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.

Irene Kaia | Model & Aspiring Nurse

I have always been a creative soul, from when I was in Pre-K. I remember always loving art class, writing poetry, and anything that involved creating. As I grew up, that manifested into modeling. Whenever a brand trusts me to create an image for them, it is the biggest compliment. I get to paint the picture in my mind onto a digital photograph and have it shown to thousands of people, and get paid for it as well. Read more>>

Ryan Bell | Video Director, Editor and Animator at ORYANS BELLT TV

I wanted the freedom to work with a wide range of clients on a wide range of subjects.  My first big break was with AwesomenessTV where I shot and edited behind the scenes episodes for teenage pop stars out on tour. I spent two years traveling the U.S, Europe and Japan with Austin Mahone and another two years living on a tour bus with girl group Fifth Harmony. Read more>>

Emily LaPlume | Founder & Designer

I started Saturday Swimwear during my junior year of college after not being able to find a swimsuit that was comfortable, functional, and fashionable. After graduating college, I decided to take a step back from the company and continue traveling the world. During my travels, I noticed the direct impact that fast fashion and overconsumption were having on the environment and developing communities around the world. Read more>>

Holly Cook | Co-Owner, operator of MM

Well I can’t take all the credit. Our store started because Mardi Denny ran the Bar in the 70″s, which was a 3.2 bar. You could be 18 to drink. They were not able to get there liquor license renewed…Mardi thought…Women will always buy clothes! So they started with wedding dresses and then grew from there. Listening to their customers as what they wanted. Read more>>

Austin Davis | Photographer/Filmmaker

For the longest time, I knew I wanted to start my own creative business. I started playing with cameras all the way back to when I was 8 years old. Being able to capture and tell stories that last forever was a concept I fell in love with and have constantly explored. There for awhile I got stuck in working a job that paid my bills but ultimately made me extremely unhappy. Read more>>

Korey Kalman | Got Game Camp Owner & Founder

I was extremely fortunate to find my calling early on in life. I always had a love for sports, had interest in starting my own business and learned very early on that I had an innate ability to positively impact youth. Read more>>

Erika & Joe Hulm | Dancing Jaguar Coffee

When we were young both our families were entrepenuers. So, our opinion on owning your business comes natural. We had the dream to start this business long ago, and we still just at the star and we love it. Read more>>

Cynthia Pfeffer | Owner – Figs & Dates – Speed Dating Events

I have several friends in their 40’s getting back into the dating scene. One friend in particular was having a hard time meeting someone on the dating apps. Half the time the people on there weren’t even real. I remember in the late 90’s/early 2000’s that speed dating was really popular. Read more>>

Amanda Leise | International Wedding + Elopement photographer

The year was 2012. I was a college student with little to no idea where my life was headed. I was more concerned with what I was going to wear to College night on Thursday. I majored in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design, so Photography was never even on the horizon. Read more>>

Brooke Dell | Yoga Instructor

Inspired Yoga was created in 2020 during the global pandemic in hopes that it would encourage others in their physical, mental, and spiritual health from the comfort of their home. Creating an online Christ-centered yoga platform was a dream of mine for several years, so when the timing seemed perfect, my husband and I took the opportunity and started filming videos. Read more>>\

Lisa Kelly | Physical Therapist, Adventurer and Lifelong Learner

Back when I started my own business in 2012, I was a contract employee at a Physical Therapy practice. I recall doing this so I could count my numerous continuing education courses as a business expens. Read more>>

Morgan Pate | Entrepreneur & Military Veteran

I wanted to make an impact but I wanted to make it personal. I understand there are many ways to help others but I wanted women to know my struggles and see what I was doing to overcome them. In hopes that I could show other women that it is possible to make it through tough situations and not to give up on themselves. Read more>>

Sabrina De Baets | Entrepreneur/ Epicurean

The Redstone Castle While modern society is constantly bombarding us with stress, choices and keeping us online, it is important to know our place in the universe and keep a balanced mind body and soul. Creating a wellness retreat in the remoteness of the Crystal valley in Colorado became an idea that is not only in the current but also needed for each and one of us. Read more>>

Kathie and Dave Dalgleish | Dave – Head Wrangler and all around get it done guy. Kathie – Spinner, Weaver, Yarn Storekeeper

I cannot say that we really sat down and thought about starting our own business, we were trying to determine what path our life would take after raising our children. On a flight to New York we saw the I Love Alpacas commercial and it made us think about livestock as an alternative lifestyle. Read more>>

Candice Kusterle | Registered Dental Hygienist & Oralmyofunctional Therpy

I have been in Dentistry since 1992. I started out with school as a dental assistant, the year 2000 I entered into Dental Hygiene school. After spending most of my dental career working for someone else in 2020 I decided to open my own practice to provide better one on one hygiene care to people and move out of a “traditional” setting of hygiene patients only being scheduled for barely an hour. Read more>>

Claire Alba | Inventor & Artist

I’m a ceramic artist who makes a sex blanket. And earrings, necklaces, and rings. And tableware. And a carrying clutch for that sex blanket. But ceramics – the ceramics came first. Like this: 13 years ago, I was at a bead shop with my mom and she suggested that I make my own beads. I literally covered my ears; I knew making beads is complicated – the clay, the glaze, the kiln. Not to mention, I was living in a one-bedroom apartment at the time, with my two small kids, in Brooklyn, NY. Read more>>

Julie Cummings | 33rd and 34th President National Federation of State Poetry Societies

I was the 33rd and 34th President of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies from 2018 -2022 and am now the Immediate Past President. I was introduced to the Colorado society, Columbine Poets, by Barbara Test. I eagerly joined and after a few years became the state president. Read more>>

James Marienthal | Producer and Recording Artist

For me it happened organically, by following my intuition and acting on opportunities when it felt right. I got into record production because I wanted to learn more about the studio process. Read more>>

Benjamin Fuchs | Pharmacist, nutritionist, formulator, cosmetic chemist

I wanted to share my knowledge of medicine, ingredients, nutrition and formulation with people who were not aware of the imprtant relationship between healing, health, and beautiful skin Read more>>

Janelle Turner | Human Design Reader

I am a Human Design reader; I read charts for a living! When I first became interested in Human Design in 2019, I eagerly read for all of my family and friends. This turned into ‘That was so great, can I venmo you some money?’ I started casually charging for my services, and that worked for awhile. Read more>>

Meghan Rubinstein | Community-maker and life-long learner

I have been doing yoga since 2001 and it is a constant evolution, both within myself and the community. A big part of yoga for me is community. I was a regular practitioner for a long time but then the community I was a part of started to disperse, and it never felt the same. I would still practice but could never get into a good flow. Read more>>

Chad Waldman | Cannabis Reviewer

My thought process behind starting was built around the idea of owning my work. For years I’ve worked as a marketer for other brands, finally, I decided to create my own site that allows me to express my expertise. Read more>>

Angela and Liz | Dual licensed professionals in barbering and cosmetology

Angela: Ultimately to have control of my own life. I wanted to be with my family more and still be able to maintain my relationships with my clients. Liz: I wanted more say in what I can offer my clients to make their experience better and so I am able to control my own life also. Read more>>

Terrell Matheny | Singer / Actor / Dancer / Published Author / Songwriter / Scriptwriter

I started my own LLC because as an entertainer you have to have one! That’s literally like step one to being a successful entertainer. Read more>>

Scott & Monica Bonynge | Shamanic, Reiki and Spiritual Healing Facilitators

My wife and I realized how much we had changed through our healing process with Shamans, Reiki Masters, Shadow work and the variety of healing modalities we used, to heal our trauma. Through our healing we opened up more to who we truly are and the abilities we have to have help others. We realized how much the world needs this kind of healing work so we dove into our education to be able to start a business and bring our experiences and healing to others. Read more>>