We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabrielle Mann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabrielle, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
As a couple who have just started our very own small business for the first time, boy oh boy have our lives changed. It has been a wild ride. I always thought we led busy lives before. Ryun and I moved here from Manhattan about a year ago and always thought of ourselves as people constantly on the go. We thought moving to Golden to pursue our dream of opening our own board game store would be a fantastic opportunity, and perhaps a change of pace. But I don’t think either of us were totally prepared for the complexities of starting our very own store. We have grown so much in the past year, and have had to learn a lot of stuff really fast. And because of this we have definitely had to reconfigure the balance of our lives. It’s going to be something that we work on for the rest of our lives, I’m sure. But even as we are beginning this journey we have really come to value personal time, and time for us AWAY from the business. We love our store, it’s our everything, but we can’t forget to take care of ourselves even when we are so passionate about our endeavors. It’s something we are finding we need to remind ourselves, especially when life gets extra chaotic. Our work-life balance isn’t perfect yet, but I’m having a really great time learning and growing in this crazy adventure we’ve chosen for ourselves.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Golden Game Guild is a board game café and library in downtown Golden Colorado. We are going on one month of being open, as I’m writing this. It’s been wild. Ryun and I are engaged to be married this year so on top of starting our very first business, we are planning our wedding. Crazy.
We moved here to Golden after spending the past five years living in Manhattan, pursuing the traditional New York grind. I was acting and bartending for most of my time in NYC, as Ryun dabbled in real estate and then found a dream gig working for a board game store in the Upper West Side. While working at Hex & Co. (if you’re ever in NYC I cannot stress enough how bad you need to go check this place out), Ryun discovered this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. I, however, was not totally sure what a board game café even was, but as soon as I figured it out I was totally on board.
It hasn’t been easy, but it has been exciting! It’s also been quite a test for us as a couple. Everybody makes jokes to us about how if we can start a business together, then marriage will be a piece of cake. But I don’t think anything is “a piece of cake”. I think you sometimes have to work hard for the things you care about. And you are willing to work hard for those things because you love them. We love each other and we love our store. That’s why we’ll make it.
I’ve learned a lot, and one of those things is that I still have so much to learn! Every day there is a new task that I am faced with that I have never had experience with before. It’s nerve racking and I the anxiety is SO real, but it’s forcing me to grow in ways I never would have imagined I could. And for that I am thankful for the bumps in the road.
A little more about our store-
Here at The Guild we offer you a welcoming space to come hang out and play games! Our board game library features over 350+ games and is growing weekly. For an admission of $10 per person ($5 for students and children) you can play as many games as you want, for however long as you would like! We are partnered with our neighbors, Tributary, a fantastic food hall, for all of your gaming munchie needs. We also feature a selection of delicious and unique sodas, snacks, and CBD waters. And soon, we hope to offer a selection of adult beverages! We also have a vast selection of games for sale if you would like to take your favorite game home with you. Of course, we are also hosting a ton of events weekly. We host Magic: The Gathering Drafts every Friday evening and hope to offer tournaments soon. For the Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts, we have our Wednesday Night One-Shot campaigns where you can choose from a variety of awesome adventures to take part in, delivered to you by amazing Dungeon Masters. And we have also begun hosting Meet-Up Mondays, an event for gamers to meet new, fellow gamers and play games together!
We are all about bringing people together and learning through games. Because after all while we definitely love the games, its really all about loving the people you’re playing them with.
Our story has been great so far, this is a brand new chapter and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!
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?
Well obviously, they are visiting Golden Game Guild for a little board game night!
Golden, Colorado is by far one of the best places I’ve ever lived and has so much to offer visitors. We are a 15 minute ride from Denver, and right next to the mountains so you can get a little taste of everything CO has to offer from right here. If you’re visiting Denver, I highly recommend heading west to Golden for a day or two.
For a day in Golden, I would start off by hiking one of the many trails accessible to us. You can walk to the trail head of Table Mountain easily from downtown. Then I’d have lunch at Golden City Brewery or Mountain Toad Brewery. They both have incredible beer and food trucks almost every day of the week. If it’s summer, you’ll definitely want to grab a tube and take a quick float down the river. Clear Creek runs through the heart of town and is gorgeous. We are so lucky to have access to such a fun summer activity literally out our back door. If your hungry after tubing, there are a handful of awesome restaurants right downtown. The food scene is fabulous here. Something different, that I personally am addicted to, is Sherpa House. They are an amazing Nepalese restaurant right up the hill on Washington Avenue, that I can not get enough of. If your looking for an awesome dinner experience, go there. And of course, head on over to The Guild after that for a few games together! We strive to have a very comfy, welcoming vibe here and are a great spot to finish up an evening. Plus, the variety of games to choose from is enormous, we have something for everyone!
A perfect Golden day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We have received so so so much support from our family and friends in pursuing our dream. We want to thank my mother, Gwen Mann who has helped us figure this all out in many more ways than one. Through the hysterical phone calls, the epic successful moments, and everything in between she has been there to support us through it all. Really, both of our families have been a huge blessing through this transition. I honestly don’t think we could have done this without them.
We also want to thank our friends for spending those late nights with us painting walls, building furniture, and putting up with our craziness. We love you guys more than you’ll ever know!
Facebook: Golden Game Guild