I vividly remember the first time I stumbled upon Nicole’s blog, So Haute. I was unquestionably late to the game (living under a rock, I swear), but I quickly made up for it by spending the better part of the day poring through her archives. The girl is talented. There’s no question. And I, of course, just had to pick her brain! Captured by Bryce Covey, there’s a whole lot more Nicole lovely right here.
SMP: Nicole, it’s such an honor! Could you tell us a little about your blog?
I started my blog, So Haute, a little over 6 years ago initially as a creative outlet but it has since evolved into an online guide to style for the home that is read by people all over the world. So Haute covers everything from inspirational interiors and design ideas to the latest products and trends all filtered through my lens.
SMP: What’s your secret to success?
I don’t know if there is a single secret to success. I think for me the most important contributing factors have been staying consistent with my aesthetic, having a unique voice and also building strong relationships. Most of the opportunities I’ve been blessed with have stemmed from a relationship that I have cultivated over the years. When you’re a young entrepreneur, networking is one of the most accessible tools you have to help grow your business.
SMP: Why do you think your blog has done so well?
I started blogging early on, back in 2008 when there wasn’t an over saturation of blogs and I think having a unique point-of-view really helped me stand out. Staying consistent has also helped me tremendously.
SMP: One piece of advice you’d give to a blogger just starting out?
Be patient! It takes time to build an audience so don’t obsess over your traffic stats or get discouraged if you don’t have as many visitors as you would like. Focus instead on trying to find your voice, your point of differentiation and creating strong content. Your blog will evolve over time and you’ll eventually discover your winning formula.
SMP: How do you balance work and a personal life?
I struggle with this one actually. It’s tough to find balance. I also work from home so there isn’t a clear separation of my work and personal life. I work 24/7. I often end up meeting with clients on the weekend because of their work schedules so most weekends I never get to fully unwind. I also travel quite a bit which can be exhausting. I have to schedule out dates with friends pretty far in advance and I really have to prioritize. Running a business usually involves a lot of sacrifice and for me I’ve definitely sacrificed having an abundant personal life. I wish I had a better answer! Hopefully I’ll figure out this balance thing soon!
SMP: Your most prized possession?
Anything that I inherited from people I love are the things that mean the most to me. This includes a collection of watches that I inherited from my grandfather, quite a few tabletop and decorative items for my home that I inherited from my grandmother and some drawings and a painting that my nephew made for me.
SMP: Do you have any secret talents?
I’m a pretty much a living catalogue of rap lyrics from the 90s.
SMP: Haha, that’s amazing! Okay so we must know: what’s your go-to recipe?
Ina Garten’s French apple tart. It’s delicious, super easy to make and guests are always impressed when I make this for dinner parties.
SMP: One thing you would have done differently if you could go back in time?
With every life experience – even those I once I wished I could take back – I learned something that has helped shape who I am so I wouldn’t change a thing.
SMP: Three things every style savvy homeowner should have?
Art: There’s nothing worse than having bare walls so whether it’s a gallery worthy masterpiece or a DIY creation, dress your walls to make your space look pulled together and complete.
A statement piece: Whether it’s a richly colored rug, a quirky chandelier or curtains in a bold pattern … having one piece in a room that makes you go “wow” when you walk through the door is a must.
A bar & a signature cocktail recipe: It could be as simple as a serving tray on top of counter or as fancy as a brass and glass bar cart but a savvy homeowner should always be prepared for entertaining on the fly!
SMP: Four small changes that can make a big difference in your home?
- Paint: A new coat of paint is one of the easiest, most inexpensive things you can do to totally transform the look of your space!
- Fresh Flowers: They’re a little luxury that will add instant color and life to your space.
- Re-style your coffee table: Even a small change like swapping out the books on display or adding in a plant or a stylish decorative tray will make your living room feel fresh and new again.
- A collection on display: Whether its something simple like vintage family photos, souvenirs from your travels or fancy china, surrounding yourself with things you love that have deep personal meaning will make your place feel more like home while adding an element of personal style that can’t be replicated.
SMP: Five design tips?
These aren’t exactly tips but these are 5 design mantras I live by:
- Good design is in the little details.
- You don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve high style at home.
- A well-designed space should have a soul that reflects your personality, your history and your spirit.
- Buy what you love and you’ll be surrounded by things that make you happy!
- Comfort is key and will make your house feel like a home.