Dedicated to sharing her love of cannabis with others, Nikki Geier co-founded San Diego's first Bud and Breakfast, La Casita Bonita. Aptly named, the scenic bungalow offers a safe, clean, and peaceful sanctuary. Nikki aims to help her guests feel at home while providing an immersive cannabis experience. By partnering with local cannabis businesses, guests are able to enjoy plant-medicine yoga sessions, massages, and even the opportunity to test products such as CBD bath bombs, vape pens, chocolates, and more! San Diego's first and only cannabis friendly accommodations, La Casita Bonita offers a truly one of a kind experience.
What inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?
First of all, I LOVE this question because what was once inspiration for me, has now blossomed into a fierce passion for this industry. But, let’s start from the beginning… My fiancé (Alec) and I met through our interest of cannabis about eight years ago. Over the years, cannabis has not only offered us healing and brought us closer to each other, but it has also created a link between us and so many other amazing people in the industry!
A few years ago, Alec was involved in a serious injury on the job as a contractor. He was forced to stop working, was placed on worker’s comp and was experiencing not only depression from his inability to work, but also severe pain and discomfort from the actual injury. Not long after that, I shattered my collarbone and cracked my skull in two places during a serious skateboarding accident.
Both Alec and I received surgeries and were prescribed loads of medications that either made us feel like complete zombies or created a laundry list of other side effects that we would now have to combat on top of the original pain. This is when Alec and I really began to explore the medicinal benefits of marijuana. We began meeting so many people in the industry who taught us about CBD. Within a few weeks, we were completely off of the medications that the doctors had prescribed us, and were solely using cannabis for pain. We were aware, more emotionally stable and for the first time in a long time, we were relaxed, happy and pain-free!
After being completely ridden of aches and pain through the use of CBD and THC, we decided that we were going to do everything we could to share the healing powers of cannabis with others. Shortly after that, we turned our Airbnb into the first San Diego Bud and Breakfast and started collaborating with other business owners in the industry to create more of an informal and hands-on experience versus just your typical stay at an Airbnb.
Tell us more about your Bud and Breakfast, La Casita Bonita
Our mission at La Casita Bonita is to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of our guests while providing them with a safe, clean and peaceful sanctuary. And while doing this, we also invite other cannabis business owners to sponsor their products or offer classes/sessions at our Airbnb to continue to promote the awareness of plant medicine. (We are currently working with a plant medicine masseuse and yoga instructor who offer sessions at our Airbnb.)We have also begun to build gardening boxes and chicken coops in our backyard to turn our home into a more sustainable living environment to share with our guests for additional health benefits.
How would you describe the experience for guests?
Guests have told us that staying at our Airbnb feels more like being at home, then staying in a stranger’s home or even a hotel for that matter.
We have very few house rules and as a result we have heard time and time again that our guests feel so relieved to feel comfortable enough to be their true selves while staying with us. (Nobody wants to follow a long list of rules and pretend to be more of this or that, while paying you to stay in their Airbnb.)
In addition to the comfort factor that we provide at La Casita Bonita, guests have also mentioned that they love learning about CBD, marijuana as plant medicine, and getting to test out different products that are gifted by sponsor companies.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
Cannabis has influenced every facet of my life (my relationships, my career, my health and well-being). Cannabis has brought people into my life who I never would have met otherwise, whose morals and beliefs align exactly with mine. These are now people I plan to keep in my life forever. I also have found my true passion which is now becoming the center of my life and career. As mentioned above, I have also received holistic healing benefits through the use of medical cannabis. And lastly, through cannabis, I have been self-taught to fight for what I believe in, no matter what anyone else thinks!
What have been your biggest hurdles operating in the cannabis industry so far?
The biggest hurdle I have faced in this industry is probably the acceptance from those who believe that there aren’t’ healing benefits from cannabis. I like to believe t is a blessing that this has been my biggest obstacle to overcome because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who disagrees if I can help one single person.
How have you been able to overcome these challenges?
It has definitely taken me some time, but I have learned to ignore the nay-sayers and the pessimistic outlooks that some people have towards cannabis. No one can take my testimony away from me and I have decided to fight for what I believe in, no matter what.
Name the top 3 skills every cannabis entrepreneur needs
What is the best advice you've received recently?
One of my close friends recently told me that “there is no greater power than speaking your truth”. No matter who you are, what your story is, or where you come from, SPEAK YOUR TRUTH! I promise this will give you more power than you ever could’ve believed you could possess.
Any tips for maintaining a work/life balance?
Work hard and play harder. No matter how bad you want your business to thrive, make sure you take time in your personal life to be happy and thrive also.
What are your favorite resources/tools for your business and why?
Honestly, my favorite resources are my support team of friends in the cannabis industry. I believe that behind every successful business is a support team of people that lent a hand, offered a word of advice or showed moral support during times of trials & tribulations. If you are an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur, I would advise to reach out those that you admire in the cannabis community and find the people who are willing to offer a helping hand or share their past experiences with you. For me, this has been a crucial part of our success.
If you could offer an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be true to yourself and fight for what you believe in. Whatever it is that you are passionate about, if you believe in it and you fight for it, others will follow you and support your vision too.