We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Montoya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Hello, my Name is Christina Acosta-Montoya. I am a Latina from Denver Colorado, born and raised on Denvers West Side to Robert and Sally Acosta. My father was a part time pastor and he worked for the City and County of Denver. My mother was a stay-at-home mother to my sister and I. I feel like my background and upbringing impacted who I am today, by watching and learning from the examples I’ve had in my 45 years of life. The earliest memories I have are when my parents organized a Food and clothes bank at our church. As children we would organize the food and clothes. Thinking back, I can remember understanding why in fact we were there. We were filling a community need.
My parents have always been active in the community if not through the church with family and friends. They reach out to people and offer assistance. Literally whenever needed. They took emergency foster care classes to care for my friend and her brother after a horrific incident in their family. They will help family, friends and strangers at the drop of a dime Either it being taking them a meal.. visiting with them or taking them to an appointment. For example to chemo therapy appts or sitting with them in their last moments.
This was the greatest example in my life. Parents that are full of compassion and grace.
We have a handful of leaders and entrepreneurs in our family. I started to think of going into business for myself in 2017. I reached out to my primo/cousin Pablo. Who owned T-Town Tattoo in Tooele, UT and had been a guest tattoo artist in places like Huntington Beach California and Las Vegas. He was on the cover of Tattoo Magazine at one point and we were in a similar industry. I reached out to him and he was going to sketch up a logo for me when I was ready.
My cousin unfortunately passed away in 2018 before he could do this for me. My cousin Larry Ortiz of Ortiz cycles a local legend in his own right. started mentoring me. We chatted a lot about dreams, wants and just the ups and downs of being a business owner. He is the one that pushed me the most. He said,” Well if it’s your dream you got to go get it and make it. there ain’t nothing easy about it.”
He always gave it to us straight! Lol
And he was right! Well I was going for it when covid hit. Fortunately I didn’t purchase the salon I was looking at. Lockdown happened. My cousin Larry died from complications from Covid-19.
Our family is still devastated from this loss! He was such a wonderful person and he Loved our family with his whole heart.
When he passed something happened inside and I thought to myself I have to live for them! Everyone always says,”Life is too short!” So I decided to go for it.
I actively started looking for a location. Taking all if the examples that I have had in my life, the advice, the experiences my upbringing. It all meshed together and I am now here.
My family including, my husband and my children, have always been about our community. My husband has been on the Denver Police Department for 26 years and we have done many community events.
My business partner and I are bringing tons of knowledge about our profession, mixing it with Love, respect for our guests and making our surrounding communities a part of our journey.
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?
I believe I touched on a lot of that in my previous story. I definitely feel like, starting a business is not easy. But what makes it enjoyable is knowing that you are actually creating this place to share with others. I’m most excited about starting this business with my partner. So many people look down on partnerships and to my partner Melina Cruz and I, we see it so differently. We are ready to face the challenges together. We compliment each other in so many ways and are excited about our business. We both come to the table in totally different places in our lives individually, That is what actually makes this the perfect partnership.
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?
Being a Denver Native, I would have to make sure my guests were ready to be on the go and gain some weight! Lol I would take my guests on a nice drive to tour the city. We would drive through downtown Denver by Union Station, the famous Casa Bonita, lakeside, Elitches, Rocky Mountain Arsenal. We would plan Water world for a day for sure! Maybe ride up to Estes park and take a tour of the Stanley hotel, eat some pizza and buy some Taffy! I’m sure a short hike would be in order because we would eat non stop.
Shopping for sure! Cherry Creek North strolling and shopping please and fun Colorado gear from Aksels! Such Fun Denver merch!
We would have to stop by our favorite local spots to dine, Original Chubbys on 38th, we would hit LA Loma, and El Chingon Bistro and definitely hit Welton Street Cafe! I would talk them into a tattoo and take them to Ortavio Griego at Monkey Fist Tattoo on Tennyson street.
On nights out we would have fun cocktails at the Welton Room and take them out downtown. Hillstone or Cherry Creek grill for dinner.
But in all honesty a couple nights to chill. Stay in with a home-cooked meal and conversation is my favorite thing to do with my guests.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My loving family Pablo Medina/ T-Town Tattoo
Larry Ortiz / Ortiz Cycles
Melina Cruz Isaiah Macias