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Queen City Q & A: Nickel City Pretty owner, Lindsay Robson

© by Photo by Ryan Kell

Local lifestyle blog Nickel City Pretty is celebrating their fifth anniversary in style – and you are invited. The event will take place on Saturday, June 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Buffalo Distilling Company, 860 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY. The evening will include music, food, drinks, and a photo booth.

Recently, I sat down to chat with Nickel City Pretty owner, Lindsay Robson about what got her started on her journey five years ago, beginning with her original passion project, her blog, Nickel City Pretty where she writes about all the beauty found in the Queen City. From there, she launched Nickel City Gritty, a series of interviews, videos, and photos of people in Buffalo doing incredible things and living outside the box. Lindsay also is the founder of the Buffalo Blogging Network, a group of bloggers living in Buffalo that are passionate about showcasing life in Western New York.

We blog about many topics from fashion to food and everything in between.  We love to write about and take photos of our beautiful city and explore its rich heritage and history.

As if that weren’t enough, Lindsay also has a Makeup Artistry license from the School of Professional Makeup in Toronto and is a freelance makeup artist.

Photo by Ryan Kell

Q: What made you decide to start Nickel City Pretty?
A: I started Nickel City Pretty out of a need for…something more.  At that point in my life, I was in a rut.  I didn’t have any hobbies, nothing excited or challenged me, I was in a job that I wasn’t particularly fond of, and I finally made the decision that I needed to do something to pull myself out of the hole that I was in.  I had always enjoyed writing and had a LiveJournal for years.  I had been reading a lot of fashion blogs and got the idea that, if all of these women could start their own blogs, why couldn’t I?  I started doing some research and, to my surprise, only came across a very small handful of blogs in WNY.  From there I came up with the title, bought the domain, and the rest is history!

Q: What was your inspiration behind the name, Nickel City Pretty?
A: I’m obsessed with Buffalo.  Like, fully and completely obsessed.  I wanted to come up with a name that was fun, easy to remember, and reflected my love of the city.  I wrote down an entire page of possible titles and Nickel City Pretty was the one that kept screaming out to me.

Q: You also own, Nickel City Gritty, can you tell us a bit about that as well?
A: My Nickel City Gritty series is one of the things that I’m most proud of.  I’ve always wanted to interview the people who I’ve looked up to in WNY, but I didn’t want to conduct the same interviews that involve questions that have been asked a thousand times.  I was thinking about the best way to approach these interviews, and I came up with a giant list of super bizarre questions that are far from your standard issue.  I ask things like “How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?” or “If you had a warning label attached to you, what would it say?” or “What role do you play in the group of your friends?”  This way, my readers get a chance to see a different side of my interviewees.  They get to read about their life and discover some of their quirks we might not have otherwise known existed.  I’ve gotten amazing feedback from those that I interview.  They are excited to talk about something different, something a lot more personal and fun (and sometimes vulgar.)  The Nickel City Gritty series is also a bit of a selfish thing for me because it gives me an excuse to spend a few hours photographing and chatting with locals who I love, like Erin Habes, Joe Stocker and Jon Eisenberg from Bureau, Frank Weber and Roy Bakos from Buffalo Distilling, Sam Scarcello from Public Espresso, Katie Ambrose from Groom Service, and Dustin Snyder and Andrew Piechowicz from Hatchets & Hops, just to name a few (check my blog for the full list!)  I’ve become really great friends with a few of these folks after my interviews, which has been the best perk of all!

Q: Are you originally from Buffalo?
A: I grew up on Grand Island and now live in North Buffalo.  My parents still live on the Island, so I’m always back and forth, but my heart really is in the city.

Q: Do you remember the first time you felt Buffalove?
A: Probably when I actually got a chance to explore the neighborhood when I moved into the city.  I’m right off of Hertel, so taking a walk up to all of the amazing bars and restaurants in the summer, circling around Delaware Park with the dogs, shopping at all of the adorable boutiques, drinking coffee outside (or in my case a chai latte) and people watching in the morning…there’s nothing like it.

Q: If someone didn’t know Buffalo, what would be the first thing you would tell them about our City?
A: We are more than just snow and chicken wings!  Okay, sure it snows a lot, and we have really good wings, but there’s SO much more to Buffalo than that.  Our amazing waterfront, incredible restaurants and nightlife, beautiful parks and hiking destinations, killer arts and music culture, etc.  It kind of blows my mind when I hear people say that they are bored in Buffalo…then you aren’t actually LIVING in Buffalo!  There’s always something going on.

Q: Follow up question, what’s your favorite spot in Buffalo (if you had to pick) and why?
A: This is a tough one.  I guess I’ll define “spot” as where I spend the most of my time, other than my home.  I have two favorite spots…Public Espresso and my studio space, Black Box Studio, on Exchange Street that I share with my friend Heather Sargent of Black Birds Photography.  I work from home two days a week and always am working on different projects for my blog and the Buffalo Blogging Network, so I go to Public when I feel like working with friends and getting some incredible food and drinks, and then head to Black Box when I need to really concentrate and get shit done.  Both are integral parts of my weekly routine.

The Hustle, Necklace

Q: You started blogging five years ago, and as we know, internet years are like dog years – what’s something you didn’t know then, but want future bloggers to know now?
A: I actually speak about this a lot.  So, I am the founder of the Buffalo Blogging Network.  I started the BBN almost two years ago after seeing a need for a hub for all of the bloggers/vloggers in the city.  I figured that we all have a common interest, writing and social media, so why not create one large group to network with each other and collaborate with one another.  I’m adding new bloggers all the time (we are up to over 100 now!) and get asked a lot about what advice I can give for someone who’s just starting out in the blogging world.  My number one piece of advice is to be authentic.  Readers are smart and they can tell when something is forced or fake.  If you always stay true to yourself and your work, people will notice and they will pay attention.  Also, be a kind person.  There’s too much negativity in this world and you will get much farther ahead in life and in your craft if you are NICE to other people.  Oh, and one more thing…don’t talk shit!  Buffalo may be a “larger” city but it is really small in the fact that everyone pretty much knows everyone.  What you think you are saying in private just might get back to that person you are saying it about.  Stay authentic, be kind, don’t talk shit…Lindsay’s rules for success lol

Q: Anything else you want to share? Any new plans to announce?
A: For my fifth anniversary, I collaborated with local jewelry designer Casey of Pretty + Grit to create a special necklace called the Hustle (pictured above).  I also collaborated with Rob of Buffalo Made Co. on the Nickel City tee shirt.  Visit their websites to check out the pieces and to purchase them!  Also, I hope everybody can make it out to my party this Saturday…it’s going to be a blast!

You can meet Lindsay at Nickel City Pretty’s Fifth Anniversary Bash this Saturday at Buffalo Distilling Company – you’ll know her by her eye-catching signature blue tinted hair, and effervescent personality… and when you meet her, you can’t help but be taken in by her positive attitude and love for Buffalo!

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is an author, speaker, coach, marketer, and business development strategist. Her professional consulting company, MEMC handles all aspects of marketing and business development planning and implementation, assisting with strategic planning initiatives and the creation of marketing action plans, as well as planning and executing private and public events, including: the coaching of individuals, multi-day conferences, as well as other development initiatives. In addition to her work with MEMC, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations and strategic marketing efforts at Local Matters, Inc. the parent company of Buffalo Rising.

She is active in her community and serves on several non-profit boards, such as WNY Heritage Magazine, O'Connell & Company Productions, and the Women's Business Center (WBC) Advisory Board. She is also a Democratic Committee Member in the Town of Tonawanda. Most recently, She has been asked to serve as the Marketing Consultant for the WBC's COVID Recovery Task Force.

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