Page 12 - TROY Magazine Spring 2012

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TROY Magazine
In 2003, at the age of 21, Nichols sold
her Ford Mustang for $4,000 to create
her own retail clothing business, Déjà Vu.
She visited Atlanta to purchase young
women’s apparel that appealed to her and,
while back home in Pike County, would
sell her goods to young women in country
clubs and sorority houses.
Circumstances surrounding a New Year’s
beach trip gave Nichols confidence in
her ability to design fashions for young
women, ultimately leading to her present
After much disappointment in failing
to find a fashionable and reasonably
priced New Year’s Eve shirt, Nichols
rented a kiosk at Rosemary Beach, Fla.,
to see if fellow beach vacationers would
be interested in her fashion ideas. After
the response was greater than she had
expected, Nichols expanded her retail
business to Seacrest, Pier Park and
eventually Seaside.
Seeing dresses that rarely possessed the
two most important features to Nichols
the perfect print and the perfect fit,
she decided in 2009 to create her own,
clothing line, Judith March.
Named after her mother, Judith Carter,
and her mother-in-law, March Nichols, for
their influential roles in her life, the Judith
March line is “an exciting new collection
of young contemporary clothing inspired
by the feminine and bohemian styles of
yesterday and modernized for today’s
trend-conscious woman,” according to
The Judith March line has been featured
in WDD’s (Women’s Wear Daily) January
2010 issue and June 2011 domestic trade
shows article, the Seventeen summer 2010
buyer’s guide and May 2011 spring break
guide, the Vie summer 2010 anniversary
issue and a Southern Living October 2011
game-day feature.
Nichols’ Déjà Vu retail clothing business
and Judith March clothing line, combined,
currently employ more than 50 people
and account for more than $7.5 million
annually in revenue.
But the successful retailer and designer
attributes much of her success to her
alma mater, saying that two professors
and the help and guidance they provided
particularly stick out in her mind.
The late Dr. Sebrena Moten-Fortson,
who served as an associate professor of
business, allowed Nichols to fax in her
class homework while she was on the
road pursuing a modeling career in the
Atlanta and Dallas markets as a model for
Halston, a New York-based fashion label.
Nichols said had Dr. Moten-Fortson
not been so helpful and cooperative,
she would not have been able to pursue
such a career, one that made her realize
she would rather sell clothes than model