During my time with Nike this summer, one of my favorite experiences was the opportunity to meet and hear the inspiring journey that each individual took to get to where they are now. There were so many incredible stories that truly inspired me, yet there was one in particular that really stood out. I would like to introduce you to Amy Jo Williamson. Amy is a footwear developer with the Jordan brand and it is due to her love of dance and her love of sneakers that she hip hopped her way right into her current job position. At the age of 6 Amy danced her way out of gymnastics and into her first studio where she shared with me that she, pointed her toes (ballet) and made some loud noise (tap dance). As she emerged into her teen years, she quickly found her true style in a whole new genre.
“Hip hop became my sport. It fueled my soul. I took class. I took privates. I landed a spot on the most reputable dance crews in Seattle. We traveled. We performed. We competed. We lost. We won. Dance has shaped me into the individual that I am today.”
One of her favorite parts about dance is that it feels a lot like a super power. It gives her an incredible and unexplainable feeling to be able to move and express herself however she wants to the music of her choice. It also brings joy to the observer, often painting smiles on people’s faces. Amy shared how different sneakers made her feel and dance in different ways, which ultimately lead to her excitement for sneakers. Yet, her favorite pair of Retro Jordan’s are the Jordan VI Black Infrareds designed by Tinker Hatfield where the sleek silhouette came together with inspirations from MJ’s career and the heel tab being inspired by the spoiler of a Porsche.
“Dance made me fall in love with sneakers. They influence the way I look, the way I feel, the way I dance. Lacing up a pair of kicks before class is my favorite moment for this exact reason. They are a very powerful mode of transportation. How do you want to feel? How do you want to dance? Ask your sneakers, they’ll tell you.”
What makes Amy’s story so special to me is how as an athlete myself, I feel a strong connection to her love of sport allowing her to figure out the career path she wanted to reach for. Amy is a true inspiration in making her dreams become a reality and working in a job she loves as a footwear developer with the Jordan Brand. Keep reading below to hear more about her story first hand.
“After graduating from the University of Washington with a Psychology degree (yeah, what?! I didn’t know what I wanted to do…), I moved to North Hollywood, CA (the dance capital of the west coast). I worked during the day, roller bladed during lunch and took dance classes into the night. For three years, I watched my friends chase their dreams of becoming professional dancers. I wanted to chase my dream of being surrounded by sneakers each and every day. I filled my trunk with shoes, drove over an intense mountain range and by fate…landed a senior administrative assistant position at Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton. During my time there, I challenged myself to blog about the sneakers on people’s feet for 366 days straight (2012 was a leap year) to stay connected to my sneaker dream on the daily. I met the most amazing individuals with the most inspiring stories…all about the kicks on their feet. I held a celebration at the end of the year that was at max capacity right after the doors opened. $6k was raised and donated to the Monsters on the Move Foundation, an organization that provides aspiring dancers the financial support to pursue a quality dance education and fulfill their artistic goals. On day 352 out of 366, I proudly leaped my way through the doors of the world of footwear at Nike. From Nike Sportswear to now the Jordan Brand, I am thoroughly enjoying playing a valuable part in making people’s feet happy and adding energy to the streets!”
I want to say a big THANK YOU to Amy for sharing her story, it was such a pleasure to work down the hall from her! While this is only a brief snapshot of her story and her journey I encourage you to go read and follow her blog 366 Days of Kicks at https://366daysofkicks.wordpress.com and give her a follow on Instagram @ 366daysofkicks. She has so many great experiences, stories, photos, videos and more. Go check it out! As always, thank you for reading!