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.

Ashley Mazin | Business Owner, Esthetician, & Makeup Artist

My thought process behind starting my own business stems from a long time of working for others. I just knew that I worked so hard for so long to be working for someone else in order for them to prosper and be successful. Without me as a team member or manager or whatever I was working for someone else I was helping them more so than myself is how I looked at it. Which there is nothing wrong with that! But for me I had a hard time working for someone else and clocking in and out for a 9-5. I just knew I’d always want to work for myself and see my hard work and dedication and hustle pay off for ME! I’ve always loved makeup, skin, beauty, and esthetics and of course people! I knew that this is something I wanted to pursue. So I just networked myself and always talked to people and really utilized my social media to generate business, build clientele, and now have the success that I have! Read more>>

E J Carr | Photographer and Creative Director

Good Question. At the time I actually wasn’t thinking that I was starting a business. All I wanted to do was create images and get paid. It was sort of a, one shoot at a time. Make some money. get some exposure and recognition and strokes. It started to be a business when the shoots started to get bigger, more production, bigger team of support. Read more>>

Sophia Briegleb | Pilates Studio Owner and Teacher

First, I had to make sure I had something people wanted. In my Pilates teacher training program, I was required to student teach over 200 hours. I had friends, family, and neighbors jumping at this chance. Once certified, I opened a small studio in my home and even though I now charged for services, demand stayed high. Desirable product? Check. The next step was to make sure the location of where I opened my studio wasn’t already saturated. Sure enough, this part of Denver and NW Aurora notably lack Pilates studios. Underserved location? Check. Finally, I tried to make our studio stand out from others. We are small, highly personalized, use Joseph Pilates’ original exercises for inspiration in all we do (aka “classical” Pilates), anatomically and alignment focused, capable of working with a variety of injuries and conditions, and we keep the studio spotless. Unique? Check. Because just being close isn’t a good enough reason to trust a studio with your body. Read more>>

Chrissy Liu | Jewelry Designer and Business Owner

When I took my first metalsmithing class in April of 2018, I wasn’t sure where it would lead. Little did I know it would ignite a spark in me that I couldn’t extinguish. For the months following my introductory class, I was creating as much as I could and signing up for every workshop that worked with our family schedule. As I was accumulating many rings and earrings during my practice sessions, my husband asked me one day whether I had thought about selling my work. For a brief moment, I had some doubts about whether people would like what I created and then realized, I would never know unless I tried. Six months after my first class, I filed the paperwork to create my business and within the first year, I sold my first piece. Both of my parents were entrepreneurs and owned their own businesses, as did my in-laws, so it is really something my husband and I know well and experienced growing up. When the opportunity arose to follow in their footsteps, it was a no brainer. Read more>>

Kara Smith | 5th Generation Rancher and Founder of Colorado Craft Beef LLC

As a fifth generation rancher it was imperative to me that the ranch not only continue to exist but that it should exist in a way that payed respect to the over 100 years of family heritage that made the ranch possible. I have embodied that in Colorado Craft Beef by finding the best way possible to share the ranch with the public and engage with a broad cross section of people that allows my family’s ranching heritage to be a part of many families daily lives across Colorado and beyond. Read more>>

Kayla Ferguson | Food and Travel Enthusiast

My business really started out of a passion project. I got back to Denver after a year-long, 26 country trip around the world that I embarked on after I decided I didn’t want to work in Hollywood anymore. In 2018, after about two years of being back in Denver (where I grew up), I was bored of going to the same restaurants and breweries every weekend. One night while eating at Yak & Yeti, a local Indian restaurant, I got the idea to do monthly cultural food outings to try to appease the incessant travel bug that wouldn’t leave me alone. My first dinner was at an Ethiopian restaurant and I posted on Facebook for anyone who wanted to to join us and I think nine people came. It was so much fun! By the third month 30+ people were showing up to these dinners and I realized there was an opportunity to start a business that offered people the opportunity to “travel locally” and connect with others over food. Read more>>

Dana Hutchinson | Medical Herbalist & Chinese Medicine Practitioner

I was diagnosed with a chonric autoimmune condition in 2010, called Lichen sclerosis, which was made extremely worse by western pharmaceutical treatment. I began seeing a chinese medicine practitioner in Sydney, Australia that opened my eyes to the world of Chinese Medicine and how they view the body from a holistic and “root cause” perspective. I immediatley started to see improvements in the balance of my system, and knew that I had to dedicate myself to helping others find relief from their health conditions. I began studying western clinical herbalism and traditional chines medicine in 2011 with the idea in my head that one day I would move back to the USA and open up a eastern/western apothecary clinic. I had always had entrepreneurial drive from a young age and decided to harness my eagerness for working for myself and make it come to life. Read more>>

Prisca Sisa | Entrepreneur & Community Leader

My family has always had the spirit of entrepreneurship, but as immigrants to the United States of America – they never really had the tools to start a business. My father has always been a restaurant manager and my mother always dreamed of operating a small boutique of African clothing, foreign beauty products and ethnic food. As a natural born leader I am taking the initiative to make this dream come true. In January 2019, I joined the Entrepreneurial Launch program at the Community College of Aurora. I was 2 semesters away from completing my Associates degree and I had learned that I could dual-enroll into a certificate program. With the uncertainty of getting financial help to move onto a 4-year business degree, I decided to take advantage of the entrepreneurship program that would help me start my business. Read more>>