—Fast Facts—

Loves: Vegetables, sci-fi
Hates: Beets, cantaloupe, litter
Countries traveled: Ecuador, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Honduras, Hong Kong, Canada, United Kingdom, Dominica
Book: Flowers for Algernon
Music: Led Zeppelin
Hobbies/Interests: Fashion/style, interior design, sewing, cooking, travel, feminism, religion, nerding out over things like UX and Supreme Court decisions
Surprising fact: Can’t whistle
Summary: A global education in feminism, religion, and global issues are what made me the woman I am today. I continue to read about and get involved in topics that are important to me.

—Brief History—

I was born in southern Florida and spent early childhood picking starfruit and dodging alligators. At age 5 I was toted off to the suburbs of Atlanta. In high school, instead of getting some after-school job at the mall or whatever, I made and sold costumes online on a Web site I built and hosted from scratch. I was a weird kid, but developed a creative and independent spirit early on.

What they’re saying:

“Nicole has the perfect balance
of ideas and hustle.”
“Weirdest person I know.”

I moved on to the University of Georgia immediately after high school. I never stopped working and paid for room and board myself, while tuition was paid for through scholarships, public and private. My Junior year was spent in Tokyo. After living in on of the most expensive cities in the world, I next spent a Maymester in Quito, Ecuador, where I focused on conflict resolution and poverty. I couldn’t leave without stopping over in the Galapagos, of course! I swam with sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, and penguins; said hello to Charles Darwin’s ghost; and threw up over the side of a boat.

Though I started as a business major, my experiences abroad spurred me to study International Affairs. Living abroad for so long made me realize that the world is completely different in every time zone, and modern society and economy didn’t make sense without putting that fact into context.

Graduating in 2008 wasn’t too good for my job prospects, and Atlanta isn’t exactly a hot bed of international affairs. I spent a year unemployed (not counting the 4 days I worked as a receptionist at a law firm). So, thinking that I’d have better luck in New York, I packed two suitcases and made the move. I lived above a marble-slab factory, worked as a barista at a local cafe, then at a hotel doing the night audit, moved out of the factory, and finally landed an editorial/production job at my current company.

What they’re saying:

“Super competent, and a
joy to work with.”
“Total babe.”

Though I wasn’t always happy about the situation I found myself in for my first few years after college, the strong work ethic and go-getter attitude I developed in high school and college are what kept me going. I’m always challenging myself to try new things and never give up. I’m a firm disbeliever in waiting around for good things to happen—some call it impatience; I call it ambition.

Now, I’m getting back to what makes me tick: combining social justice, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, and style. In 2012 I discovered Indego Africa, a social enterprise that lifts women-owned businesses in Rwanda toward sustainable economic independence through access to markets and education. I sent the creative director an email, we met for coffee, and I soon found myself on the regional board. Now, I’m the board chair for 2014. I’ve since been connecting with similar organizations and am looking forward to working professionally in the field.