My BALLE Scholarship Application

Why am I sharing this? Because I really hope you’ll write one too.


Even if you can’t be there; let them know you’d like to BE. Conscious, creative change agents, community leaders and visionaries from around the country are coming to Buffalo and they’re going to be looking and listening. Let’s tell our story Buffalo. Let’s tell the world who we are and what matters to us.


There are three scholarship categories—choose any one and answer the questions. Looking for extra credit? Good karma? To experience the fellowship of man? Ask a favorite business owner who may be too busy to apply, or even attend, if you can represent them. Or consider dropping by the West Side Bazaar and offering to sponsor a merchant. Meet a new neighbor; make a new friend.


Noodles Nolker


Name: K. Page Nolker


Phone: 716-435-9833

City: Buffalo, NY

County: Erie


Business: Creative consultant; writer; editor; artist. My principle projects are the following:—

I am an accomplished story strategist, writer and editor. I hold twenty years experience working in a wide cross section of industries with clients ranging from individual artists and entrepreneurs to international corporations and nonprofits. — 

I am a storyteller. I love listening to and sharing stories—meeting new people, discovering alternative truths, trying on unfamiliar perspectives. Our lives are a collection of stories and the way we tell them shapes how and what we feel, our choices and our reality. After twenty years writing stories for businesses and entrepreneurs—understanding a need, crafting an intention, framing details and weaving new narratives full of potential—I am inspired to model the art of storytelling as our most powerful and important tool for defining and creating fulfilling lives. Stories will always be both the problem and the solution and when we take responsibility for our stories we harness the power to transform our lives.


What is the babe effect? It’s joy and fulfillment the feminine way. It’s about self esteem and passion with purpose.  It’s about finding your voice and living with truth. It’s about life, liberty and my conscious pursuit of happiness.


Babe Effect Home

Set in Buffalo, New York and featuring pleasures, desires, friends with benefits, history, my house and an eventful lineup of artist adventures and creative philanthropy, Babe Effect Home is a lifestyle blog that explores the joy and fulfillment found in living local. Curating culture and improvising style—it’s my art for living well!



How did you hear about this scholarship opportunity?

I was invited to apply by Harper Bishop.


Have you attended the BALLE conference in the past?

I have not.


Is your businesses/organization a member of Buffalo First!?



How would you identify yourself? (Please check all that apply.)

[  ] African American

[  ] Asian American

[X] Caucasian

[  ] Latino/Hispanic

[  ] Native American or Alaska Native

[  ] Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander


Please answer the following questions about yourself and your business or organization (Please check all that apply.):

[X] I am from an underrepresented community

[  ] My business is located in an underrepresented community

[X] My business impacts underrepresented communities

[X] My business is woman-led

[  ] My business is led by a person(s) of color


For any of the boxes you checked above, please tell us a bit more about your community. 

I am a bi-sexual woman who role models the freedom found in being vulnerable. My desire to live in a conscious, creative community inspires both my personal projects and my choice of clients. Called a shot in the arm of confidence concentrate, I help artists, entrepreneurs and business owners connect their passion to their potential. I believe that work should feel good and I am fortunate that I have always loved what I do—because of the people.



Would you be able to attend the BALLE conference if you did not receive this scholarship? Please explain.

Unfortunately, no.


Since moving to Buffalo in 2007, I have been re-imagining and rebuilding my career; searching for creative ways I can serve undercapitalized artists and small business owners. Or put another way: dreaming up adventure experiences to co-curate with my friends and community for fun and mutual benefit. Foregoing income for intention, I have oddly enjoyed being flat broke in Buffalo as a catalyzing contrast to my previous experience living and working in Northern California, financially secure and surrounded by abundance. I feel that my five years of financial struggle living in Buffalo have yielded a wealth of wisdom and sparked a transformation within myself that I’ve come to prize and hope to share through my writing and example.


Everyone has a different story to tell, and we want to hear yours.  We’re asking these questions not only to select our Western New York Scholarship Fund awardees, but also to begin to develop a relationship with you. In one (typed, single spaced) page or less, please respond to the following questions:

(1) How are you and your business or organization advancing one or more tenets of localism in your community? (See here for an outline of localism principles.)

(2) BALLE believes that, although a single business can have a huge positive impact, the most transformative local economic development work happens when local businesses work together in the context of their place (more on this here).  How are you working to bring local businesses together for the health, prosperity, and sustainability of your community?

(3) What do you want to gain from the conference and how will this experience catalyze your work after the conference is complete?


People Buy from People they Like

With more than twenty years experience helping businesses articulate and sell their services, products and visions, I have relied on the same advice: people buy from people they like. I have convinced even the most reticent, that by making themselves visible and sharing their authentic enthusiasm for why they do what they do—running a business is a labor of love—they can convert even jaded consumers into loyal friends. William Blake believed: “Mere enthusiasm is the all in all … passion and expression are beauty itself.” I sell enthusiasm.


When I moved to Buffalo, New York I came on the whim of intuition—I came without work, friends or a reason to be here. I have written stories on my blog about this “City of Good Neighbors.” I could write countless more. The local shop owners and their employees were my first impression of Buffalo, and many have become neighbors and friends. I enjoy the challenge of living locally—like an artist curating an exhibit, I allow Buffalo to redefine me. From groceries to plumbing, books to fashion, I do business with people I like, and I like doing business with Buffalo.


Hard work is a Substitute for Performance

My father shared with me the idea that hard work is a substitute for performance when I was in school; I’ve made it my life’s motto. I learned early on that the difference between work and play is attitude. My plans for helping myself by helping Buffalo reflect my uncompromising drive for joy.


“Art and the creative impulse is the feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others.” By painting the night sky, Van Gogh deepened and enlarged his love for what he saw. Babe Effect Home is the byproduct of my desire to truly know and fall deeper in love with my chosen community—to add meaning and value to my own life by seeing the meaning and value in others. And to have fun doing it! My plans for a private salon as part of Babe Effect Home tap my love for curating experiences that connect people through play.


Fresh Air

A longtime fan of Fresh Air, I once heard Terry Gross say in an interview that she considers the whole world her catalog and she’s browsing. New people, fresh perspectives. Last month, I participated on a Buffalo First roundtable discussion with Locavesting author, Amy Cortese. That shared discussion catalyzed me to expand my vision for Babe Effect Home to include a financial tool improvised after Howard Schultz’ change for change CDFI initiative. That’s one example. I expect that attending the BALLE conference with hundreds of innovative change agents and visionaries from around the country will further stretch my creative parameters and provide me with a wealth of new resources to support my endeavors. As a consultant, I will value the opportunity to disseminate and cross pollinate the people and ideas I discover.


* * * * *


That’s all folks. A few personal questions. Tell BALLE who we are; tell the world what matters to us. What matters to you is why you matter! Thanks for playing along. If you want to share your story with Babe Effect, please send it on!


Quote above by an original babe, Brenda Ueland, author of the 1938 book If You Want to Write: a Book about Art, Independence and Spirit. Painting by one of my favorite muse: Noodles Nolker. 


>> Read BE Local from the beginning.