We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Cantu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
We face risks everyday in life, its wrapped up in every decision we make. You just have to ask yourself, is the risk worth taking? If you think about it, there is no reward without some type of risk. I’d definitely say I’m a moderate risk taker. When I face decisions I always ask myself is it worth it? I’m a business and finance professional by trade and risk is something we naturally try to mitigate as much as possible BUT that’s not how I necessarily live my life. I definitely took a risk by starting my own business, I risk failure but my passion and perseverance for what I do far exceeds my fear of failure. I’ve always been one to go against the grain personally and thrive in challenging situations.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m kind of a hybrid by trade I’m a Finance Professional and have been for over 15 yrs but I’m also a creative. Since I was little I’ve loved jewelry. My late grandmother had a the same obsession. She had a couple of drawers full of fine jewelry and demi fine. There’s actually a picture of when I was young and my grandmother has my neck stacked with her pearls and necklaces and I’m just cheesin’ it away! I love it, I have now passed that love down to my own daughter, Who I named the business after. Alisah (prounounces Alisa) is my daughter’s middle name, in our family we have silent H’s somewhere in our name whether it be in our middle or first name. So that is how I started making my own. I have done a ton of research on materials and tested the materials I use on myself to make sure the quality is up to par before I offer it to my customers. I like working with non-tarnishable material for my chains and offer the material in some of my other items as well. My style is a mix of my own personal style and my daughter’s style. I love creating and absolutely enjoy seeing how much a customer loves their items I enjoy the feedback from my customers. Jewelry is so versatile and can be styled so many different ways. I tell my customers that their jewelry should be a reflection of their personality. It should tell their story.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So many places! Definitely would need a couple days to explore all the great things Houston and it’s surrounding areas has to offer. We would definitely hit inside the loop first and then make our way out.
Brunch – Traveler’s Table and the Breakfast Klub are my absolute favorite. The mimosa’s and cocktails at Traveler’s Table are amazing ( the Lavender and Rose mimosas are to die for! )The Chicken and Waffles at The Breakfast Klub are hands down the best in the City. (Don’t worry about the line, its definitely worth the wait)
After brunch I would definitely hit up some of the cocktail and watering holes like Better Luck Tomorrow, Truckyard, or AxelRad, or one of the Breweries, maybe St. Arnold’s or 8th Wonder.
Dinner I would definitely depend on mood… I love sushi so I would push for Uchi or if in the mood I’d say Taqueria Del Sol. My parents took me there as a kid and I take friends there any chance I get if we are in the area. I never had any friends tell me didn’t like it. As a small business owner I am ALL about supporting local as much as possible.
Later on in the week I would definitely make sure to take my friend to outside the loop. I’m definitely a road warrior and not afraid to go the distance! lol So I would definitely want todo brunch at Ambriza and then drive an hour out and visit Roundtop and all the little shops in their town square while visiting Royer’s and grabbing a slice of their famous pies and visiting Ellis Motel and topping off the day of exploring for one of their craft coctails!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I am extremely fortunate to have an incredible support system. My family and friends have definitely been my cheerleaders, when I’ve felt defeated or when self doubt has crept in they have always been there to remind me that I got this.! My husband is awesome, he is down there in the trenches with me at every pop up. He is helping me set up breakdown or actually building the displays himself. Sometimes he will even stick around the pop ups with me, although he’s not the best at selling jewelry haha! My mother has been a big support as well, she actually helps me make a lot of our beaded gemstone bracelet stacks. She helps come up with designs and color combo. She has always been a natural creative so she’s actually really good at it. My son and daughter even help set up or you can catch my daughter with me at some pop ups. It’s definitely a family affair. There are so many people that play an important factor in this journey. My repeat clients, the feedback from them has been amazing. You all have no idea how much your positive feedback has kept me pushing and believing that I’m on to something great.