We had the good fortune of connecting with Carrie Horn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carrie, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I came up with the idea for Bold Story, I was on a run in my neighborhood, and it was a run where I was feeling really fast, very strong. In the back of my mind, like many runs leading up to this one, there was this kind of subconscious question on my mind that I couldn’t answer. What was the next step in my career? If I’m being totally honest, maybe it was a question that I had been asking myself for several years. At the time, I was the senior marketing director for 5280 magazine. I loved many things about the job, but I thought the hardest part to leave would be the  incredible people I worked with there. When we entered into lockdown due to the pandemic in March of 2020, the office was sent home to work remotely. In the time spent in my home office, I realized something. I always thought I would hate working from home and that I would feel very isolated. But I didn’t, I don’t! I love the freedom of the schedule and the ability to focus. I can still collaborate, I can still grab a coffee or a glass of wine with a colleague and I can still have those social moments I crave, AND I can get some quality work done! So anyway, I was on this run, this amazing run. And I just thought, what if I simply tried to take on a few marketing projects? What if I took it one step further? What if I just let myself think about a name for a company? What would it be? As I ran, I began to brainstorm. I remember the exact house I was in front of when the name Bold Story popped into my head. For some reason, once I had the name, once I felt how exactly it represented me and what I wanted to do, I knew I was going to go for it. In that moment I knew there would be risk, and it wouldn’t be easy for so many reasons. I also knew right then and there, I had to try to create this marketing consulting business and see where it could take me.

What should our readers know about your business?
Even though I started Bold Story in September of 2020, it really began many years ago. My father, now retired, was a communications professor, so I was introduced to the possibility of a career in this field a long time ago. As a part of my dad’s role at Ithaca College in Upstate New York, he ran the internship program. He loved it. You could sense the joy it brought him to foster and encourage his students to find a path to success. In the summer, I used to go to New York City with him and visit the TV shows, media outlets, and agencies where his students interned. As we met with these professionals, I began to realize my dad knew a lot of people! Each person that oversaw an intern my dad placed was held in very high esteem. I began to understand the power of a strong network at a young age. Since the moment my dad introduced this concept of networking to me, this sort of gathering people if you will, I’ve been constantly getting to know as many people as possible. First of all, I think it’s an honor to learn about people and their stories. Second of all, I love helping people where I can. I’ve always loved mentoring interns and giving people encouragement. At first I was networking to find a job. Then I was networking to be successful at my job. Then this gathering of people evolved full circle. I have so many stories about how the people in my sphere have added value, joy, tools, new paths, or a different perspective to my life. I worked at 5280 magazine for nearly ten years. In that tenure I met hundreds if not thousands of people and I gained this intrinsic knowledge about the Mile High City. That is what sets my business apart. I know about the people of Denver, what they like, how they buy, why they live here. I know about every cultural institution, the history, the future plans. I’ve met people across every industry, I’ve learned the ins and outs of different categories of business. Here’s my approach: help find my client’s superpower and leverage my network to create awareness. Perhaps they come to me with a solid understanding of their brand, or maybe they need help pinpointing their magic. In either case, I like to start where they are, and go from there. I have fifteen plus years of experience. I aim to truly discover what my clients need. It may be PR, it may be content development, it may be strategic alliances or it may be an event. Maybe they need all of those things, some of them need a strong thought partner. We may start with content building and move on from that to partnerships, and then maybe we go back to content development. It’s a dance, but it starts and ends with my client’s superpower. Each one has a magic, and I focus there, on the value differentiation.

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.
Those that know me, know that I have a deep love of the outdoors, and that’s why my family lives in Colorado. Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up and going out on the town. My shoe closet is vast and you’ll always find me in a put together outfit during the week (at least before the pandemnic). But on the weekends, you can almost always find me in the mountains sporting athleisure and camping or skiing or hiking. My perfect itinerary for entertaining guests is an exquisite dinner downtown at LeRoux and perhaps visiting Clyfford Still Museum and a night cap at Postino in LoHi. The next day I would absolutely whisk my visitor away to the hills. Depending on the season, we’d hike, camp or ski. I’m a big fan of having my family with me at all times. We’ve done all the outdoor activities with our kids in tow since they were just months old. If I could sneak it in, this weekend would include brunch. I love a good brunch at Syrup.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To start this company, I needed a few things. I needed encouragement, I needed confidence, I needed expert help, I needed a believer, I needed to align my head and heart and I needed simply, friends who would listen. Plus, I may not have known it at the time, but I needed the amazing entrepreneurial spirit in Denver.  My brother, Alan Williams is essentially the smartest person you’ll ever meet, so naturally I called him up as I was planning to start Bold Story. Part of me thought he’d say I was crazy. But he didn’t, he let me talk it through, he listened, and then he encouraged. My dad instilled in me an organic confidence at a young age. Both of my parents, Wenmouth and Nancy Williams, give me unconditional love and give me a confidence to move forward with my passions. I have a former boss, Dominic Amenta, who started his own company, DPA Communicationsin Boston. I knew while I was talking to him, that I could always call him for an expert opinion. An honest opinion. He’s someone who will push me, give me ideas and who will always create positive energy. My husband, Bryan Horn, is my forever believer. You know you found the right person when you feel like you can do anything and there isn’t a question about it. Whenever we’d talk about Bold Story prior to creating it, it was as if we didn’t even question the success, and that’s because he believes in me. Aligning head and heart is an action I believe everyone should take. My friend, and founder of The Human Blueprint, James Davis-Massey guided me to be able to bring into sync my passion and my strengths and have the courage to take this step. Two of my good friends, Tazia Strausser and Gwendolyn Doyle gave me a lot of their time in the first few days of creating this business. If I called to ask if the logo was right, how the website looked, or what to do next, they always listened. I have so enjoyed getting to know small business owners, independent practioners, creatives and members of the gig economy in the Mile High City. There are few places where a newbie competitor is welcomed, and I can tell you that the team spirit of helping others succeed here is high. Thank you to all the individuals on this list and everyone in my sphere who gave me positive energy to make it happen!

Website: www.boldstorymarketing.com

Instagram: @bold.story.marketing

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrieannhorn/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bold.Story.Marketing

Image Credits
Photograph of me in the beige sweater: Brenica Lynn Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.