Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Anna Tedstrom | Designer & Entrepreneur

While sitting on the chairlift with my sister-in-law a few years ago, I needed to use the restroom. She suggested I “go” in the woods, then added… “but you’ll have a cold hoohah!” We giggled at the old lady term for your lady parts. But it stuck, that’s how I named my ski brand. A silly name for fun clothes! Growing up in Edwards, ten minutes from the ski hill. My mom would drop off my friends and me on the weekends. We’d goof off all day, tell stories on the chairlift, and live off the candy in our pockets. It was a full day of play. Read more>>

Lauren Wilson | Landscape Designer and Garden Consultant

It was 2020, the pandemic just hit, and I was working in a major hospital. All my friends with older kids were struggling with homeschooling and working. I was lucky enough to have daycare that was doing the best they could even though it wasn’t great and was affecting my job. All I could think of was “how do I get out of here?!” I have always loved landscape design and always wanted to do it for a career so when the government was giving out money and I took a leap of faith and bought myself a computer. I bought the design program and got to work and never looked back. Three years later I am to do this full time. Read more>>

Megan Salazar, RDN | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

I wanted to start my own business to have my own say in how I did things and when I took on clients. When I started it I had just found out that I was pregnant with my third child and my first child was going into kindergarten, so I knew I needed more flexibility. I had also suggested to my previous company that we do more virtual consults with our nutrition clients, but they were not keen on the idea. I knew this was a direction that things were trending, so I wanted to jump into this area on my own. Read more>>

Janey Hawley | Founder & Crayon Evangelist

Fat Bird was founded in 2020 after my full-time job fell victim to the pandemic-related recession. I don’t do well with spare time. I quickly got to work creating my own marketing company to support several local businesses that remained open. I saw a need, and I wanted to fill it. I wanted to help businesses that needed it, especially during the pandemic. Read more>>

Whitney VandenBos | Floral Designer and Owner of Indigo Stems

I went to school for business and chose the marketing avenue thinking it would allow me to exercise both my business acumen and creative problem solving skills. After about four years in different advertising roles, I realized I wasn’t able to be as creative as I was itching to be and that the typical Monday-Friday, 9-5pm in an office was not the best fit for my personality type or work style. My sister-in-law does some wedding planning work, and I helped her with a photo shoot when I was visiting home and watched a florist at work for the first time. Read more>>

Roni Slavit | Clinical Herbalist Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, Flower Essence Practitioner, Intuitive Healer, Yoga Instructor, Owner & Operator of Resiliency Herbals LLC

There were a lot of things that came to mind, but the one that stuck out the most was thinking of a way that I could showcase the power of the plants growing all around us. After graduating clinical herbalism school I was on a mission to spread all of the vast knowledge I was given. I wanted people to know and understand more about the planet we’re living on and all of the magnificent plants that inhabit it, especially in how these can help us lead a more balanced and healthy life. Read more>>

Vina Taylor | Hair stylist & salon owner

I wanted to create a creative space for like minded people as me that exudes a positive and supportive environment Read more>>

Gabriel Flathers | Photographer & Videographer

To help others see the beauty and wonder this world brings. I started it for my love of nature but also wanted others to experience it with me. Read more>>

Joshua Alexander | Voiceover Artist

I just realized that I no longer wanted to work for anyone else ever again. I had been the target of some extreme suspicion by a boss who was by nature extremely suspicious and distrustful of nearly everyone he hired. Push came to shove and there was an incident that happened where I realized that he had tremendous power over me as my employer, and I realized that I never wanted anyone to have that power over me again. I wanted to rise or fall on my own merits and be dependent on ME, not them, for my success. Read more>>

Shay Koloff | Studying Herbalist & Artist

I started my own business because I wanted to do something I loved, many jobs come with security, skill , and ranking but for me I wanted to feed my soul. Owning my own business allowed for my creative skills and flexibility to work how I wanted on things that mattered to me! Read more>>

Brandon Becker | Chef & Owner

I started Cirque with my friend and business partner, we wanted to change how people view food trucks. We wanted to elevate how food trucks can serve high quality food at a fast pace. We wanted to create a mobile restaurant. Offering fresh, sustainable, as organic as possible, Made to order food. Read more>>

Kali Catalonia | DJ / Rapper / Visual Artist / Dancer

My thought behind being behind my own art and music is that in this day and age everything from the ground up, such as distribution and promotion can be done without any outside help, and thus it ends up being cheaper in the long run. I have always been a fan of the DIY work ethic. Read more>>

Gregory Wilson | Leather Crafter & Pilot

I started leathercraft purely as a creative outlet. I’ve always worked with my hands one way or another. Woodworking projects with my dad are one of the most distinct memories I have of him. During the first Covid-19 lockdowns, I was studying to become a commercial pilot, which doesn’t offer a lot of room for creativity. At the end of a long study session, I’d find myself watching YouTube videos of leathercraft. Read more>>

Marisol Rodriguez | Craft Designer, florist, and sweet treat maker.

I was about 8 months pregnant, with a full time job. Around Mid June of 2021, I started to work from home since my delivery hospital was about 45 minutes away so I stayed with my mom while my husband went to work. I have always been a person that needs to constantly be busy. I wasnt working my usual hours, I kept getting frustrated everyday with just sitting around after my shift was over and I mentioned that to my husband and he remembered that I had previously done chocolate covered strawberries for mother’s day so he suggested to start taking orders to sell again on a daily basis. Read more>>

Jason and Madison Schwind Meraki Ways | Yoga and Adventure Retreats

Our thought process behind starting our own business is we saw a need create an all inclusive environment for humans that wish to live a healthy lifestyle and minimize their impact on the planet. Throughout the years, we have worked to live a healthy lifestyle by incorporating yoga, gardening and composting into our daily lives. We wanted to create a platform so others could have a support system to learn and grow from one another. We do not claim to be the experts but are happy to share what has worked for our family. That is why we gather the best instructors in order for us all to grow together. Read more>>

Devyn Pelter | Bunny Basement Owner

I was going out of town on short notice after having my pet rabbit for a year. I called a few vets around town and found that none boarded rabbits. I ended up taking my rabbit with me to a hotel. My rabbit found a vent that he was able to pry loose and ended up in the wall. After this fiasco, I realized that other rabbit owners must be in the same position when going out of town, so I decided to start my own hotel for rabbits. Read more>>

Anna | Artist & business owner

I started A Little Pebbled in March of 2020 looking for a new activity to throw myself into during the pandemic. I’ve always loved to draw, and as a cannabis user with a love of cute, girly things, I often didn’t see my demographic represented at shops or in stoner gear, and I wanted to fill that gap! Then in May, George Floyd was murdered by police in my hometown, inciting worldwide protests, and more mainstream awareness of the deep racism of policing and other systems like it. I realized that as a white woman profiting off of the legalization of cannabis, Read more>>

Mecha Swain | Founder and CEO of Mecha Media/SlapStik Comedy Entertainment

I have always been a person that prefer to march to the beat of my own drum. Making my own schedule is important to me and I wanted to do what I love to do. Years ago, I noticed there was a void in comedy, and I wanted to do something about it. I then created SlapStik Comedy Magazine, then I decided to create my own network and add-in SlapStik Comedy Radio and TV. I love to create, and I love humor, which is why I chose to focus on comedy. Read more>>

Destiny Hardney | Co-Founder/Director of Holistic Design

My intention was not originally to start a business. The support and love I have for music and local artistry led me here. It started with planning events with a friend and deciding to keep going, expanding and fulfilling a need that we both desired. From planning events, going on a 9 city tour, to becoming an official organization, so many things have aligned as we spent more time in community. Read more>>

Wesley Lang | Photographer & Visual Artist

I was a college student about to graduate and the job search wasn’t going super great, I also wasn’t sure I wanted to have a career in my field of study (Computer Science) and wanted something with a little more flexibility and creativity. I have a minor in something called Creative Technology and Design and I really enjoyed those classes so I thought to myself why don’t I just do that instead of programming all the time. I knew that I loved photography and I was pretty good at it so I decided to use my talent to try and make some money as well as do something that I know I love for a living. I am still trying to find my place and grow into new things but I think that is all a part of the fun. Read more>>

Chris Mills (Milly) | DJ Chris Milly, DJ extraordinaire

I started deejaying about 14/15 years ago, it really happened from curiosity. I was at a friend at the time’s house his equipment was laying around and I asked “how does this work” and he had one response, “I will be willing to show you but you have to have your own music!” Now the rest is history. Now that there is some context of how I started to DJ, here lies the answer in starting the business “The Music Mill.” Another friend of mine who is a realtor was having a summer party which was more of a customer appreciation party and she needed my services but she said the only way she would use me was if I went ahead and registered as a business, Read more>>

Jason Davis | Bass Producer/DJ/Artist/Graphic Designer

My thought process behind starting my own business started when I was really young, actually. At the age of 8, I started my own lemonade stand on my street growing up in Castle Rock, Colorado. I first started at ten cents a cup and raised it to fifty cents when I got more customers. I made quite a bit of money, especially at such a young age. Since then, I’ve always had a hustler-mentality and stayed persistent. I’ve expanded my skills, and I now own my own merchandise store as well as a renowned music brand, by the name of, “King Kobra”. Please visit my website at: Read more>>

Hannah Snider | Owner & Lead Therapist of Lola & Me Therapy LLC. AASW, LCSW.

From the start of my career, Lola & I have been in systems such as schools, community mental health settings, and advocacy roles. These environments were where we wanted to be, but eventually we just kept seeing solutions be blocked by red tape or treatment approaches not being trauma informed. We really just wanted to help people how we wanted to and to have the freedom to do experiential modalities, push barriers to animal assisted interventions and authentically serve our clients. I always wanted to go into private practice and after trying it part time for a year, we dove into this full time and absolutely love it! We love the flexibility, but mostly how we can connect with our clients in a judgment free and authentic space that we have created. Read more>>

Allison Hrovat | Founder & CEO

I created Dance Like a Vegan for me. It is the company that I always wanted to exist and I was sick of waiting around for someone else to make it. I had been pescatarian/vegetarian for 10 years and had recently starting eating vegan and felt amazing. I also started looking more into the products I used, what they were made of and where they came from. I had given up meat and animal products half for my own health benefits and half out of disgust for the animal agriculture industry. However, some products, such as dance shoes, were almost impossible to find without leather or suede. Read more>>

Ali Williams | Physician Assistant & Advanced Aesthetic Injector

Believe it or not, I actually started my career as a Physician Assistant with a position in Cardiology. It wasn’t until I started getting Botox myself, did I fall in love with aesthetics! It provided me a way to use my medical knowledge to think creatively and help people at the same time. Fast forward 6 years and the idea of The Aesthetic Bar came to life. Read more>>

Sally January | Creative Director + Adventure Seeker

After graduate school, I became a college Spanish professor. The job became very mundane and I found myself spending all of my time encouraging my students to study abroad, because the experience had been so profound on myself. I knew I had much more to give to a community in Mexico, that gave so much to me. I wanted to give access to sustainable employment, while sharing the beautiful culture. I flew to Mexico with one pattern in hand and began my clothing business, making skirts in collaboration with indigenous women in Mexico. Read more>>

Melissa Gaskin | Essential Oil Mentor and Integrative Health Coach

My first job out of college was in education. I taught early childhood for many years and even completed my Masters Degree. My final year of teaching, I was pregnant with my oldest and knew that I wanted to be able to be present with him and see all of his first milestones. I wasn’t sure what that looked like at that time but I knew that I wanted flexibility to set my own work hours and have true autonomy. Fast forward almost seven years to today- I have flexibility, autonomy, and help others move forward in their financial, health, and wellness goals. Read more>>