Montana’s Woman-owned Business of the year is Kathleen “Nikki” Edmundson of Harrison, Montana, as named by the US Small Business Administration.
Edmundson began her business, Canty Boots in Butte, eight years ago. Edmundson was born and raised in Butte and graduated from the University of Montana-Western in Dillion with a degree in elementary education. She and her husband moved to the small town of Harrison so he could continue the family ranching business with his father.
Canty Boots began eight years ago in the Mining City of Butte when Nikki Edmundson bought a pair of eel skin boots in an antique store that were tight fitting and not very comfortable. To make the boots work, Nikki cut and folded the boot top and worked some magic so they felt good on her feet. While running errands in town that same day, men and women alike complimented her unique boots. Clearly, Nikki had something special and she wanted to share her designs with others.
Canty Boots is a unique boutique that celebrates individuality in every pair of boots they design. Nikki loves to create beautiful things, handmade with love, and brings new life to vintage cowgirl boots. The boutique also carries hats, scarves, jewelry and bags. The leather boots range from classic to extravagant and every pair is unique. Everything is designed, cut, sewn, packed and shipped from her store in Harrison. She is committed to providing high quality products with personalized service to her customers.
Nikki Edmundson reached out to the Butte SBDC in fall 2019 for help with marketing and input on how to increase visibility for her thriving boutique. The SBDC helped Nikki identity opportunities for grant funding and loan funding to help her grow her business.
In June of 2019, Canty Boots opened a brand-new flagship store in rural Harrison, Montana, a town with a population of 160 people. Canty Boots brings full and part-time jobs to this small town, pays competitive wages and has made a huge difference in this very rural community. The company currently employs three boot designers and a designated cobbler and plans to hire another employee in the spring.
As Canty Boots has gained recognition, sales have reached international markets. Nikki is passionate about her small business and her dedication, hard work, and vision drive her extraordinary success.
Canty Boots was nominated by Julie Jaksha, SBDC Regional Director, Headwaters RC&D, Butte.