We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Creery and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think without any risk, life is boring. For me taking chances has always been a way of life, which means that so has making mistakes. My adventurous spirit started with my travels at a young age. My parents are from England and the Czech Republic, and we would travel back often to visit family. After high school I lived in France for one year with my twin brother, Kevin, and we traveled around Europe that summer together by train for 2 months. We would take a train to a new location and then rush to find a hostel based on a Let’s Go Europe book recommendation and hope there was room. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes not. On another trip I remember taking a train through 5 countries trying to make it as far as I could using my one-day pass and ending up having to sleep outside in Stockholm because I didn’t have any local currency to pay for a hotel. Then I got into visiting tropical locations, exploring wild jungles and caves by myself, which in hindsight seems kind of foolish. These are the kinds of experiences that have helped form the risk-taking spirit that has fueled me to become an entrepreneur.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am most proud of running a successful business for 13 years, despite the challenges of moving to new markets. Getting to where I am today in business has required stubbornness and perseverance. Although I’ve been able to enjoy the fruits of my labor, I have to work harder every year just to stay where I am. I’ve learned that being great at my craft is not enough to have a successful business and that honing my business acumen is more important.
My brand is about vividly telling my client’s story and capturing their true personalities. I like to keep things as down-to-earth and real as possible.
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, if we didn’t both have kids to worry about I would start by showing my friend around Old Town in Fort Collins and checking out some local restaurants (like Snooze), and shops (like Otterbox and Perennial Gardener). Then another day drive up along Horsetooth Reservoir to check out the views, then a hike to Horsetooth Rock. Another day would be a New Belgium Brewery Tour, and hop to some of the other 25 breweries in Fort Collins, like Odell’s. On a weekday we’d take a trip up to Estes Park and explore Rocky Mountain National Park and do an easier hike (especially if my friend is coming from sea level), and maybe a horse-back ride for something different. Another day could be a day trip to Denver to check out downtown (including a stop at Union Station and look around Rockmount Ranch Wear for fun) and a stop at Red Rocks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to thank my parents for letting me figure out my own path in life. My mother was a great role model for working tirelessly for 37 years at her daycare center, and she let me have her SLR film camera and lenses which helped me get to where I am today. And thanks to my dad, who as an elite long-distance runner showed me how to your achieve goals with hard work.