Girl Boss Spotlight: Nikki Day, Owner of Cactus Canyon Events
Name: Nicole Day, Nikki Day is what I go by!
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Name of Business: Cactus Canyon Events
Type of Business:
Wedding Planning & Design/ Micro-Wedding Planning & Design / Elopement Planning & Design
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur and start your own company?
I don’t think I ever thought about being an entrepreneur… I think it is just one of those things that you fall into and you are either born to be one or not. I found over the years that I am DEFINITELY born to be one. Once I did discover that I was meant to be my own boss I decided that it was time to start my own company for sure.
What were you doing before?
Before I juggled as many jobs as I could to get me to the point where I am at now.
I had a full-time job as a corporate event designer for a Destination Management Company. Along with on the side I was serving, and assisting (2) other wedding planners/ florist in the Las Vegas area.
When did you decide to make the switch?
I was laid off from all of my jobs because of COVID-19. It was either do something or you’ll probably never have the chance ever again to do something like this. It has been a long time coming though. Just needed that extra push & I definitely got it.
What gave you the idea for your business?
When I was working as an assistant wedding coordinator, I had the opportunity to work with some AMAZING role models. I had the opportunity to work all types of weddings/elopements. I found that I always had such a passion for the elopements that we shared with couples. It was so much more personal, intimate and you could feel the love pouring out of them on their day. It was something I never thought I could become so happy about seeing. Then when I worked for the DMC as a corporate event designer, I was pushed to my limits but, in the absolute best possible way. I was challenged every day to impress our clients and hone in on what they were looking to create for their conferences, meetings, events, etc. Here I learned how much I loved designing, creating the story, and how much fun thinking outside of the box is.
So I took my passionate for people, love of design & creating and formed it into a Wedding/Elopement planning company.
How would you describe your brand?
My brand is for the laid-back couple who are head over heels in love with each other and looking for an experience for their wedding day. Want an adventure elopement on a mountain top overlooking a valley of pine? Sounds fabulous. I always bring my hiking boots everywhere I go. Want a romantic candle lit ceremony to end on a yacht ride into the sunset? Sounds great. I am your girl. I ensure your day goes according to plan and it is the best day of your new lives together. My brand is always very transparent, personal & genuine as well. I pride myself on being your hype women, best friend and honest Annie through your whole experience with me. I have very high standards for my services. I make sure to give the service I would expect from my own planner.
What was your biggest hurdle in starting your own business?
I would say working on not being so hard on myself. I am OCD when it comes to designing your day and everything has to be perfect. I am my hardest critic when it comes to my work. But that has also gotten me to where I am today.
Can you give us an overview of what a normal workday is like for you?
I am a night owl! I try to plan for all my meetings with couples and suppliers in the morning so that I am able to start my day early. Grab myself a coffee. Hop on the computer and work through my to do list. I always have a running to do list going. I truly get so much more accomplished when I do! After any early meetings I usually take a mental break and head to the gym. Come back refreshed and hop back on the computer to finish up any unfinished business for the day. I hate having any notifications so I stop working once all the notifications are gone.
What is your 5-year goal for your business?
5 years from now I hope to have a 2nd location for my elopements to take place. I would then also like to have a full-service team to assist and work with me in creating the beauty you see in my events today. I also would love to teach others. I have always learned that continuing my education in all aspects has helped me tremendously in my field. You can never stop learning and growing. I want to give back & be able to help others grow in this industry as well. Having workshops and teaching course is hopefully in the 5-year plan but, definitely in the 10 year if not.
What is one piece of advice for you have for other women who want to start their own business?
Don’t be afraid to take the leap. Yes, it is scary. It is SO SCARY. But you can’t fail if you don’t ever try. Do whatever it takes not to fail. Push yourself, make education a priority and learn everything about your industry you are in. Even asking to intern/volunteer for a company you would love to be a part of is a HUGE learning opportunity. This will show you if you really do love it or is it just something that is a phase/something fun to do in your spare time. Also don’t forget to remind yourself of why you are wanting to start your own business. If you do not have a strong why behind your business model what is going to push you to wake up every day to conquer the day.