Nicole "Nyk" Rayne
Director of Operations & Design
Nyk has always been both an artist and a business person. She has been drawing since she became capable of holding a pencil, and was first recognized for her business acumen when she won the title of Entrepreneur Pirate in a costume contest at the age of 10, when she borrowed the mic from the MC of the contest to ask everyone to please give their cash and valuables to her mother, who would be walking around to collect those items. Sadly, people thought she was joking and did not follow through.
Nyk took on her first managerial role at 17, when she was promoted to front of house manager of a fine dining restaurant on South Padre Island. Her next venture was with Blockbuster Video, where at 21 years old, Nyk was one of the youngest people to receive the “Rookie Store Manager of the Year” award, having worked her way through the ranks starting as a cashier. Nyk was in line to complete district manager training when Redbox and Netflix began to corner the market. After five years with the company, Nyk decided to leave Blockbuster and start her first business, Sticks & Stones Landscaping. Two seasons of hot Texas sun later, she sold off the company’s equipment and customer accounts for a small profit and dissolved the DBA
From 2008–2010 Nyk shifted gears back to her first love—art—and earned her BFA in Media Arts & Animation from the Art Institute of Houston. In addition to 16-hour course loads, she continued working in retail as a commission-based sales associate at the third largest Guitar Center in the world. While there she was awarded the “2009 Vibe Award” for her contributions to the morale of the staff and overall customer service.
During her final year at the Art Institute, Nyk started her second business, Truncheon M Productions, under which she wrote her first cartoon, The Adventures of Dr. Blah-kman & Mr. Meow. In January of 2015 Truncheon M’s Kickstarter for a Mr. Meow plush toy and a pilot episode of an animated version of the cartoon was successfully funded resulting in a line of Mr. Meow plush toys.
From 2010–2014 Nyk worked for Powerhouse Animation Studios in Austin, TX, after which she opened her third business, 1000wordstudio. Nyk has had the privilege of creating art for Coca-Cola, Disney, Planned Parenthood of NYC, the American Physiological Association, the Center for Sexuality Education, Grantland, and Harper Collins Publishing.
Never completely leaving the business world for art, Nyk also worked for Bank of America from 2014–2016, allowing her to learn the ins and outs of the banking industry. From 2014–2018 Nyk contracted with the Central Texas 7-Eleven FOA as their administrative manager handling their day-to-day operations, meeting schedules, vendor relations, social media, and various other tasks.
Nyk began working with UN|HUSHED designing graphics for the Middle School Curriculum, website, and handouts. As the business has shifted to a nonprofit entity Nyk has now taken on the day-to-day operational duties and is excited to continue developing the brand, profitability, and website functionality of UN|HUSHED. When she’s not working, she enjoys drawing, listening to music, and building tiny structures on her property in Austin, TX.