We had the good fortune of connecting with Niki Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Niki, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Authenticity. We live in a world that puts a filter on everything. And trust me, I am grateful for those filters, but being authentic to me, makes you stand out more than any filter ever will. Being authentic in this day and age can be intimidating or even just downright scary, because in a lot of ways we are conditioned by social media that someone something is always better. Having an authentic approach to both business and your personal life always will pay off. Whether it is being able to lay your head down at night with a peaceful heart or money in the bank, in the end I do believe being authentic will set you apart.
San Diego Moms as a business, makes money through advertising sales. So it is very important to me to genuinely believe in the products and businesses we work with and to share authentic testimonials that help people make decisions that will better their life. Yes I want to make money, but being authentic is more important to me.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Three years ago when I took over San Diego Moms, I had NO idea what I was doing. I knew, by trade I was an event planner and a sales person and well I was a “mom”. I still am learning and evolving and I have a TON of work to do, but I have LOVED every minute of this journey. I also have an event planning company that focuses on working with venues to help them sell their space, which recently turned into a full time role as the director of events and marketing with Plunge San Diego in Mission Beach.
I think my focus of being authentic and real is a true testament to how I was able to land this incredible job. I started working with the Plunge because during the pandemic my pool at my complex was closed and I came across the Plunge on one of my writers IG pages and just fell in LOVE. From there I loved it so much I AUTHENTICALLY shared my experience and I know of AT LEAST 7 friends that became members, so after about 5 months I realized I should reach out to see if we could work together. I HATE asking for “freebies” and I feel like once you do that your story doesn’t hold as much weight, but hey times were tough so I put myself out there.
Let’s just say, it was the BEST decision I made. It evolved into an incredible relationship that has turned into a career opportunity, that I don’t see going anywhere any time soon. I’m grateful to say the least.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have lived ALL over, I think I am going on about 14 cities (but who’s counting?!) and being originally from Hawaii, I will say San Diego is one of my favorite cities. I love beer – so I would start with some brewery tours – Deft Brewing, Mike Hess, Bay City, Ballast Point, Green Flash are a few of my favorites. As far as restaurants go, when I have friends in town I am heading to Cloak & Petal, DundedIn New Zealand Eats, Voltaire Beach House, OB Surflodge and if you want the BEST Acai Bowl – Northside Shack in Point Loma.
Obviously, we live in San Diego so all the mainstream attractions are likely on our agenda (San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Belmont Park, Seaworld), but I would say some of my favorite scenic experiences are seal beach in La Jolla, Torrey Pines for a nice hike and honestly just heading to SOUTH Mission Beach to miss the crowds, but still enjoy the San Diego weather.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are SO many people I need to recognize. Daphne Gaghagen our managing editor, who actually referred me to this opportunity, edits, schedules and posts all of our content. Without her San Diego Moms content would likely be edited by me and include many grammatical errors that would diminish our credibility. She is brilliant, but you want to know what I love most – she is authentic. Next up is San Diego Moms Squad CEO Tamara Gomez. We have never met in person, but the pandemic has brought us together via instagram because we are AUTHENTIC. Whether it was funny memes or a series conversation or sharing something personal – I am in awe of her dedication to connecting moms in our community. I am ALL about bringing moms together and creating opportunities for us all to grow and connect. Samantha Harris, our marketing strategist and consultant. She has done SO much over the past two years and I am always in awe of what she is able to accomplish. She is the founder of Samantha Harris Co and Content and Connection, which both have a mission and vision of helping women business owners grow by building their brands from an authentic foundation.
Instagram: @nikijonesdiaries / @sandiegomomsco / @plungesandiego
Studio Freyja Portraits, Crystella Photography, Linette Gary Photography