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

Hi Stacy, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Working hard, not giving up, educating myself on what it takes to run a business, determination are all important for a successful small business. But I believe the most important factor behind the success of my brand is making community social impact part of my business model. I am very interested in the idea of creating community and believe all businesses should have a social impact component! When I first started my businesses, I knew I wanted to do something positive for the community with my services. I incorporated that desire intentionally into my planning and strategizing. I took lots of classes at our local Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI), which reinforced my desire to do good with my businesses.

The healing power of music is a huge component of what I do, and it is a gift I share freely and openly with the community. I have volunteered my time (pre-COVID, insert sad face) at the Colorado Springs Senior Center, Penrose Hospital lobby, other senior/memory care centers. I also play quite a few free concerts during the year, for I believe all people should have access to music for healing. My most favorite, memorable concert was in front of the local soup kitchen, disadvantaged populations listening while they stood in line for their meal. The appreciative comments I heard that day touched me to my core. My student piano recitals are in places open to the community, such as senior centers or local parks where homeless tend to congregate. We all deserve good music! My CD series chronicles my recovery and transition from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a car accident in 2015. The first entitled “Taking Back My 1ife” emotes the devastation of losing everything, so the music is powerful and raw. The second CD in the series entitled “2become” is much more hopeful and serene, as I transition my life from TBI survivor to a woman with hopes and dreams and possibilities. I already have the next two CDs in the series planned! My CDs are not for fame or recognition, but an effort to help those who are hurting through the power of music.

The social component of my mountain biking business includes involvement in local cycling initiatives and working with the city to maintain our local parks. With Cheyenne Mountain State Park, I co-sponsored and co-planned the park’s first ever “Bike Your Park” day. I am the guardian of the bike skills park at Red Rocks, meaning I am committed to keeping the park open, clean, and safe. I coordinate various volunteer days and Eagle Scout projects to do major repairs and clean-up at the park. I have been a coach for youth riding organizations like Kids on Bikes and Front Rangers Juniors Cycling, as well as a ride leader for Women’s Mountain Biking Association to empower women of all ability levels to learn to mountain bike. Next year, I plan to start a club for teenage girls to build their confidence and skills on the mountain bike. I think it’s important to plan and participate in community-wide initiatives with various stakeholders to promote safe and sustainable outdoor recreation in Colorado Springs.

It has taken a few years, but I believe my name and businesses have become synonymous with community. Clients and even those I’ve never met recommend me based on my good reputation and desire to have a positive impact on the world in which I live. I am fortunate I reside in a place where community is so important, eternally grateful to my neighbors for their support of what I do. Colorado Springs is a great place to live and work!

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?
In November 2015, I was in a bad car accident which left me with a traumatic brain injury. Thankfully, and through many years of treatments, I have recovered from this injury. But sadly, I lost my teaching job the following year. I was devastated because my kids were my life! After I was black-listed from my teaching profession is when I decided to start my own small businesses, combining my skills at teaching with my passions for mountain biking and playing piano (not at the same time though…)

With my piano business, “Stacy Plays Piano,” I offer the following: (see http://www.stacyplayspiano.com for more info)

  1. Piano lessons for all ages and ability levels. My background in teaching comes in handy here! But so does my focus on good technique, reading notations on paper, turning notes into music by adding expressions and dynamics. Some of my students are unique – with autism, tremors in their hands, even someone with the use of only one arm!
  2. Background music for weddings and special events. Could be holiday parties, art gallery openings, up-scale happy hours, outdoor festivals, military promotion ceremonies, or even date nights. My movie and Broadway music trivia is a hit at local senior centers. With a professional portable keyboard, any location with a power source is possible.
  3. Music for healing albums and concerts. This is probably what I am most passionate about, what I would do more if the reality of paying bills didn’t get in the way. I have a CD series with music that chronicles my recovery from a brain injury. I know that music is a powerful force for healing!
    With my mountain biking business, “MTB with Stacy,” I offer the following: (see http://www.mtbwithstacy.com for more info)

    1. Skills instruction to help riders improve their confidence and control on a mountain bike. My price point and structure of group lessons enable all levels of riders/income to participate in my classes. I offer internships for younger riders interested in working in the industry. I come to this sport as a teacher first and mountain biker second, which is distinct in the industry and I believe helps me to reach even more riders.
    2. Guided rides on our awesome trails for visitors to Colorado Springs.Many come from out-of-state and want to learn some skills while experiencing great views. I absolutely love sharing our trails with visitors! I can create custom trips in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, depending on the group’s ability level and desired type of riding.
    3. Create and share resources in the community for mountain bikers of all levels. I am a volunteer coach/ride leader/sponsor for a women’s mountain biking group with nearly 300 members and plan to start a club for teenage girls. I am also guardian of a local bike skills park to keep it clean, maintained, and safe for the public. I have helped to plan community-wide initiatives to promote safe and sustainable outdoor recreation in Colorado Springs via “Bike Your Park” and “Take A Kid Mountain Biking” initiatives, volunteer events with Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, and trail work days.

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 recommend visiting some of our local parks, a number of which are right in the heart of Colorado Springs.  Garden of the Gods is great for hiking and photos.  Why not rent a mountain bike from Routes Outfitters and hire a guide (me!) to learn some skills and explore the trails of Red Rocks or Ute Valley on two wheels?  When you return the bike at the end of the day, stop by Trails End Taproom and sample a few local brews.  Both also incorporate social impact and community service into their business models.

We have lots of great locally-owned restaurants in Colorado Springs too!  I really like Chef Brother Luck, also a community advocate who works tirelessly to make his city a better place to live.  He has two restaurants Four and Lucky Dumpling.  Lots of great happy hours too – the Warehouse, 503W, Atmosphere Gastropub, and Rabbit Hole are my favorites.  Adam’s Mountain Cafe and Shuga’s are some of our best local restaurants with interesting food and flavor combinations.  The pizza at Slice 420 in Old Colorado City is amazing!
Old Colorado City is a wonderful strip of a few blocks to explore on foot, with so many small local shops to meander.  Downtown Colorado Springs is another place to shop, best on First Fridays when the art galleries and stores are always cooking up something special.  Two stores in the downtown area are a collective of local artisans; you could definitely find unique Colorado gifts at Crafted Colorado and Eclectic CO.  I especially like the downtown during the holiday season because the lights and atmosphere are so festive.  You can’t go wrong by walking the streets of Manitou either.  Great shops and so many interesting corners to explore.
If you need a place to stay, I love the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort!  Owner Tori Giffin is another advocate who is a strong voice for community in Colorado Springs (see the trend here?).  While maintaining the story of an historic lodge, she has brought her own spin through cycling-themed decorations and renovations.  She is a wealth of information about things to do while visiting the city too.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many thanks go to the local SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and CI4SI (Colorado Institute for Social Impact) for helping me start my small businesses.  Also to the team at Fox21 News for sharing my story.  And finally to the community and people of Colorado Springs for supporting and appreciating me.  Also to YOU, Voyage and its readers, for celebrating what people do to make their cities a better place to live.

Website: http://www.mtbwithstacy.com/ and http://www.stacyplayspiano.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mtbwithstacy and https://www.facebook.com/stacyplayspiano

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