Blogger Series #3 – Nicola Ashe

She spent 17 years as an advertising executive before she, in her own words, ‘chucked it all in to go solo’. Nicola now runs a brand consultancy. Her lifestyle blog was a hobby for seven years, but she has managed to encompass it in her business. “I work with brands and business owners to launch, revamp or market their brands either online or in traditional media.”

Nicola, who is a self-professed Instagram, online magazine, coffee and expensive sneaker addict, started blogging in 2008. “For years, I was the go-to person for finding out the ‘stuff’. Where do I get that? What is the best? I either knew the answer or had a suggestion and my friends used to joke and say: ask Ashe. I always said I’d start a business and name it that, but started a blog instead and it became my place online, for the ‘stuff’ in my head to hang out.”

When Nicola started out, Facebook didn’t have brand pages and Pinterest did not exist. So, her blog became an image-rich collection of everything she loved, from interiors to food, to places to go. “Fast forward a few years, and it took much more effort to capture an audience who could find all that stuff on Facebook, or create their own boards on Pinterest. I stayed true to my roots and kept the Durban vibe, and looked for more subjects that supported my city.”

Nicola believes the term ‘blogger’ has become something that illicits an eye-roll from most. But, she remains true to her style, using her own unique voice to stay relevant. “I take it as a compliment the number of times readers have met me in and said I’m exactly the same as I ‘sound’ online. I only write in my own voice and actually don’t take myself too seriously – so hopefully that is my point of difference!”

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