Alisha Reed just wants women to do what’s best for them. The Instagram user and blogger better known as Nola Bougie launched her brand geared toward the finer things that NOLA has to offer as a way to convince people that it’s okay to treat themselves right.
But first, she had to work on reclaiming the name on which she staked her brand.
“A lot of people think ‘bougie’ is a bad thing,” Reed explained in a recent chat with Very Local. “But I think it can be seen as something very positive. It’s a way to remind women to be the best version of themselves. Bougie is about wanting what’s best for you.”
Since launching her Bougie brand in 2014, Reed has kept at her goal of uplifting and informing the women of New Orleans. Throughout Instagram stories and blog posts, the full-time pharmacist and mother of a toddler attempts to build a community of local women who know how to take time out to enjoy themselves.
“Every human being on Earth is drawn to the things that make them feel good. We all need rest, breaks, vacation. It’s not a negative thing like ‘Oh, we have to spend money or get away from our kids,” she said. Everybody needs something. Some kind of downtime, some kind of respite.”
Reed says that she tries to tailor her content to take into account the needs of women at all levels of the income ladder. Her main goal is the promotion of the idea that women in the city deserve to be happy, however they can make that happen.
“You don’t need to be rich in finance, just rich in spirit,” she explained.” You can have a spa day at home. If you can’t spend that 100 dollars, that’s fine. If you’re able to, that’s also fine.”
Reed added that within the African-American community in particular, the pressure to not admit you need a break can be intense. Through her posts as Nola Bougie, she tries to erase any barriers that these women might have keeping them from needed self-care.
“Within the African-American community, there is a stigma. You don’t want to admit that you may have mental health issues,” she said. “With black women, it’s viewed as a sign of weakness. It’s seen as a failure to be depressed.”
A healthcare provider herself, Reed tries to explain that “there’s no one type of person who suffers from depression.”
“I’m very vocal about these things,” she said. “I’m trying to educate as much as I can.”
A scroll through her feed reveals a wide range of ways that Reed encourages her followers to be their best selves. Everything from gardening days to nice dinners on down to a hard-earned glass of wine or a good book is on display. There are many paths to Bougie and she’s hoping to show off all of them.