There’s a bold spirit in everyone. And with a bold spirit comes timeless collections that capture the essense of each movement and generation. Bulova reminds us that time is what we make of it, and believes in embodying the legend within. Our Bulova BOLD Women Series connects you with inspiring women who embody being Bold at Heart. Here, we’ll learn about their stories and hear how they are creating timeless moments.
Meet Nicki Laborie; Owner Reyna Hospitality Group and Partner & Founder of View the Vibe
Social Media Handle: @nickilaborie
Much more than a single timepiece, being Bold at Heart is a state of mind. What does being BOLD mean to you?
Bold is one of my favourite words – and used a lot in my company – as it truly represents my beliefs in everything we do at REYNA and who I am as a person. To me, bold means being brave. It’s being passionate and following your dreams. It’s the opposite of fear. It’s taking (smart) risks. It’s thinking outside the box. It’s being an inspiration to others. It’s being strong enough to get through the toughest roads. These are things I strive to inspire within the REYNA team and everything we create. Our food has bold flavours and unique concepts, our restaurant designs are bold and, I like to think, stand out. And just choosing to be a female restaurateur (with no partners) I would say is bold because it not an easy hat to wear!
What are some patterns you have noticed that the BOLD women in your life have?
Strength is a big one – all the women in my life are strong and have worked hard for their successes, whether in family or in business or in both; believing in themselves and in each other; surrounding themselves with people who make them better vs. tear them down. And I always say it’s a great thing not to be the smartest person in the room, so we all strive to learn from and help each other. I must admit that I am surrounded by some outstanding women, most of which are also successful entrepreneurs and all hard-working, supportive, kind and generous people.
The Bulova Bold at Heart Campaign is all about knowing where you come from and to have the courage to take a new step forward. What gives you courage to live out your story?
I am simply born that person. I have many times questioned my courage to take so many risks because it’s not always been the easy route. And more often than not, it’s been the hard one. But I was raised by a very entrepreneurial father who I watched build a company from the ground up. I saw the ups and saw a lot of downs. I saw the depression that can ensue from a failing business and the perseverance that it required to save it and then come out more successful than before. It was his boldness that inspired me to always follow my dreams. But he was also very tough on me – I had to earn everything and school was very important. He taught me a work ethic like no other. But he never stopped me from trying something I wanted to do – even when he disagreed. And when he was right, he just watched me fall on my face and told me to get up again. But it is because of him that I have always been a free-spirited, risk-taking entrepreneur that believes anything is possible.
Everyone’s story is comprised of many chapters, what was one of the most influential ones in your journey?
Influential chapter… I’ve had many. But I think the most powerful one was actually during COVID. The various emotions we all felt had everyone going through some major life realizations. For me, it forced me to slow down and get in touch with my spirituality, which tends to disappear when restaurant life is crazy busy. I was able to meditate, journal, exercise, sleep, and spend time alone. I even created a vision board, and I am happy to say much of it has happened, including moving back to NYC to open REYNA. So while COVID originally had me in a state of high fear of losing the businesses, once we pivoted and figured that part out, I found myself with the luxury of time. And in that time, I worked on becoming a better version of myself.
The image we present to the world through our fashion and accessories can help us to feel empowered. What’s one thing you put on that makes you feel BOLD?
I love fashion and actually went to FIT in NYC 30 years ago. I ended up in food but always believed food and fashion co-exist. I don’t think I can identify one thing in particular that I put on to make me feel bold. It’s an overall look and I need to be comfortable because I am constantly moving and on the go. I like to pair a bold colourful blazer with jeans and kitten heels. I wear a lot of colour. I pair fancier items with more casual, like wearing a suit with Adidas runners (I am an adidas junkie). I also wear a pink diamond crown necklace that I bought myself years ago when I opened REYNA. I would describe myself as a bohemian chic businesswoman. And that’s my version of bold.
What would your 15 year old self be most proud of that you have accomplished?
I have dreamt of owning a restaurant since I was a little girl. To own four in 2 cities is more than I ever dreamed of and while challenging, I still pinch myself when I think about what I’ve created to date, and what is yet to come.
Our timepieces offer more than functionality, they can symbolize an accomplishment, be passed down as a family heirloom, etc. Do you have a story about a timepiece that holds a specific memory for you?
I didn’t, but I do now. I recently opened REYNA and Le Louis, an upscale lounge, in NYC, which are the most challenging projects I have ever taken on. To see both grow and thrive is an indescribable feeling and what I consider an accomplishment I am very proud of. My new Crystal Bulova watch will be that special timepiece that will highlight this very special time in my life.
What do you hope is the legacy you will leave behind?
I am not married, nor did I ever have kids. So, when I think of my legacy, given that REYNA means “queen” in Spanish, I would love to see it open in more markets and become an established restaurant brand that people love and that inspires more females to join the hospitality business to create beautiful restaurant experiences. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s a male-dominated industry and while I love men, us ladies have an attention to detail that this business really benefits from. I hope the REYNA legacy can help the hospitality world accept and welcome more women as leaders and innovators in this industry.
Last modified: June 19, 2023