I lied. Nikki and the City hasn’t been around for 5 years. However, it’s been 5 years since I started blogging. I was deeply inspired by my friend Melanie Denise. At the time she was a student at Howard University and had a SUPER cute blog. I loved the fact that anyone could express themselves online in the form of a picture, text, audio, or video, and since I’ve ALWAYS had something to say, I knew I needed my own blog immediately.
My very first blog was Lauryn King (www.laurynking.blogspot.com). My goal was to be the perfect mixture of Lauryn Hill and Dr. King. Well, I realized that I wanted to talk about more than the revolution not being televised, so I changed my blog to www.nikkiandthecityadventures.blogspot.com. I actually held on to that for awhile and soon realized that I wanted to grow my blog and take it serious. I purchased nikkiandthecity.com and switched over to wordpress.org. That was the beginning of something even I didn’t see coming.
Back in those days my absolute favorite blog was Black Girl Long Hair, which was based in Chicago. Founder, Leila Noelliste, was the originator and best at having meet ups for the blog at Little Black Pearl on 47th. It. Was. Heaven. I was a new blogger and newly natural. There were vendors, bloggers, natural hair products, and most importantly community. I was sure never to miss a meet up, because I’d leave SUPER charged and inspired. This is where I met Afrobella, Meechy Monroe, Miss Vaughn, Felicia Leatherwood, and Luvvie. Can you imagine all of that goodness in one room? It. Was. EPIC.
My friend, who is more like a sister, Briana and I decided to start a natural hair blog together. It was The Mane Source. We quickly separated, because I realized I wanted to be more of a lifestyle blogger. However, we continued to fully support each other’s endeavors.
I must admit, I didn’t realize the potential and power of a blog, back in those days. I was simply an inspiring writer, in dire need to share my work with the world. I wasn’t consistent with posting and had no true goals for my blog. At the time I was content with receiving free products and not having to pay to get into events. However, everything was about to change.
In September 2011, my cousin Toya, who was more like my sister tragically passed away. Since we shared a place together, I could’t force myself to go back home. Too many memories. I found myself living at my mother’s place again, severely depressed. To say my blog suffered is an understatement. I didn’t write for an entire year and even contemplated shutting it down, completely. Briana wouldn’t let me. Thank God I didn’t. I’d lost heart, but that was about to change.
In September 2012, exactly one year after Toya passed, I attended the Be Blogalicious Conference in Las Vegas. IT CHANGED MY LIFE. Literally. I learned so much about blogging, and how to turn my passion into a profit. It was time for me to come out my shell and develop the Nikki and the City platform. I’d known my entire life that God had given me a voice to share, through the form of writing. Blogalicious renewed my spirit and gave me my wings.
I had a published article on ESSENCE one month later, after I’d returned home from Be Blogalicious. That was just the beginning. The Chicago Defender, JET, and Black & Married With Kids are some of the sites that has published my work. TLC, Huff Post LIVE, and local news stations have featured me on their screens. Me. Little ole me. In December 2013, I was chosen to visit the White House, along with 49 other people, as young social media ambassador’s. And yes, President Obama was the surprise speaker.
In the beginning I was super excited about the perks of being a respected blogger. I can’t lie, receiving free products, car loans, etc. is pretty sweet. However, I noticed growth, when the products and paid posts no longer moved me, unless it truly fit my brand. I began to notice the huge possibility of what Nikki and the City could be, and became over protective over my baby (blog). And now, I am preparing to take the huge step from blogger to author this August. At times I’m terrified, but these last 5 years have prepared me for this moment.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin… Zechariah 4:10
Whether it’s a blog or business, don’t let ANYTHING hold you back, especially the fact of being “small”. The truth is, you have to start SOMEWHERE. You’ll never know the doors that will open to you, if you refuse to knock. I’ve learned this, and continue to learn this during those moments of insecurity. The yes’, the no’s, not being chosen for opportunities, actually being chosen, all of these moments have beautifully shaped me. After years of wishing I had other bloggers numbers or opportunities, I can confidently say I find peace at where God has me for this moment, and I’m excited about what’s to come.
Thank you. A HUGE mushy thank you to EVERYONE who has read, shared, commented, and supported Nikki and the City. A special thank you to Yolanda in London, who is one of the very first people to read my blog. I appreciate you guys more than you’ll ever know.
Here’s to more years of storytelling, creating, sharing, and being in God’s will.