We had the good fortune of connecting with Alan & Kellie Ogle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alan & Kellie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Both my husband and myself have always had the entrepreneur spirit. We worked 8-5 jobs from age 20 to about 6 years ago when we took over Westminster Mile High Karate. My husband was an independent consultant for a few years but his heart was just not into it. He was a programmer for smart homes. I have owned my own freelance Graphic Design business for 10 years but I have always done that on the side while working full time. I would find these wonderful clients and they would hire me full time, I could never say no because the work was exciting. But in my heart that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I hated being on the clock and growing someone elses business. I wanted something of my own. Something I could be proud of. I have always marched at the beat of my own drum and I am always drawn to leadership rolls. My husband has the same personality. He tends to gravitate more to the worker bee roll so with those two personality traits, it really does benefit us as business owners. I have always wanted to make a difference. Owning a karate school is not only impacting the kids that join but it is also impacting the families and community in a positive way. We are creating leaders to help aid in a better future for us all. Its rewarding yet hard work. I still own my freelance business and have several clients that I have consistently worked for over the past 10 years. I like to be busy and I work much better when I am juggling too many things.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Both Alan and I are extremely proud of the hard work we have put into this karate school. When we first took over the school the last owners burned a lot of bridges in the community. We had schools that didnt want to give us a chance to be apart of their enrichment programs, we had to build relationships with the city and near by cities, we didnt just start from zero, we started from negative. But we took that as a challenges and I can proudly say we are respected in the community. Schools come to us from enrichment programs and gym teacher of the day, the city lets us know when there is a vendor opportunity or volunteer opportunity. We have built a positive reputation and we will continue to move forward in a positive way. We also both came from very different backgrounds. Alan being a programmer (a very introverted profession). I came from graphic design and marketing (which has really helped us). But neither of us came from a martial arts background except for the few years of training before we took over the school. There was definitely a learning curve. I was a gymnastics coach in the teens which has definitely given me the edge as a coach/instructor. But this industry is ways different than either of us have ever experiences (Computer technology, construction, healthcare, just to name a few industries both my husband and I have been involved in). We have made a lot of mistakes but we learned and continue to grown in a positive way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would definitely go hiking, maybe have them experience their first 14er (after they acclimate to this altitude of course). Maybe check out a concert at red rocks (actually my nephew comes in town this week and we will be hitting up a concert next week, That seems to be on everyones bucket list for Colorado). Definitely walk around down town, the Rhino District, Art District. El Five is a must for eating. Probably take them to an authentic Mexican restaurant. Most other states dont really know what good Mexican food is. There are so many things to do in Colorado. Probably go to estes so they can see the Stanley Hotel in person (again, taking my nephew). Water water rafting and/or zip lining. This list could go on and on.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When we took over Westminster Mile High Karate 6 years ago and it was during a time that my husband, Alan, got laid off from his programming position, he was lost and didn’t know which direction to go next in his career. At the time, my husband, two daughters and myself were students at Mile High Karate working towards our first degree black belts. When he got laid off, he spoke to one of the franchise owner, Stephen Oliver, about putting our payments on hold until he found a new job which then turned into us taking over this Westminster school. If it wasn’t for Grand Master Stephen Oliver and Grand Master Jeff Smith (franchise owners) giving us a chance to prove that we could take a school that experienced a lot of changes, different owners, managers and successfully transform it to the karate school it is today, we would have completely different lives. We are so grateful to them for giving us this chance. We hope that we continuously make them proud that they made the right decision and took a chance on us.