A Story on Samantha Nienow
Have you ever wondered how some people manage to get so much more accomplished in the same 24-hour period as everyone else? What’s their secret? After meeting with Samantha Nienow, we have found that it has everything to do with passion.
She has many passions in her life. Some pertain to her business. Some are hobbies. Some are big ideas. Sam is one of the exceptional people who thrives as a connected center to the Bemidji community, a person who knows many, for many reasons. She is a true inspiration and her energy must be endless. We spoke with Sam to determine what makes her take everything to the next level and beyond. – inMagazine Staff
By Matthew Liedke
Passion is adriving factor in the life of Bagley resident Samantha Nienow, a woman who is heavily involved withthe community and runs her own business. Through her dedication to both, Nienow has been able to engage with others on a range of topics from entrepreneurship to fitness.
As a professional, Nienow operates Red Zest Design, a company providing creative services to businesses, such as helping in the creation of powerpoints, keynotes and other presentations. At the same time, Nienow is also involved in organizations focused on boosting entrepreneurship in the region.
Originally from Battle Lake, Minn., Nienow’s journey to the world of graphic design started when she attended Minnesota State University Moorhead. After time spent in Moorhead, Nienow joined a national student exchange program and continued her studies in northern California, when she got involved with a start-up company called LearningChange.
She returned to Minnesota in 2006 and in 2009, started Red Zest Design.
“I wanted to go out on my own and pursue presentation design,” Nienow said. “I get to work with CEOs, executive directors and trainers on making their presentations look as amazing as they can be. They’re really busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to spend preparing visuals that look great with their presentations.”
While based in Minnesota, Nienow added that the majority of her clients come from across the nation.
To help inspire and spread her enthusiasm with design and entrepreneurship, Nienow became part of an organization that holds PechaKucha nights. The events are setup to allow multiple people to make short, six-minute presentations and display their talents.
“They can share something they really believe in, their passion, with the audience in a short presentation,” Nienow said. “We’ve done 26 events since 2010, so it’s been going for a while, with our last one in December.”
According to Nienow, the event format first took place in Tokyo in the early 2000s and now there are 800 cities, including Bemidji, that host them regularly.
“My mindset is that I love to be part of a community that’s thriving and creative, and there’s so much talent in Bemidji,” Nienow said. “I want to be part of helping to create the community I want to live in, and that means getting involved.”
Along with the PechaKucha events, Nienow is also regularly involved with the entrepreneur meet-up at the Launchpad in the Mayflower building. The meet-ups, Nienow said, take place on a weekly basis and are meant to support those who are thinking about starting a new business or have already started a business and are offering something new to the public.
At the regional level, Nienow also helps presenters give TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks in various cities such as Grand Forks and Fargo.
“I want to help our region to be fantastic in that it’s recognized technology-wise and for creativity,” Nienow said.
On top of the business aspects of her involvement, Nienow has also made being fit and active a high priority. On a yearly basis, Nienow participates in Bike Bemidji’s Loop the Lake Festival in June and the Blue Ox Marathon in October while also lending her design talents to both events.
“I really care about being fit and active,” Nienow said. “I want to share that passion with my nieces and nephews and the rest of the community.”
Her passion for fitness led her to Wisconsin last September, where she competed in the Ironman competition. The event included swimming a loop (2.4 miles) in Lake Monona, going on a 112-mile bike ride and finally a 26.2-mile run (full marathon) through Madison.
“It was a bucket list goal,” Nienow said. “I did it with a close friend and we trained together for the last two years to prepare. We were just average people doing it. It took us a really long time to complete it, but we really wanted to accomplish something amazing and we did it.”
With so much constantly going on, it can seem overwhelming from a time perspective. However, Nienow said she’s able to continue thanks to her loving all the things she does on a regular basis.
“My spare time kind of overlaps with the passions I have,” she said.