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The Heart Behind fern+daisy: Meet Nicole, the Visionary Apparel Designer

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

In the quaint corners of Central Appalachia, where a deep appreciation for nature and community thrives, Nicole, the brilliant mind and passionate heart behind fern+daisy, found her calling in the world of sustainable fashion. With a journey shaped by creativity, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to empower her community, Nicole's story is one of purposeful design and meaningful impact.

Nicole Riggs looking into the distance, admiring her work
founder + designer, Nicole

From the beginning, Nicole's life was entwined with a love for apparel and design. She began creating at a young age and honed her skills through 4-H and a formal art and design education. Armed with a degree in apparel, textiles, and design, she embarked on a seven-year journey in the apparel industry, developing her skills and honing her craft both with small, artisanal brands and industry giants. But her story took a turn as she grew in her career she saw the vast disconnect from the product, the production, and the people. Determined to make an impact - no matter how small - she returned to her roots, a small town nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Central Appalachia.

Having witnessed the challenges faced by her community, especially those battling addiction, Nicole's heart stirred with a deep desire to make a difference. It was this fervent calling that paved the way for the birth of fern+daisy, a brand founded not just on fashion, but on the principles of compassion and sustainability.

Sustainability lies at the very heart of Nicole's vision. As an advocate for the environment and conscious living, she is resolute in creating intentional fashion, designed to stand the test of time and cherished for generations. Every thread, every seam, and every decision reflect her commitment to reducing the fashion industry's ecological footprint.

Beneath the very fabric of fern+daisy lies a profound legacy, one that spans generations and embodies the essence of community, fashion, art, and the planet. Long before Nicole embarked on her journey as an apparel designer, her two beloved Mamaws, Fern Daniels Rains and Daisy Lundy Riggs, paved the way, instilling within her a passion that would shape the brand's identity and purpose.

Rooted in the cherished memories of her childhood, Nicole's Mamaws served as her guiding stars, illuminating the path that would lead her to create fern+daisy. With each thread they lovingly wove into her life, they nurtured a deep love for the community they cherished, the art they admired, and the planet they held dear.

Inspired by her Mamaws' boundless compassion, Nicole knew that fashion was not just a means of self-expression, but a potent tool to uplift and empower others. It was this very notion that led to the birth of fern+daisy, a brand driven not just by aesthetics, but by a profound desire to create a positive impact.

Outside the studio, Nicole's love for the outdoors is evident in her daily pursuits. Whether tending to her garden, finding solace in yoga, or wandering the hundreds of miles of trails in her own backyard, she embraces the beauty of nature and draws inspiration from its wonders. Her love for architecture intertwines with her passion for fashion, creating a harmonious balance of form and function in each fern+daisy creation.

fern+daisy's founder with husband laughing in the woods
Nicole with husband, Justin

Beyond the studio walls, Nicole's dedication to building community shines through. With a heart eager for long conversations over coffee, small group bible studies, and service projects, she fosters connections that go beyond fashion, seeking to uplift and empower those she touches with her designs and deeds.

Through fern+daisy, Nicole's unwavering dedication to sustainability, intentional design, and compassionate change transforms the world of fashion, one conscious garment at a time. As we adorn ourselves in the creations of her heart and soul, we join her on a journey that encompasses style, substance, and the belief that fashion can be a catalyst for meaningful impact.

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