BRND House Influencer Series: Ewa of Nom Life
Recently, we got the chance to sit down with Ewa of Nom Life. She and her husband Jeromy are an NYC based foodie duo who love food and love life. Check out her tales and tips on influencer life below.
What was your inspiration for Nom Life?
Our families are Taiwanese, Cantonese, and American — so big dinner gatherings are a very central part of our lives. For us, it was the only time we got to see our parents due to the demands of the restaurant industry. We even met while working at a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, OH! Therefore, food has always been a central part of our lives and our relationship. We originally started Nom Life as an outlet to share hidden gems in Columbus, OH (where we were living at the time). When we moved to New York City, we grew homesick for our families’ home cooked dishes; so Nom Life evolved into a platform to share our favorite recipes. There are so many dishes we love that have wonderful memories attached and it’s really special to share them with others.
You two love traveling and adventuring. How do you balance your time between the blog and your personal life?
It’s definitely a work in progress! Jeromy is the best partner I could have asked for. He’s so supportive and keeps me grounded. It’s easy to get caught up in the blog and have constant “content” brain. However, we both know how important it is to make time for each other. So we let Nom Life be a reflection of our lives, and the things that we truly love to do.
What rules do you follow when curating your posts?
My number one rule is that all content needs to be natural and authentic. We could never promote something that we don’t actually support. We want to share places and dishes that we truly care about. Therefore, Jeromy and I are really selective with collaborations. We always ask ourselves “Would we eat this or go to this place if we weren’t getting paid?” It keeps us accountable and keeps the blog genuine. We also want to showcase lots of variety in our posts, while staying consistent enough that our followers know they can find x,y, and z on our page.
Tell us about the early days of Nom Life? What were the obstacles? How did you build a following?
When we started the blog in Columbus, OH, Instagram was such a new thing. Honestly, the hardest part about getting started was gaining visibility. We had a strong local following because we were one of a few bloggers focusing on food at the time. Then, when we moved to NYC, we were immersed into a world of a billion dining options and tons of people highlighting food. We really focused on what we wanted to add to the conversation and how our voice would evolve in New York City.
Tell us about your favorites! Favorite memory? Favorite dish?
We have so many favorite food memories. In NYC, we love food crawling in Flushing! We love spending the day trying tons of different dishes all around Flushing. There are so many delicious, comfort dishes that we love there– and it’s cheap, so you can try a ton of different places as long as you keep room in your stomach! The food reminds us of home, our favorite foods are those that will always have memories attached. Whenever our friends or family visit, we take them too to create new memories together. We love creating memories around food because every time you have that dish, you’re reminded of that memory.
Favorite dish? A top one that comes to mind is Joe’s Steamed Rice Roll. We used to trek out to Flushing every time we had a craving, but now he has an outpost in Canal Street… game changer. Another favorite dish is dumplings — I have so many happy memories of making them with my family, friends and husband. If you’re going out for dumplings, Lam Zhou and Super Taste are great (you can BYOB at Supertaste 😉).
Instagram has undergone a lot of changes over the last few years - new algorithms, advertising changes, etc. Has this had an impact on your work? If so, how have you evolved with the changes?
The biggest (and sometimes toughest) requirement about working with Instagram is being adaptable and flexible. There are so many new rules and regulations that content creators must to take into consideration. It really keeps you on your toes. Now, influencers have to be much more transparent about what content is paid advertising – which is a great thing. We will always stay true to who we are, but you have to evolve with Instagram and the social media world in general as it changes overtime too.
Tell us about your first experience working with a restaurant client. How did you start reaching out to restaurants?
The first restaurant we worked with (in Columbus) actually reached out to us! It was so exciting and it was the first moment that we realized Nom Life could be a viable career option. Local spots began reaching out and we would decide if they were a good fit for us. We only want to promote restaurants that we would personally eat in – blog or no blog, compensation or no compensation.
Now for the scary stories. Any disaster moments?
When we first moved to NYC, we went on a compensated dinner date at this trendy taco spot. But I ended up getting food poisoning (not Jeromy though because he has an iron stomach). From then on, we decided to be way more selective with collaborations. We hardly do comped meals anymore. We’d rather pay for a meal than be obligated to post about it if we didn’t love it or wouldn’t go back again.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given and how has that shaped Nom Life?
Be authentic. Stay true to what you believe in and let that translate into the content you put out into the world. Working in the social media industry, it’s so easy to constantly compare yourself against others. Don’t get caught up in that and just focus on what youare doing!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own blog?
Think about these things: What are you adding to the conversation? What do you want to talk about? How will you create content with a purpose? Blogging requires a lot of perseverance and dedication – you have to evolve with the social media world, evolve with your brand and evolve with yourself! Each (quality) piece of content requires so much time to concept, capture, edit and post. It’s not just point-and-shoot. Make sure that you can dedicate enough time to creating a blog that you are proud of.
What is the next step for Nom Life?
We want to keep creating content that we are really passionate about: recipes, hidden gems, travel and our lives in general. We want to produce more video work to explore food and travel, and explore the culture behind it; but still in a realistic and relatable way. We’re excited for what this year will bring. We have tons of fun ideas in the works, so stay tuned!