Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder. We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Charis Sederberg | Registered Nurse and Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner

I launched my business during the pandemic! Kind of crazy but it’s been the most fulfilling to see the steady growth with unprecedented times My business has been one of the most organically derived things in my life! I never planned on being an entrepreneur. When I became a nurse, I was overjoyed to find a profession where I would always be able to find a job and didn’t have to worry about meeting a sales quota or keeping up with my work peers from an earnings standpoint. I’m not a competitive person by nature and nursing was just a perfect fit for me in so many ways. When I decided to take a break from nursing, the opportunity to learn more about nutrition and become certified to help people in this arena opened up. It wasn’t until I was part way through my nutrition certification program that I knew I would start my own business. Read more>>

Erica Weiner | Integrative Health Practitioner

I had been with my corporate job for nearly 8 years, traveling around the country producing events. It was fun & fulfilling work, but exhausting. Most mornings, my first thought was “what city am I in again?” I also have an autoimmune condition and back in 2019, it went from flaring up about once per year to five times in six months. I broke down. I had to take a really hard look at my life and figure out if the stress of the job was worth my health & quality of life. Life was passing me by, and I didn’t like that feeling. So, I started working with a personal coach to figure things out. I had also started going to therapy the year before and was all in on prioritizing my mental, physical and spiritual health. As I worked with my own coaches and healers, I became obsessed with personal growth & health optimization. It’s all I talked about. It’s all I thought about. I was addicted to healing and I knew I needed to set things in motion to create a life where this is what I could focus on every day. Read more>>

Carrie Van Meter | Accountant

I have been an accountant in some form or fashion in multiple industries for the last 23 years. All positions and professions that I have been employed in/for were positions I created. I did them very different than most other Controllers, CFOs, Comptrollers, Executive Directors, etc. I was a translator of the numbers in the financials to the owners/operators in the way they needed it to be told to them. I always added great value to the Human Capital aspect and allowed for a ROI to the people versus the overhead. I choose to start my business to not do bookkeeping/data entry – I don’t enjoy that part, so I hire people that do and that allows me to read the numbers and give them a voice. What do they say – how well did the company do, therefore how well can the company scale and/or perform. I love telling business owners what their numbers say in reward and/or redirection of the compass. Read more>>

Ellis Vidmar | Photographer & Digital Storyteller

I’ve always been one who has wanted “just a little more” out of everything I accomplish or create. I am a perfectionist to say the least. I have been taking photos for as long as I can remember. There was this one summer, I took Photography as a 4-H project, and as a part of one of the assignments they asked me to take pictures following certain rules… I remember thinking to myself “why should there be rules in my creations, they can’t tell me what to do.” I was 10 or 11 a the time, and since then, I have followed that motto when it comes to my photography. My first initial photography name was “Photos by Ellis Rae” and over time, as I grew in my knowledge and got more creative I wanted my name to change and grow with me; and so in 2018, Rae of Light Photography was born. I am passionate about photography because I believe in creating memories, not only through the photos but through the experience that I want my clients to have during their session. I am the queen of making it up as I go, and no two sessions are the same, no two photos are the same and that’s the kind of impression I want to leave with my clients. Read more>>

Jenn Hogue | Visual Story Teller

I think it’s changed over the last fourteen years, originally I wanted to do something I was really passionate about, but I feel like I was kind of all over the place in the sense of what I was wanting to do johndra wise. I did family, newborns, weddings, seniors and while I was making money- it wasn’t filling me up, I hadn’t found my nitch, the one thing that made me go “YES, yes this is it” As I grew and my photography and me as a person was shaped I discovered I wanted to tell a story about authenticity and connections. It was the images that weren’t perfect but made you stop and look longer, that pulled something out of you. It was about saving a moment that pushed me forward. Read more>>

Amanda Wall | Author and Illustrator of “Finding Family in a Far-Away Land”

Becoming a children’s author and illustrator of “Finding Family in a Far-Away Land” was motivated by my family and was an organically evolving project. As a parent of four with our youngest two adopted from India, I sought to find children’s books in which all my children could relate. I came up very short. One day after my youngest daughter, Ari, asked me to recount her adoption story for the 15th time I decided to write it down. As a family, we enjoyed remembering the moment we first met, and the overwhelming emotion felt by all. Our daughter’s hesitation towards us was resolved with giant, sugary gumdrops but truthfully spicy samosas would have been better. We reminisced how our family must have looked like aliens from another planet to our daughters from India. Laughter filled our dining table as we talked about the many firsts Priya and Ari experienced in America. Priya screamed at the sight of a sprinkler system and Ari protected us at the zoo by shooing away the leopards. Read more>>

Ron Worley | Author, Entrepreneur, Family Man

I was unemployable at the time of my first business. I didnt like working for someone else, and I hated being on their clock, under their control. I also struggled with being limited to the number of hours I could work in a week to make my checks. I knew at a young age I was going to run my own business and command my own freedoms within. I was motivated to open my second business by shear fear. Fear of homelessness, fear of being trapped in a job, and fear of losing everything in my life again. I wanted to be diverse in my companies, so I opened a retail store to go a long with my bail business. Which soon turned to 4 retail stores. Read more>>

Anthony Lawrence | Founder | Owner

It’s funny because I never set out with the goal of starting a fragrance business. Prior to starting J. Laurant my only thought was figuring out a way to help my mom and maybe in that process start a business we could do together. My mom is the hardest working person I know, growing up she would always work 2-3 jobs at a time to help make ends meet. On most weekends one of those jobs would involve her working as a fragrance rep, selling fragrances at various malls for luxury brands like Chanel, YSL, Prada, and others. My mom has always had an amazing ability to sell, and I would try to always encourage her to start her own business, but to no avail. In late 2019 my thought process started to shift and I began to think “why not us, why couldn’t we start a business and create our own brand of beautiful high-quality products?”. So that’s exactly what I did, it took a year of learning about fragrance from the ground up and a lot of trial and error. But in December of 2020 we were able to launch the first product, our Cashmere Creme candle. We ended up selling out of our entire stock in the first 3 weeks. Read more>>

Ashley Youngswick | Creative Designer

This time last year the idea of starting my own business didn’t even cross my mind…. but then the world stopped and I found myself freshly out a design job that I had had for 6 years. I took some time to reevaluate my life goals and passions and with the encouragement of my friends and family I decided to take the leap. I knew that my career of working in special events was not realistic anymore and that I needed to take all my creativity and come up with a fresh concept when I could share my love for design with others.After a few months of creating original content , creating a website and social media platforms … and the hardest part coming up with a name for my company – Birdy Creative was born. Birdy is named for my Dad, Freddy who we lost in 2017 . Birdy was the cat he swore he hated, but actually loved more than anything. all to, Birdy! I named my company after her as a tribute to my dad and his love for her. Read more>>

Anne Marie Brown | Children’s Book Author and Entrepreneur

I wanted the flexibility to be around more for my children. I feel like I just jumped off this treadmill I’d been running on my whole life – college, jobs, graduate school, other challenging jobs. Taking the leap to start my own business and then finally pursue my lifelong dream of publishing my three children’s books felt like a breath of fresh air. When my daughter was a baby, I had a hard time finding early learning books that I really loved reading to her. All the books for ages 0-4 were either in terrible rhyme and meter, or just didn’t seem to have any point to them. Reading is such a special opportunity, even when they are that little, that I wanted to write books to pass on messages I wished I had learned early in life: that failure is part of learning, that change is a natural part of life, and that we can all have an impact on this world. Read more>>

MaLia Posey-Hughes | Food Enthusiast & Mental Health Advocate

My mother always taught me that you should have 3 hobbies in your life in order to remain balanced: one that keeps you healthy, one that makes you happy and one that makes you money. At the time, my brother, Lance, had just started his fitness journey and was in need of someone to support his dietary needs so, I offered my support. I soon realized that there must be a community of other people that would also benefit from that support while providing me with an opportunity to grow my education in nutrition and showing love to my community by providing them with healthy food options. Read more>>

Jessica Clarke | Licensed Esthetician and Owner of Just Skin Den

I struggled with cystic acne all through high school and college. I tried every antibiotic and prescribed cream, but it always came back. Fast forward to 2019 and my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He was the healthiest man I knew so I started to research different things. In my research, I started to learn about skincare ingredients and how different skin responds differently and what our skin needs. I was able to clear up my acne and keep it away through this process. Around this time, I gained a social media following and as cliche as it sounds, everyone was asking me about my skincare (haha). When the pandemic hit, the company I was working for was affected so I decided to go to esthetician school to be able to back up my knowledge. While in school, I fell in love with giving facials and really transforming the skin. Once I graduated, Just Skin Den just fell into place!. Read more>>

Ashley McGee | Sales & Marketing Manager & Creator of Taste of Palisade

I was speaking to the owner of Palisade Pedi-Cab and the wine maker at Plum Creek and they were both discussing how difficult it can be to get food at the wineries. From that discussion, I knew a charcuterie business would benefit these businesses by giving their guests the best experience possible however, I didn’t really feel a connection to the idea, so I waivered on if I even wanted to go down this path. After really thinking about how I could expand this idea and make it a networking opportunity for all, I created “Taste of Palisade”. After our Covid year, there is nothing more I wanted to do than to make sure small businesses were supported and shown how much they are appreciated. I had a newfound motivation because I wanted a chance to highlight ALL businesses that Palisade has to offer. If my boards create a discussion about other local partners in the area, that makes the experience in Palisade truly rooted and they get a real sense for what this town is about. Read more>>

Ben Mozer | Owner, The Lyric

I’ve always thought that Cinema was the collision point between all the art forms. So for a movie theater to break apart and feature each medium seemed like a natural evolution to me. So now that the movie industry is in a tail spin, it really helps to be able to have events centered around music, painting, mixed media, performance and dance. Read more>>

Darla Jentzsch | Business owner @ Darla’s Pilates Studio, Ltd., Pilates and Movement Therapist, freelance dancer/choreographer and Mrs. Boulder County 2021

I started my own business in 2002 to teach and bring the magic of Pilates to my community. I found Pilates as an exercise program and healing system that became a true and proven system to me. I started my business to incorporate all of the training and teachings I had learned throughout my life. My studio specializes in creating a connected mind, body, and spirit. I feel Pilates is for everybody. As a dancer and family member of multiple cancer patients, I started to focus my healing arts on rehabilitation and endurance as a Cancer Exercise Therapist. I work with athletes searching for peak performance, injured seeking relief and anyone looking to discover their authentic self. I believe if everyone begins with themselves and is authentic than the world can be changed. I have incorporated teaching dance and movement as I am graduating with my Master of Arts in Dance Education with an emphasis of teaching Pilates and Dance in the community and school systems. Read more>>

Liz Foster | Birth & Postpartum Doula & Birth Coach

After the birth of both of my children, I always wrote out their birth stories. Specifically after I wrote my daughter’s birth story, I realized how much I wanted to be of service to women giving birth. See, there is so much to consider, decide and wonder about during pregnancy: about your and your baby’s health, the birth experience, parenting, ALL THE THINGS, let alone how to get through all of it without completely losing yourself in the process. I knew that being a doula was what I was being called to do. Both of my birth experiences were black and white, crash cesarean and VBAC; traumatizing and empowering. Other people deserved to know what I know and how to experience the transformation of birth with peace. Read more>>

Lisa Smith | Colon Hydrotherapist

To help people in every way I want to. My hours, my prices, my way. Read more>>

Racquel Garcia | CEO/Creator/Coach CAC,PRC

There wasn’t much of a thought process actually. God have me a gift, I needed to pay my bills, and I have kids to raise. What I had been doing for 8 years for free I needed learn how to monetize and multiply, so I could serve others on a greater scale. Including my family. HardBeauty is my obsessive desire to offer humanity the opportunity to rise and thrive beyond their circumstances. I can’t not do it. Read more>>