We had the good fortune of connecting with Becky Durigan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Becky, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Owning my own business always felt like the direction I wanted to go, simply for the fact that I could have a better work/life balance. I kept facing the same question though, what the heck do I want to do? Well, what I realized over time is that photography has been the one and only constant in my life. Thoughts, beliefs, jobs, people – all changed over time. But photography stuck with me. When I first came upon Denver Photo Collective, several years ago, my first impression was ‘dang, this is a brilliant business plan and it literally checks all my boxes’. DPC thought through work/life balance, creativity and profitability. It was the perfect marriage and when I heard DPC was for sale, I didn’t skip a beat,
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’d have to say there was one company that really set me on a different path. Before I get to them, I’ll explain where I was at, mentally. About 10 years ago I had just got fired from a job. A job where I came to feel so small and so unimportant. My boss there would say inappropriate things to me like ‘Just because you’re pretty doesn’t mean you can get places’. Or ‘Wow, did you really go to college?’ And don’t forget ‘men are just better at sales’. Looking back on it, I realize how insecure, and terrible he made me feel. When I got fired, I remember feeling like ‘Am I even smart? I’ll never be able to do sales. I’m pretty pathetic’. I had no confidence and had no idea what I would do next. And then just 2 days later a friend just so happened to reach out and ask if I knew anyone needing a job. I knew he worked with super cars and that was about it. Long story short, he hired me as a sales associate for Xtreme Xperience. This was THE biggest life change I ever had. One second I was shy and insecure, the next I was flying around the country speaking to large crowds about sports cars safety. I didn’t have time to be anything but the best. And when I told my manager I didn’t think I could do sales, she said to me – Yes you can, just do it. She believed in me and that’s all I needed. From there I went on to become the Event Director and ran events all over country and South America. I managed 25 men and worked with thousands of people from all over the world. I was at the company for 3 years and I can’t thank them enough for helping me find my worth again, the team that became my family and skills that were instilled in me to this day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Having my best friend all to myself for a week would be amazing. The best way to start off the trip is to take her to Denver Biscuit Company straight from the airport. They have these amazing homemade biscuit breakfast sandwiches that are basically McGriddle’s on steroids. Best breakfast in Denver. The week would mostly look like brunch, family time, naps and dinner in – but we’d have to sprinkle these in: Coffee at Hunters Bay or Dutch Brothers Smoothie Bowls at Rush Bowls Broomfield Hiking at Three Sisters in Evergreen Lunch at my in-laws – they have the best mountain views! Street style photoshoot at Denver Milk Market Dinner at G Que and Yak and Yeti Hit up the local Crafted Wine & Spirits for any drink needs! Once we got all the food and people checked off, we’d honestly spend most of our time at my house. There’s nothing we love more than ordering a Rosati’s pizza, napping off our carb crash and hanging with our kids.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ok, so my husband would be the obvious answer for many reasons. But he’ll get his claim to fame later. Today I want to give my very good friend, Omar Jones, a shout out. Let me take you back a moment…It was about 11pm at night and I was sick with stress that the deal would fall through. I was pathetically texting my friends letting them know my dream is as good as gone as I realized we couldn’t come up with a down payment. But Omar said to me ‘This is just a small bump in the road. I wouldn’t let it go until the owner tells you it is sold. While you might not be in the position to buy, you might be in the position to add value to the studio.’ And then he made me laugh and said ‘Sometimes you have to crawl before you ball’! He was right, I have the skills and mindset to make this work – I just need to ASK. And so I did, and the owner said yes. Because of his words of encouragement I was able to drop my own ego and find a creative solution to earn my way in. Could she have said no? Sure. But at least I knew I did everything I could to reach for my dream, and it paid off.