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.

Elizabeth and Ryan Herring | Game and collectible store owners

Being my own boss building something for us. Not building something for someone else. To be independent and stable. Read more>>

Rebecca Fulenwider | Franchisee

My husband has always been the entrepreneur of the family. He had looked into businesses every since we started dating and throughout our marriage. Our journey to DRIPBaR actually occurred when my sister was diagnosed with Stage IV, Grade IV Glioblastoma – aggressive brain cancer. She received results and was in surgery the next day. A few days later, I went to assist her in recovery and helped her out for 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks my husband was not allowed to ask me how I was doing, so when I got home he said, “first – how is your sister. Second – I found a franchise opportunity that could help save her life.” From that moment on we started the journey of owning The DRIPBaR. Our goal has been to help people live their best and healthiest life.. Read more>>

Maxwell McManus | Personal Trainer

We were looking for pants that could fit bigger sized legs but also be comfortable and easy to move in. There were a lot of brands that advertised pants that stretch, but the stretch wasn’t very impressive. So we decided to maximize that concept! We wanted to create something for men that was very versatile and comfortable to move around in. We knew women had jeggings, and we wanted to create something similar, but for men. Something that isn’t tapered at the ankles, but has a zipper, belt loops, and deep pockets! Read more>>

Dina Young | Northern Colorado Realtor and Investor

I was a stay-at-home mom going through a divorce. With 1 child in college and another heading that way, it was necessary for me to save money and learn how to support myself. My mother had been a successful realtor for nearly 40 years at that point so it seemed natural, albeit scary, for me to follow in her foot steps. Being a realtor is every much the equivalent of starting your own business. Not only did I have to break into the real estate market, which seemed flooded with agents, but I had to learn how to manage my income, expenses and taxes. Read more>>

Stephen McMillon II | Ceo and founder

Koncrete Eden started back in 2009 as a Krump dance team, founded by Stephen Mcmillon II and co lead by Trevor Jackson. We would have dance sessions and street battle. We used this as a outlet for youth and young adults to have instead falling into something negative. After a while I wanted to add merchandise to the brand so i started designing clothing. Read more>>

Demian Rivera | Artist

Chance and going for it, with the support of friends and family. The opportunity of doing tattoos presented it self. In a different time (The 90s). Before the internet and when it was still highly frowned at. Many said you’ll be a struggling artist. you’ll go hungry etc. I said F-it . Started and slowly found about the history and how much more there was behind Tattooing. Read more>>

Jesse Taenzer | Captain at the Helm (CEO and Operations Manager)

I have always been driven to run my own businesses. It was my thought process that people usually liked to follow in what I have suggested and if I was going to have to deal with he issues of someone higher up that I could be that person. This business, Pair O’ Dimes Festival Fashion Boutique, came from a need I had spoken to within the community at large that was destinations to find unique and hand made items from designers in their own neighborhoods. Read more>>

Michelle Kempema | Executive Director

I did not build the museum that I work for, the Colorado Model Railroad Museum, but I was the first employee. It was a challenge I agreed to undertake because I wanted to give back to a place that brought me joy when I really needed it. My thought process was deciding how to make a model railroad display into a self-sustaining tourist attraction in Greeley, CO. I had to look at tourism, visitor experience, volunteer management, sustainable practices, correct policy and procedures, and always doing everything with long term sustainability in mind. Read more>>

Jennifer Bakker | Owner and Photographer of Breathtaking Moments Photography

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? Breathtaking Moments Photography isn’t my first business, but it is the business that grew from tragedy and the strength to never give up on my dreams. My initial thought of starting my own business came from being a single Mother, and needing the flexibility to work around my son’s schedule. After leaving the US Army in 2011, I started a screenprinting business while working on my Master’s Degree. Read more>>

Harris Kalofonos | Managing Director | Founder

Since the dawn of humankind, symbols and marks have been a way to express one’s identity, place, and state of mind. The Olympic Rings along with the flag of Greece were my first references to symbol synonyms with self-identity. At the age of 16, I was first exposed — in a way that I could appreciate — through greek monks the meaning and composition of greek words. Along followed the explanation of symbols one can find all around Greece in architecture, culture, and religion. Fascinated by the depth of thought, a world with its own vocabulary revealed its self at the time, expanding my horizons of understanding. Read more>>

Kenlys Otten | Pastry Chef & Cake Designer

I have worked and managed for a broad of different type of companies owned by others, and suddenly one day I got into the point that I need it a change and that I should totally start my own business. Read more>>

Daniela Evans | @ColoradoFoodie Food Blogger

I began my ColoradoFoodie account back in 2013. I learned the love of food from my grandma and have enjoyed cooking since I was young. Growing up I worked in restaurants and began to see the hard work, long hours and love that goes into running a restaurant each day. I started to explore dining out at new restaurants in town and I wanted to share my story of food with others. I started my ColoradoFoodie Instagram by simply sharing pictures of food from restaurants all over Colorado. What was once a fun hobby has now opened so many doors that I am so grateful for. Read more>>

Tamara DeAngelis | Denver Realtor

I am fortunate that I’ve had the ability to try many career paths across the country over the last 10 years. I worked in software sales, for the Golden State Warriors, as a Flight Attendant, I coordinated weddings and even lived a year in Australia helping manage a restaurant. Each time learning more about myself and what I was looking for professionally, but I was still not 100% happy. I decided to take my biggest leap yet into starting my own business and I am so thankful that I did! I have always had a passion for Real Estate and I have found that it provides me with the autonomy that I had been lacking along with the ability to help others. Although having your own business comes with a set of new challenges, risks, and expenses (hello independent health coverage) the rewards truly make it worth it. Read more>>

Haleigh Erwin | Apartment Locator

Five years ago, I moved to Denver, CO from Chicago, IL and I immediately fell in love with the city and all that it has to offer. I have always had interest in the rental business, and while in Chicago, I spent several years working as a property locator. As a property locator, I had the opportunity to find rental properties for clients, but my search was limited to certain buildings we had contracts with. Being unable to look beyond a limited market never set well with me, and I felt like I wasn’t able fully personalize my clients experience. Don’t get me wrong, I always found a suitable rental for my clients, but I never felt like I was able to find the 100% perfect fit. Read more>>

Mike Mitchell | Co-founder of Acari Fish

I never set out to start my own business. Before starting Acari, I was working as a fisheries researcher in Southern Mexico when I came across the invasive “pez diablo” or devil fish and the destructive effects it was having on freshwater ecosystems and the communities that depended on freshwater fishing. Everything started when I teamed up with some local fishermen and a chef friend to give free workshops around the region to promote devil fish consumption, something that’s been done with numerous other invasive species around the world. Read more>>

Christy Rhynes | Hair stylist & salon owner

When I started my own business I had been working in a toxic work environment for several years. I was at a place in my career where I felt if I didn’t make some major changes I was going to fail. I wanted to create a positive space for myself and other stylist to feel supported and have a sense of community. I initially opened Prism on my own and over the course of a few months found like minded individuals to add to my team. We allow each other the freedom to be ourselves without judgement or competition. It was honestly on of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Read more>>

Danny Rod Stahl | Founder of Gallivant Colorado

I’ve worked as a Director of Events for several Active 55 Plus communities. At each community, many of the residents would tell me they wished there was a transportation service specifically catered to their demographic and local travel needs. I researched and was shocked to find there were no local transportation businesses catering to their demographic. I had been feeling unfulfilled in my profession for a couple of years. Working to make someone else’s dreams a reality didn’t sit well with me. I disliked being underpaid and recoiled every time I had to ask permission for time off. Having only ten business days of vacation per year is disgraceful. Read more>>

Jake Shannon | Author & Business Development Wizard

Which one? I started one of my first ventures,, in 2003 as a vehicle to write-off expenses from my passion for grappling and martial arts. One day I was looking at how much I was spending on seminars, books, instructionals, classes, gear, etc. that I figured I should try. Little did I know then it would grow into a full-fledged leader in its field for 2 decades! Read more>>