After leaving a coveted position at Pace Gallery in NYC for a spontaneous move to Paris, Nikki Cohen noticed she didn’t have one good place to save all of her recommendations or an easy way to share them with friends. Thus, the idea for Bon Voyaging was born.
In her interview, Cohen breaks down the practicals of starting and operating your own successful online platform.
Nikki Cohen is the Founder/CEO of Bon Voyaging, an online travel platform that allows discerning travelers to envision their trips and share itineraries. She aims to help all travelers find authentic experiences and explore new cultures.
Previously, she worked in the art world, most recently in the communications department at Pace Gallery as a special events manager. She oversaw special events, social media and marketing opportunities.
Cohen majored in Art History and History at Washington University in St. Louis and earned her masters in Visual Arts Administration at NYU.
Cohen earned Master of Business Administration at NYU Stern in 2014 all the while running Bon Voyaging.
As happens most times in you life, probably not just your twenties, life intervened.
My former director at the gallery that I had been working at in New York called and said she was coming to Paris pretty quickly.
And while she was there, she asked me to come back to New York to my job.
I decided that I would go back at the end of three months in Europe and work with them for six months and kind of, you know, set them up again – you know, rehire my position, train someone and take over while my former boss was on maternity leave.
So, after those six months were over, the next day… I got myself an office, and I started working full-time on Bon Voyaging.
I always knew it was something I was gonna do and was excited about it, but actually doing it was a completely different thing. It’s a total roller coaster ride. You just be prepared for ups and downs.
My biggest advice for any aspiring entrepreneur or someone who wants to start their own business is just get out there.
The world is really welcoming, especially here in New York City. There are literally thousands of meet-ups you can go to.
I remember I went to my first one, and I was very nervous – I was on the phone with my best friend. I was like, I can’t do this… I can’t walk in there. What am I gonna say?
And I went in and I met a girl who’s been so awesome, she’s so interesting, she’s taught me so much about travel. And it was totally worth it!
And now I go to events all the time, and you just have to, you know, have those business cards ready and just go up to someone and start chatting.
Even if it’s not in your nature necessarily, you just do it, and you meat fascinating people. And everyone really wants to help, which is really refreshing.
Cinematography: Danielle Calodney & Andi Velazquez
Interviewed by: Laura Lehmann