My Business Plan: The Nice Noona

K-pop music possesses its own brand of charm that captivates people with its catchy melodies, dynamic choreography, and poignant lyrics.

Even without intimate understanding of its lyrical nuances, it transcends language barriers and still wins people’s hearts effortlessly. But K-pop encompasses more than just music it has evolved into a fusion of artistic expression and heartfelt emotion that deeply resonates with fans across the globe.

It’s within this vibrant and dynamic realm that The Nice Noona (TNN), a K-pop-inspired merchandise shop, has found its unique place.

How the Magic Started

“The K-pop community is so diverse, and we get to share and explore new music together. Not only that, being able to design and make art has always been a dream of mine since I was five years old. Sharing a part of me with people all over the world is truly a wonderful experience.” The Nice Noona 

The Nice Noona’s journey started when its founder, Shillbe, attended a BTS concert in 2018. Deeply moved by the music and the band’s message of self-love, she wanted to remember the moment with a keepsake. But K-pop merchandise was rare back then, so out of her desire to encapsulate the magic of that moment, The Nice Noona was born.

Her very first product was an enamel pin that symbolized her journey of self-discovery. This humble beginning eventually grew into a variety of offerings — keychains, stationery, apparel, and jewelry — as fans felt a sense of connection and found comfort and healing through these vibrant products.

The Stars of the Show

Enamel pins whose themes are based on concert tours are some of TNN’s most popular products. “I love creating fun and memorable tour pins for my favorite artists. My customers love to create shadow boxes and collect them on pin boards,” Shillbe noted.

If you’re a budding K-pop enthusiast, Shillbe recommends you start with enamel pins and small art prints. These can eventually grow into beautiful and bigger collections!

What’s in My Bag: K-pop Concert Edition

When you go to a K-pop concert, you should come prepared because you won’t leave empty-handed. You can collect quite a lot of freebies as fans love to trade free merchandise and give goodie bags away. These goodie bags may contain photo cards, stickers, pins, handmade bracelets, buttons, and other items. 

According to Shillbe, A popular item I made and sold out 7x of is my Ultimate Stadium Tour Bag. I’ve gone to a lot of K-pop concerts over the years and found that there wasn’t a bag to my liking. They were either too small or way too big. I created my bag so that you can have enough space for your personal items and then store extra items. It’s also sturdy and fashionable.” 

Aside from the concert bag, TNN loves making freebie bags of her original art, stickers, ear plugs, candy, and other fun stuff!

Flexible and Subtle Jewelry Pieces

In addition to enamel pins, art prints, concert bags, and freebie bags, TNN also offers jewelry pieces —her favorite amongst her collection. Her latest product, the Amygdala necklace and earring set, is inspired by AgustD, also known as SUGA, of BTS. It’s a stellar piece and can be worn with a comfy T-shirt and jeans fit or going all out with K-pop fashion attire. Even non-fans can enjoy the subtle look for everyday wear,” she said.

PrintRunner Experience

The journey of entrepreneurship has many different sides. To Shillbe, “one of the most challenging aspects of being an entrepreneur is all the behind-the-scenes work that no one sees. Being a one-person [team of a] small business requires a lot of determination and creativity. My advice to aspiring business owners is to be open-minded and embrace those connections you make.”

Having this mindset has greatly benefited both The Nice Noona and PrintRunner since they began working together nearly five years ago when she started her business. They’ve made it so easy for me to make backing cards for my enamel pins and keychains, small and big Thank You [cards], and business cards for all different package sizes. I’ve even used PrintRunner to make stickers for my freebie/goodie bags for concerts.

And my favorite thing is using PrintRunner to print my small 4x 6 and 5x 7 art prints. I love printing them on heavy cardstock paper because it’s so sturdy and the colors turn out so well.

Not only that, but the price point is also affordable for a small business like mine. PrintRunner helps with the workflow, so I don’t have to make everything by hand like I used to,” says Shillbe.

The Curtain Call

TNN isn’t just a merchandise shop; it embodies the transformative power of music and the unstoppable spirit of creativity. It pays homage to authenticity and lyrics that deeply touch the soul. As K-Pop keeps growing, TNN will always be a beloved companion to fans — a reminder that music mirrors our emotions, experiences, and the beauty of embracing our true selves.


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About the Author

Lulu Montemayor
Lulu is a copywriter and everything-in-between. When she's not writing, she plays sports and explores coffee shops and restaurants. Occasionally, she'd pick up her guitar for a jam session with friends.