We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment business. I planned all my school dances as I served as Class President 3 out of the 4 years at Clark High. I received the Millennium Scholarship for the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I cheered and studied business while attending. My passion was so strong for event planning I decided to transfer to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise in Los Angeles where I received my degree in Visual Communications.
While attending FIDM, I interned with JL Pomeroy at JLine Productions (JumpLine Group), which sealed the deal for me, that I knew entertainment marketing was my forever career. I worked in West Hollywood assisting with awards shows like The People’s Choice Awards, Screen Actor Guild Awards, Fashion Shows, and private LA celebrity events. I fell in love with the process to make an event come to life. It gave me LIFE!
After graduating from FIDM, I moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina. It was hard to find a job in my chosen career field so I worked at a pizza shop while volunteering on a Street Team at a local radio station. I landed a part-time job at Cumulus Broadcasting as the Promotions Assistant. Since I had spare time I started my first company with a few friends called Massive Concepts Inc. We planned celebrity-hosted events for ourselves/record labels, ran a promotions team, provided graphic design, marketing, and video production services. After a few years and some life changes between all us business owners, the time had come for me to spread my wings and I traveled planning celebrity hosted events across the country working with various hip-hop artists.
Although I had an amazing time, my schedule was non-stop and I wanted a break. In 2009, I moved back home to Las Vegas where I worked in Property Management for Camden, a fortune 500 company. I learned how to run million dollar budgets, manage teams, and how to market on a corporate level. A few days into the 2016 New Year, Camden gave us a 90-day notice that they were selling the Las Vegas portfolio, which left us laid-off from at the time the #7 Best Place to Work in the nation.
Heartbroken, I had to make an impulsive decision to work for another management company with a salary around $20,000 less than I was used to making. Bills needed to be paid. I started designing again to make ends meet for the meantime by freelancing for clients from my previous business and locally. Naturally the passion burned back inside me to take more marketing projects. Referrals started pouring in from other businesses inquiring about my marketing services.
After leasing up my current property I was managing to 95% occupancy I was fired under the Nevada No Cause reason. The realization came that I loved helping other people pursue their dreams. Resourcefully I was offering a unique package for small majority minority owned businesses to build a professional brand identity at an affordable cost. In 2017, the decision came with no hesitation that it was time to start my marketing agency Set Life Images. The thought behind my agency would be that my services would incorporate all my experience from how to put together a street team to how to present a clean corporate image even though you’re a small business. Clients receive real life tips and tricks I have found through my trials and errors to craft a seamless marketing campaign to ensure success for launching the right way, and how to sustain their business with a focus on how to budget your business so they are making money. Since the start of Set Life Images goal has been to fill a void to provide professional marketing campaigns that spoke to the urban community.
Sometimes in life the one thing we think was sent to destroy us was sent to help form our true authentic selves. As much as I miss working at Camden, if they never made the decision to leave Las Vegas, I would still be a manager for the company. Let that sink in…. The takeaway is go live your dream whatever that may look like to you. The World needs YOU!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Outside of consulting other businesses I plan my own events, and have grown to love producing festivals. I am the Founder of the House of Vegas Pride Festival, which is a PRIDE that happens in August annually in Las Vegas, NV. The focus is uplifting the voices within the LGBTQ Las Vegas community while providing national exposure to local non-profit organizations hosting fundraisers during PRIDE weekend. We strengthen cultural connections through diverse celebrity hosted events while promoting non-conformity, health & wellness resources, and family activities for all. In 2018, I received a Proclamation from Mayor Carolyn Goodman for creating a unique, diverse and inclusive event that was unique to the City of Las Vegas. Proclaiming October 25th, Set Life Images Day.
The Set Life Images brand grew nationally through growing other brands (i.e. helping others). The expansion was evident to start a non-profit to give back to small businesses so I founded The Social Influence Foundation. The Foundation focuses on providing educational resources for young adults between the ages of 17-25. We also provide scholarships/grants to young adults seeking to go to college, or start a business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend is my Girl Friend and she received her passport. I am in the process of planning her first international trip to Jamaica my favorite island to visit. When I travel abroad I love staying at All-Inclusive resorts because they provide various restaurants, entertainment, and signature drinks. By staying at an all-inclusive resort I feel helps to focus on planning fun excursions off the resort that offer a cultural experience. The trip I have planned includes visiting the Dunn River Falls, tasting authentic Jamaican cuisine like Jerk Chicken, and visiting the historic mansion now known as the Devon house Gallery. When visiting other countries the best part to me is learning and taking in the culture to what makes the island unique.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to all the first people in my life to start me on my journey to who I am today. I would like to shoutout and thank God for always being in my life through all the ups and downs never giving up on me. I am thankful for my parents for offering a loving home to grow up in, and always encouraging me to be who I want to be no matter what society says. I appreciative that they stressed the importance for me and my brother to obtain a college education. I want to thank my very first mentor Chris York my High School/All Star Team Cheer Coach. He taught me to never give up on my dreams, and was the first person to encourage me to step out my comfort zone and go for something I wanted. He also helped me make the UNLV Cheer team and I cheered with him for one year. My first business partners Bruce, Abe, and C-Redd who assisted with showing me how to survive in a cut throat entertainment industry while having fun. Flo Knight who gave me the opportunity to work for Cumulus Broadcasting the number media company at the time where I learned the music industry on all formats. The first book that inspired me to focus on living my dreams was “Make It Happen” by Kevin Liles. I am truly grateful for all the support and mentors on my journey that pushed me to strive to be the best version of myself.
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Nicole on Cover – Las Vegas Pride Magazine Nicole on Cover – Fab Magazine The Burn Foundation Billboard – Designer Nicole Williams House of Vegas Pride Ad – Designer Nicole Williams