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.

Riiver Hendricks | Jewelry Designer, Illustrator and Creative Alchemist

I have always been a creative… even as a young child. When we become adults we have this notion that we are to go to college, get a 9-5, buy a house, etc. I tried these things and the work I was doing felt like I was lying to myself. I had to put on a facade – sporting business casual – clean and precise and robotic. I had a major life shift when I moved from Florida to Colorado in 2010. Before moving, I had gotten into bellydance and started stretching my ears (a form of body modification). I found myself completely enthralled in the practice and ritual of adornment found within world cultures outside the normalcy of the United States. My mind began to have visions of jewelry I could not find any where else. What started as creating pieces for myself, turned into creating for others. Friends would offer to pay for work. My skills and knowledge of techniques and materials progressed – my work organically became ‘my work’. Read more>>

Katie Wafer | Founder & CEO- Hydrate IV Bar

Hydrate IV Bar is a collection of IV therapy spas promoting wellness from within. Clients come to us to enjoy vitamin-infused IV therapy drips and injections in a spa-like atmostphere. Many can’t imagine how getting an IV could ever be relaxing, but they’re minds are quickly changed at our Hydrate IV Bar spas. You sit in a comfortable recliner, listen to chill music, watch something soothing on TV (we love Planet Earth!), and let our team of nurses do the work! We have expanded to five locations in Colorado since 2016 — four in Denver and one in Boulder — but we just launched our national franchising program this month! Our first franchise opens in September in Fort Collins, and we are so excited to see that long-term vision come to life. We’re now accepting applications for future franchise expansion across the country, and we’ve been blown away by the response so far! Read more>>

Ali Sweeney | Professional Clairvoyant Reader

I fell in love with my work which is to connect people to their higher selves and empower them to live the life they choose. There are not huge corporations (yet) that employ clairvoyant energy healers, so starting my own business meant that I get to do the work I love. The hardest part was taking the step out of the mainstream (I used to be an engineer), but once I made the break I knew it was exactly what I was meant to be doing. Then came the worry – I worried if I was good enough, if clients would pay me, if the world needed another healer. And then the love of the work returned, and I knew that I could do this… for a living! From there, I got to work on the details: registering my business, getting insurance, creating a website, etc. Read more>>

Katie Bradshaw | Photographer

I was just 18 years old when I started my business. I truly loved and enjoyed every aspect of photography and wanted to do something I loved. Simple as that! Being young and naive helped a bit I’m sure. Read more>>

Beenie Mann | Visionary, Transformational Speaker, Best Selling Author, Show Host, as well as Founder and CEO

Being an entrepreneur is something I have always felt drawn to. Being my own boss and working on my own fortune makes more sense to me than working for someone else building their dream. Over the years, I dabbled here and there. At first, I became involved in network marketing. The allure of being in business for myself but not by myself was very inviting. There I was introduced to the power of personal development and working with a coach. As a single-income military family with 2 kids, we simply did not have the funds to spend on taking a chance and hoping I’d find the coach that’s right for me. There were simply too many ‘what if’s’. The names I recognized were way out of our price range and the unknown ones… Just couldn’t risk it. When I officially became a coach myself, a whole new set of challenges opened up. I so wanted to help people be better, be more, be happy, and see different perspectives. Read more>>

Tracy Gowler | Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Motivational Speaker, Mechanical Engineer

I had been sick for a long time with autoimmune disease and didn’t know it. I had spent years in the medical community with no answers. I was living a half a life, exhausted and barely functioning. After finally reaching my No More and making a decision that I had to own my health, it took me several years to figure out how to achieve health. In the process of educating myself, I discovered autoimmune is mostly a woman’s disease. 80% of people with autoimmune are women. Women are notoriously bad at making themselves a priority so they spend years ignoring the little signs and symptoms and eventually end up in the place that I did. I felt this was unacceptable and that women in general need a wake up call. They also need a guide so they don’t have to spend years, like I did, looking for the right information to help them heal. Read more>>

Sohary Ouk | Your typical Mom

Having a daily annoyance. I use to work long hours and would look forward to taking my bra off when I got home. I have four boys and sometimes their friends or our friends would be over, making it uncomfortable going braless. I would swap out my bra for another bra-like item, and go on to entertain, feeling a little less constricted but not 100% comfortable. I realized that moment, as women we aim to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible when they come to our house, but not for ourselves. I thought there must be a better way. I started mixing and matching different materials, but I don’t know how to sew. It took me awhile to find a manufacture that could bring my idea to life. The barrier we created covered most nipples, but not all. I needed some graphic design to distract. My Grammy drew our logo, and I thought that would be a good way to introduce our brand along side with positive quotes to spread good vibes. Read more>>

Kelly Lutz | Baker & Data Scientist

Baking has been something I’ve enjoyed since I was in high school. Cooking never really did it for me, but BAKING. Man. That was my jam. I refused to make cookies from a pre-made mix because baking from scratch was so much more fun and more delicious. My parents always told me I could sell the cookies I made (the ever popular pudding cookies), but I thought they were just being “supportive parents.” Years later, I still love baking and still make the pudding cookies for my gluten and sugar eating friends, but since I eat mostly paleo (no grains, no refined sugar, limited dairy), I’ve been baking more paleo goods than non. In early 2019, I created an Instagram account for food posts only. I started out posting about the various meal delivery services that I was trying and later moved on to things I was baking. Read more>>