Nicole Wilkinson, Ashley Fox & Bite Our Style
Saucing and strutting through CLT
When I originally tell people I’m from North Carolina, they automatically assume I’m from Charlotte because the city is known for so much. I tell everyone here in Texas that Charlotte will one day be just like Atlanta and a place that I may find myself moving to down the road.
The area continues to boom as more and more growth comes to the Queen City. For one, the food and fashion scene is amazing and bloggers like Nicole and Ashley are playing their part to ensure that Charlotte continues to be a place that people want to visit and move to for years to come. They spend a good amount of time cooking up amazing dishes in the kitchen, but the duo also reviews local restaurants, analyzes the fashion scene and ultimately takes in all their hometown has to offer. Take a moment to learn how they turned a good idea into a blog, and ultimately, a business.
P.S. It took everything in me to not say something corny like “they make a good BLT in the CLT.”
First & Last Name
Nicole Wilkinson (Niks) & Ashley Fox (F0x)
Why did you decide to start Bite Our Style?
Niks: I have always loved to cook. My mom could only cook 5 things (and she KILLED those 5 things. Love you, mommy), so I started watching Food Network and really paying attention to the way chefs put flavors together when I ate out. As I got older and more confident in my cooking and presentation, I started posting things I would cook on Twitter. My friends would always ask for recipes, but I didn’t really know where to begin. So I hit Fox, my culinary partner in crime, and we started talking about all the things we loved to cook and all the places we loved to eat and then Bite Our Style (BOS) was born.
Fox: We love food and fashion more than we love Beyonce, so why not tailor recipes to people just like us; young, stylish and free millennials looking for good food and fun? We have recipes for a quick meal after work, or something fancy for when you want to impress that special someone. They’re even rated based on the likelihood of you winning bae’s love and affection.
Niks & Fox: If you’re out trying a restaurant we’ve highlighted, check out our “Stylin Saturdays” posts for outfit inspiration and our favorite things so you can stunt. We wanted more than just a food or fashion blog; we wanted to help curate a lifestyle from one easily accessible platform.
What does Bite Our Style mean to you?
The idea started off initially as just a blog, and now BOS is a company. We both took a leap of faith to create a platform that combined our passions, and now we see BOS as our future. It’s amazing to have people trying our recipes, sending us pictures of their creations, and reposting our content on their own pages. It’s so fulfilling to know that we’ve inspired someone to try something new, and really drives us to keep creating new recipes, better content, and push the limits to what we think we can do.
What have you had to overcome in order to achieve success?
We had to stop comparing ourselves to other bloggers. Comparison is really the thief of joy, and looking at someone with 100k followers, free clothes and a YouTube channel can create a lot of self-doubt. We would each think things like:
Am I really a good cook? Can I take the time to write a recipe; a good recipe at that? Are we really that fly? Is this fit really that fire? Is our following starting to plateau?
It’s daunting, especially when you look at the astronomical success of other bloggers. We had to stop looking at them as a standard, and start looking at how we could create our own. We had to answer the question, “What will make people want to follow Bite Our Style?”.
We have worked so hard to create engaging and abundant content to keep our followers coming back for more, and so far, it’s worked wonders. The more time we put into developing our own standard and our own unique brand, the more successful the blog will become.
What does it mean to be a black business owner and blogger?
Niks: For me, it’s proof that everything my parents and grandparents worked for was worth it. Not only did I succeed in the “traditional track” of college to corporate, I was able to find my passion and turn it into a business venture. It’s so easy to get stuck in the box of “The American Dream” and forget your own. BOS helps me get the best of both worlds.
Fox: The amount of support that we have received from other black owned businesses has been overwhelming. We all want to see one another win. There is a serious network available and we are all extremely supportive of one another and we are so fortunate to be a part of it.
What advice do you have for people who are ready to follow their dreams but are hesitating?
Niks: It sounds incredibly obvious, but write. your. goals. down! Set (reasonable) completion dates for what you want to get done. For us, it’s so much easier to accomplish a goal when we know what we want to get done, and how much time it will take to do it. It kept us focused, especially during our first 6 months.
Fox: Nikki and I had people telling us for months that we should create our own platform. We would throw ideas for our venture but would never make them a reality, we were both concerned about growing our professional careers at the time. Now, I wish we would have created Bite Our Style sooner. Creating BOS has been one of the proudest moments of both of our lives. I think a lot of people are scared to follow their dreams because they are afraid of failure. Being afraid of failure will leave you wondering “what if?” and you never know could happen if you actually take that leap of faith. We started Bite our Style as just a website and Instagram, now it is an LLC.
Our goal was to simply obtain 1000 followers by January 1st and we almost quadrupled that by our deadline.
We’ve been reposted by the restaurants we love and other blogs that we admire. The founder of Tasting Table commented on one of our pictures and we cried. Literally, cried.
We’ve also partnered with some incredible local businesses and are looking forward to even more as the year progresses. What we have achieved now is just the tip of the iceberg, and we are so excited to watch BOS grow as expand our partnerships and roll out new ideas in 2017!
Want to contact Nicole and Ashley for more information?
Follow Nicole and Ashley on Bite Our Style’s Instagram via @biteourstyleCLT and their personal accounts @_nicolesays and @itsmissfox. Also check out their blog at biteourstyle.com and feel free to shoot them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you know a Black Creator or Tastemaker? Of course you do! Let me know in the comments so I can feature him or her this year!
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