We had the good fortune of connecting with Becky Schwartz Nuttall and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Becky, is there something you believe many others might not?
Play it safe, Make sure you have a years worth of financial backing before you start a business.

I started b. schwartz photography when I was in college. I had no money and little experience. I was in the midst of photography school, I didn’t want to work flipping burgers or nanny someones kids. so I used the tools I had and the talents I was given and I started a business I was 20 years old and had no idea what I was doing on the business side of things I didn’t have a ton of money in the bank, I didn’t even really have a business plan but in that season of life it didn’t feel risky, it felt like this was what you do when you are an artist, you just go for it, you make it happen!

Now, almost 14 years later I have a business I am proud of, work that brings me joy and a second business born off of the same passion and drive I have to serve my couples and the love I have for weddings and events.

I have now started CLAY Venues with my husband Aaron. It is an urban industrial wedding and events venue in Downtown Colorado Springs.

We knew we wanted to start CLAY one day. It was always the “one day dream” “we will do that one day” we would say. We moved to Colorado Springs 4 years ago and realized there were no urban wedding venues, there was a need in the market so we took the leap and made the one day dream a right now dream. We didn’t have every single duck in its row, we had never done anything like this, nut here we are, starting a dream in the midst of a crazy time and learning to make it work. Don’t always listen to the nay sayers, its the ones that encourage you and push you after your dreams that you should listen to,

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have been a wedding photographer for over 12 years after graduating from college. I love capturing couples’ big day with photography, but grew to wanting to own a wedding venue a few years into my career. I started photographing weddings in and around Santa Barbara California, but moved back to Colorado (I am a native) in 2015. I met my husband in 2016 and we were married a year later.

My husband and I decided to jump into owning a wedding venue in 2019. Thankfully we did not know what was going to happen in 2020. By the time COVID hit, we were already fully committed financially to creating CLAY Venues. Buildout for the venue took a long time while the pandemic was in full swing thankfully, but it was far from easy starting a business that relies on large gatherings during COVID restrictions as you would imagine.

Despite all of the financial challenges, we are glad we decided to just go for it with opening CLAY. We invested everything and then some to make it happen, which was scary to say the least. We have shed a good amount of blood, sweat & tears throughout the process, but have kept the resolve to push through whatever comes our way. We have had to pivot our business to adapt to our clients and regulations, but that is no different than any other time owning a business.

We are extremely excited to bring a fresh take on a wedding venue to Colorado Springs with a space that you can mold to your style. CLAY is a place where I can create a space that I would like to host an event or get married at. Colorado Springs is a great place to live and we are excited to see and be a part of the growth of the city.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are a lot of awesome places and things to do in Colorado Springs.

For restaurants: 503W, Narai Thai, Il Vicino Pizza, Snooze, COATI, Dos Santos, Hafa Adai, Lucky Dumpling and Odyssey Gastropub would be at the top of the list.

For drinks: Axe & the Oak Distillery, Bristol Brewing, Goat Patch Brewing, 503W, Mash Mechanix Brewing, The Golden Bee, COATI and Shuga’s.

Coffee: Story Coffee, Loyal or Good Neighbors are my favorite.

Sites and things to do: Visit Garden of the God’s, hike in Cheyenne Canyon (Mt. Muscoco), go Climbing at Springs Climbing Center or City Rock, go on a short hike in Palmer Park, go on a bike ride downtown and on Santa Fe trail, visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and feed the giraffes and take a drive on Gold Camp road.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We have been supported by so many wonderful people not only in the wedding industry but in our Colorado Springs community. We love our city and feel privileged to be a part of such an amazing community. As we head into the 2021 wedding and event season, we cannot wait to help our couples and clients bring their visions to life with some of the best in the industry by our side. We truly could not pull off the events we do without this community.

Website: clayvenues.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clayvenues/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clayvenues

Image Credits
Century Tree Photography bschwartz Photography

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