Student was “Made at Sac State” now a co-founder of magazine

Marissa Montoya

Sacramento State shaped another successful entrepreneur in Nicolette Skidmore, co-founder and chief operating officer of City Scout Magazine, an online source for all things Sacramento.

Skidmore’s journey is one of resilience and dedication starting in her hometown in Mendocino County, moving to New York, finding her way to majoring in economics at Sac State, and creating a hip, modern guide to the city she fell in love with.

Skidmore said a lot of people are surprised when they find out she is not from Sacramento because she is a wealth of knowledge about the city of trees and has built so many connections in the short two-and-a-half years that she has called Sacramento home. She attributes her knowledge to a lot of research and studying of the city.

Skidmore’s love affair with Sacramento was not a love-at-first-sight story. When Skidmore first moved to Sacramento, she lived in Natomas by the airport and would often describe Sacramento as ‘ugly’ when people would ask if she liked her new home.

“Once I started coming to Downtown and Midtown, it struck me that there really is a culture here. Almost immediately I realized that. Coming from New York, I can recognize that easily,” explained Skidmore. “I hadn’t totally fallen in love with it yet but once I built a community here, and definitely after this whole idea of City Scout, now I can’t imagine leaving because you just fall in love with this city, there is just so much stuff happening here. When you are trying to build something like what we are trying to build with City Scout, you become so invested in the city.”

While Skidmore’s photography skills are what prompted her City Scout co-founder, Felix Molina, to approach her about starting City Scout, Skidmore says photography is not her biggest passion.

“I am a perfectionist so the pressure of coming up with the perfect photo is a lot of pressure,” said Skidmore. “My real passion is more in curating photos than in actually taking them. Because of my perfectionist side, my photos are never good enough.”

Skidmore credits her experiences and professors at Sac State with teaching her a lot about the time management skills she has found necessary when creating a start-up company. Skidmore graduated in Spring 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

“I chose professors that were extremely challenging and would push me,” explained Skidmore. “Because I curated my education there, my professors absolutely demanded excellence. I struggle with anxiety so curating an education for yourself that is really challenging can be intimidating and difficult but I wouldn’t be able to do a start-up if I hadn’t gained that experience to do that hard work in a high-pressure situation. I think that really started me on my way.”

Skidmore named her top three influential and favorite Sac State professors as Michael Dowell and Kristin Van Gaasbeck, both professors in the economics department, as well as government professor Andrew Hertzoff.

“Dowell is my all-time favorite. I liked him so much that I took every class that he offers at Sac State. He pushes really hard,” said Skidmore. “A lot of people will start taking his class and then drop it because they think it will be too hard. He was definitely my favorite and the one I did my research project with.

I would say he gave me most of my education at Sac State. I can’t speak highly enough about him.”

Skidmore described Professor Van Gaasbeck as a shotgun in the economics department, and praised Pofessor Hertzoff’s lectures as an art form.

Professor Dowell praised Skidmore for her drive and dedication and said she is never satisfied until every detail is just right.

“Nicolette was one of those students who make the effort and hard work of teaching worthwhile,” said Dowell. “She worked hard in every class she took from me, always striving to meet or exceed my very high expectations. I think Nicolette works hard at everything she takes on.”

Skidmore’s passion, drive and dedication is immediately apparent to anyone who comes in contact with her. Kayla Keys, a contributing writer at City Scout and a student at Sac State studying public relations, said Skidmore is always brewing up new ideas and inspiring those around her.

“If there is something that needs to be done, Nicolette will not only complete that task, but also brainstorm a list of 1,000 new things to do before breakfast,” said Keys. “My favorite part about working with Nicolette is that she is creative and patient. Nicolette’s genuine interest in Sacramento motivates all of us at City Scout to continue to share our passions with the city we love.”

City Scout Mag was conceived around June 2014 and began to gather a following as a simple Instragram account. One short year later, the website has tons of engaging and beautiful content and their Instagram account has over 15,000 pictures.

“That is one of the things I love about Sacramento. If you have something in your mind that isn’t around, create it and Sacramento will support you,” encourages Skidmore.

Not only has Skidmore managed to finish college and create a booming start-up, she does all this while raising her four-year-old son. Nicolette Skidmore is “Made at Sac State” and Sac State is lucky to count her as one of its many success stories.