Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Serena Jacob | Co-Owner/CEO of Lash and Company Longmont & Licensed Esthetician

I started working in the dental industry 15 years ago. I entered as a dental assistant, became an EDDA, (expanded duties dental assistant), performed orthodontics, and finally became the office manager. The experience showed me the importance of good bed side manner and the joy of helping people. Becoming the office manager had many challenges but also provided the rewards of hand picking my own staff, building relationships, and helping the business flourish. Read more>>

Leo Sideras | Outdoor Photographer & Videographer

The thought process behind starting my own business is really rooted in one thing – happiness. Throughout my life I’ve been much happier working for myself and have found an immeasurable amount satisfaction in doing so. My first business (and job) was as an independent landscape contractor. I’d spend my summers building retaining walls, re-doing residential yards, designing flower beds, etc. This is really where I learned the value & reward in working for myself, running my own business, and managing my revenue & expenses. Read more>>

Tobi Rohwer | Owner

When we started out more than a decade ago, we had pretty modest goals. We just wanted to be able to take guests on a rafting trip that we would be proud to take our own friends and family on. We wanted to develop a sense of family within a renewed company. We wanted to develop a boating community in the town where we grew up and where one didn’t exist before. Read more>>

Megan Thompson | Principal Deisgner & Founder

I graduated from design school during the recession, and finding employment in my field was practically impossible at that time. I worked in other aligned industries, for a countertop fabricator, a window company, etc., but the industry was very unstable at the time and these companies laid off when business slowed down. I wanted stable employment and a bit of health insurance, Read more>>

Jacques Gerber | Wedding and Engagement Videographer

Starting my own business came from thinking through these questions: What do I love to do? What am I good at? How do I want to do what I love? Why do I want to do what I love? Once I answered those questions (with the help of asking my friends and family) it was sort of a plug and play. I knew that I believed in the influence that video has, and I knew that I loved seeing people relive and retell their stories. Organically then, wedding and engagement video was a great avenue to launch a video storytelling business. I will add that it takes time to sit down and count the cost before launching a business, Read more>>

Jaclyn Valentine | Backpacking Guide & Product Manager

If I am being honest, this business was completely unintentional. I had dreams of starting my own company one day within the mental health and art therapy realm, but I never considered starting an ‘outdoorsy’ business. In April 2020, I found myself back in the States, after living in Sydney, Australia, due to the pandemic. I was so set on my path in Sydney and thought I would be calling that city home for the foreseeable future. As the story went for many people, the pandemic shifted my life. I found myself back in Castle Rock, Colorado, where I grew up, in my mom’s home and itching to be anywhere else. Read more>>

Logan Taylor | Digital Illustrator

Growing up, many of my friends and family members would find interest in my art and would often share how they wanted my art for their own home. This inspired me to create an art that almost everyone can enjoy, whether or not you have a wall to decorate. Most everyone has a open surface on their computer, water bottle, car window, and almost every other common good . That was inspired me to create stickers. I enjoyed the simplicity of the design, and the ability to covey other peoples thoughts or passions through my work. Read more>>

Leyna Grace | Artist

As a queer woman, I did not feel as though I belonged in many of the spaces I previously worked within the tattoo industry, and I often found myself apologizing to my clients and friends that identify as queer for the atmosphere in those shops. This all led me to feel as though the space where I would feel the most comfortable working, and that other queer people would feel comfortable visiting, would be a space that we would have to create. Read more>>

Gracie Aguirre | Jewlery Maker & Barista

The thought process behind starting my own business was that I wasn’t finding much jewelry in the style I was wanting that I actually liked. While scrolling through one of my social media apps one day, a video came up of someone making their own jewelry. I figured, since I have a bunch of crystals and stones I have been collecting since I was young, I should give it a try and make my own necklaces. I began wearing the pendants I was making to where I work and all the girls I work with, as well as customers, were asking me to buy them or if I had a website. It is because of their encouragement that Graceful Designs was born. Read more>>

Shayla Fyfe | Small Business Owner & Executive Assistant

I started Fyfe Created both to pursue a lifelong dream of owning my own small business and out of a desire to intentionally do something that I love, that is for me, and brings delight to others. Fyfe Created came right after I had my first born child – in the rush of assuming a new role as a mother, I forgot a bit of what fueled me. I’ve always been a crafty individual, Read more>>

Expedtion Stories | Blogger & Nature Photographer

We are a couple who love traveling and camping. Since the pandemic began, it has been difficult for many people to travel abroad. We created and our Instagram account (@expedition_stories) for people who are not able to travel in the US. Our goal is to share beautiful places in the US, through our blogs and photos. We hope our photos and traveling stories are able to cheer the community up. Read more>>

Devin Klock | A Kindness A Day Founder & Youth Advisor

I work as a youth advisor for Pueblo Communities That Care. In this organization, we fight to prevent youth substance use, delinquency, and violence. Each of the youth advisors creates a passion project for the year that will be their main focus. I thought about it for a long time about what I wanted to do. Then, two words popped into my head, Be Kind. In my school, and I’m assuming other schools, I have seen that there is just this thought process that people can just do things that they want to do without thinking of others. After almost 2 years of remote learning, hybrid classes, and just the burnout of COVID, I think people’s minds have been altered unimaginably. Read more>>

Rikki Cook | Co-founder of Happy Roots Plant Pots

We started this business as a means to achieve independence and pursue our passions. We work towards a future where the business can support a more conscious work/life balance that promotes community and sustainability. It is an enormous dream, but it makes us happy and gives us purpose. My name is Rikki Cook and my business partner is Marc Fiot. Just over three years ago we met at a coding competition in Grand Junction, Colorado. Read more>>

Daria Shapovalova

After 15 years in the traditional fashion industry I understood that I want to contribute to its significant shift to a more sustainable, affordable and digital future. Our team did the research and we discovered that 9% of customers in developed countries only buy new clothes to make a picture for their social media. Although we genuinely share the beauty and excitement that physical fashion creates, we believe that there are ways to produce less, produce more ethically, or not produce at all. Read more>>

Nahomy Noelia Freile Macias | Tattoo Artist, painter.

My two main goals behind starting my own business were to allow me to grow my artistic skills in different areas, as well as to be more in control of my financial freedom. Read more>>

Brittany Hoblit | Professional Beverage Tender

When starting Saddle Up Sips, I wanted to create something that brought a unique customer experience to Northern Colorado. We already had the 2 horse slant trailer and I knew that creating a business that was economically wise for my family would be important. So, combining my love and experience of bartending with my past as an event planner seemed like a perfect storm. Also, as a full time teacher, having something to do during my uncontracted summer was even better! Read more>>

Sawsan Isbaitah | Life Coach

The effect that coaching had on me, with my nursing background and my communication skills and education, changed my personality to be more positive. I learned problem solving, changing negative emotions from my past, and gaining tools to help me in my future, I felt I needed to share it with as many people as I could, replacing my career with a life purpose. Read more>>

Josh Gionfriddo | Artist, carpenter, coach

It all started when I wanted to spend my spare time creating mosaics out of wood. Every time I completed a mosaic, I wanted to get going on another one. Since the beginning, I had a good feeling about my mosaics and dreamed and hoped it could become something someday that is more than a hobby. Suddenly people around me began showing interest in my art. After I sold my first mosaic, I couldn’t wait to sell another one. Now what was a dream is turning into a reality. Read more>>

Lauren Herman | Founder & President – Levi’s Legacy

Our second son, Levi, was born with Heterotaxy (Right Atrial Isomerism), Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR), Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV), Atrioventricular Canal Defect (AVSD), Atrioventricular Canal Defect, Pulmonary Atresia, Obstruction of the Pulmonary Veins, Bilateral Super Vena Cava, Midline liver, right sided stomach, asplenia and two right shaped lungs. When receiving Levi’s diagnosis at 22wks pregnant, we had never heard of congenital heart defects and knew very little about the world we had just entered. Read more>>

Natalie Gilbert | Event Coordinator / Co-owner

Lisa started the business in 2015 with a passion to prove that vegan food can be creative, fulfilling, & not bland and boring. She grew up in a family of restauranteurs, so starting the food truck felt like a natural fit. We simply love food, and love to feed people! Read more>>

Helen West | Tour Guide & High School Music Teacher

Anyone who has been through the US school system knows that teachers has summers “off”. Most people also know that most teachers take a second job during the summer to support themselves & their families. As a high school student, I worked for a tour company in Alaska that took guests from the cruise ships biking & hiking for the day. I loved that job. I loved meeting new people, and telling them about the history, ecology and culture that made my small town special. Read more>>

Megan Patterson | Track Coach, Mental Health Worker, and Mom

The initial idea for CTE Throws developed somewhere around my fourth/fifth year of college. I was a Division I collegiate athlete specializing in the shot put, hammer, and weight throw while throwing for the University at Buffalo (UB) in Buffalo, New York. In my sophomore year I threw my elbow out for the second time in my life coming off a great indoor season. The following year I had two surgeries on my elbow putting me out for the entire indoor and outdoor track season. During the year I sat out and the remaining years of my college career my workload was greatly reduced going from 60 throws a practice to capping out at 20 a session. Read more>>

Mike McComb | Outdoor Living Contractor

Starting my own business, one could say, was in my blood. My grandfather and father both started their own contracting businesses. It was just a matter of time before I figured out what specific industry I would start my own business in. The rest is history. I decided to start a legitimate company and get licensed as a contractor. Starting my own business has given me the opportunity to create my own schedule while doing something that I absolutely love. Read more>>

Nancy Leon | Licensed Esthetician & owner of Damoza Beauty LLC

My thought process behind starting my own business, was that I was ready for a change in careers, but I knew that I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to make money for myself and my kids. Not for some company that, at the end of the day, can kick me to the curb with no notice. After considering a few other fields, the beauty industry just seemed like a no brainer. There’s a never ending list of services that one can provide in this field, making it exciting and non monotonous. For example, I might have a teeth whitening client one hour, and lash extensions the next. Read more>>

Candace Machado | Holistic Social Worker, Dharma Practitioner, Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Yoga Practitioner

My thought process for starting my own business started with my experience in the mental health field. I have been in the mental health field for the last 16 years and ithad come to my attention that mental health is a whole body system and if we are going to assist people we have to start looking at the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual sides of people. When I started to observe the shift in my thought process I envisioned what was needed to support others along their journey and that is how Theraexpressions Meditation was built. Read more>>

LAURIE MONTOYA | President and Founder

BikerDown Foundation was founded after watching a few motorcycle riders go down and what they went thru in their recovery. Our goal initially was to provide very nominal assistance, but quickly grew to provide medical equipment, financial resources, legal assistance, and online fundraising. Read more>>

Rae Brandenburg | Registered Dietitian and Freelance Artist

I always knew I wanted to run my own business but I didn’t think I was “ready.” When I became a registered dietitian, I thought my only option was to go right into working for someone else. I didn’t have any money at the time so I was pretty desperate. I started out working in the weight loss field doing 1:1 counseling, but got burned out and felt unfulfilled. I had my own struggles with disordered eating in my early 20’s and I saw many clients during my work in weight loss that could have benefitted from a non-diet weight neutral approach. Read more>>