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.

Rosemarie Aarnes | Founder

Better Healthy altenative beverage options since Covid happend and wanted to help other people to drink healthier. Read more>>

Patricia Zutman | Owner / Certified Special Event & Wedding Planner | All Four Seasons Events

I’ve really been drawn to event planning since college; although, it was a hidden dream. My studies revolved around Business Administration and Human Resource (HR) Management and upon graduation I took a job as a Human Resource Information Specialists. The job was quite boring, but I quickly moved into the position of Hiring Specialist. This role was a lot more fun as it allowed me to meet new people and network with staffing agencies to find candidates for open positions in the corporate office. Yet, I found myself unmotivated in this role as I was drastically underpaid by market average. Read more>>

Brittany Marquez | Hairstylist & colorist

I was working at a commission only salon for almost eight years and the pay structure suddenly switched over to hourly pay rates. I felt as if there was a glass ceiling over my earning potential and the only way my income would increase was if I qualified for a raise. At that point I knew that I had to put a down payment on faith and take the leap into becoming my own boss. There was so much fear behind that decision, like what if my clients don’t follow me? What if I try and I fail? But also what if I try and I succeed? No one has ever been shamed for trying something new and failing, because it is not failing. It is learning and growing from those mishaps. Read more>>

Eddie Tice | Coffee Enthusiast Officer (CEO), Owner, Mad Love Coffee

The thought process was about answering a few simple questions; What am I passionate about and how can I turn that passion into something that gives back/serve our community here in Colorado Springs and the Front Range (especially those serving on the Front Lines such as our military, police, firefighters, EMS, healthcare workers, teachers etc..). The other critical part of the process was involving my family/children in building this business and having their input every step of the way. The answer was creating ‘Mad Love Coffee’, a mobile coffee biz in a renovated horse trailer. Read more>>

Alexi Quinn | Photographer & Holistic Wellness Practitioner

The way of the world these days – the workplace can get a little messy. As a rebel to society I have different ideals, a very high passion and drive for my work, as well as a fresh new perspective of thinking and how I view the world. Because of these specific traits, the average workplace is no place for someone like me. I want to make a major difference in this world, even if I am doing it alone. In order to do that I needed to work for myself, have my own work flow, my own schedule. Be my own boss and for someone who loves and appreciates me and my ideals. AKA myself! Read more>>

Theresa & Steve Schirner | Head Brewer, Partner; Managing Partner

We (Steve (husband) and Theresa (wife)) met in college and at the time were both working in restaurants. As our careers developed and the years went on we had always talked about having our place. Theresa began working at Echo Brewing in Frederick and we quickly realized that, due to its comradery, & inclusiveness, the craft beer industry was where we wanted to be. Making it a quick and easy decision to buy into Echo (now Mirror Image) when the opportunity presented itself. Read more>>

Christine Allen | Entrepreneur, Artist, and Humanitarian

I’ve had the pleasure of working with my cousin within Creative Design Construction as an Executive Assistant and laborer. Currently working with my sister within Crystals Care as an in-home health care provider. I wanted to start my own business and legacy, that my children could possibly take over one day. While also giving back to communities in need. I’ve always loved sunglasses and art, and here we are ! Read more>>

Mark Woolcott | Photographer

Starting my own brand was really a very organic process. I began taking pictures of bike racing around 2009. From there I combined my English degree with my cycling photography and someone asked what my company was called. I bounced around a bunch of contrived names and settled on Mark Woolcott Photogrpahy. Read more>>

Alana Monge Hanks | Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Integrative Yoga Therapy Instructor

Since I was young, I’ve been a fairly independent/march to the beat of my own drum kind of gal, so there was appeal to starting my own business in terms of the independence and freedom that it allows. I do well with being my own boss, managing my schedule, and getting to create the rules of how I want to play. I thrive in the creative process of writing my own story, and having my own business is a huge part of this. It takes a lot of work, dedication, and perseverance, and is also a lot of fun, rewarding, and fosters creativity, and I really love it. Read more>>

Brett Schklar | Director, CLOUDcolorado

Colorado has been an incredible place that has attracted some of the most amazing humans with a focus on the technology industry over the last few years. Our community of those in software, SaaS (Software as a Service), Internet, really doesn’t have an organization that is designed to help tomorrow’s leaders of this company to learn, connect and inspire in Colorado. There are some tech-focused organizations/associations, but they’re primarily designed for the CEO’s of the companies. I wanted to create something that helped build the voice of Colorado’s cloud economy and represented everyone – not just the leaders of big companies. Read more>>

Jessica Oldham | Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

After having babies my husband and I both struggled with the transition to parenthood and it took a toll on our mental health. When looking for specialized services for parents who were struggling with mental health we noticed that they were very limited, especially if you were a mother who was pregnant or post partum and may need the help of psychiatric medication. My husband has always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I am an empath who is also trained as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. After many nights brainstorming we created Rocky Mountain Mental Health- a specialized place to receive parental mental health care. Read more>>

Mariah Ehlert | Photographer, Visionary, Brain Science Nerd

I have always wanted to run my own business. I’ve always been a creative visionary and entrepreneurship seemed like the most natural fit. Previously, before my photography business, I’d started another business (and a couple other since). My thought process was definitely focused one a couple main questions: 1. do I love it? 2. does the business model work. When I finally landed on “yes” for both questions, I dove in. Read more>>

Zoe Richards | Owner & Mixologist

One of my closest friends had been dreaming of buying a vintage trailer and converting it into a mobile bar and I thought it was the coolest idea. Around the time she purchased a trailer, I saw a mobile bar in action at another event and was completely sold on wanting to do it too. Since we live in different states, I knew she wouldn’t view me as a competitor but I also didn’t want to upset her by stealing her idea, since that is exactly what I was doing. I sent her a text to ask if she would be ok with me starting the same business and her response was “Yessss!! Do it!!!” I wasn’t surprised by her response since she is the best hype-woman and most supportive friend. It’s also been really fun navigating the business together and having someone to discuss best practices with. Read more>>