Darla Ellis begins her workday like many of us do - standing in front of an open closet, pondering what to wear. She takes the time to find the pair of shoes that will coordinate perfectly with her outfit. But her decision never involves pumps or flats. No, for Ellis the perfect shoes are Nikes, every time.
In Ellis' work, wearing Nikes is a matter of practicality. "We're a pretty casual bunch here. There are days I might have to crawl behind a big piece of machinery and that's not really something you want to do in a business suit."
But wearing Nikes is also part of her job. Ellis, a 2006 chemical engineering grad, is a manufacturing engineer II for Nike's plant in St. Charles, Mo. She works in extrusion, where sheets of plastic are developed for use in various types of Nike athletic shoes.
"Our plastic sheeting is used in shoes with the Nike Air logo," Ellis explains. "It's used in the air bags that give cushion to the heel."