Updated: Sep 22, 2019
It is our great pleasure to introduce you to Nicole Ashford, founder of Studio Flora and Herbal Yoga, she’s an herbalist, nutrition expert, yogini, an empowerer of women, mother of two beautiful daughters, wife, and the best friend of Tia for 36 years.
Through her work, Nicole helps women find their path to wellness and to feeling their best using a wide variety of means including herbal medicine, culinary experiences, yoga, and a connection with the botanical world. Nicole will be joining the Sacred Woman team this October in Tulum to help us explore the wisdom of the botanical world and how we can incorporate these gifts into our lives.
Nicole grew up in Mukilteo, Washington, a small town north of Seattle. She comes from a big, blended family and has five siblings, she’s the fourth of six. Her mom and dad divorced when she was young, so like many kids of that generation, she grew up with two working parents, which created the opportunity for a lot of independence. Nicole’s mom always worked hard and she expected the same from her kids, her work ethic was influential in Nicole’s drive to succeed, which as school age girl equaled straight A’s and graduating a year early from high school.
It was in high school that Tia met Nicole when they were 15 and for Tia it was literally love at first sight (they believe that they’ve shared many lifetimes together), and she’s been Tia’s very best friend ever since. They have a long and colorful history together, with so many beautiful adventures.
Nicole has always been wicked smart, Tia says she’s likely the only reason she graduated high school, ha! Ready to get on with the business of life, Nicole graduated a year early from high school and started college at Western Washington University, which she attended for two years before going to Japan as an exchange student, returning to finish her under graduate degree at the University of Washington. Once she graduated from college she moved to England to work for a Japanese brokerage firm. Living in England offered an opportunity to do a lot of traveling, she visited France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Gibraltar, Ireland, to name a few places. Clearly she has a love of travel!
Nicole moved back to the states in 1993 and began graduate school at the University of Washington. She worked full time at Freeman Welwood, a brokerage firm in downtown Seattle, to pay her way through school, earning her MBA. It was there that she met Dave and they married in 1997.
Nicole worked in finance until her second daughter was born and then decided to stay home to raise her girls. She brought the same drive and passion she had for her education and career to the care of her family. She became passionate about nutrition and holistic healing. Both her girls suffered from allergies and she became disillusioned with Western medicine’s inability to successfully alleviate their symptoms. This led her to do her own research where she discovered Dr. Kelly Brogan, who Nicki would describe as a “bad ass doctor, not afraid to take on the medical and pharmaceutical industries”.
It was from Kelly Brogan that she learned about Lotuswei and flower essences, which became a portal leading to the discovery of her soul’s purpose, plant medicine. Nicole had always loved and been drawn to flowers. As a little girl, she took hundreds of pictures of flowers and little did she know, this childhood fascination with flowers was a precursor to what would become a passion, leading to her life’s calling, which is working with plants as medicine.
Nicole crafts handmade skincare products and medicinal tinctures, hydrosols, elixirs, flower essences and culinary blends of herbs and salts using plants that she forages in the wild as well as ones she grows in her garden. She’s also incorporated them into her yoga classes.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Nicole. Tia in particular is thrilled to share a little bit about her best friend with you here.