Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Corina Carrillo-Claxton | Salon i& Boutique Owner

I wanted to create a space that was intimate and cultivated with the understanding that women are so hard on themselves and the changes our bodies go through, that it was time to give back confidence and assurance. Read more>>

Evan Harden B.C.H. | Performance Coach and Hypnotherapist

When I was 16 years old I was shot. the bullet left me less than a capable athlete. when i got older I used the methodology to recover and become a champion athlete. recognizing the incredible benefits of the holistic approach with the lack of health and wellness information provided to underserved communities, I wanted to fill that gap. Read more>>

Clinton Webb | Founder & Creative Director at Agave Studio

Starting my own business has really been in the back of my mind since I entered workforce. I got my degree in marketing and journalism plus taught myself graphic and web design principles after an eye-opening college course on design. After graduation, I found myself working the agency life and came to find out that it really wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Nick Gilbreath | Head Coach and Owner- Sup Town CrossFit

After graduating from the Colorado School of Mines in 2006 with a degree in civil engineering I worked in the field for about 5 years. I didn’t hate what I did but I soon realized that I never wanted to have any of my bosses jobs. I was always looking for ways to get into the fitness industry so when a chance to open a personal training gym arose in 2011, I jumped at the opportunity. Read more>>

Audrey Christensen | Artist | Business Educator for Creatives

I never set out to be a business owner. I grew into being an artist that grew into being a business owner. It was something that just had to become. There was such a need for me to share my art with others that the only way to do that was to start a business. Read more>>

JULINE GILMORE | Owner, Gilmore Voice Studio

I knew I wanted flexibility and the opportunity to develop my own brand. While I enjoyed teaching in academia for seven years (University of Nevada Las Vegas, in the 2000s), and then for a local music school in Louisville, CO for a couple of years, I had a strong desire to work for myself. Read more>>

Natalie Elsberry | Owner, Entrepreneur, Florist

After working from my basement providing flowers to brides for over a decade the thought came to me that we should be servicing more of Lincoln. After a flower conference the idea solidified, and the intense process began. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, I was always trying to sell something like suckers to pay my way thru scuba school in High school or set up a carnival in my front yard for neighbor kids, I did a little stint as a “wedding planner” before I fell in love with flowers. Read more>>

Kotryna Lamoyd | Small Business Owner, College Student, & Digital Illustrator

I opened up PEACHCREAMPRINTS first on Etsy in September of 2020, before I opened up my own online website earlier this year. I was working at the same retail store job since high school and really wanted to pursue something more meaningful as I was beginning my college educational career at the time. Read more>>

Angelina Lontz | Photographer

At the time I started taking photography seriously, I was unable to work a regular job. I had a health scare in August of 2020 that kept me from working for a long time. I remember one day my dad asked me what I wanted to do if I could work. I’ve always loved working with dogs, and with my new physical limitations my options were limited. Read more>>

Paula Roth | Certified Dog Trainer

I started the Puppy Coach because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of puppies and newly adopted dogs, and for their pet parents as well. There are so many dogs that are relinquished to shelters due to a behavioral issues that can be solved with just a little knowledge and patience. Read more>>

Ashley Montoya | Photographer

I’m currently a Travel RN & after some health scares and the demand of nursing I decided to pick up an old hobby I started years ago. I wanted to be a photographer before I was accepted into nursing school. Now a decade later & some major changes in my life the timing was right. Read more>>

Katherine Malinoski | Owner and Artist of Serenity Acres of Kiowa, Ltd.

I have always wanted to operate my own small business, I can’t remember a time when I lost that burning desire, it has always been a part of me. My grandparents were from Hungary and lived through the Great Depression in New York City. Grandma kept everything she ever bought, she saved her treasure in quirky boxes of every size with slender handwritten labels sporting her cursive in red ballpoint pen. Read more>>

Megan Smith | Micro dosing Coach & healer & yoga teacher & Jewelry Maker

Growing up and throughout our lives, my sister and I have dealt with a lot of trauma. transmuting it into a positive has been a lifelong process so far. we think you have a choice to be a healer or a victim and what you go through can either be a help to you and others or a detriment. We have found a way to transmute our own traumas and contunie to daily. Read more>>

Michael Brown | Car audio technician/fabricator

This is a hard question, After over 20 years of working in the car audio industry for other shops that where strictly quantity over quality. I wanted to give my customers a different experience, I want every customer to leave happy and feel confident about their purchase and work done on their vehicles. Its pretty gratifying to hear a customer that just walked into my shop tell me how good the reviews are and how nice the shop looks. Read more>>

Paul Fleschler | Head Coach, Front Range Weightlifting Club

Well, Front Range Weightlifting Club is not really a business per se if you look at my bottom line. It’s definitely more of a passion. I started Front Range Weightlifting in 2001 to try to introduce youth in the community to the sport of Weightlifting. Read more>>

Johnny Lombino | Owner- SOL Paddle Boards

I started SOL Paddle Boards because there wasn’t a brand that offered the HIGHEST quality boards with a fantastic 5 year warranty. I knew that our construction techniques were the best and that we could achieve our goals! Read more>>

Derek York | Fisheries Biologist/Fishing Guide/Podcaster

Having already worked for nearly 15 years for the state of Texas in fisheries management, I was well on my way to a good career that could last as long as wanted. A great job in the outdoors was always my dream growing up and I had achieved that, but there was always something I enjoyed so much by taking other people fishing. Read more>>

Damion Wilde | Professional Auto Detailer & Entrepreneur/Business Owner

My thought process is having the mindset of wanting to work harder for myself than working for some else. Thinking of how much do I want to put in to how much i want to get out of it. In the auto detailing world there is plenty of opprotunity since there are vehicles everywhere and they all have the potential to be brought back to that dealer finish depending on the defects and damages. Read more>>

Irete Hamdani | Founder and CEO at askBelynda

askBelynda was founded as a result of our personal journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. We are all becoming increasingly environmentally aware, and this impacts our decision-making when purchasing products or services. Researching how eco-friendly a product or service is, requires time, expertise and effort – something the average shopper doesn’t have. Read more>>

Jeff Stoneking | Personal Chef

We started this at the beginning of the pandemic. It was not planned I was laid off and was getting contacted by some former regulars that I had met as a restaurant chef to see if I could help them with food for very special events. Read more>>

Alexa Ray | Wedding & Family Photographer

Entrepreneurship was all I was ever really surrounded by when I was a kid. My dad was a fishing guide and my mom managed the family rental property. Nobody was on a 9-5 schedule at any point, so I viewed being self-employed as really the only way to make money for a long time. Read more>>

Broken Babes | Accessible production group

Wanting to create a safe and accessible place for all types of performers. Performing in Denver for over 6 years we found that it’s not accessible to a lot of performers and even some audience members. It’s hard to feel welcome in a place when you can’t access it, and we wanted to change that. Read more>>

Paula Johansen-Riley | CEO & Managing Partner

i wanted to create a store that people would enjoy, not only the selection of items, but also the atmosphere and interacting with the staff. Read more>>

Kim Carlson Angela Hesemann | Kim Carlson & Angela Hesemann | Co-Founders, BreakAway Meetings

We (Angela & Kim) were both event managers in Downtown Denver hotels prior to the pandemic – Kim at the Hilton Denver City Center, and Angela at the Grand Hyatt. As soon as Covid hit and all events canceled, we were furloughed and eventually laid off from our positions. Read more>>

Shamai + Joe Buckel | Founders

We are creatives at heart and always wanted to build a brand with a great story. Nestling into the West Elk Mountain Range, we found our sense of place at the headwaters of the Gunnison River. The main focus of our winery project is to showcase Colorado-grown grapes from small family farmers on the Western Slope of Colorado, where the majority of our state’s fruit is grown in the hot summer days and cool evenings. Read more>>

Melissa Granados | Cake & Cookie Artist

During my high school years, I discovered my love for the art of baking and decorating those baked goods. From then on, it was a thing I always included in my daily life. During that time, I would only bake for my family and friends. Read more>>

Kenya Sade | Owner/CEO of BBgirllooks

Before I started this business I was in a confused state of mind regarding my future. I had graduated college years prior and still felt like I was missing something. I didn’t want the behind the desk 24/7 job..quite frankly I didn’t want any job that had a boss. It just wasn’t me; it never has been. Read more>>

Yuan Jie Wen | Owner of Callowhill Archery

The center city Philadephia was quickly developing with young professional moving in and there was a need for more recreational activities. I wanted to introduce the sport of archery into the City of Philadelphia and at the same time New York City has three indoor archery ranges. Read more>>

Sara Johnson | Digital Marketer & Agency Founder

I was working at a large agency in Chicago doing digital media buying on the search marketing. I was trying to pay off student loans so I was helping smaller agencies around town with their digital media. During that work, I realized that small agencies were struggling to learn digital media because the engines didn’t pay any attention to them because their budgets weren’t big enough. Read more>>

Shari Caudron | Author and Memoir Coach

I’ve always been self-employed, so my thinking around my career has not been what business am I going to start, but what am I going to focus on next. I began freelancing for magazines soon after college and my writing career gradually took me from writing and reporting articles using the distant third-person perspective, to writing essays, columns and books using the much more intimate first-person viewpoint. Read more>>

Sarajane Snowden | Wife, Mother and Snowden Meats Manager

My husband and I grew up on cattle ranches. When we went out on our own and had are own cows we experienced first hand the frustrations of being price takers and taking break even prices for our calves. This encouraged us to take our beef all the way to consumer creating sustainability in our cattle business. This year (2022) we expanded our business from just selling locally to having the ability to ship all over the United States. Read more>>

Jonathan Applegate | Artist & Innovator

At the beginning of our partnership we didn’t have a clear idea leading us toward starting a business. Instead we were focused on understanding more about the art that has already been created so we would have a better gauge to determine if the oneLINE is truly unique. Spoiler alert – it is. We visited so many of the world’s best museums. Read more>>

Kyle Beavers | Owner/Craftsman

It’s actually pretty simple. I was very tired of losing sleep over other people’s dreams. Read more>>

Elliot Moore | Founder, Music & Moore Foundation | Music Director & Conductor, Longmont Symphony Orchestra

Like many people, the pandemic was a time for me to take stock and reflect on where I was in my life, what was meaningful to me, and how I wanted to make a lasting contribution to society. At the beginning of the pandemic, I saw music students across the country leaving their schools — often without their instruments — attempting to continue their school music lessons via distance learning. Read more>>

David Evetts | Motorcycle mechanic & adventurer

I had a career job through my 20’s, for 8 years building skills an confidence, eventually becoming the operations manager for a small forestry company. When this job fell out from under me, and with years of pondering what i should really do for my life behind me, I knew this was the time to jump in with both feet. Read more>>

Vennessa Rena’ | Destination Elopement Photographer

I really wanted a creative outlet. I love being able to capture and be part of special moments for clients. I am humbled by the clients who have chosen me to capture their special moments. I look at the client loyalty and brand I’ve built and believe it truly reflects my intentions from the beginning. I wanted to create a space where I could offer quality services and imaging at an affordable price point. Read more>>