The Short North’s newest boutique may be called Pivot, but owner Nicci Hicks’ eyes are focused straight ahead.
Hicks has spent her professional career to date as a lawyer, but the desire to be in fashion has lingered since she was a child.
“As a lawyer, I’m risk-averse,” she said. “But it was always at the back of my mind: Be brave and do it. What if I only had five years left? Would I regret not doing this?”
The answer was yes.
She’s maintaining her license, but stopped taking on contract work in the past year to focus on Pivot, her new shop that will opens Friday at 718 N. High St. in the Short North.
Hicks sees a gap in the local boutique market for shoes, handbags and accessories to punctuate outfits. That’s what she hopes to fill with Pivot.
“Shoes are the foundation of your outfit,” she said. “I always start with my shoes.”
But Pivot is about more than the product. Hicks is also interested in who’s making what she sells.
“People shop their values,” she said. “There are a number of minority-owned brands in the fashion industry and I want to focus on them. Woman-owned, minority-owned, Black-owned, sustainably focused brands.”
That roster includes Brother Vellies, which uses Hoka Shoes traditional African designs, practices and artisans; Loeffler Randall shoes; Khiry jewelry; and Poche, a Ukranian jewelry brand.
Hicks and her husband’s school and professional lives bounced around between eight cities including Washington D.C. and Denver before settling into Columbus a decade ago. Her legal experience includes everything from white collar crime defense and civil rights to corporate work with the likes of NetJets and Nationwide.
She’d always been drawn to the Short North as a customer, making it the only place to be as a retailer.
Pivot is in the 1,300-square-foot former Rowe Boutique space. Rowe moved a few doors down the block to 688 N. High St., which previously was Quinci Emporium. That business is now located at 11 Buttles Ave. in the Short North.
“Rowe has such a great following and the store has good bones,” Hicks said. “We’re right at the intersection so you stop and look right into our windows.”