Hello – I’m Nicola Ashe, a brand consultant living in Durban, South Africa.
I love dogs more than people, coffee more than most food and have a mild obsession with new sneakers. Most days you’ll either find me online discovering or sharing anything new and local, or in a Durban coffee shop chatting to someone about how to streamline their business and branding.
So just how did I end up doing this? Here’s my story.
I have a background in both interior and web design and spent my early years traveling in Europe & North America, as well as working in restaurants – guess this where the foodie bug bit. After living in London for 3 years in the late 90s, I returned home to Durban and spent the next 17 years working at some of SA’s top companies, specialising in advertising & marketing, web, product & packaging design, point of sale design & manufacture, printing, TV production & event management.
Just over 9 years ago, I started a blog after being asked too many times to remember – “Where do I get that?”, “What is the best?”, “Who can do this?”, or “When is that on?” 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 I started the blog instead and it became my place online, for the mess in my head to hang out.
For the first 6 years whilst blogging, I worked full time as an Account Manager, on both the Mr Price Group and then Unilever accounts and Ask Ashe was just a side hobby. It was my little space on the interwebs where I could share my thoughts, voice my inner monologue and punt any cool, relevant stuff going on in Durban, the design world, South Africa, overseas… you name it – if I’d tried it and loved it first hand, or wish I could have because it was downright cool or clever, I wrote about it.
And then in 2014 I just had enough.
The corporate advertising world was driving me batty and it felt like my head was going to explode. I no longer felt passionate about what I was doing and it was as if something was missing. The scary thing is everyone around me thought I was so together and that I was living my dream – but it was quite the opposite. Cue many meltdowns and a good few months of soul-searching and I eventually threw in the corporate towel, along with the support of my husband, who was prepared to eat salticrax all month if it meant I was going to be sane!
Fast forward a few years and I’ve never been happier and Ask Ashe allows me to use my knowledge of the industry and love of networking people, brands and places together, to assist small businesses with their own brand strategies. I work alone on most projects, but my business model is collaborative, so I get to work with a variety of other small business owners who are graphic, web and copy pros on projects that allow for that scope.
My blog is still a place to share all the cool things I find, but I also profile some of the local businesses I work with. I was a secret reviewer on the Eat Out 2017 and 2018 Durban Restaurant Panel, have written countless articles about my city, its people and small business and you’ll always find me supporting local and shouting about my clever colleagues, who are pioneering small business in Durban.
So that’s how ‘Ask Ashe‘ finally became a ‘real’ business.
It’s sometimes scary, often daunting and anyone who tells you that they have everything figured out is a total fibber!
If you’ve read this far – thank you!
And if you’d like to find out more about what I do, or if we could work together, please visit the SERVICES page.
Thanks for stopping by.
PIC OF ME TAKEN BY CHRISTY HOSKING AT THE 2017 HOORAY WORKSHOP
Ask Ashe Terms + Conditions Of Use
Nicola Ashe is identified as the owner, editor and content creator of Ask Ashe.
All content created & provided on Ask Ashe is for informational purposes only. The owner makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, nor found by following any link on this site.
The owner of Ask Ashe will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the display or use of any information.
The owner of Ask Ashe does not share personal information with third-parties, other than to deliver prizes to winners, after this information is supplied. The owner is not responsible for the republication of the content found on this blog, on other web sites or media without permission.
All content is written by Nicola Ashe.
Press releases are not published on Ask Ashe and unsolicited email containing them will be ignored.
Content supplied by 3rd parties may be used to reference facts or descriptions when writing material.
All images are either taken by Nicola Ashe, or were supplied by the venue/event/brand/business being written about. Images are credited to the original photographer where possible – should any picture not be credited accordingly, please advise the owner and it will be credited or removed immediately – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored Content/Feature Posts
Any content which is sponsored or written in collaboration with a brand on askashe.com will be identified as such at the footer of the post.
Products are from time-to-time sponsored by brands to be given out as prizes. No purchase is necessary in order to be in line to win a prize. Entry mechanics will be outlined in any post and need to be followed in order to enter. Entries are drawn at random and no correspondence will be entered into with any person after a winner has been announced. No person who has won a prize within the previous 6 months of any giveaway will be eligible to win a further prize within that time period. Prizes are delivered to winners by the brand/business owner and not by Nicola Ashe. All reasonable efforts will be taken to ensure prizes are delivered timeously. No monetary exchange or replacement will be offered on any prizes.