We asked some of the city’s rising stars about why they think they have been so successful and we’ve shared their responses below.

Emily Sierra | Outdoor Lifestyle Photographer

Being enjoyable to work with. For me, ensuring that clients, athletes and models have a positive experience working with me is crucial to both the success of the shoot, and also the success of my business. This translates into all aspects of a photoshoot: from the initial communication, through pre-production, shoot day, wrapping up content, invoicing. Read more>>

Caitlin Caldwell | Florist

Besides a little bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time, hard work, hands down, is the most important factor to Vintage Magnolia’s success. My parents taught me that work hard pays off (I was busing tables at 14 years old) and I’ve been determined and worked hard my whole life. I’m one of those people that can’t sit still and always need to be busy and have a lot on my plate! My husband and I have worked long days, long weeks and now long years in order to grow our brand and business. We give 100% all of the time and are dedicated to every project, no matter the size. It slowly but surely has paid off year after year, solidifying our reputation and brand. Our business is ‘owner operated’ which looks good to customers but also sets a precedence and example for staff. Read more>>

Jenny Bazzetta | Owner & Candymaker

Our customers want to connect and support real people, who are genuine in intention and practice and care for their community. While some people may say it is possible or even important to separate one’s private self from their business, we feel our success has been in embracing who we are personally and professionally. In this way, it has been very easy for our customers to get to know the real people behind Bonbon Bombardier, understand our personal ethic and values as well as our playfulness and sense of humor. As an owner-operated business, our customers are always connecting directly with us in person, over the phone, via e-mail, and through social media. Our business is living and breathing through us, and we get to know our customers like friends and find out about their families, hometowns, hobbies, goals, and values. Read more>>

Jackie Rose Wuest | Reiki Master Teacher & Herbalist

Community is the most important factor behind my success!!! I couldn’t do what I do without my loving and supportive community! I handcraft organic solventless hemp products and I infuse them with Reiki. Reiki is a healing energy. I offer Reiki healing sessions as well as training and certification. Every person or pet I help with hemp or Reiki is part of my beloved community… near or far we are in this beautiful life TOGETHER! Colorado Medicine Woman is here to bring healing love and light to the people. Read more>>

Dionne Roberts | Editor/Culinary Correspondent

Authenticity and dedication. First and foremost, my journalistic integrity is paramount and I strive to be transparent and informative in everything I choose to share, whether it’s fact-checking articles or composing a social media post that reflects my true voice. Plus, I do my damndest to insight and nurture relationships with small/local businesses, take advantage of opportunities to connect with my readers, followers and folks in the food & beverage industry and continue to brainstorm new partnerships and ways to grow my business. Read more>>

Nita Collins | Art director

I ask myself often, Am I successful? I’m inclined to say yes, my work sells easily and usually quickly since I began in 2004. This is despite my effort to hide from traditional success and do the opposite of advice on building a brand and selling. I don’t hide who I am and am candid about creative struggle and fires . So, maybe it’s authentic tone? I’ll just throw that out there because I don’t know if that makes sense. I’m obsessed with art and always have been. Other people’s art in any media or style and mine. I dig constantly for Obscure media and folklores, seemingly unrelated flotsam. So, once I get talking about it I get very excited! That burst of otherworldly energy seems to help my networking . I just talk too much have abundant ideas that I share openly. It’s brought me so much love from the art world and to me that’s success! I’m doomed to create till the day I die where or not it earns me a cent it’s a remarkable affliction. Read more>>

Julia Scott | Store Manager

Blue Bridal has made a positive impact on the bridal industry in Denver for almost 12 years now, and some of our constant values have been providing quality wedding gowns and the most genuine customer service possible to our customers. When I became manager 8 years ago, it was most important to me for the customer to have all of the facts and information up front in order to make sound decisions with their wedding dress! I noticed in my experience that a lot of boutiques in the area represent a much more pushy, sales environment, and in receiving feedback from thousands of brides over the years, this is not ideal for any customer choosing a garment they will wear on one of the most special days of their life. Keeping them informed, whilst providing a fun + laid-back experience, has created a word-of-mouth system we could have only dreamed of. What also makes us so successful is providing wedding dresses that encompass quality, without breaking the bank, and if it fits great and looks great, then designer names tend not to matter as much. Read more>>

Amy Kenendy | Chiropractor

Persistence. The driving force behind becoming a division I athlete, becoming a doctor and currently writing my own book is persistence. My journey wasn’t pretty and there were multiple days that all I wanted to do was roll over and listen to the little voice that told me that I couldn’t. Showing up for myself, my future and my dreams is what built my success and is continuing to do so. One of the biggest themes I see when looking at individuals who I respect is that their success didn’t happen overnight. No matter how much doubt persists with any of my endeavors I push through to come out on the other side a better version of myself. Showing up for yourself is not only the most important thing you can do for yourself but also how you show yourself respect. Read more>>

Rachyl LaGrone | Custom Artist/Muralist

The most important factor behind my success has been continuing to create and share what I create regardless of how those creations are received. I never know who is going to like what so I just keep putting it out there. I’ve tried to stop and get a normal job. I even went to law school and dropped out because I can’t stop creating. And now I realize that is what has brought me success. Read more>>

Betsy Cairo | Reproductive Biologist and Reproductive Health Educator

The most important factor behind my success was surrounding myself with people that could do the things I couldn’t. For instance, a good accountant, a good attorney, and good staff. But it is not only important to surround yourself with these people but to DELEGATE to them. Success does not mean that you need to do all-be all. It means you have to know your skill set and work on that. The success behind my brand was being true to my vision even if it meant (and it often did) being different. When I started my cryobank I knew I was a tiny player in a big industry so I played to that interest. I never became a large corporate, faceless company. I stayed small and in doing so served a population of people that wanted that type of attention when needing our services. This game plan served me well and my reputation reflected that. Being told by my competitors that I wouldn’t last past 8 years or so only fueled me and here I am 31 years later. It is important to stay true to your mission. If you enjoy what you do, the money will follow. Read more>>

Carly Ricks Smith | Vocalist/Co-founder for Foxfeather

There are a number of elements that help Foxfeather promote our brand in a successful way. Through hard work, commitment, and belief in ourselves and our art, we are able to create our product, our music. Writing and arranging songs is not easy, but it feels right and it feels good. So, through the writer’s block, scheduling issues and inherent self-doubt, we persevere. We push through to the other side and are able to create songs that we are excited to share. All of that hard work aside, we could never accomplish what we do without the support of our community. Our friends, fans and family act as our rock, and they are the reason we are able to enjoy any level of success. We are so, very grateful for this love and support. Read more>>

Melanie Flint | Owner, Cheese Lover

It’s really important to us to be able to provide a product that will really make someone’s day and to make sure that they know they are worthy and deserving of something as special as they are. Charcuterie has a place on every hip & fancy restaurant menu, but we wanted to cultivate the idea of presentation without pretension and make sure that people know they can get an amazing product delivered to them at any time and for any occasion. During the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, takeout & delivery options were very limited- especially for people living in the suburbs. Cheese Meat Board launched smaller portioned products, expanded our delivery area, and reduced the amount of lead time needed for folks to place an order. We were. able to make a big impact on people’s at home date-nights and zoom happy hours, not mention that a grazing box delivery from Cheese Meat Board makes a really special gift for your loved ones whether it’s a quarantine birthday or just a “thinking of you”. Read more>>

Robbie Conaway | Media Producer / Creative Director

You have to LOVE what you do and have a real passion and curiousity for it. In my case, I would be doing this work in my free time (and I do) even if I wasn’t making any money on it. This is important, because if you’re doing it just for the money, I think you can be disappointed and discouraged when you start out. At that point, many people quit. The money and success come later as a result of you continuing in that field of expertise in the face of making virtually no money. It is only after you are surpassing others and are at a level that surpasses many others, that potential clients are willing to pay for your skills. Read more>>

Jess Webb | Artist

The most important factor to my success is authenticity and integrity. Its always important to ask yourself what your intentions are and stay true to yourself without compromising you integrity to do what is easy or what external pressures may demand of you. As an artist I always come back to the question “where do I come from” and am always reassessing what is authentic to me. Read more>>

Tiny Spoon | Experimental Literary Magazine

Tiny Spoon is an experimental bite-sized literary magazine. The term “experimental” is one that is charged with mystery and intrigue, just the way we like it. It defies a singular definition in its shapeshifting, ethereal nature and manifests new possibilities within and across genres. We publish work that wakes us up, that pulls apart the paradigms that confine us and shoves us into brilliant light by challenging conventions of form and content. We are the real, the raw, the eclectic newly forming, constantly evolving voice. From the very beginning, community has been at the heart of our brand and mission. One of the first acts of community we embarked on was the building of a Renga via the internet. Renga is a genre of Japanese collaborative poetry in which alternating stanzas, or ku, of 5-7-5 and 7-7 mora per line are linked in succession by multiple poets. We’ve always approached the heart of community building with a sense of openness. Read more>>

Elizabeth Plotke | Restaurant Owner

The key to our success has been hiring the most capable, talented and passionate individuals and giving them lots of autonomy to succeed and to thrive. Working behind the scenes for support and guidance whenever needed, is also important. But I remember the best boss I ever had, recognized how motivated and what I self-starter I was, and he gave me lots of room to take on challenges and create success for myself and our organization. He was always there if I needed to ask a question, but he empowered me like no other boss I had. That lesson was one of my biggest influences and how we run things at Campo de Fiori. Our management team is brilliant and they also recognize the talents of each team member. It creates a family and team feeling that is palpable to our guests. It has also allowed for a very high retention rate. Our Controller has been at Campo since the very first day, our Executive Chef has been with us 22 years. Read more>>

Robyn Hargrove | Massage Therapist, Energy Worker, Trauma Sensitive Yoga Instructor

The most important factor behind my success/the success of my brand is the vision and faith to fulfil that vision. Back when I was in massage school, I had a profound vision. We were learning about Energy Work and our teacher was guiding us in a meditation. During my experience, a seed was planted in the top of my head and an otherworldly, luminescent/white lotus flower bloomed out of that seed. It seemed a similar looking spiritual representation of myself entered into the center of the flower where the seed had been planted, and what I felt was an overcoming sense of peace and love throughout my entire being. My hands were radiating heat and I knew God had given me my new heartbeat of love. That divine vision, in 2008, was the first seed that I consciously planted that would become Behind These Hands Healing Center. Here we are now, in 2021, a year after a Global Pandemic has completely changed the vision I had back in 2008. Read more>>

Kat Smith | Educator & Hair Stylist

Staying Inspired. It is so easy to get comfortable and not even realize it. Finding new ways to breakout outside of my comfort zone and expand my knowledge has helped me continue to grow in my career and to grow as a human. Read more>>