We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and too many minors to count – hopping into a corporate job seemed like the ‘responsible’ thing to do. As I hopped from job to job and industry and industry I found that I really loved the onboarding process of a new role but once I was ramped up I wanted more. More diversity in duties, more growth opportunities, more adventure. I knew that going off on my own was the right thing to do – but wasn’t sure how I’d know when it was the right time. In a very serendipitous week at the end of 2019, I hit a ceiling in my existing role and was presented with a cool opportunity to purchase a company I interned with while in college. 3 checklists, one week, and a few beers later I became the owner of Rocky Mountain Brew Runs, a local Denver 5k running series. My goal for 2020 was to create bigger, bolder themes, increase the frequency of our events, and fill runs to capacity throughout the year – then the pandemic struck. What was a well thought out plan quickly disintegrated. In an effort to stay relevant, I pivoted all resources to create content to entertain and engage with our audience. I posted 75 daily beer challenges as well as pictures and reviews of the craft brews I was drinking in lock down. Although these efforts didn’t create any revenue for the business I learned two big lessons: 1. In general, viewers find my online persona to be entertaining and relatable 2. People, women specifically, enjoy how I describe beer without any of the industry specific vocabulary with more of a focus on flavor memories and ‘feelings’ Not only that, but everything that I was posting felt so true to me that I knew I needed to turn this persona into a full blown brand. Some market research, and a few beers later, Beer Feelings was born.
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?
Rocky Mountain Brew Runs is a Denver based 5k running series. We make fitness fun and love supporting some of the best breweries around. Although things were on pause for part of 2020, 2021 looks like it’s going to be one for the books. We are planning on hosting 9+ events throughout the state each with a theme bigger than the last. These events are so much MORE than your average 5k! Walk, run, or jog the 3-ish mile course and return to the brewery for a pint of a tasty craft beer as a reward for your efforts. Stick around for our post run party full of music, laughs and beer & fitness themed games. __ I launched Beer Feelings at the end of 2020 and have been thrilled with its rapid growth. Beer Feelings is a community where women become friends, share and learn about craft beer, and support small business. Our mission is to cultivate a kickass world where gal pals are unapologetically themselves, live in the moment, and grow to love tasty brews. At Beer Feelings we have a variety of different products and events that help you get out of your beer comfort zone and uncover what you REALLY like and don’t like.
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.
OH man – my itinerary would 100% center around visiting breweries! LandLocked Ales in Lakewood has the GREATEST staff as well as some super tasty brews. They specialize in creating beers with lower alcohol contents so you can taste and explore more styles without getting knocked on your butt. Peak View Brewing Company in Greenwood Village has my favorite craft beer flavors on tap. Some breweries specialize in a certain style, but these guys are champions of the whole spectrum. Some of my favorites are their Peanut Butter Porter and Strawberry Cheesecake Sour. Finkel & Garf Brewing Co. in Boulder has my favorite funky beer flavors. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary or are ready to go to Level 2 as a beer drinker this is 100% the perfect place to go visit.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Scott and Lauren Jones hired me as a college intern many moons ago with very little experience on my resume and a smile on my face. They were able to see my ‘go-getter’ attitude from day 1 and trusted me to grow and explore with their own company. (Honestly, I’m not sure how they did it now that I’m considering bringing in some help). If I had a new marketing idea or a better way to analyze our finances I was always met with, “Ok, let’s try it”. Some of my ideas worked and others didn’t, but I was always met with the same enthusiasm on their end. They showed me that entrepreneurship is a WILD roller coaster that sometimes makes you a little motion sick… but when you return back from each loop you can’t wait to get back in line and go again. The high-highs simply cannot be beat because YOU create them. They never made me feel bad for giving corporate life a spin, but were RIGHT THERE to give me a little love shout when it was time to get out of my comfort zone and go off on my own. I honestly don’t think I could have ever grown to where I am now without their help.
Website: https://beerfeelings.com https://www.rockymountainbrewruns.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beerfeelings/ https://www.instagram.com/rockymountainbrewruns/
Amanda Cleveland Photography Belle Vie Photography