Memphian To Meet: Alexandra Nicole Nolan, The Unconventional Entrepreneur

Alexandra Nicole Nolan is an entrepreneur, business owner, blogger, Memphian, and now—an author!

She’s been in the local blogging scene just about as long as it’s been around, and I’ve always admired her work ethic and polished style. You can check out her blog at City Chic Living.

Get to know Alexandra a little bit more, and find out how you can get her new book “The Unconventional Entrepreneur”  in today’s Memphian To Meet feature.

girl looking at laptop in white kitchen
Courtesy Alexandra Nicole Nolan

Entrepreneurship In Memphis

Holly: You've started multiple businesses and so many projects! Can you tell us that story?

Alexandra: A true entrepreneur at heart, I have never stuck with just one business idea. I love the process of branding, launching, growing, and then selling. I have launched several clothing stores, cosmetic line, fashion line, bath and body line, consulting business, online academy for entrepreneurs, digital marketing company, and am now writing a book to help other aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their work life passion! 

Before I became a full-time entrepreneur, I studied at The University of Memphis and Bournemouth University in England to complete my BBA with a focus in international business and marketing. Then I worked at International Paper for 6 years before going all in as a full time entrepreneur. In 2014, I went back to the University of Memphis to get my Masters in Business and am currently pursuing my PhD in business back at the University of Memphis. 

Holly: How has Memphis inspired you?

Alexandra: Memphis is such a beautiful and eclectic mix of people, personalities, and creatives. Through the years, as an entrepreneur, I have learned so much from all of the other amazing small business men and women in this community. Being open minded to the innovative business practices, processes, and mentorship from fellow business owners in Memphis has sparked so many novel ideas and ways that we can come together to support small business overall in this community. 

Holly: What’s it like as an entrepreneur in Memphis?

Alexandra: I launched my first business in 2012. It was a much different landscape 10 years ago. Facebook advertising and business pages were not yet a thing, Instagram had not officially gone mainstream, and the algorithms of the digital world were not very robust. This made is so much easier to post about my business and truly get visibility through social media locally. 

woman in black shirt smiling
Courtesy Alexandra Nicole Nolan

When social media swiftly implemented changes that made it more costly to market through digital platforms, I became pretty worried. My audience would be cut drastically, and I would have to rely heavily on the support of the Memphis community. Memphis showed up and I couldn’t have been more thankful. My heart was  so full. Memphians are unique in the way they put  their small biz, local entrepreneurs first. That is what makes this city so welcoming to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business in general. Because of our community, your business truly has a chance to thrive. 

The Unconventional Entrepreneur

Holly: What motivated you to write this book?  How is it different from other entrepreneurial books out there?

Alexandra: As with anything that you build, there are highs and lows, but the main thing that I have come to realize over my 12 years as an entrepreneur is that high business volatility is greatly due to market changes. These types of changes have ultimately evolved small business strategies and entrepreneurship as we know it today. That is what lead me to write my book, The Unconventional Entrepreneur.

Business has changed drastically over the recent years, especially with Covid. So many were furloughed and even worse, lost their jobs, which required quick thinking and innovative ideas for making an income. Small businesses began to pop up and entrepreneurs were, and still are, quickly being born. With these new entrepreneurs, old business strategies have become stale and new, more successful practices are emerging.

There is little to no literature about the evolution of the entrepreneur, yet, these type of business owners are disrupting their industries with innovative ideas, business processes, and products and services. The mindset of the unconventional entrepreneur is essential for cultivating a successful plan and achieving the work-life dream.

These entrepreneurs pursue their work-life passion and place a high value on making a lasting impact on their family, friends, and communities. That’s why I wanted to develop a publication that is not only a book, but also a guide for current and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to navigate the new way of business and learn successful strategies for discovering their skillset, branding themselves, and monetizing their worth.

Holly: How can people support your work and your new Kickstarter?

Alexandra: September of this year (2022), we will have the book available in major retailers and local shops, however, I am extremely excited to announce that we have officially launched the pre-sale of The Unconventional Entrepreneur for anyone who wants to be first on the list to get theirs. 

book cover
Courtesy Alexandra Nicole Nolan

When printing a book, you have to go to print with a set number of books in mind, 2500, 5000, 8000, etc. Through our Kickstarter pre-sale campaign, we are able to get an idea of how many books we will need to print to serve those who are interested, stock the shelves of major retailers, and keep a minimum inventory cost. Therefore, the presale strategy is a prime example of unconventional entrepreneurship at it’s best. 


Through the presale on Kickstarter, you will be guaranteed a first edition hardcover copy of my book. As explained above, there will be a limited amount of books printed in the first run, so pre-purchasing is the only way to ensure that you receive a copy in September. There are also other, exclusive Kickstarter only, packages such as, online unconventional entrepreneur business courses, mentorship and consulting, even an opportunity to get your story published in the book! 


Alexandra's Advice—and Some Memphis Thank Yous

Holly: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new entrepreneur?

Alexandra: We all possess the skillset to become successful in business, yet so many doubt themselves. Business is relationship and that’s it. It goes back thousands of years when we all had to hunt, gather, build, and sell our wares to survive. Basic business skills were required in many instances for every day life. Yes, it has evolved and completely transformed from more primitive times, but one thing holds true, we all innately have the skill set, we just have to practice mastery of the skills. I always tell those that I mentor, practice perfecting determination, confidence, and adaptability. While they are not the only skills needed, these three skills will set you out on the right foot and get you pretty far in the business world. By the way, 6 other unconventional entrepreneur skills will be revealed in the book.

Holly: What’s one piece of advice you’d give a new Memphian?

Alexandra: Memphis is full of dreamers with incredible ideas. Spend time with the people you meet in this city. While our neighborhoods and parks are pretty spectacular, it is the people that will make you fall in love with Memphis. 

Holly:  Flip that: What’s one piece of advice you’d give a longtime Memphian?

Alexandra: Not so much advice, but more so a “thank you.” Thank you Memphis for being so incredibly supportive in my journey over the past 12 years. My success can greatly be attributed to your belief in me. I began as a 26 year old girl with huge dreams yet little confidence.

Through successful Memphis business owners who offered their guidance, the community who came out to my little events and shopped my stores, and local media who enthusiastically shared my grand openings and business story, I was able to build confidence in myself, which drove determination and helped me to achieve success.

From the bottom of my heart and my whole being, thank you fellow Memphians!
girl holding ipad showing blog homepage
Courtesy Alexandra Nicole Nolan

Memphis Recs and Favorites

Holly: Let's do some quick Memphis favorites. Favorite place to take the family? 

Alexandra: We enjoy Railgarten in the warmer months! Our kids can’t get enough of the playground and it is the perfect hangout with friends.

Holly: Date night spots?

Alexandra: When it is adult only night, we can’t get enough of Coastal Fish, or any of the other 3 restaurants owned by the same local company. The service is incredible and the food to die for! 

Holly: Favorite places to shop?

Alexandra: Of course, The Ivory Closet. That was my first business here in Memphis. I have since sold it to a dear friend, Jen Burris, and it is still in operation today in Overton Square! Jen has a great eye and I always find something show stopping in her store. I also shop Shelby Jewel boutique. I just love her personality, business story and also her sleek fashions. 

Holly: Favorite brands or designers?

Alexandra: Beg and Borrow is an amazing custom tailored line owned by two of my favorite Memphians, Monte and LD. I love how I get to choose my print, fabric, and stitching for their custom shirt dresses. 

For more information on Alexandra or to follow her journey—or grab a copy of the new book—here are some links: 

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