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Austin with Nikisha Brunson

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Follow Nikisha on Instagram – Photos by Katie Jameson for The Style Line

“Anytime you do what you love it will show in your

work,” says Nikisha Brunson. “Make sure you stay true to your authentic self no matter what.” Words to live by indeed, and in the case of today’s Neighborhood Story, Nikisha herself truly embodies these values.

As a sought-after style maven, successful creative entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed comedian there’s a lot about Nikisha’s endeavors that have resonated with us since first connecting with her earlier this year at Create & Cultivate. From her wildly popular platform Urban Bush Babes to her budding skincare brand Folie Apothecary and coupling this with her minimal (yet bold) personal style we found ourselves brimming with questions for Nikisha as she gave us a walking tour of her favorite Austin destinations.

Perhaps even more inspiring and similar to our values here at The Style Line, Nikisha also uses vehicles like style to address other important conversations around health, well-being, and self-empowerment. So when asked what her advice would be for the next generation she aptly responded with, “Make sure you stay true to your authentic self no matter what. If you walk in that every day you will give permission to others to be authentic and stay true to themselves. To me, that is the biggest imprint you can leave behind. Helping to liberate others from fear and obstacles.”

Today we’re thrilled to share more on the above ideas along with Nikisha’s local Austin favorites, her thoughts on launching a small business in this day and age and how she’s celebrating personal style. Discover the full feature below featuring exclusive photos from our time together captured by our amazing contributor Katie Jameson for The Style Line.

*THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2016 AND REFLECTS UPDATED CHANGES TO THE LAYOUT

I’m the same person outside of my profession because

there is no separation. Everything I do in my work life is how I live day-to-day. I’m a health enthusiast (mental, physical, and spiritual). I’m also a creative so I’m making something with my hands every day from cooking to apothecary. I love minimalist fashion that looks like art. I also love music and film. I’m a hardcore thriller/horror fan. I also think I’m a comedian. I’m a wife and a mom. I share all these things in my profession.

Talk to us about your relationship to fashion. How did it lead to the launch of Urban Bush Babes and Folie Apothecary? Why do you think Austin is the best place to run a small business? 

I didn’t start to really dress the way I wanted until my late 20s because I had a lot of healing to do from the severe bullying I endured as a teen. I loved thrifting because growing up my mom took me to yard sales every weekend in Long Island. My style has changed over the years but the constant has been my love for minimal design. Urban Bush Babes was a platform created for black women to be able to have a platform to share who they were beyond the stereotypes that culture has inundated us with. So sharing thrifting adventures and styling these pieces were apart of it, but I honestly didn’t really start to enjoy and get into fashion until I moved to Austin oddly enough.

My skincare/haircare line Folie is a definite reflection of my minimal and classic lifestyle. I incorporate my minimalist approach and a healthy lifestyle into all my creations. I never really looked at Austin as the best place to start a small business because I believe you can start a business anywhere if it’s online like mine. Austin does have a great community of people that love to collaborate and help you whenever they can. Definitely a plus after living in NYC all my life.

Walk us through your ideal day in Austin. From start to finish where would we find you?

I would get a veggie/fruit smoothie from Juiceland in the morning wearing a black dress by Miranda Bennett with my Beatrice Valenzuela sandals. Then I would head Barton Springs for a swim wearing a Bower swimsuit. Maybe I’ll stop by one of my friend’s stores: Aro, Olive, or Esby to chat or collaborate. I’d grab lunch at Salata (salad place) or Lavaca Street Bar for a cod-fish and salad plate. For dinner, I’d change into a Shaina Mote jumpsuit and put on my Martiniano nude sandals and go to Justine’s for some French food and a glass of wine. Then head to Whisler’s for a night cap and some good music.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often? 

How has ADHD affected my day to day work life?

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe? 

Comfort and wearing pieces that have a structural or art like shape inspire my personal style when I’m on the go. I like to be comfortable and stylish at the same time.

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Kick Pleat

Address: 918 W 12th St, Austin, TX 78703

“Kick Pleat carries all my favorite independent designers in all the neutral tones I love. It’s a store that speaks to my aesthetic the most.”

Shop Nikisha’s Look: Maison Martin Margiela Tie Tank $400, Suzanne Rae Skirt (Similar, $235) Mari Giudicelli Leblon Mules $384, Issey Miyake Pleat pants $840

“I never really looked at Austin as the best place to start a small business because I believe you can start a business anywhere if it’s online like mine.”

How would you characterize the collective personal style of Austin dwellers and what is one thing you’d like to see change? 

Very relaxed and laid back. It would be great to see people have a little more creativity and style with what they wear.

How do you celebrate personal style? 

I love my clothes to speak for me where ever I go. Because even if I never get to speak to them I am still communicating a part of who I am through my clothing. So I love to wear things that I feel express me well on a daily basis.

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Kitty Cohen’s

Address: 2211 Webberville Rd. Austin, TX 78702

“Kitty Cohen’s is my new favorite hangout to get drinks and just chill. I love the pool and flamingo wallpaper. They have the best Frose’s too!”

Shop Nikisha’s Look: Esby Duffy Jumpsuit $298, Martiniano Le Corbu sandals (Similar, $412)

“Austin does have a great community of people that love to collaborate and help you whenever they can.”

How would you advise the next generation of creative thinkers/makers/designers to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?

Anytime you do what you love it will show in your work. Make sure you stay true to your authentic self no matter what. If you walk in that every day you will give permission to others to be authentic and stay true to themselves. To me, that is the biggest imprint you can leave behind. Helping to liberate others from fear and obstacles.

[CLICK EACH THUMBNAIL IN THESE GALLERIES TO EXPAND IMAGE]

June’s All Day

Address: 1722 South Congress. Austin, TX 78704

“This was my first time at June’s and I loved that it reminded me of the cafes in Paris so I just decided to try a new place. I love trying new restaurants in Austin.”

Shop Nikisha’s Look: Ilana Kohn Gary Jumpsuit $193, Nina Z NYC saga nude clogs $210

“If you walk in that every day you will give permission to others to be authentic and stay true to themselves.”