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Meet Ruby Nichols of Almanac of Style in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruby Nichols.

Ruby, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my career in Advertising as a Brand Strategist for about 8 years. While I learned a lot and met amazing people, I became increasingly disenchanted by the industry and was feeling the pull to explore more of my creative side. In my search for the next move, I happened to travel quite a bit with my husband and am fortunate that road trips with my family were a regular part of my childhood.

Through my travels, I discovered that I tend to have a romantic relationship with places and am continually swept off my feet by them. It’s why in a span of 10 years, I chose to live in five different cities, including my hometown of Houston, then Austin, Miami, New York and now Los Angeles.

But while I lust after cities, the neighborhoods within them are my true love – particularly artist hives brimming with creative energy.

There’s always something new emerging, and I’m moved by the genuine sense of community. In fact, during our travels, my husband and I realized that no matter where we were in the world, we always gravitated toward these neighborhoods and found ourselves becoming fast friends with local artists and boutique owners. We’d end up meeting the entire community of people and would hang out for the remainder of our trip. We even attended some of their weddings recently! It was these connections that inspired me to pursue this for a living.

Almanac of Style is my love letter to these special places. It is an evolving record of my many interests: travel, design, journalism, photography, culture and, of course, fashion. Style is a way of life for me, and each new place I’ve discovered has its own. Though I love Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin as much as the next girl, I prefer the intimacy of discovering a local artist, stumbling across a tiny boutique, or digging for vintage treasure. Uncovering hidden gems is my passion, and I want to share it with others.

My goal through AOS is to promote and support the creative economy in beloved artist communities around the world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think anyone who says it’s been a smooth road is lying. There were definitely some very challenging times. For me, my greatest struggle came after my first son was born. I didn’t have immediate post-partum. In some ways, it was more confusing because the onset was delayed and slowly increased over time.

To back up a bit, I decided to start AOS as a travel and style blog for a year or two to build up an audience and test out a business model before launching it as a full e-commerce site. I was only about 6 months into the blog when I got pregnant. It was encouraging, because I quickly gained some momentum and the blog was very well-received. When I had my son, I had grand plans to start my business after staying at home with him for 6 months. But the longer I stayed home, the less tangible that goal seemed. No one can fully prepare you for the real parenthood experience, including the utter exhaustion. It felt like I was watching my dream drift further and further away until I lost all hope of it ever happening. I just couldn’t see how I’d ever be able to juggle both, and it felt like all the time and effort I already put in would be a waste.

A combination of factors eventually helped pull me out of the sinkhole. Between therapy, meditation, friends, and networks like Fashion Mamas that created a strong support system, I was able to start seeing the light. Also, full-time daycare helped tremendously, ha. I learned that I had a lot of work to do on myself before I was ready to jump back in and after about 6 months of deep soul searching, I finally felt ready to relaunch my site. The self-work is continuous, and I think becoming a mother made me realize that it can’t be all about the work all the time. There must be a balance of a personal life with fulfilling creative work in order to be good at both.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Almanac of Style – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Almanac of Style is a curated, online pop-up that features a new neighborhood each season. In each place, we team up with local designers to make exclusive, limited-edition goods and collaborate with local boutiques to sell mini collections. We also do a deep dive of each place, featuring interviews with creators and neighborhood travel guides by locals to capture the creative spirit and aesthetic of each unique community.

Our first season was Spring/Summer 2017 and featured Joshua Tree, California. Fall/Winter 2017 highlights Eastside Los Angeles.

One thing I’m proud of is that I created a business built on genuine connection and collaboration. I hand-pick each brand I feature, because I truly admire the work as well as the creator behind it. I’ve met really incredible people and built real friendships through this, which makes it that much more rewarding.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m just getting started so I have tons of plans for the future! I just wrapped my last big project for the year which was hosting my first market – the Eastside LA Night Market. I teamed up with La Commune General for a magical evening of shopping with complimentary cocktails, food, great music, and tarot readings by Vardo Tarot – all in support of the Eastside LA community of creators. It was a big success so there will be more Night Markets!

After that, I’ll be gearing up for Spring 2018 launch featuring Oakland, CA! Can’t wait.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Heather Waraksa
Carly Valentine
Cody Montgomery
Aubrey Devin

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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