Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Kalea Sanders Wright | Owner/ CEO KSW Social Media Management

All my life I did the “right” things. I followed everyone’s path for me…went to college received three degrees…attempted to climb the ladder in my field but I hated it and I was unhappy. After my father died I just wanted to do the things that made me happy (personally and professionally) and social media makes me happy. I found a way to monetize my hobby and help people along the way. Read more>>

Jason Hirsh | Head of Baseball Development

FAST originally started in 2013 as a baseball only training facility focused on what we saw as a lack of arm care programs amongst youth athletes in the Denver area. Since then, FAST has grown to encompass so much more. The baseball side of the business has grown into an industry leading, data driven, pitching and hitting development success, working with youth, high school, college and professional athletes. In 2017, as the business continued to grow the vision of having a one-stop-shop for all things player development was realized when we brought in a strength and conditioning element. Read more>>

Sarah Palmer | Painter | Business Owner

As an employee, I was working for other painting contractors and noticed lack of communication was a common theme. I felt scared in the off-season without job security as they all took time off. I never knew when the next job would be. I also witnessed some unethical practices. I couldn’t go home and feel proud of the job knowing corners were cut. I realized if I wanted to change these things I needed to create the environment for myself. I was terrified at first. A client of mine really helped me take the leap by giving me some great advice and tools to get started. Read more>>

Jason Johnson | Owner and Photographer at Love in Media

I started out working in corporate America, making good money, but ultimately I wasn’t happy. I was happy with the money, I was happy with the people I worked with, but I think it was the lack of control I had in my destiny (income, time off, flexibility, freedom). I realized that the life I want wasn’t going to come from a series of promotions and hard work for another company. I wanted freedom over money, and going into business for myself gives me complete freedom. Freedom for massive failure, and freedom for massive success… Read more>>

Jordan Namuth | CO-Owner and CEO of Outy Obsession

Our passion lives in the outdoors, but not just as hunters, or fishermen, our passion like others is shared as a variety of different lifestyles. What drives you to the outdoors? That is the question that surrounds our brand. Whether, that answer lies deep in the Rockies, engulfed by silence, with nothing but the calm wind through the Pine trees and fresh powder underneath your board, or the darkness of the duck blind as first light slowly starts to show itself, the minutes counting down in your head until shooting time as mallards start to dump into your decoys. Maybe, it’s twenty-foot-deep right off the coast, the salty air pressing against your skin, patiently waiting for the right swell to give you that last morning fix to ride back towards the sand. Maybe, it’s the sound of a broad head hitting its target, and the smile on your six-year old’s face as he finally gets the hang of his new bow and favorite birthday present. Read more>>

Beth Conrey | Owner and Beekeeper

I began as a hobbyist beekeeper–keeping bees on the side while I worked a “regular” job. I quit that “regular” job role and began adding additional colonies to my apiaries. After a time, my honey production was greater than my annual household consumption (and we eat A LOT) of honey. I began selling honey. As I sold more honey, I expanded my operation to include more colonies. Read more>>

Logan McLennan | Co Owner/Director of Photography

Starting 14K Media happened really organically. I was shooting my own commercial videos in college not really aware of the potential business opportunity. My business partner Matt was doing the same thing. We would help each other out on our own projects and realized after a few projects that we should start something. No real expectations or goals. Just wanted to see where it would go. in the beginning his helped us find a voice and a style creatively also find where we fit in our local market. We started in a very easy-going way and still carry that to this day. We feel extremely lucky to be where we’re at in all of this and I’m really happy with how we got our start. Read more>>

James Bishop | Business owner and metal repair master

I always needed to be in control of my own destiny. Growing up I saw my father at the mercy of other peoples whims and direction. It weighed heavy on him and my family as he would be passed over for promotions or positions he wanted. It made me not want to have to answer to others and only be a part of building some one else dream. Read more>>

Aubree Farmer | Barista, and owner

At first when the thought of buying my own business at the age of 18, I thought “ your crazy Aubree” But I wanted to create something bigger for my little community, I wanted to be apart of something that could be larger. I also wanted to prove a lot of people wrong about what I was able to accomplish.
The risk of buying a business is a HUGE one. But in my case the benefits outweighed, and so I jumped in with two feet. Read more>>

Indy George | Mompreneur & CEO of Joany Junktion

I’ve had an inclination for starting a business since I was a young woman. I’ve had different reasons over the years to start a business, but it usually always came back to wanting to spend my time working on things that are interesting to me and my lifestyle. And after losing my baker job at the very beginning of the pandemic I just couldn’t fully live my life without creating something. I felt that it was life’s destiny to be in the creative industry. I tried different odd jobs after that but always came back to the feeling that felt like something was missing. After thinking to myself for a while. Weighing the pros and cons. Read more>>

Bobby Love Robbie Carter | CEO & Creative Director

Robbie and Bobby have always felt they were born to perform! With a mutual love for singing, comedy, and an entrepreneurial spirit, Syng Studios was formed around the idea that through music and laughter we come together. The concept began with the idea of taking their passions and creating something amazing that would support not only themselves but the people and performers they surround themselves with. Along the way Syng Studios has had the help of some incredibly talented people that have assisted us in making it into the amazing company that it is today. Read more>>

Brett Hansen | Founder of Rocky Mountain Digital LLC

I have spent so much of my life already doing marketing, and I’m only going on 24 years old. It was really only a matter of time before I started my own business doing it. I fell in love with all aspects of marketing when I first started, especially being able to express my creativity. With that being said, I wanted to be different. People my age normally don’t just graduate college and start their own business. Being able to go out and start my own business and be my own boss is something that was really important to me. Read more>>

Kristen Fetting | Salon Owner and Stylist at Creative Chaos Salon

Growing up my mother owned her own hair salon and as a child I would go to work with her as often as I could. I loved chatting with her clients and just being in the atmosphere. It’s definitely not like a traditional job it’s alot more fun and relaxed. I knew at a very young age one day I would own my own business I just wasn’t sure what type at the time. To follow in my mom’s foot steps I attended beauty school in 2001 and graduated in 2002. I’ve been working in the cosmetology field for almost 20 years now. About 5 years ago after moving to Colorado I worked in a salon that was not a very fun or friendly environment. Read more>>

Gundega Stevens & Abigail Kreuser | Curate Your Space

Purpose… Curate Your Space helps to bring beautiful art into the homes and businesses in our community. Read more>>

Dee Lucas | Recording Artist & Business Owner

My mindset when I started my business was to create, own, and control. It was that simple. I truly believe value is a premium when control what you own and own what you control. Also, your decisions of your career is not dictated by the decisions of others. Read more>>

Gabby Emslie | Mother & Baker

I started my business, Rosy’s Donuts, during a crazy time – earlier that year Covid shut down the schools, and I had to leave my job as a baker at a restaurant to homeschool my daughter through the end of kindergarten and all of 1st grade. Since I suddenly had no income and am not together with her father, I had to figure out how to make money from home. I’ve always loved baking and have been in the industry since I could first work, so naturally selling baked goods out of my home was the best option. There really were no good donut options in Salida, so I decided to learn how to make them. To survive, to pay rent, and to be able to stay home with my kiddo! Read more>>

Maxx Lepselter | Sports Agent

My father help[ed propel me to start my business and chase a childhood dream, while building side by side with him. Read more>>

Dr. Amy Novotny | Founder, Breathing and Movement specialist

Starting my own business came about in a unique way. Earlier in 2018, I was hired by a world renowned photographer to travel the world with him and his partner from the Arctic to the Antarctic to coach him to keep him out of two major surgeries. I jumped at the chance to leave my job and try something new. When I finished my work with him in Antarctica, I decided to start my own business. I knew that I could have a greater reach and impact if I left a small clinic and began sharing my healing techniques not just nationally but also internationally. At the same time, I had become more skilled in photography and began that business as well. Now I work with clients through Zoom all over the world with my healing and coaching work and produce photos that inspire gratitude for our earth. Read more>>

Amy DeLuca | Owner & Buyer

I new there we’re multiple demands for goods in our town and I wanted to fill a niche that was unmet. My husband is a cyclist and loves bikes. Our friend who was a mechanical engineer specializing in bicycles and he turned us onto electric bikes, which were just hitting the market in the US and Paonia didn’t have a bike shop. I had NO background in bikes but I did have a lot of experience in the retail/wholesale fashion industry. Read more>>

Tim Hassler | Musician & Band Manager

As a band, creating a business was a very gradual process. While the first time we ever played together did happen to be in a professional context, it was in the service of pursuing an acting career. Once this opportunity ended, our group kept playing together mostly out of enjoyment and friendship. It wasn’t until years later that we started using music as a means to support ourselves. It started off as busking and small shows, really just a fun way to make some extra cash. Eventually, though, we started taking enough gigs where we needed to more formally create a “business”. Read more>>

Jen Mompher | Realtor

Growing up, I was lucky enough to watch both of my parents establish businesses of their own, which allowed me to cultivate an appreciation for entrepreneurship. As my children got older and began leaving the nest, it felt like the right time for me to transition into a new role and pursue my dreams of starting my own business. It was important to me that I show my children that it is never too late to go after your goals or change career paths. The start of my real estate business truly signifies a new chapter in my life— the beginning of the legacy I hope to leave behind. Read more>>

Elsie Hamilton | Founder of Lilly Brush

In 2010 we adopted a very sad little Australian Shepherd named Lilly from the DDFL. It was a new start for all of us. The year before, at just 48, I had had a massive heart attack brought on by shoveling heavy, wet snow from our driveway. It would take many months of rehab and recovery before anything at home returned to semi-normal. I was a single mom, with two middle school aged sons, and the three of us were doing everything we could to move on from what had been an extremely traumatic event. Adding one more traumatized little soul along the way was, oddly, a no-brainer. Read more>>

liz pagel | owner + jewelry designer at

Like many people, I was bored out of my mind during quarantine. I saw a lot of people on social media picking up polymer clay so I thought to myself, “how hard could it really be?” I ordered supplies and watched a few videos on some of the basics techniques and I just went for it with no plan in mind. I definitely did not have a meaningful platform on social media but I knew that I had a great community that would support me along the way. I was confident that with my experience in customer service, my degree in retail merchandising, my passion to become a designer in some form, and my dream to own my own business/have my own brand would be enough to allow me to build something successful. Ultimately, it was all driven by wanting to feel fulfilled and wanting to create things that people would want to wear. Read more>>

Thomas Franklin | Patent Attorney & Software Developer

Necessity is the mother of invention. After helping many clients build innovation management systems with whatever they used internally already (e.g., Jira, Salesforce, etc.), I decided to build one that could work for everyone else. The established platforms although familiar to the enterprises that use them don’t provide any specific data or analytics integration. With the help of data insights, it empowers enterprises to understand their patent portfolio to make proper decisions. Everyone should be armed with a good management system guided with the best analytics. Read more>>

Jason Fazio | Landscape Photographer

The thought process behind starting my own business was simple. So many times, you hear people tell you to “Chase your dreams,” or “Live every day like it’s your last,” or “Live life to the fullest.” I simply decided that’s what I was going to do. I chose landscape photography over a six-figure job because it is where my passion lies. Chasing sunrises, sunsets, and the seasons; what could be better? What better way is there to make a living then to help others see the value in and treasure each day’s sunrise? Read more>>