This Is Me: Michelle Rushbrooke

Working for one of the most respected girl action sports brands, Michelle Rushbrooke has been the PR brain behind Nikita for the past 5 years. Far from being a 9 to 5 desk job, she has been involved in heaps of events and collaborations that promote and push the female scene! An inspiring and important voice in the industry, here are some of her thoughts…

Interview by Hannah Bailey

Come together, be inspired by like-minded people, share experiences and ideas and make things happen, that’s how we can make the industry stronger!

I have always been supportive of girls in action sports and Nikita totally encompasses that. It’s specific to girls who ride, everything is tailored to and for them; with Heida and the company’s roots at the soul and driving force, it’s an inspiration to many.

I got my break in the industry working at a PR agency in London.I had finished uni, studying Law, gone travelling and was lucky to be given the chance to start from scratch. I began working on the UK PR for Nikita after approaching the UK salesperson at the time, Claire Ashmore, who kindly put me forward to Runar Omarsson, Nikita’s co-founder and Brand Manager. After a couple of years doing that Runar offered me the role of PR Manager and that was over 5 years ago now!

Working for Nikita is amazing; the brand, the product and the people and because of that the years have flown by. It’s a close knit team like an extended family.

This is a really exciting time for the girls scene and just think to say ‘seize the day’ now. There’s never been a better time or opportunity to be involved and take part. The girls are really supportive of one another and there are a lot of girls collaborating together on projects, not only to promote themselves but the scene or what they do.  The more awareness surrounding it and noise that’s made, the bigger it can grow.

Many different people inspire me, for different reasons and at different times. I’m meeting new people all the time that have their own story, their own commitments and their own drive. Heida, Women In Boardsports, Anywhere Road, Instagram, all our team riders, colleagues, Jenna Selby, Hoopla, The Alliance…really there’s so much!

Women’s fashion is a competitive market; streetwear and lifestyle. There are companies that can offer a wider range at competitive prices with a quick turnaround. For those companies that are more core and specific it can be hard to compete but what we do have is history, credibility, knowledge and quality!

Nikita is established in the industry and I feel offers something different that sets itself apart. It doesn’t follow trends, it sets its own path with its own sense of style and individuality which is at the heart of the brand. A big part of that is Heida; who she is, how she started and what she designs. The brand has grown and developed with Heida, firstly streetwear, then the introduction of the outerwear, snowboards etc. But with that is also the team behind her, our sales and distribution, our retailers most of which have supported the brand from day dot, our team riders who are constantly pushing and doing their thing plus it is the OG of girls action sports! There are a lot of girls that love and respect that. We also support a lot of grass roots events and activities.

It’s been a really exciting time for the expansion of Nikita into hardgoods. We started out with the K2 collab board and bindings which were well received, then we introduced our own snowboards this winter; the Sideway Sista and Nikita Chickita. Moving into next season we’re expanding our snowboards range to include the Expression all mountain board and a design collab with Tulipop using the tried and tested tech and know-how of our friends at Salomon; the boards will still have all the Nikita shape and creative and be the best out there for girls who ride of all levels and all terrain. We’re also going to be introducing The Ninja, our first binding next winter.

My hopes for 2013… Get out to the snow, tour Iceland, quit smoking and be more creative!

Be happy.  Support the core.

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