Montana Artist – Canty® Boots

When I met Nikki at a Boss Lady Bash in Bozeman last April, she was teaching kindergarten, raising 3 young children, annnnnd running her own business, Canty® Boots. I tend to get a little overwhelmed by the whole parenting + building a small business thing… so needless to say, I had a serious case of how-the-hell-do-you-do-all-it’s. But here’s the thing about Nikki, not only is she passionate about what she does… she’s seemingly unruffled by all the things she can’t get done and focuses on what she can. I was in the early stages of figuring out the next step in my own career and feeling stuck and unsure about how to strike out on my own. Nikki was a great reminder that forward movement was possible… hemming and hawing over my imperfect website/business cards/(insert to do list item here) wasn’t getting me anywhere. I left that night feeling inspired and slowly but surely, over then next few weeks I made some progress. So, I’m happy to show off some Canty® Boots goodness with you today. Thank you Nikki (mama, boss lady, and boot visionary) for motivating me and other fellow designers to get out and make it happen.

canty boots

Photo by Taylor Kent

How did you get your start?
I got started making these boots when I purchased a pair of tall boots that were too small in the calves, I cut them and folded and the rest is history.  I have certainly made MANY changes along the way to better my designs and become more refined and efficient.

canty boots

Photo by Taylor Kent

How do you manage the family/building your own business juggle?
Managing family and business can be exhausting.   I know that I need my husband to be 100% for me and supportive of my ideas, goals and visions or I cannot possibly be successful.  Thankfully, I have been blessed with more than just his support — he has become an integral part of every event and every major decision.  He is pretty awesome and I am grateful for his love.  I am so fortunate to work from home.  It has its drawbacks… it is NEVER quiet and I do not get to put in a ‘full work day’ ever but, I don’t pay childcare and I get to walk away from the work I am doing at any given time to spend time with my kids and not feel guilty about it.  I have to balance my energy, our schedules, and my workload with every family member and it can be stressful but it is doable.  Patience is required by everyone to make a home business work.

canty boots

Photo by Taylor Kent

Best advice for new designers just starting their business?
The best advice that I would give to new designers just starting off is to surround yourself with artisans.  Take part in events and shows that showcase talents of other artists.  You can draw inspiration from just about anywhere and it feels so good when you spawn a new idea.  Also and MOST importantly, draw inspiration from others but never ever try to duplicate another’s work.  You can always create the same finished product but you can’t duplicate the creative process…   stay true to YOUR visions and your own flow — it will take you so much further than a piggyback ride.


Favorite shops/fashion resources in MT?
My favorite place to shop for treasures is in a little store in Lolo, MT called Crazy Horse Consignment.  It is a small building PACKED with unexpected gems.  I am a FAN of consignment but this place has my heart.  The owners are genuine and fun and the store never disappoints. I love Head West on Main Street in Bozeman– for Old Gringo boots and pretty hand made goods and they also have a consignment basement. I love the antique stores in Four Corners and try to hit them up as often as possible. I am a fan of vintage and handmade items. They’re my jam!

Click here to visit Canty® Boots. 


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