We asked some of the city’s rising stars to reflect on what made a difference in their journey. We asked them to tell us about what they think the most important factor has been behind their success.

Brett ‘Smitty’ Smith | Chef & Partner

The most important factor behind the success of The Post Chicken & Beer is actually not our chicken or our beer. It’s our people and culture of hospitality. Our Colorado-style fried chicken always comes with a warm side of Colorado-style hospitality. During the pandemic when dining-in was no longer an option, it became abundantly clear that figuring out how to provide the Post hospitality experience—even for guests ordering takeout or delivery—was more important than ever. We’ve been lucky through the pandemic in the sense that our gluten-free fried chicken is the perfect takeout food, but we still had to get innovative to be able to keep hospitality at the forefront of what we do. Read more>>

Tamara Mekler | Co-Founder of Nutshell Coolers

Partnerships—they’ve been key to building an awesome product, and a passionate community. We started out as a graduate student design project working in partnership with the NGO Rare to improve the livelihood of food producers in the Philippines. From the very beginning we worked closely with fisherfolk and farmers, assessing new opportunities, exploring new materials, and testing new ideas. Read more>>

Brian Bitterfeld | Cinematographer

To me, the most important factor behind my success has been to take almost every opportunity that has come my way. I’ve always said, there is no such thing as a bad opportunity. Almost every time, if you jump at a new opportunity, it will usually open up new doors that will eventually lead to bigger and better things. I always ask myself “what do I have to lose?” and the answer is usually “nothing”. When I was just starting out as a freelance camera man, I took every job that came my way, no matter how big or how small. Just to have the chance to meet new people and expand my brand however possible. Read more>>

Lorrie Myers | Operations Manager

Greetings from Who Gives a SCRAP! We are a Creative Reuse Center. The most important factor to our ongoing success is volunteers and wonderful like minded employees. As a Creative Reuse Center we receive and are offered so many items that it is easy to loose sight of our focus. Our mission is trash diversion with a goal of living wages. In order to accomplish this everything must be valued and appreciated. From our donors, to our customers, our amazing volunteers and tolerant employees! Read more>>

Maia del Mazo | Licensed Massage Therapist

I believe there are three core factors behind my success: Honesty, Transparency, and Passion. Cliché as this answer may sound, passion is number one, as I suspect it is for many small business owners. To be successful as your own boss, you need to be passionate about your path. Mine lies in helping my clients achieve pain-free lives. A passion for helping people and being the best healer I can be. In my massage program, we were constantly asked why we wanted to be massage therapists. Read more>>

Tyler Lindvall | Founder + Visionary

I truly believe that it is our people. Our people that respect our culture and our brand. It was very important to me early on to create an environment that was family oriented, collaborative, and very open to the opinions of its members. There is a much larger feeling of success when you share in it with the folks around you that have ALL worked so hard to maintain the brand, the identity, and the culture. When we all believe it, the company thrives and I believe people on the outside pickup on that vibe, they want to be a part of that energy you exude. Its magnetic! Read more>>

Brannan Bell & Sabah Khan | Podcast Hosts | Content Creators

Team work, communication and consistency. That’s 3 things we are super over the top on because that’s what all good relationships require to thrive! We’ve been best friends for over 20+ years so we know one another inside and out, but that doesn’t mean we dont have disagreements, although not very often, we have a great feedback and communication system to be able to navigate through that! Read more>>

Renee Isabel | Photographer

I think it’s very easy, especially with young creatives, to get caught in the Instagram trap. We live in such a visual world and it’s so beautiful that media and art gets to be shared so widely with the growth of social media, but I have found that it can put pressure on creatives to align with what is trending. And this is totally understandable because, at the end of the day, we need to pay bills. However, the more you give in to the pressure for your work to look like X because they have X amount of followers, the more time you sacrifice creating your own unique style. Remember when we were all just… Read more>>

Rachel Jablonski | Artist, Illustrator & Designer

Tenacity. Hard work. Not having an ego. Being able to take criticism. Resilience. It took me a loooong long time to build these things and realize that they are important, and I still don’t think I’ve fully grasped them, but I am grateful that at least now I know that these things are extremely important. I also don’t necessarily think I have gotten to the level of success that I want to get to, but who has besides a select few? Having something to work towards, however, is absolutely wonderful and something to think about. Because if you’re not working towards something you’re not living (in my opinion). Read more>>