We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Molina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m originally from Akron, Ohio and migrated to Colorado 7 years ago. I’ve always loved being outdoors, getting dirty and making things with my hands. Growing up on a dead-end street surrounded by woods allowed me to have the freedom to explore my small slice of nature. The neighborhood kids always came to our yard to play kickball and me and my siblings were constantly climbing trees, playing some ball, or walking the few backyards to get to grandma and grandpa’s house for candy. I had a wonderful childhood that revolved around activities, adventure, outdoors, trees, playing, fun, and laughter.
My parents were hard workers who implanted many important values that have made me who I am today. Three values in particular shaped me as a person and led to the theme of my blog, The Sunshine Hustle – positivity, humor, and kindness.
My mom was, and still is, a ‘glass is half full’ kind of woman. And so am I. Mom would always say “kill ‘em with kindness” and as a child I really hated that expression, especially if you’re fighting with someone. But as an adult, I get it. Kindness is an easy thing to share, and can change the course of your emotion, even when you’re angry. Dad always had the smart-ass sense of humor, which I love to this day. I like to think I’m a little sassy with my humor, thanks to dad, and there is nothing I love more than laughing.
These traits led to me starting The Sunshine Hustle, during the pandemic and a job loss. I spent the summer of 2020 trying to think about who I was, what I wanted, and how I wanted to make a difference. So, I launched a blog that focused on ways I was staying busy and trying to avoid depression. My positive nature led to sharing content that focused on ways to survive the negative world. My love of making things with my hands led to sharing herbal remedies that are all natural, organic and made from ingredients in my own backyard. And my love of food led to me wanting to share my favorite vegetarian recipes that I’ve been crafting for years.
The Sunshine Hustle’s purpose is to provide ways to stay active, positive, and happy during times when we can easily feel angry and sad. I feel strongly that the way I was raised, and the experiences I’ve had, were the ingredients I needed to create and share this content with others – to help bring encouraging thoughts into the world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been in marketing for nearly 20 years and have spent a ton of time in the agency space focusing on the strategy and execution for many clients. As a primary person responsible for building relationships, my kind nature allowed me to succeed because I was always honest and personable, as if I was talking to a friend. I’ve always loved getting to know not only my colleagues but my clients as well. I think it’s important to get to know people so you can build trust and confidence in what you are doing.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome is creating a work/life balance. I’ve learned, recently, that I am a workaholic and working day, night and weekends was the norm. It’s just what I had to do to keep up, so it was my reality. But being laid off during the pandemic and having 4 months off to think about life changed everything. I had time to think about what I wanted, and I began to realize a work/life balance needed to be a priority for me. Yes, I want to succeed professionally, but I want to enjoy my life and family more.
Creating The Sunshine Hustle helped me realize my values and what I want to contribute to the world. And, these values need to be a priority in my professional career as well as my personal life.
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.
I love my small town in Pine, Colorado. I love the views, trees, blue skies, and lack of crowded businesses. Typically, I like to ensure we share this with my friends and family who are visiting, so for my hiking friends, I love going to Buffalo Creek, Crystal Lake, or Guanella Pass. If hiking isn’t on the agenda and food and beverages are, I go to Snowpack Taproom & Pizzeria, Buck Snort Saloon, Crossroads Pub & Grill or Zoka’s. They also bring the views! If I’m camping, I’m usually going to Lost Park or Buffalo Creek.
Headed down the hill, Red Rocks is always a must. Whether for a show or just to see the views, it’s a place my husband and I spend a lot of time. Morrison has several fun restaurants that are great for a happy hour drink or appetizer.
If I were taking people in town to Denver, my favorite places to eat and drink are Torchy’s Tacos, City O’ City, Watercourse, or Historian’s Ale House, all of which have the best vegetarian options a gal could ask for. If I’m seeing a concert in Denver, my favorite night out includes Cheba Hut for a sub, Sancho’s Broken Arrow for a drink, and the Ogden Theatre or Fillmore Auditorium for a show.
And for some fun shopping, I love a good stroll down South Broadway to visit all the funky shops like Decade, Hope Tank, and Sewn.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course, my parents. They’re pretty cool and always have my back. They taught me to be kind but to stand up for myself and those values have evolved in my career and personal life. Also, my husband who is always by my side, lifting me up when I’m down, making me laugh, and encouraged me to enjoy that ‘jobless’ time when I felt like a loser! Related to my blog, my dear friend Tyler was someone who pushed me to do it. He encouraged me, made me feel like I was doing something great, and even created my logo for me! He’s all around a great friend.