10 Things About Nichole

Get to know our founder and creative director Nichole


Name: Nichole Marie
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Title at Company: Founder and Owner at Nichole Marie Designs
Education: B.S. Fashion Design and Merchandising – West Virginia University and Masters Fashion Marketing – LIM College

  1. What made you chose Nichole Marie Designs as the name of your brand?
    • I chose this name because it is my first and middle name.  Unlike most designers, I felt my first and last name didn’t flow as well as my first and middle name did.  I decided to add “designs” onto my name so that I could keep my brand broad.  If I wanted to transition into illustrations, jewelry, painting, clothing, or more I could without hesitation.
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up before you became interested in fashion?
    • When I was in 5th grade I had to write about what I wanted to be when I got older.  I always said I wanted to be an architect.  I clearly did not go into architecture, but my love of structure, drawing, and construction transitioned into fashion design.  Loving to go shopping at the mall also helped.  Something not many people know is that I looked into adding architecture to my degree during my junior year at school.  Unfortunately only landscape architecture was offered, and I knew I did not want that.


  3. What is your biggest accomplishment/ proudest moment so far in your career?
    • My biggest accomplishment so far has to be participating in the LIM school fashion show and having my garment as the finale piece of act 1.  In the fashion world the first and last garments are typically the best pieces and so it was a huge honor.
  4. What inspires your designs?
    • My designs are inspired by anything really.  Illustrations are typically inspired by photographs, but my garments are typically inspired by my mood.  Music always gets me in a great designing mood, but different genres tend to inspire different designs.  Rock music helps inspire chic leather designs, while pop music helps inspire more draped garments and dresses.
  5. You mentioned that your illustrations are inspired by photographs, where do you typically find this inspiration?
    • I am addicted to Pinterest where I have two boards dedicated to illustration.  One is called “Fashion Illustrations” and the other is called “To Draw”.  This is typically where I post inspiration for my illustrations.  I also use Instagram to find inspirational photos.  I will follow popular influencers and save any posts that I feel look amazing and fit an illustration idea that I have in my head.  I never copy, I only use as inspiration.  It is important that your ideas are your own and no one else’s because that is how you can get yourself into trouble and lose trust with your followers.
  6. When did you decide that you wanted to start your own brand?
    • Back in undergrad we took classes to prepare us for internships and careers in the fashion industry.  I ultimately started my brand to show my work while looking for jobs and internships.  I created a portfolio website on WIX and would send it out along with my resume.  Over time my brand transitioned from being portfolio based to what it is today where I offer Illustrations to consumers and will be adding garments in the near future.
  7. Starting your own business can be difficult, especially financially.  Do you do anything else to help supplement that income?
    • Yes.  I actually work a day job at a fabric company in NYC.  I find it super important to have another means of income while starting your business that way your not creating any type of financial burden on yourself.  There is no shame in having another job while also working for yourself.
  8. What mediums do you choose to use for your illustrations?
    • I love to use Copic markers on Mixed Media paper.  They are super easy to use and so much fun.  I also am obsessed with my Prisma Colour pencils.  I got these when I was in undergrad for my illustration class and continue to use them in my designs.  Opting for the large pack as opposed to a smaller pack really helps with my drawings.  Actually for any of my mediums it is better to have multiple shades and hues of colors in order to get the illustration to look its best.  Yes I have colors that I do not use often, but knowing that I will not have to run out and get them is a great feeling, especially when it comes to my colored pencils.  I am actually in the process of creating a blog post about which mediums and supplies I use most for my illustrations and another one for designing.
  9. Who is your favorite fashion designer?
    • I am always obsessed with Chanel, but adore Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Alice & Olivia, and Monse.
  10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    • Ultimately I would love to have started a family by then.  Career wise tho, I hope to become more successful with my Illustrations.  I would love to be able to juggle both my day job and my business respectively and potentially become a licensed artist at my day job.  I also have always thought of potentially opening a boutique, but that would take a little longer then 5 years due to finances.


Everyday Girl:

Favorite quote to live by?

I have two.  One is “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun” by Katherine Hepburn and the second is “It’s not goodbye, it’s so long” which is something my grandfather always said to me when I would leave him.  I have this quote tattooed on my shoulder in honor of him.

If you could meet any person dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Marilyn Monroe.  I don’t know how my obsession with her started exactly, but she is my all time favorite and I would love to meet her.

The best part about living in Hoboken?

It’s like a grown up version of college where you get to see your friends whenever you please, while certain aspects of college are changed.  Classes are now Jobs, parties are now happy hour and brunch, and college sports are now sports bars and watch parties.

An interesting fact about me is…

I ranked in the top 10 percentile for problem solving when I took an IQ test for my anxiety diagnosis.  Oh and I’m ambidextrous! 


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