Ambassador Spotlight: Nicole Sams

 Here at Slick Chicks we believe our ambassadors are the forefront of our success. Our ambassadors are chosen based on their impactful missions to help better society and better themselves in the process. Our ambassadors are dedicated to their communities and for that (and more), we are proud to have them as the main representatives of our brand. 
Nicole Sams is a college student, ice skater, and advocate of health initiatives. Her Instagram is filled with snapshots of her juggling school, work, and life in general with her service dog, Pippi. Below Nicole gives us further insight on her hobbies, practices of faith, why she believes representation is of the utmost importance: 
Briefly introduce yourself in one to two sentences.
My name is Nicole Sams and I am a senior in college studying Healthcare Administration and Public Health. I also have several chronic illnesses including Ehlers-Danlos, fibromyalgia, and Autism.
How do you spiritually prepare yourself for each day? Do you have a mantra or meditation you do if things ever become overwhelming?
I start everyday by reading my Bible. I'll admit I sometimes get overwhelmed by schoolwork and push it to later in the day but I try to give myself grace with that because I am not perfect. Having set times to step away from school or work is important to me so I can do what I love like reading or crochet to slow down and think through hard decisions.
How do you empower yourself? 
This may sound self absorbed but I think about what I am doing in my field. That even though I have struggles, I am pursuing a degree in healthcare so that I can make a change in the system one day and the thought of that keeps me going. Empowering myself can also mean surrounding myself with my friends who I can lift up and empower which in turn empowers me to be who I truly am.
How do you process and deal with any critics you may have?
I deal with critics but try to understand where they may be coming from, have empathy for them and then try my best to educate them if they are willing to listen. SOmetimes they don’t want to listen and just want a fight and in that case I step away from the conversation because it is no longer an environment in which either of us can learn from the other.
Where does your overall determination come from?
I think my determination comes from my stubbornness, I refuse to back down from any challenge I set for myself and I think that with every new doctor or diagnosis I see more flaws in the healthcare system that I want to fix and it keeps me going.
Ice skating is consistently present on your Instagram page, is this a recent love of yours or a long-practiced one? 
I have always been in love with ice skating, as a girl I would watch Ice Princess on repeat. However, I never skated in my childhood and then in high school I tried quad skating but it never stuck. It was only in 2019 when I really threw myself into skating, pre-covid, and then quarantine gave me all the time in the world to practice and I find it a great outlet for my stress.
What is your relationship with social media?
I use it everyday. I am not reliant on it but a large majority of my friends are digital ones that I have found through the chronic illnesses community or service dog community. It’s a good way to connect with others and build support.
Your Instagram bio features the quote “Learning to be still”. Can you give us insight on the importance of that quote for you? 
That quote is from Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” It is tattooed on my leg and I got it after my first hospital stay because all I could do was lie in bed and hope the doctors could figure out what was wrong. I had no choice but to be still. Today I try to incorporate it into my life because I always have to be doing something, school, work, life, it is also go, go, go, and I eventually burn out. I am slowly learning to find times to just be still, be with myself, and listen to what the Lord is telling me.
Why does representation matter for you?
Representation matters to me because even as an adult I cannot relate to TV or movies or even ads in the paper. Everywhere I look it is healthy, flawless women, no one is sick or scarred or struggling and it needs to be normalized. We should be celebrating differences because every body is so amazingly made and it should not be cliche to talk about or acknowledge disability.
What do you love about Slick Chicks? 
Slick Chicks is a brand, yes, but it also feels like a sisterhood. I love that they realize that even underwear can be something we have to deal with as disabled people. I have always struggled with sensory issues but they made me think of that when choosing the fabric. I love that Slick Chicks wants everyone to be seen as they are.
You can find Nicole’s life and adventures with her service dog, Pippi, on Instagram.

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