By Keri Foy


When you’re president and CEO of a company, how you dress is kind of important. For Nicole Atkins, president and CEO of Unique Management Services, she walks a fine line with her love for dressy clothes in an ultra-casual work environment.

“At Unique Management, we are relaxed, casual,” Nicole says. “There’s no dress code, but employees should wear what we consider to be decent and modest.”

Since high school, Nicole has been naturally attracted to a more sophisticated look, but she also wants to dress so that she looks accessible. “Sometimes people in a suit come off as a little unapproachable,” Nicole says.

Nicole will never be without a pair of high heels in her wardrobe. Photos by Sunni Wigginton 

Most days at work, Nicole wears dress pants, a blouse, and heels. She finds that wearing pants makes it easier for her to get in and out of her big truck, plus pants better cooperate with her active lifestyle outside of work. Nicole’s favorite color to wear is black, but when she’s shopping, she’ll try to incorporate colors where it makes sense.

As for shopping, Nicole keeps it simple. “I buy what I like,” says Nicole, who adds something new to her wardrobe weekly. She doesn’t discriminate against any retailer, but she also doesn’t shop at any one in particular. She doesn’t mind buying from online sellers, department stores like Dillard’s or big box retailers like Wal-Mart. It’s about the fit and the way it looks. “I love clothes and love to shop,” Nicole says.

Even more than clothes and shopping, Nicole is passionate about her high heels. Heels may be the one style statement Nicole can’t live without. “I’m more comfortable in heels than in flats,” Nicole says. To prove it, she shared stories about cleaning her church’s toilets in 5-inch heels, going to her son’s football games in heels, and even running in heels.

As for makeup, she wears foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and powder. She says she just recently started going to a hair salon. “I’m 42 years old and had never been to a hairdresser up until the last four months.” Previously, Nicole cut, colored, and styled her own hair. This self-sufficient woman is finally letting someone else pamper her.