Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Spencer Laster | Musician & Tie Dye Artist

I’ve been a musician for most of my life and that was always my passion but tie dye kind of just fell into my lap. I started acid washes all my old shirts at first lol So I’ve always loved creating and I’ve always wanted to make a business out of it. To have freedom to create and just live my life is the end goal. Read more>>

Melissa Mooney | Owner of Kids Table

I wanted to provide more plant-based options to our community while also having a very approachable menu. We serve childhood favorites such as mac and cheese, nachos, and other staples…but veganized! This allows people to feel more open-minded and curious about vegan food since our products and business feels familiar and kinda playful. Also I wanted to be my own boss haha. Read more>>

Ryan Nugent | Graphic Designer/Logo Specialist/Woodworker

It really has been an ongoing process since 2015. I have been only woodworking for a short time. It really is just my therapy and escape from the everyday stresses. I also have a degree in Graphic Design and have been doing freelance work off and on for the last 16 years and thought it would be great to incorporate my designs with my woodworking. My specialty however is logo design. I have created more than 2 dozen logos for other small business. I hope to grow the Graphic Design side of the business a little more and keep my woodworking as my escape. Read more>>

Pia | Curator/Proprietor

I moved to Telluride in 2010 after living most of my life in NYC & Boston. I studied fashion design & art history and I spent most of my career in design and curation. I wanted to be involved in the Telluride community and I realized that there was a void for my business model in my new home town. MiXX projects+atelier was created with the belief that art and design should be joyful and accessible parts of everyday life. We assemble a thoughtfully curated selection of fine art, handcrafted jewelry and artisan home goods . Our customers are just as creative as the artists and designers we partner with, and our eclectic collection of functional art is carefully concocted to inspire our clients to express their individuality . Art Transcends is another important part of our mission . Read more>>

Ryane Urie/Rose | Tattoo Studio Owner and Lead Artist

I think everyone (we at least I assume) want to create something special and unique when they forge ahead on their own. I honestly just wanted a place where i could work with amazing people and energy, and as simple as that sounds, there is a lot of darker sides to the tattoo industry than people talk about. Over and over again when i worked at other tattoo shops i discovered what I wanted was more of a need than a personal desire. I looked around and realized that there weren’t any all female tattoo shops, ESPECIALLY, queer owned and or majority operating them. It was unheard of and honestly laughed about. Read more>>

Matt Newton | Freeski Coach & Athlete

My goal for starting a business was to give myself more freedom. I felt a constant conflict between having time to ski and being forced to work multiple jobs. I spent a few seasons working multiple jobs as a ski coach and server, while pursuing a personal ski career. Starting Alpenglow Ski Academy has allowed me to have a more flexible schedule and pursue personal projects. Alpenglow is an all-online ski coaching platform that allows people to get one-on-one ski coaching at an affordable rate. In my years as a semi-professional skier, I discovered many people who struggled to find affordable and accessible ski coaching. Read more>>

Georgia May Wake | Burlesque Performer, Producer, and Teacher

At the time, I was working at a venue watching all these amazing performers and I just really wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to dance. And I wanted to dance on stage. I had danced most of my life, but through adulting, it fell out of my day to day and my heartached to get back to it. So my first step was to get up the courage to apply to perform. I had an amazing support system who encouraged me to pursue my passion and once I applied, I actually got chosen! I was shocked. “Maybe I can make this a thing?” I thought. So I started thinking about not just performing myself, but about giving the same opportunity I was just given to others in the community. Read more>>

Cristina Schutz | Tailor & Co. Realty Group | Co-Owner & Agent

After years of sitting behind a desk, stuck in a world where someone else was deciding how much money I could make and the times they required me to be present, I decided this isn’t the life I wanted. I realized that I did not want to hit the glass ceiling and max out before I even had a chance, I needed an environment where this was dependent on one thing, me. Read more>>

MaDonna Collingwood | Founder & Creator at Studio Institute Denver

After completing six years as a traditional student at a university and receiving a Master’s degree in Interior Architecture I started to look at the amount of student loan debt that I was in, and the roles/jobs I was able to obtain after graduation. While examining my own educational path and reflecting on where it got me and how I got there I started to understand how I could have gotten there in a more efficient way. A lot of my superiors at architecture firms did not have degrees, but learned from experience working in various interior industries such as flooring, windows, lighting, etc. I finished school at the top of my class and maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout all six years including graduate school. Read more>> 

Amia Farris | Salon Owner

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, but beyond that I wanted the freedom of being the owner of your own schedule, pay, workspace, etc. I wanted to represent a strong woman owned business that was inclusive, unique, and supported others.
My ideas and goals I created seemed so far away from reality at first, but once I really put my effort and drive into the full concept it all came to me and emerged exactly how I had envisioned.
I just knew from day one I had to stay organized, driven, and one step ahead to build the business I wanted. Read more>>