Louie The Artist
LOUIS NICHOLE….. A RENAISANCE MAN……..
The White House to Queen Elizabeth’s House to your Neighbor’s House.”( Louie sure gets around !)
Louis Nichole, a former kindergarten teacher who turned cabinetmaker and craftsman, built a billion dollar international brand and consumer base in only 10 years…without advertising, marketing or public relations.
Living to the left of the 20th century, Nichole licensed his name and Old World craftsmanship to major corporations across the globe in such diverse industries as furniture, bed, bath and table linens, lighting, carpets, textiles, lace, china, dinnerware, Christmas decorations, porcelain dolls and decorative home accessories. He is the master of crafting new things… and making them look old…. using street tar, egg white, rottenstone, and gesso.
Nichole was the first mass designer brand to bring “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous “ to the “Poor & Anonymous”…like Louie. His Theme song “.Put Me On Your Table, Put Me On Your Floor, Put Me On Your Bed And Hope You Come Back For More” brought consumers to department stores across the country to hear him sing his collection of original humorous ”Louie Songs.” Nichole entered almost 25 different industries and set sales records in almost every category that was stamped with his unique mark of “emotional intelligence” and non conforming business style.
Nichole became the forerunner of the Romantic Lifestyle, and was the first designer create co coordinated home furnishings in a ” no brainer, decorating made easy” concept. He traveled extensively across the globe as craftsman, author, and speaker, always incorporating his original songs: part entertainer, part performer, and part comedian. “People have always asked me what it is exactly that I do for a living… I tell them that I make new things… and then I make them look old. If they don’t understand…. I tell them to take a look at what I did to my mother and my father”..
Raised in Waterbury, CT as part of an Italian working class family, Nichole, traces the start of his career in the early 50’s at 6 years of age when he began selling recycled flowers from the local cemetery dump…. transforming them into his own “ designer bouquets.” By age 14, the entrepreneurial Nichole had amassed $10,000; by high school’s end, $25,000. His first book was written in high school and published by Vogue/ Butterick, “Designer Accessories to Make From the Cemetery Dump.”
By age 15, Nichole’s work has been featured in top newspapers and magazines across the globe…. in articles spanning as many as 25 pages in one Good Housekeeping issue. His artistry and craft , as well as his unorthodox deign sensibility have been solicited by some of the world’s most prestigious institutions including The White House, The Smithsonian, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Queen Elizabeth’s private collections, Disneyworld, and the Jimmy Carter Museum. … as well as a 25 year retrospective of the designer/craftsman’s work at the Wadsworth Atheneum, (Americas’ first museum and forerunner to the Met.
In the late 90’s Nichole began another career as landscape architect. He experimented with his own project on 200 acres. He traveled to Europe shipping 17th the, 18th and 19th century architectural gardens elements from Italy, France, England and Belgium and re building and reinstalling them in his New England Home ( see Nichole Court & Gardens)
With the completion of those gardens and the beginning of the louisnichole.com website, Nichole became a photographer to understand the color of light in exterior and interior photography. ( All the photography on the Louis Nichole website is photographed by Louie)
At 55, Nichole began his greatest passion.. and the beginning of his still another career…. as a songwriter. He was driven to tell stories with a profound respect for the musicality and lyric content.
The challenge was to find a way to transform his natural operatic voice into the contemporary music style he would write. The NY Times called him a Pavarotti, but singing opera was not the story Louie had to sing. After working for one year in Hollywood on”Louie & His 235 Italian Relatives”, Nichole moved to his home in CT to care for his dad who had stage 4 Alzheimers. He began the greatest experience of his life that enabled him to tell the stories and write the songs that he was meant to sing
Louis is the recipient of:
“The American Home Textile Award”
( along with Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Bill Blass)
“The Queen’s Prize” (Queen Elizabeth II) for his children’s book, Sofie & Luisa, by Collins Publishers
“Tommy Award”for printed textiles
Two “ Doll of the Year” Awards from the toy industry.
2007 CT Cottages and Gardens “Innovator Garden Design Award”.
2008 ISC Songwriting Award ( International Songwriting Award)
6 Billboard Song Awards for his country, pop, and inspirational music.
2 John Lennon Songwriting Awards for his children’s music
THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC
“At age 5 , my mother would close all the windows of our second story apartment when I would sing Italian opera because all the neighbors on the street could hear me… as well as all my 235 Italian relatives who lived in 3 family houses about two feet away. I had big voice. But to my mother,I should be quiet and respectful,like my other 80 cousins who lived on the same street.”
Whenever my parents went out, I’d to race to the refrigerator and grab the biggest carrot I could find. It served as my microphone. On the top of the dining room table, I would sing and dance on my grandmother’s lace doilies, as if I was Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show.
“I was born a man with a rose in my heart. I was the family entertainer for my 235 Italian relatives. But my greatest audience was my grandfather, who died when I was six. Every day after school, I would go to his grave and sing his favorite Italian song,” Torna Sorriento…… and the not so Italian song,… “She Wore an Itsy Bitsy Teeeeney Weeney Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” It gave me so much pleasure and it felt so natural to write my own songs and sing to all grampa’s friends that surrounded him. I had a captive audience.
I began writing original songs in the design world when I would give corporate presentations to CEO’s of companies like JC Penney, Sears, Wal Mart, QVC,or K-mart. “The mens in pin stripe suits “ didn’t have a sense of humor But none the less, I continued to open my meetings with an original song about their company and why they should have Louie products. It finally paid off in 1989 when I received the American Home Textile Award along with Bill Blass, Mario Buatta, and Ralph Lauren. I was the only unknown recipient at the time,so I sang an original song as my acceptance speech in front of CEO’s from all over corporate America. I received a five minute standing ovation. They still thought I was crazy. I laughed all the way to the bank.
I always had a passion to sing and write songs. I wasn't afraid that I wasn’t good enough. I was afraid of being good. So at 55, I had a revelation. I was successful in the design business doing something I loved . However everyone told me that I would never be a designer because I wasn’t “ trained.” In spite of my lack of schooling, however I did a billion dollars in sales. I had the passion , the drive, and the talent. I didn’t know anything about the music business either, but I knew I had to write. I had to tell my stories.I knew I could touch the heartstrings of the same mass consumer who had purchased my products.
Now more than ever,we are re-evaluating and seeking to return… to simple pleasures. … and solid traditions. Storytelling is universal in every culture. We understand the value of honesty and truth, ….and how important it is to our lives .... and it is these stories translated into lyrics that help to change the world….one song at a time.” There is some divine unrest that urges you to do what you do.There is no logic or reason You are driven by the urgency to create what is inside you and what moves you forward as a human being. My Italian grandmother was one of the wisest women I ever met. She said, ”Luigi, every day abova da ground, shes a gooda day,…. cause when- a you dead… you dead a longa time.
And so I wrote a song called exactly that.
Excerpts from Chapter 10
“Louie & His 235 Italian Relatives”
In 2004, the Sunday NEW YORK TIMES featured a full page, on the front page of the Times HOME Section. about Louie … HIS BILLION DOLLAR BRAND …….and some of his 235 relatives who were visiting that day
“The following morning my office was deluged with phone calls. Maureen Mcguckin, my office manager was very efficient to write down the names and telephone numbers of the women who called and said she would get back to them after she had spoken with me. Maureen left me messages of over 38 women who called my office after reading the New York Times article. I did have Maureen respond nicely to all of the women on Tuesday. But I thought I would like to share the first thought that came to mind when I read each of these woman’s questions. I will use their real names to protect the innocent. Please take note: ALL WERE SINGLE WOMEN”
Midred:….. Is Mr Nichole dating?
Louie:….. Yes…. If you have a brother or a husband
Sally: I know it says that he hasn’t been in a “committed relationship”, but is he looking to be committed?
Louie: Well, he isn’t right now , but he should be by the end of this week.
Marsha: He seems like such a nice person. I went to his website…. Where did he get all that talent?
Louie: Sears….day after Christmas Sale….50% off.
Sarah: I dated Mr Nichole in the 30’s. I thought he died. He looked so good in the picture. Was that an old picture of him?
Louie: Very old…..If you have any photos of you and Louie…please send them to my mother. She will be happy to see that I was dating women in the 30’s
Ah, Sara…. those were the days!
Jennymae: Is Mr Nichole as handsome as he looks in the photo?
Louie: No ..I’m ugly which is why I’m not committed..
Gertude: Would Mr Nichole come to dinner if I invited him.
Louie: Sure….and I love intimate evenings…….oh ….by the way do you mind if I bring my 235 Italian relatives
Shirley:I wanted to send a little food basket to Mr Nichole. Is there any kind of food Mr Nichole is allergic to?
Louie: Yes… wedding cake
Mary: Does Mr Nichole take in any apprentices?
Louie: He used to, but now they are all work for Donald trump.
Good Morning America: We would like to use Mr Nichole’s piece on our show.
Margorie: Does Mr Nichole do private clients?
Louie: Not unless they go public.
Merle: I have been a big fan of Mr. Nicholes. I have been buying his dresses for years.
Louie:Really? So that’s what happened to all the dresses in my closet !
( she thinks I‘m Nicole Miller)
: Doesn’t Mr Nichole want to settle down and have a family?
LOUIE: What part of the article didn’t you understand?
Renee:How come they don’t sell his products at K mart anymore?
LOUIE: Because they cell Marthas. ( she was in Prison at the time)