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.

Danielle Nelson | Licensed Cosmetologist

In 2018, I was going through a transitional period in my life where I needed change. My grandmother, Mary Lillie had passed away and it really affected me and my family. I needed an outlet and I felt a need to begin something new. I decided to enroll into cosmetology school to pursue my passion has a hairdresser. While attending Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy in Colorado Springs, I discovered that I was pregnant. The moment I found out, I knew that I needed to work incredibly hard to complete the program and get my cosmetology license. Read more>>

Lindsey Bell | Gallery Director & Curator

From a young age, I’ve always known I wanted to work in the arts. I was very fortunate to visit many renowned museums with my family. Getting to see and experience such amazing art left me thinking about how impactful these experiences can and must be for others as well. Art is something that can connect us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, more meaningful connections with others, as well as a connection to the world around us. Read more>>

Rudy Alcaraz | Real Estate Broker/Realtor

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have multiple GREAT and NOT SO GREAT jobs, from bartending to Construction Project Management, where I was able to have a lot of fun, meet a bunch of important and interesting people and was given the trust to run multimillion dollar projects. I was able to grow from a labor worker to a Project Manager within 8 months of hard work by a very strong work ethic, a lot of sacrifices, change in habits where mind and body came to place and of course a little bit of luck of being at the right place at the right time. Read more>>

Nathaniel Fyffe | Custom Jeweler // Jewelry Designer

When I made the decision to start my own business I was looking to break the monotony of my day to day life. I was working a 9-5 job; focusing on my craft in the evenings between shifts and night school. I knew if I really wanted to take things seriously I needed to take a leap into the unknown and focus on turning my hobby in a full fledged business. It was a definite sink or swim moment but I have never looked back since then and couldn’t be happier with the path taking that chance has landed me on. Read more>>

Stephanie Wandtke | Botanical Artist

My business kind of started itself. I began making my little lockets as gifts for friends and family. I have an old soul and I think that lockets have such a long history of love and remembrance. They are romantic and simple. What better gift to give a loved one? When I think of lockets I think of keeping loved ones close even if they are at a distance; It is held perfectly against your heart. I needed a healthy way to turn off my brain- something to focus on so my anxieties would dismiss. I can say that moving fragile flowers through a viscous substance such as resin does just that. Read more>>

Michelle Morton | Owner & Designer

I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit ever since I was 10 I would come up with business ideas and and I loved making jewelry. Over the years I’ve had several business names and attended many craft shows. My full time job always was the priority. So I trusted that this dream would come true and I waited for Gods timing to bring it to reality. After having my daughter Hazel a new spark started in me and I wanted it to create something I could pass on to my children and also help contribute to my family once I became a stay at home mom. I needed something to give me freedom to work when I could and be at home with now our two little ones. Many people ask why Butterflies and Banjos… My nickname at the church I worked at was Butterflies and Banjos and I thought what a perfect name for my new brand! It captured the carefree and joyful feel of the brand. Read more>>

Ashley Peck | Wedding + Portrait Photographer

I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. When we adopted our son and finally became parents I knew that I needed to find work that would allow me to stay home with him. I had previously worked as a special education teacher, and while I loved my work, I needed something that allowed me to be creative and work from home. I had alway loved photography and grew up with a mother who had a studio in our home and took photos on the side. I signed up for a course to learn the technical aspects of photography, found a few friends who were wild enough to trust me and just started doing sessions. Three years later and I have a beautiful business creating timeless imagery for couples and families and I get to be home with our two boys. It has been the hardest work but goodness I love it. Read more>>

Nikki Prantil | Recipe Developer and Food Blogger, @nikkisnaturalkitchen

I’ve always considered myself.a creative person, and having a creative outlet to express myself was very important to me throughout my upbringing. When I went to school for engineering and then began working in a very technical, corporate field, I turned to cooking to give myself a space to create something new every evening after work. As I got more into cooking, I would speak to family and friends who were constantly expressing how challenging cooking was to them and how they didn’t enjoy it, and I thought “If I could only show people how easy it is to create really incredible meals at home, and how enjoyable cooking can be, I think I could change their minds!” So I decided to create an Instagram account and start sharing easy, unique vegetarian recipes with my family and friends that proved that cooking meatless meals at home was a lot more than just salads. Read more>>

YepOk | Artist/Musicians

We Decided to start our own business because of our love for writing music and performing. Starting the band has helped us reach new audiences as musicians in an organized and professional way. Read more>>

Michael Gallizzi | Entrepreneur & Robotic and Endoscopic Spine Surgeon

I founded Nobbli Ltd with two other partners to bring unique wine and spirits that are socially and environmentally conscious into Colorado. The grain to glass movement in my home state of Michigan is being driven by Ironfish Distilleries in Thompsonville, MI. This brand is growing and sourcing all its ingredients for their spirits locally and helping to employ many bar tenders and farmers in rural northern Michigan. During the pandemic, they were able to convert from spirit production into providing hand sanitizer to the local hospital system. They have a barrel exchange program with the local maple syrup makers to create to create their Maple Barbour, which has become one of their more popular whiskeys. At our core, Nobbli Ltd wants to connect high quality spirits that are socially, economically, and environmentally helping their local communities Read more>>

Jesse (J.R.) Perry | Owner & Founder

After years of corporate leadership and executive roles, we decided to take everything we love and built a business out of it. As entrepreneurs we have the philosophy to always be learning and striving to become something better each day.. SpeedEFX came into fruition when a couple of amazing minds (Steven Sills, Seth Tefertiller and J.R. Perry) came together and in February of 2018 it became a reality. Our goal was to build a business that we could go to each day and be proud of the work we were doing. Our mindset was to work hard and the success would follow. Read more>>

Stephanie Heeb | Founder & Executive Director

After working in the corporate world for 11 years I was told that the division I worked in was closing and the entire department would be laid off. I was fortunate enough to get plenty of notice (1 year) but I was still nervous about my future. I had only worked for 2 companies, was promoted several times and loved my jobs so it was a hard pill to swallow when I was told I had to find a new job. In the months leading up to my last day I started working with and supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners on an hourly, as-needed basis to start saving extra money since I wasn’t sure what my future would hold.  Read more>>