We had the good fortune of connecting with Libby Foster and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Libby, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
For us, I think it was the decision to change the model of hospitality that we were given. Typically, places like ours approach hospitality with a heavy hands on philosophy. When we were talking through what our approach would be, we dug into how we like to travel. We love immersing ourselves into a place or culture, we want to be on our own, make our own schedule and not answer to anyone else. These things are what spearheaded our ‘behind the scenes’ idea. We can’t tell you how many times people have told us that this is what they love about staying with us- it’s too numerous to count! Being different can be hard, it can also be what sets you apart and one of the things that can define your success.
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’ve said it over and over, but truly what sets us apart is our staff and our amenities. We wouldn’t be as successful as we are without the small detail, I don’t think. People are always telling me how helpful and above and beyond our staff is. Of course, you expect that in hospitality, but with a behind the scenes model, we feel really fortunate to have found people who know when to jump in and when to let guests be. Our amenities are second to none. We source everything we can locally and from women/minority owned businesses. We know that when we lift other small businesses up, we all win. We’re not the amazon of hotels and we like that. And, lastly, the details we sought at the inn are worth mentioning too. As travelers, we scoured our resources for what we would like and I really think we’ve delivered. Finding people who accentuate your business is key. From branding to coffee to email campaigns, we’ve found the best and utilized people the best way we can. Finding partners with your vision is also key. We need people who know our values and run with them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely start out with coffee. In Golden we’d stop at Pangea and then walk up Clear Creek. On Saturdays in the summer, we’d stop by the farmers market and get some goodies for dinner. We’d head back to Cafe 13 for a late breakfast and maybe hit up some favorite shops before heading home. Our faves are Earth Sweet Botanicals, Truly Bohotique and Toad and Co. For dinner we’d either walk to Abejas or make something delicious with our farmers market finds. We would for sure make time for a hike or mountain bike ride with sustenance from Mr. Miners. We love Enchanted Forest for both hiking and biking. We’d make time for a nostalgic trip to Golden City Brewery, a favorite hang out in college and then a stop at Indulge for a wine flight or Golden Moon Speak for a cocktail.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Hands down, our success is primarily due to our great vendors and our employees. Our local, woman/black owned, and small business vendors make us look good! And, of course there’s no question that our employees put the time in, day after day, to make the inn a place that people keep coming back to!
Rachel SaBell, Julia Morgan, Margaret Koning