-on-schedule delivery of the collection to producing the show during New York Fashion Week on a less-than-zero budget. Soaring on an adrenaline high and still looking for that sun, I moved south to Los Angeles. There I formed my first official company and helped guide fashion and beauty startups through the launch process and those insanely critical first years in business.
A baby boy named Levi was on the way, and I headed back home to raise him around family in the heart of Missouri. Sweet baby Georgia arrived three years later. Meanwhile I stalked St. Louis Magazine as politely as possible, determined to become its first style editor. Persistence paid off. After four years of styling shoots, selecting fashion, writing and editing, I received a call from a real estate developer wondering if I’d be interested in spearheading one of the first retail co-ops in the country. I opened Collective at MX, a 3,500-square-foot retail space housing more than 50 vendors in downtown St. Louis.
the journey continues
As the Collective closed its doors and the internet tipped the world of retail on its side, I decided to create a different kind of shopping experience: a curated marketplace that did the editing for you. What if you could easily shop one site that gathered the best products from the best independent retailers and brands across the country? What if you were choosing from guaranteed-chic selections that were actually attainable? What if you had a one-stop shop that solved all your fashion shopping needs? The best-fitting boyfriend jeans. What to get your so-hard-to-buy-for sister for her birthday. That unforgettable statement piece to wear with your LBD.
Here we are. And I can’t wait to go on this next journey with you.