Behind the Life of Kiks
Who are you, what have you done, and what are you doing? Tell us your story and what makes you unique.
Hey what’s going down? Im Cody Kiks from Canada, I’m formally known as a detailed high end fine custom jewelry designer, my team and I manufacture and create street culture diamond jewelry. My team & I steady travel worldwide. I've been a self made jeweller from the time I was about 16 to now. Every day over the last 15 years I’ve been improving my craft, staying consistent and building a reputable brand and a team stand behind it. At the beginning of all this I started driving around in my truck, wholesaling grillz and custom gold teeth, I transformed it into not only diamond and gold teeth, but into high end custom diamond service on watches, & full custom one off designed jewelry art pieces.
Now with the brick and mortar business in North america & traveling around networking, my business is reaching overseas. I’ve done a lot of custom pieces that I’m proud of, some for celebrity clientele like Anderson Paak, Machine Gun Kelly, Cordae, Demrick, Xzibit, & many others alike. Not only am I focused on the entertainment industry, but I'm heavily focused on far from ordinary citizens with unique ideas, and interesting brands. Since the beginning of this, my entire intention was to build a brand that can provide the highest quality materials and design to my clientele.
I think the most unique part for me has been really establishing grillz in my city, stretching across the country, I’m now known for creating the cleanest grillz in the country.
What businesses have you run before, and how did they help you get to where you are now? What type of business do you currently run?
I’ve always had extra side hustles throughout my jobs; curbing cars, buying motorcycles and bikes,
making them look good, fixing them up, & then selling them. The older I got, the more my hands got into the business of supply & demand, some real estate, buying and flipping houses, basically seeking out deals wherever I could & in whatever product and businesses I understood, to a certain extent.
The best thing that helped me get to where I am now is my network, & how I have been able to expand it by showing face, & doing good business. I’ve had one of my same phone numbers for over 15 years. Keeping that network of interesting clientele is how I started the jewelry hustle. I was initially purchasing items from my local goldsmith for myself & then started customizing them for my personal taste. My network and friends around me started getting me to handle their design and purchases of jewelry.
Currently I am still focusing on building the same jewelry brands that I started when I was 16, Gold Teeth Canada, Canadian Diamond Boyz, & Cashélysée.
What was your first ever venture and what did it teach you?
My first personally ran business would have been my trap line of snow removal and yard care. I took that seriously when I was about 11 or 12. I’d get up before school & hit all my houses, and business strips with the snow shovel so that it was done before the customers came in, & then I'd head down to school. Eventually, due to contract work, I was literally doing one shovel a month, & getting paid for the whole month because of a couple years of light to no snow. Throughout this time, I learnt that as long as I kept working I would be able to improve everything I was doing. Everytime I landed a new contract, it was from the work I had done previously. At one point I had almost every business under contract on the main street for their daily snow removal, & I was only 12 years old.
What made you choose this business / industry?
I didn’t take the jewelry business into my full time focus until I was about 22. Traveling and being able to learn the different trends and cultures, even only in North America, really helped me to expand my personal collection, and design for the jewelry, & the jewelry that I wanted for myself.
What is unique about you or your business?
One of the most unique things about myself & my team in this business is the fact that we are not just jewelers trying to turn a profit and make the money, It’s our lifestyle. We wear our personal jewelry on the daily & have done so since we were able to complete that first goal of the gold chain around the neck. That has always given us an upper edge of practical, quality, and/or a proper investment for your money. It’s tried, tested, & we actually use the product.
How did your business get started and what motivated / inspired you in this process?
My friend lined me up with my first grill from Houston, he was up here playing football, and had a relationship with some people down there. He already had some permanent gold teeth, but he also had another set that you could pop in and out. I waited a long ass time to get my grill, but when I got that shit I couldn’t stop smiling. That was pure motivation to be able to have anyone else feel like I did. I’m pretty understanding & interested in the process of everything. I took a course in New York just to get a little more inside knowledge on something no jeweler could understand. Once you know the process & believe in the product, It’s easier to sell anything.
What would you say are the biggest challenges when starting a business as an entrepreneur?
Probably just managing yourself, It’s easy to not get anything done when you’re the only one accountable for it. That’s why there’s slogans for “wantrapreneurs”. The only way to be in business is to do business, so if you just keep talking about doing business & not actually doing business, you’re always on the starting gate & never in the race. The whole process of starting a business is exactly how you get a business, you get a situation or a problem, & you find a solution. Everything has to be consistently improving. The motivation can get real tough whenever things don’t go smooth & you hit roadblocks, but you just have to keep digging and eventually you get to the other side.
How important is mindset when starting your own business? How important is mindset to you? How do you create a positive mindset? What do you do when you get into a negative mindset?
Whatever your mindset is, don’t just hope. Hoping doesn't get shit done, actually doing it gets it done. If your mindset is always in hope mode, you’re just basically waiting for something else to get done whatever the detail is. I like to keep my mind state more of the “cup is half full”, no matter what you have is what you have, just make the best and work with it. I create a better mindstate by setting goals and accomplishing them. Each small win gives me the confidence and the drive to stay away from the negative mindstate that is thrown at you everyday from people, setbacks, & the all out tough situations you deal with.
The challenge of everyday, from the concepts of running a business, establishing a footprint in North America, Europe, & around the Globe, helping people reach their own personal goals, & establishing their own brands as well. Being a leader & building our network larger, that’s exciting for me. Even the simple stuff, from doing custom bridal pieces & being a part of milestone moments means a lot.
What keeps you running when times get tough?
Slowing down to speed up, bringing it back to make sure you're taking care of myself, with my nutrition, my sleep, and my physical self care. Overall being grateful for what you have accomplished with goals, positions, or financials. Celebrating the wins, instead of focusing on all the negative, it will definitely help drive you to keep going.
What’s your secret to scaling a business?
Scaling I would say there’s shit that works and there’s shit that doesn't for each business. Everything leads back to your network. Extending in as many channels and avenues as you can to reach awareness, then consideration will eventually lead to doing business.
Is creating a team important? If so, how do you go about assembling a team? What do you look for when hiring? How important is a team to you? How many people do you have on your team?
The team is definitely the most important, who you have around you will play a huge part in how successful you will become. Creating the proper team will never happen overnight. Every one of our teammates fills a void that we are focused on improving. When you are hiring, you can tell a lot about a person of what they are willing to do before it just becomes about money.
I’m in this business to express, expand, & evolve my ability to create and build with an awesome team, giving other people opportunity that they would never have & doing something exciting, creative and motivating for everyone around keeps things exciting. That’s why I kinda keep to doing it to continue to leave a footprint and build pieces of art. I’m in it for the growth and detail & the process of the building of the team.
In business, if money is the sole focus, it usually tends to be short term situations. You need to have a proper balance. Being a leader of 15 plus people & directing them through the everyday demand to maximize the best outcome for the goals and business plan puts a heavy amount of pressure on myself as the leader, but it will help provide the confidence & trust to grow the team.
How do you differentiate yourself from your competition?
We actually live the lifestyle, we work harder to educate our clients instead of just taking the high road and moving to the next, we remain accountable for every single piece we provide to our clients. Another thing about our diamond setting is that we established a new detailed form of diamond setting, where we are maximizing the total carat weight, while increasing the amount of diamonds we can put into the same project in artistic form & artistic layout for each of the projects that we set with diamonds. Our designs are more unique & different, we spend a lot of time & detail on completing each custom order. Even our pre fab items are not typical shit that you see at the mall.
Have you ever turned down a client? If so, why did you do it?
Yes, I have turned down multiple clients, the main reason being the budget not matching the dream. I’d rather turn down a client, have them save up their money, than take their money and give them something low quality that they wouldn’t be happy with. It doesn't make me feel proud of my work, picture yourself being a Lamborghini dealership and only selling the Lamborghini kit car. It looks like it, but it’s not the same thing.
What is the best piece you’ve ever worked on?
I would say the Rap Devil piece was pretty fun & the Vancouver Grizzlies piece… I like to do art pieces with a meaning behind them. There’s a lot of pieces that I felt were special to work on, the pieces that get me going are ones that have a story, one piece in general was the Family piece for the homie that’s been rollin with me since day one, he asked me to build a piece based around the family he created, so I put something together in a jewelry concept that was practical to wear every day, deep, and meaning full. I created the 18k rose gold family piece with all natural AAA rubies on a hand carved F, & bezeling the entire piece in quarts of the birthstones of each of the families birthstone, similar to the Rainbow Rolex, It was really challenging, but I think we really nailed the hand cut stones as best we could with the tapered baguettes, so that piece has a lot more meaning & has been worn everyday since the day I completed it. I have a few other pieces in the bank that have the same technical aspects & a strong in-depth meaningful design. I’ll definitely be dropping those when the time is right.
The rap devil was a cool piece to work on because it was an extreme topic at the time, people were going back and forth with it in the tabloids & it really brought out a lot in the culture. Nobody had done anything for Machine Gun Kelly like that before & being able to create that detail into small memorable piece was special. That’s a stage in his life that’s forever, you know. From there on we got get him laced up with some OG London Slugs that have been seen in the music video for Rowdy featuring Yelawolf.
What was your biggest, most painful failure? What did you learn from this mistake/failure?
I never really looked at anything as being failed or a failure, but If I could have started taking it serious sooner I would have. My biggest mistake was not traveling more when I had the opportunities.
On the flip-side, what was your biggest success? Was it important, and if so why?
My biggest most proud success was to create an ecosystem for my team and the people around me to better their life, provide the best customer service, experiences, and products that symbolize other people's accomplishments, milestones, and goals. We have a family run business with no family in it at all.
How has your childhood influenced you?
My dad always taught me to work for shit if I wanted it. It wasn't always physical items or materialistic things, but setting goals and accomplishments, helping people around me and advancing my personal best. One of the real reasons why I do like money is so I don't have to worry about what myself and anyone around me can afford. It always brings me back to when there was no money but we put the work in right and together as a team.
What was school like for you? How did this influence where you are now?
School was not my favourite, I did not like to be there as much as I should have for what their goal was set for me, but I took the best parts of it and participated in that. For the rest of my time, I just worked on myself to benefit my head start.
Do you plan on retiring? Why or why not?
No, I don't plan on retiring, I want to build this brand and business that I’m working on long beyond my time. When I'm at the point where my excitement and attention is not sufficient to lead this business, I would shift directions into doing the next thing I want to do.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
I just want to be known for all the good business, building skyscrapers in little towns, raising a solid family, & building the dopest teams.
If you had one piece of advice to give to someone starting out, what would it be?
Do the shit that makes you happy & find a way for that to feed your life.
Is there anything else you would like to add that would help us tell your story to the media?
None of this at all would be possible for you to read without my Assistant Hailey Anastasia helping me, so try not to let your team down, you need them.
You can't make this $h!t up!
More on this interview here: Thrive Global