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Rising Stars: Meet Ahni Nichole

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ahni Nichole. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Ahni Nichole began as a personal mission. I had a desire to work in fashion but because it’s not necessarily the easiest industry to break into, I decided to dedicate my time and resources to build something of my own. That decision has led me to developing a brand that encompasses art, design, and fashion. I haven’t scratched the surface of where I will take it, but that only leaves more room for growth. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I have to remind myself to not get fixated on the end goals. I look at the gap between here and there and then fear creeps in. It’s stifling. It can be so easy to let the future intimidate the present and the concept alone has slowed me down. I’ve also learned that the growth of my brand has previously been contingent on my life’s circumstances. I’ve moved around a few times and that has caused me to put a pause on the production of business. As anyone can imagine, inconsistencies in business is not the best marketing tip. Working as a business owner is in no way an easy feat, and you’ll definitely take the hard road before you reach the easier one, but from what I can see, it’s all been worth the ride. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Ahni Nichole is a lifestyle brand that embodies art, fashion, design, and community. We exist to inspire a community of artists that can connect, share and build with one another. We’ve built an e-commerce platform offering apparel, accessories, and fine art and we’ve recently managed to create a space that allows entrepreneurs to sell their featured work alongside ours. As we continue to build our community, we believe we’re on our way to creating this experiential atmosphere, both digitally and in person. 

In my professional career, my curiosity and love for creativity has led me to having a diverse background of experience. After leaving college, I worked retail, founded Ahni Nichole, worked in graphic design, created logos for small businesses, moved to New York, took commissions for painting portraits and then somehow found my way back into fashion. Once Covid-19 hit, I realized I needed to create stability for myself. With my background in art, fashion, and design, I decided to add tech to the list. In 2021 I studied user experience design and have been working in tech as an experience strategist and designer. It’s been an awesome journey that’s consolidated many of my interests. Working in an industry that almost every company has to go through in order to be prevalent within the digital world is quite the experience. 

The journeys that we take is what sets each of us apart. In the beginning of my creative journey, I had no idea of how I’d reach my goals. I’ve also realized that each experience I’ve encountered, especially the ones I thought weren’t relevant, only added to my repertoire of skills. I can confidently say that it doesn’t matter which path you take, as long as you’re progressively moving towards your goals, you’ll get there. 

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I’m an advocate for in-person events that pertain to specific interests, but of course, with the state of the pandemic still lingering, it’s not currently the most ideal. I would add that when meeting someone in person isn’t an option, LinkedIn is a great resource for connecting virtually. I think it’s an amazing tool for networking directly to people who may work in a field you’re interested in. With Instagram, there’s so many digital events being broadcasted daily that allow people to connect with industry experts all over the world right from their bedrooms. That’s awesome in and of itself because you just never know who you’ll cross paths with. Lastly, SCORE is an incredible small business mentorship platform. I’d highly recommend any new entrepreneurs seeking business advise to look into it. 

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Image Credits
Nathaline Rowe
Ahni Nichole

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