Current Issue / DU Alumni

Alumna Julie Nichols has a job with a lot of sole

“It’s important to me for others to respect my work ethic,” says alumnus Julie Nichols.

Her office is strewn with boxes bearing return address labels from China and Brazil. The daily arrivals await the keen eye and marketing sagacity of Julie Nichols, BSBA ’99.

Out of the boxes come shoes, shoes and more shoes — all subject to Nichols’ scrutiny. “It’s part of my responsibility to determine if the details and design specifications were carried out in the prototypes,” she says.

“Shoes found me,” says Nichols, a sample coordinator and illustrator for the newly acquired Bass division of the Brown Shoe Co., based in St. Louis. Asked to submit footwear sketches as part of the interview process, Nichols’ artistic aptitude distinguished her from the stack of applicants. “I always wanted to do more creative art, and my job calls for that,” she notes.

After completing a marketing degree at DU, Nichols acquired an associate’s degree from the New York School of Interior Design. A slew of part-time and temp jobs followed with what she affectionately refers to as “a process of one opportunity leading to another.”

“My commitment is to build work experience,” says Nichols, who is in her second year with Brown. “It’s important to me for others to respect my work ethic.”

When she’s not working, Nichols can be found lacing up her running shoes. She recently completed the Chicago marathon.

“Running allows me to leave my head for a while,” she says. That’s a vital ingredient for stress management prior to production deadlines and the annual Las Vegas shoe show — the shoe world’s equivalent to Fashion Week — where designers and manufacturers release the latest in footwear.

While product development and market penetration demand Nichols’ focus, she has never lost sight of ideals most important to her. “Some people get caught up in the material. It’s not the end all and be all. What really matters is the human element.”

Nichols wears that paradigm like a favorite pair of shoes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *