HI, I'M NIKKI!
After graduating from Indiana University with a journalism degree, I moved to New York City where I stumbled into an entry-level position as a media buyer in digital advertising. I spent four years working at HAVAS and MediaVest on clients that included Converse, LVMH, Volvo, and Mexico Tourism; all the while balancing my passion of journalism with full-time work. In 2012, I launched a travel blog called The Pin the Map Project in an effort to grow my travel writing portfolio.
I grew my blog into an award-winning platform that worked with global travel brands including Indonesia Tourism, Norwegian Airlines, India Tourism, and more. The Pin the Map Project allowed me to establish myself in the travel industry through speaking opportunities at The New York Times Travel Show, Women's Travel Fest, and Women in Travel Summit; as well as forge connections with travel's leading influencers.
With combined experience from my travel blog and freelance writing, I landed an on-staff editorial position as Travel Editor of Culture Trip and Places Editor of Atlas Obscura. In 2018, I became an entrepreneur and co-founded Unearth Women, an inclusive travel media company by women. Inspired by both the frustration I had felt as a woman in media and the travel space, I dreamt up a publication that would champion the stories of women and their allies.
The first step of transforming the idea of Unearth Women into a company was assembling a team of powerhouse women. With the help of my childhood friend, Elise Fitzsimmons, and girl boss Kelly Lewis, we launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for Unearth Women's first print magazine.
Released in September 2018, our first issue featured VICE Correspondent Isobel Yeung on the cover, an essay from Gloria Steinem, and travel guides curated by women. The success of our first issue gained us international distribution with Curtis North America, the largest magazine distribution in the country. Our second issue——featuring CNN's Lisa Ling——was sold internationally in bookstores including Barnes & Noble and Chapters Indigo.
Since Unearth Women's launch, the company has been featured in The New York Times, Good Morning America, Vogue Spain, Travel + Leisure, and Washington Post. Our digital site has grown to reach over 10,000 unique monthly readers and in 2019, the company expanded to introduce a line of co-branded trips, a (soon-to-launch) podcast, and a book deal with Penguin Random House's Clarkson Potter imprint.
Outside of my career, I am an avid traveler and animal lover. I often seek opportunities to volunteer with animals and support ethical animal tourism on my independent travels. I have volunteered with elephants in Thailand, visited an orangutan sanctuary in Borneo, adopted a rescue puppy from Belize, and reported on the unethical whaling industry in Iceland and dog meat trade in Bali.