Photography by Liz Grogan.

We’re always hoping to make a good first impression, and that first-time readers of The Scout Guide will put the publication down feeling inspired to learn more about the featured businesses—and, if they’re out-of-towners, to seek out (or start) a guide in their own hometown. In this series, we talk to our editors about their TSG “firsts,” from their first encounter with The Scout Guide to the first business they scouted and more. Read on to learn about how The Scout Guide Triad–Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point editor Ashley Powell Nosek discovered the brand, and what it was like to launch her first volume.

When did you first discover The Scout Guide?

I first discovered the guide many years ago in my hotel room in Charleston and I thought it was a truly gorgeous publication. A very good friend of mine, Tonya Cockman, then started the guide in Greensboro, and as I traveled I started to seek out the guide as they popped up in new cities. It has always been a wonderful reference for the best of local when I travel. 

What made you decide to become an editor?

When I married my husband in 2015, I moved to his hometown of Greensboro and started my small business law practice. Since I was new to town, I wanted to get out into the community and meet more people. Fortunately, in 2017, Tonya was ready to take a step back from the guide and concentrate on other endeavors, so she and I decided that I would take the helm going forward. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to meet other small business owners and make friends across the region. 

Tell us about the first business you approached to be in the guide.

As a new editor taking over an already-existing guide, my first step was to run all over town with Tonya meeting all of her advertisers. It was such a whirlwind I honestly can’t remember who was “first,” but everyone from her current volume was extremely welcoming and friendly. It was a wonderful experience and Tonya was so supportive.

What was it like to launch your first volume?

It was so exciting! As an attorney I am used to creating a “finished product” for a client, but this was the first time it was something so tangible and going out into the world on a massive scale. I was proud of my first guide and also terrified that everyone would hate it. Tonya’s guides had a very distinct style and my first guide was very different stylistically from what she had produced before. I was worried the community wouldn’t like the change. Fortunately, it was very well-received by both my advertisers and the general public.

What’s the first thing you would tell a prospective editor?

Organization is key. How I operate in any given year has evolved with every volume, but the one thing that is consistent is to figure out the best schedule for me and the people I work with and to stick to it. There are a lot of moving parts with creating a guide and the only way I maintain my sanity, especially close to deadline, is having a plan in place.

To learn more about Ashley and The Scout Guide in her area, visit The Scout Guide Triad website and follow The Scout Guide Triad  on Instagram. Learn more about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.