Your Style: Kolloh Nimley a natural woman

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Kolloh Nimley

Motto:When I feel my best in what I am wearing, then I am most effective in what I am doing.

Kolloh Nimley describes herself as a natural woman and a people person. She's a community program specialist with the Council on Black Minnesotans at Rochester Community and Technical College.

She came to the United States from Liberia through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America as a Lutheran leader scholar.

She graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks with a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1998. She holds a master's degree in international relations with focus in health-care policy from the University of Oklahoma in Norman. She is working toward a doctorate degree in health-care administration at Northcentral University.

Before her council work here, Nimley says, she founded Healthcare Discharge Planning Resources, a care coordination company to reduce hospital readmission through empowerment and strategic planning.


Would you introduce us to your style?

My style is natural. I love nature, and natural colors appeal to me and make me feel powerful.

Where was your style born?

My style originates from my mother.

What about your mother's style inspired you and are you carrying forward?

She always appreciated and believed in the power of nature, natural beauty and always her message to us was, "If you love your natural self, others will love you just as you are."

Have there been other sources of inspiration?

Over the years, I have gotten inspiration from various sources, including Princess Diana and our very own first Lady Michelle Obama. I adored Princess Diana and her sense of style.


Are there specific aspects of Mrs. Obama's style you admire?

Her level of comfort and confidence in herself.

Has your style changed with your stages in life?

I believe my style has stayed very constant because it speaks to who I am. The fabric may have changed, but the design has not.

Does your style reflect your professional role?

I strongly believe that when I feel my best in what I am wearing, then I am most effective in what I am doing.

Do you hope to communicate certain things through your style?

What I like people to see in my style are the endless possibilities that await those who are willing to go after them. As woman in the American society, it is very easy to fall in the shadow of the strong male role model. But I try to have my style demand the attention of my male counterparts.


How does your professional style differ from your casual attire or look?

I don't think there are lots of differences between my professional and casual style. I can wear blue jeans and still look good and presentable and demand the same attention as if I am wearing a blue or red suit. It's all in how I carry myself.

What is the most essential wardrobe component?

I think I have more dress suits than jeans. I do have skirts. I can mix and match any set and be comfortable. I do not like the current style of jeans, so I do not buy a lot of them. I have sweat pants instead.

What should every well-dressed woman have in her wardrobe?

You definitely need to have a pair of Lifestride shoes, flats or high heels.

Do you have a beloved sentimental piece?

Many things that are sentimental to me, but nothing tops the love of walking on a sandy beach barefoot.


Do you have favorite colors to wear?

My favorite color has always been green. This was my mother's favorite color as well. There is something very attractive about green and black. I feel empowered, complete and beautiful in natural colors. I am clothed by nature itself.

Do you believe Rochester has a style, either traditionally or today?

Rochester, to me, is very casual and laid back.

Style advice for readers?

Wear something that makes you feel in control and demands the attention of the people around you. God created you to be just the way you are. Celebrate yourself. By so doing, you allow others to celebrate themselves.

Do you know somebody who's got special style? Send nominations to or call Life section editor Jeff Pieters at 507-285-7748.

Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.

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