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Nicolai Avenue Marketing opens

Lisa Nicolai lives on Nicolai Avenue and started a business last fall named Nicolai Avenue Marketing.

Get a sense she likes the name?

She does.

Technically speaking, that's no longer her last name. She and Jason Swanson were married 13 years ago and her last name is now Swanson, but you get the idea.

For years, Swanson would drive north on Nicolai Avenue, head through Hastings and go to work as the marketing director for an Eagan-based construction company. She worked in the company's department for eight years.

But with the economic downturn facing the country, the company closed its doors, and Swanson was out of a job.

She decided to turn those eight years of work in marketing into her own business, and she launched Nicolai Avenue Marketing. She acts as a consultant to businesses large and small, helping them formulate marketing calendars and strategies to help their businesses grow.

Whether it's print ads, direct mail, websites or the like, it is her mission to ensure they're more effective for their customers.

So far, she's attracted a variety of clients, and the switch from driving all over the place and working 40-plus hours a week to operating her own small business has gone over well.

"It was quite a decision," she said. "To change the pace was definitely interesting. Overall, it has been a great change. My husband and my sister tell me I'm a nicer person now."

Swanson grew up in Hampton and graduated from Randolph High School in 1991.

She and her husband, Jason, have two sons, Trey and Ryan.

More information on her business can be found at or by calling her at 651-592-6353.