Career Pivot Leads Lawyer to Open Shop

Pivot owner Nicci Hicks poses in the first room of her store. Credit: Courtesy of Sheron Colbert

After a career in law, Nicci Hicks chose not to give up on her dream.

Pivotal careers from lawyer and business executive to business owner allowed Hicks to act on a childhood love for fashion by opening Pivot, a boutique for women with a curated selection of shoes, handbags hand and accessories in July.

“Every time I’ve come up the corporate ladder here in Columbus, I’ve thought, man, that’s really cool to do,” Hicks said. “So I just decided to have faith and be brave and pursue it through the pandemic.”

BJ Hicks, Nicci Hicks’ husband, said he knew Nicci Hicks wanted to open a boutique and he believed she would be successful in doing so.

“After several conversations, it became very clear that not doing so would be detrimental to him,” said BJ Hicks. “I know she has total passion and when she puts her mind to something she will succeed. So that’s when it became really easy for me to say, well, sure, you have to do it.

BJ Hicks said his wife’s shopping skills and understanding of others was a reason he knew she could rise to the challenge of opening a boutique.

“She’s a good client. She is a professional buyer. She has a keen understanding of people,” BJ Hicks said. “She has a deep understanding of what makes a great store and what makes a great business.”

BJ Hicks said Nicci Hicks’ experience as a lawyer and business executive provided her with the foundation to navigate the legal side of owning a business as well as her people skills.

“She could look at the contract, she could talk with a leasing agent, landlords and banks,” BJ Hicks said. “But she also has the soft skills and EQ to welcome someone in any medium, male, female, age doesn’t matter.”

Crystal Plunkett-Saunders, a friend of Nicci Hicks, said Nicci Hicks’ focus on small, women-owned, minority-owned and sustainable brands educated her on how to be a better consumer.

“I think when you’re shopping in a department store you’re kinda looking at, you know, the color, the material, but I don’t think you’re looking, I don’t think you’re paying that much attention or just me “Said Plunkett-Saunders. “I don’t think I paid as much attention to sustainability or the impact that designers had on the world because it was so limiting. So I appreciate that she put everything in one place.

Pivot offers sustainable and inclusive global brands such as TKEES, Woden and Shoto, according to their website.

“So we offer established and emerging brands from around the world with a focus on inclusive brands,” said Nicci Hicks. “So owned by black, women and minorities as well as sustainable brands.”

Although Pivot is Nicci Hicks’ company name, she said it was representative of her own personal transformation.

“I think when we think of careers, we often think of them in a linear way, but we’re all worth multiple passions and goals,” said Nicci Hicks. “So it just represents bravery. It represents faith, it represents an investment in oneself.

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