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.

Stefanie Ginsburg | Owner & Registered Dietitian at UNRESTRICTED NUTRITION Counseling and Consulting, LLC

The idea of beginning my own private practice stemmed from finding the confidence to be able to effectively treat “whatever came at me,” after having had more than a dozen years in hospital based eating disorders programs. I was navigating different opportunities for growth within a larger company and was having trouble getting around the red tape hurdles. Read more>>

Elizabeth Franko Janowski | Immersive Artist

After spending a decade working alongside my husband to build a mission-drive medical aesthetic practice, I felt a longing and a call to return to my first love, which is art. Well, actually art grabbed me by the hand and pulled me straight in to her, like a siren. I have two artistic loves, movement and photography. The two play in to and build upon one another – for I am constantly in awe of the beauty around us. Read more>>

Brian Hamilton | Geologist, Adventure Athlete, Photographer, and Writer

Like a lot of people, I thought about it for a long time before I actually started. I knew that I wanted to do something that was directly related to my. own interests. Perhaps something creative, but I had no idea about what I actually could do. One day a few years ago, I was hiking in Mount Rainier National Park in the state of Washington. I was enjoying taking photographs of the various features along the trail to Tolmie Peak. Read more>>

The Violin Kat | Eclectic Violinist

I’ve always loved performing for weddings and other events, but I was always working for other contractors. I wanted to figure out a way to take charge of booking my own gigs, so I made a website and began promoting myself on social media platforms. Read more>>

Connor Swegle | CMO, Co-Founder

The thought process was similar to a lot of people who have around 10-15 years of work experience- you start to Prioritize. You analyze your past experience, think about what you want to be doing moving forward, and who you want to be. For my partner Dave and me, both of us wanted to be working on something we were passionate about. Dave loved the idea of making bicycles for the masses that were much simpler and more accessible, through a blend of product development and technology. For me, I loved the idea of using brand storytelling to connect a product to the lives of the customer. It started as one bike and a lot of hard work. Now it is about 15 bikes and a lot more hard work. Read more>>

Abby McQueeney Penamonte | Registered Dietitian Nutrition Coach & Personal Trainer

It was almost 2 years ago that the gym I worked at as a Registered Dietitian Nutrition Coach + Personal Trainer shut down for what would be 3 months due to the Pandemic. When I learned I would no longer have the same leadership position (and compensation plan associated with it) I decided to go all in on myself. Sometimes God closes doors because it’s time to move forward. He knows you won’t move unless your circumstances force you. 2020 was a rough year for many. Read more>>

Norma Barratt | Denver Chapter President

I met Deanna, Beyond Dope’s founder, at a show a few years ago in New York City at the Beyond Dope table. This encounter was what first truly opened my eyes to harm reduction within this environment. I then moved to San Luis Obispo, California and worked at the local syringe exchange for a year and a half. I kept up with Beyond Dope and continued to want to get involved, but all of their events were in New York or in surrounding areas on the East Coast. I had been wanting to move to a new city and Denver was always an interest of mine. Read more>>

Liz Seelye | Co-founder

Since becoming parents, we’ve been concerned about the decline in American kids’ creativity. Experts call it the “creativity crisis” as test-centric education and risk-averse corporate culture stifle imagination. We’ve seen both firsthand, especially in our careers at big companies. Without original thinking, we’re worried the next generation of kids won’t discover their passions or rise to the challenge of solving the world’s biggest problems. Read more>>

Lenina Olivas | Esthetician

I started the journey into skin care because clean clear skin is important to self-esteem. I didn’t alway possess clean clear skin nor did I have high self-esteem because of it. I struggled with cystic acne since I was 13. It severely effected the way I viewed myself and the way others saw me. When I entered my 30s the issues didn’t get better, like so many dermatologist said it would, I continued to get worse. Read more>>

Carolyn A. Sideco | Sports Relational Consultant

For years I witnessed well-intentioned sports program directors and administrators burn out and become cynical about their profession. I wanted deeper connection with my colleagues in spaces where we could honestly talk about and help each other persist and thrive in educational sports. In January 2020 I announced my impending resignation from my AD position of 20 years. I know I wanted to focus on AD retention, on accompanying emerging ADs and coaches in their personal and professional development. Read more>>

Nikoletta Friedberg | Woodworker & Artist

I had just retired from my corporate job and started taking woodshop classes in fine furniture making. I loved making furniture but I could never sell it because there was so much time and effort and struggle that went into every piece, I couldn’t let them go. I had a ton of cut offs, and other remnant wood laying around. I started making little houses with them, which then turned into ornaments. I felt great about being able to repurpose my left over wood, as well as reclaimed wood into beautiful pieces, so I just kept pushing it further, adding metals, painting them, and carving. Read more>>

Brook Escobedo | Hairstylist and Color Expert

I started my own business out of necessity. I was working for another salon as a commission employee and had become extremely disillusioned with the salon and the hair industry. I worked in a very competitive and toxic environment, and had become so unhappy I was considering leaving the industry altogether. Thankfully one of my best friends had been working as an independent stylist for a few years and convinced me that I would be much happier working for myself. I took the jump, which was so scary, and its the best decision I have ever made. Read more>>

Benjamin Higgins | Co-Founder and President of Generous Coffee Company

I wanted to do something that challenged me. I wanted to do something that pushed the limits of what I was doing before. With this in mind I thought starting a business that committed to giving 100% of profits to nonprofits was not only radical but worth doing. We went into it without a full strategic plan but we believed that with the right message and product we could build something valuable. Read more>>

Montana Glenn | Acupuncturist, Herbalist & Fertility Specialist

I really wanted to create a space where families could receive the care they need. It was important to me to utilize a slower model so that women in particular could benefit through the entirety of their motherhood journey. There is so much to unpack there and so much to honor! I also wanted to work with my partner, Jacob, to meet the needs of not only whole families, but people with chronic conditions who need a slower model as well. Read more>>

Michanae Edwards | Creative, Photographer, Web Designer, Model

I’m an international student who left her home country and family to study in the United States. Making this decision came with very restrictive employment rules. I am only allowed to work 20hrs a week as an international student, which of course, could not cover my tuition fees. My main motivation for starting my own business was so that I could pay my tuition and living fees. With that, I’d also be able to work around my full-time college schedule. Read more>>

Tim Canfield | Landscape Photographer, Farmer, & CPA

The idea of spending copious amounts of time outdoors rather than inside on a computer was the number one appeal. Also we are taught not to put all off our eggs in one basket yet we often get stuck in these jobs that become very industry specific where we only do one thing or only work in a certain niche. I don’t like to be put into a box. I mix it up between photography, farming, and some contract accounting work. Read more>>

Joshua Thurmond | Chief Eruption Officer, LavaBox Portable Campfire

I’m not exactly sure why I started a business at the time I did. Call it COVID madness. Call it boredom with my current career. Maybe I just saw a need after all of the destruction for the wild fires. I had a bunch of reasons I wanted to start a business but mostly I just thought I had something good. I have been a tinkerer my entire life. I design and build things constantly. Read more>>

Jennifer Zrubek | jlounge Natural Nail Bar & Spa. Pure. Simple. Beauty.

I had my own business for 8 years and always new that I wanted to expand into the wellness community to provide more natural, non-toxic services and products to the community. I had a vision of acupuncture, massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures with health and wellness in mind. Working collaboratively with like minded practitioners. Read more>>