March 27, 2023

Nicole Scott
Age: 21
Hometown: Louisville
The company: A sustainable fashion brand and custom design firm.
Education history: Ballard High School graduate; currently attending University of Cincinnati
Hobbies: Sewing, shopping, hanging with friends, watching movies and listening to podcasts.
Instagram: @nicolescott_inc
Twitter: @nicolescottinc
YouTube: Nicole Scott Inc.
Favorite tech gadget: Macbook Pro
How did you get into the career you have today?
I have always had the dream of becoming a fashion designer since I was a little girl. I would draw designs; I enjoyed scrapbooking and loved getting new clothes.
When I was 15, I began taking sewing lessons and shortly after was accepted into “The Future is Now” program at Kentucky College of Art and Design. Through this program, I was able to collaborate with a local artist (Jake Ford) to design an installation piece that was exhibited at the 849 Gallery for the summer of 2017.
I also took lots of art classes in high school, where I was luckily given the freedom to sew and design my own projects, and I was able to build a portfolio of my work.
This led to where I am today, a fashion design student at the University of Cincinnati. Once in design school, I was able to learn so much more about fashion and really begin to take my career seriously. At the end of 2020, I knew that I was ready to take my career to the next step. I wasn’t sure what that really meant, but I knew I needed to start my own website to build a name for myself.
So, I pitched my idea to Dave Christopher (founder of Russell Technology Business Incubator) and from there was accepted into the RTBI program in 2021. Through the program, I was able to officially start Nicole Scott Inc. during my junior year of college.
What’s one thing Kentucky can do to improve its tech and/or startup ecosystem?
Create more opportunities for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. I’m really appreciative of the Russell Tech Business Incubator; without this incubator my business would not be where it is today. Prior to RTBI, there was no black startup community in the city of Louisville. This program and community have given me the resources and support that I need to become successful. Kentucky needs more accelerators, startup programs and incubators like RTBI.
Who has been one of your top mentors? Dave Christopher. The Founder of Academy of Music, Production, Education, and Development and RTBI. He has supported me on my design journey since I was 16. I have always admired and looked up to Mr. Dave. He’s a role model, a great person, and shares an amazing testimony. His stories are inspiring to me; his generosity is also inspiring.
I hope that one day I can be in a position to give back, in the same way that he does. He was the one who encouraged me to truly make this a business. He believed that I could be an entrepreneur — not just a designer — way before I did. Without his guidance, advice and support, Nicole Scott Inc. wouldn’t exist. He has helped me so much along this journey
What’s something about you that people might not know?
My birthday is April 2, and my sign is an Aries. Aries are determined and very passionate, two traits that I think have made me such a great entrepreneur.
What’s one thing you want to accomplish before turning 30?
Before turning 30, I would love to open my own storefront boutique.
What innovative company (other than your own) do you admire and why?
Telfar Global — a black-owned unisex clothing and accessory brand, known for their infamous shopping bag tote that sells out in minutes after every drop. I admire Telfar because I think it is a brand of the future. I love how inclusive they are, they send a message to their audience to be loud, unapologetic and to just be themselves.
Telfar is also the first successful brand to not use traditional marketing techniques. Telfar doesn’t do ads or brand campaigns. They allow their consumers to be the brand. All of Telfar’s marketing is content of real customers doing everyday tasks, opening their Telfar packages, or just doing something crazy and random with the Telfar bag in the video.
Telfar has opened doors for there to be a space for people of color in the luxury fashion market. I would absolutely love to meet the designer, Telfar Clemons. Funny thing is: I almost had the chance. When I was in New York over the summer for an internship, he was standing maybe two feet away from me at an event. I could’ve taken the chance to speak with him, but was too in shock.
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