We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Elliott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Crystal’s Creations has operated as a side hustle for over 20 years. Now that I am operating this on a full-time basis, I revamped my business plan, expanding into a commercial kitchen and offering wholesale to other local small businesses, but also providing a sense of community. I need to rebrand myself and my offerings which is where my community advocacy background comes into play. I offer a wide range of items, however maintaining a small menu that changes weekly. I also offer instructional components and opportunities for mentorship within my community. I am a woman on a mission with a passion and a vision. I will bake it happen!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have worked in local government for over 18 years and always helped people in some capacity. I decided to run for a seat on City Council in my community. I was elected in 2011, re-elected in 2015 and I truly loved serving my community. One of the projects I am most proud of during this time was my council successfully passed a ballot initiative utilizing 1% sales tax to fund various projects for our residents. An outdoor waterpark, the widening of a major thoroughfare, three neighborhood parks, a state-of-the-art recreation center, and renovations to a current recreation center. I never considered myself a politician, rather a community advocate. I was able to experience many things and for that, I am truly grateful for the opportunity. In 2019 I was the Census Liason for a county government, in which I utilized my background in community engagement and worked in collaboration with other municipalities while fostering partnerships with State and Federal representatives. The main focus was reaching hard-to-count areas; populations of color. Building trust was most important to me and I am proud that we were as successful as we could be given the Pandemic. I co-authored a grant for Census outreach, and our group was the second-largest grant recipient in the State of Colorado. Something I never imagined myself to be part of. Rising up the career ladder was not easy, I attribute it to not having a college degree. I always had to work smarter and harder, to prove my worth. A major loss in our family reminded me that life is too short. This prompted me to return to school and obtain my degree. I am now a junior and will graduate as a first-generation, non-traditional student with an Independent Degree based on my years of lived experiences. I hope to be an inspiration to others who may feel they can’t return to school because of their circumstances. Believe in yourself and you can overcome it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A drive up into the Rocky Mountains is a great getaway! I love the mountains and wished I had enough money to own property and build a cabin for a quick escape from the busyness of the City. I would start off by driving early in the morning, so we could stop to have breakfast at a diner in a small town because those are the best breakfasts! Then take a stroll through town and see the local shops and what they have to offer. Then jump back in the car and continue on, until we find a spot to stretch our legs and take some pictures of the beautiful scenery! This trip is to take in the sights and relish in beauty these mountains offer. For lunch, I would again, locate a local popular diner or other restaurant and just take time to enjoy our surroundings. Once we get to our destination which would be off the beaten path in a small cabin rental, we unpack the car and sit outside watching the sun move from East to West. breathing that fresh mountain air is the best feeling of exhilaration to the senses. When it is time for dinner, preparing a wonderful meal together over a few glasses of wine or other drink of choice is fun, and knowing you will wake up to a beautiful sunrise, the wind whistling through the trees is definitely a cure-all for the under-relaxed! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout to my family; my parents, my brother, and his wife, my kids, and my wonderful Fiance Brian and his kids. Without their support, I would not be able to make this transition from over 18 years of working in local government to now operating my business and going full force during a Pandemic. There are many days, I am scared and wondering if I am doing the right thing, and I always have their love and understanding, and support as needed. They really believe in me and my passion for baking and creating, which has been on the sidelines for far too long!