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

Hi Marissa, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
My definition of success has changed as I have gotten older. It used to be climbing the ladder and that the job title mattered to show others my success. After having kids and working in an industry that will chew you up and spit you out it finally dawned on me that being a part of my kids’ lives matter more than the next step on the corporate ladder. I took an office job with no path of advancement but had a schedule that allowed me to be a part of my family on a daily and weekly basis. Fast forward a few years and I found other ways to pursue my passions. I became an auctioneer because I loved the work of supporting non-profits and schools to raise money. Being a benefits auctioneer I can take my talents and help organizations reach their financial goals and the timing of these events compliments my current job. Then came the pandemic and I saw Card My Yard growing across the US but also in the Denver metro area and I thought what an amazing side hustle to make people smile. It fit right into my desire to serve others and it was something my whole family could be a part of.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career path was a bit winding to get me to where I am now. I started in the restaurant business as the service manager for 2 upscale-casual restaurant companies. I learned a great deal but worked even more. I enjoyed the work immensely until I became a mom and realized that there was no such thing as work/life balance. When my son started full-day preschool and I said goodbye to him before he left for school and did not see him again until the next morning I knew something had to change. I was fortunate to have an opportunity for a 9-5 job with a great company working with some amazing people but I found it did not fulfill my passions. While working on the fundraiser at my kids’ school I observed an amazing benefits auctioneer, Libby Pollak, use her personality and talents and raise a ton of money for our school. I know I HAD to do that. So I asked if she would be my mentor and the rest is history. I have been working with Libby over the last 3 years and graduated from auctioneering school in 2019. I am slowly growing my benefits auctioneering business (thanks 2020) but the service I execute in the role of auctioneer fills my soul because of the work I do when I am on stage to support these organizations as they work toward fulfilling their missions. Then came 2020 when I decided I did not have enough on my plate and I bought Card My Yard. Another business that fills my heart since the whole goal of the business is to make someone smile and feel special.

Was any of this easy? No, but in late 2019 my husband lost his job and as he was searching for a job the pandemic began so I saw both of these side hustles as additional ways to help support my family. My husband and I have always been pretty equal in parenting and household jobs (that is kind of a lie cause he does ALL the cooking…) but all of the sudden I took it upon myself to take on all of the responsibility of supporting our family. Mind you I was still working way less than I ever did as a full-time restaurant manager. But we found a way to make it work. He became a stay-at-home dad and supervised the remote learning and then became the chauffeur when the world began to open up again. He and I carded at night and it became mini date nights. There were so many amazing things that came with this change. It was not always easy but we made it work.

Lesson’s learned: Ask for help! In all of this, I realized how blessed I am with the village around me. My parents, aunt, friends, and neighbors. In your life people often offer help but I am often reluctant to use it cause I can do it on my own! I realized thru all of these ventures that accepting some help really lessens the burden. I also think all of my huslte to support our family and pursue my passions taught my kids a valuable lesson. Success is a measure only you can give yourself and to find the things that make you happy and go for it.

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.
I would take a day trip up the hill for some hiking and then head down thru Evergreen and go to Switchback Smokehouse in Kittridge for some amazing BBQ. We would jump on our bikes and head to the Cherry Creek trail either way and then end up downtown for a marg at the Rio. One night we would head to Union Station for an dinner at Tavernetta. One night we would wander RiNo enjoying the street art and end up eating homemade pasta at Dio Mio. Since I have two teens we would be spending time at various soccer fields around town or at the pool in Arvada. But since diving practice is so long we would check out Olde Town Arvada. We would probably brunch at my parents’ house then head over to the Botanic Gardens with a mimosa for a stroll thru the gardens. And of course head up to Red Rocks even if there isn’t a show cause it is a cool place to visit.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Card My Yard journey can be accredited to my husband, Chris Walters. He has always been my biggest cheerleader, but at the beginning of my career was my mentor. Our marriage and relationship has been a true partnership in love, parenting, and business. It was his milestone birthday that I wanted to celebrate in 2020 in a big way but could not due to the pandemic so I tried to book Card My Yard and to my surprise, no one owned the Denver Metro area. I decided right then and there that I wanted to be the one to spread joy in this area so I told him what I wanted to do and he was on board. Now, this is on top of the fact that I have a full-time day job and a side hustle as an auctioneer, but he knew how important this was to me so we banded together as a team and went for it! We also decided to enlist the help of my dad, Gene Davis, and a partnership was born!

Website: https://www.cardmyyard.com/denver/

Instagram: @cardmyyard_denver

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-walters-b5148031/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cardmyyarddenver

Other: For my auctioneering if you want to include that. @wildhairauctions

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