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.

Tasha Strunk | Artist & Photographer

When my first child was born, I couldn’t imagine going back to a full time job. I also knew the cost of childcare would hardly be worth the effort. I have always been a creative type, so while I was spending hours (days, weeks, months…) rocking my newborn to sleep, I was doodling on a tablet with my free hand, and researching what I could do with my art. Read more>>

Allie Mounce, Clare Freeman, Katie Mars n/a | Pretty Useful Co. is an independent creative studio working with brands, agencies, and businesses to make the world a more interesting place.

ALLIE: “I was tired of working for other people. I’ve worked for some terrible bosses, and I kept thinking “if that guy can do it, why can’t I?” I knew we had the skills to make it work, and that all that was really holding us back was fear of failure. “How hard could it be” has been the thought process behind most of my entrepreneurial decisions.” Read more>>

Julia Royall | Family Nurse Practitioner and Spiritual Healer

From the moment I decided that I was going to make the transition from registered nurse (RN) to nurse practitioner (NP), a little “pipe dream” started to emerge. I yearned to practice medicine differently; I wanted to incorporate my spiritual and holistic beliefs in a way that is not taught in Western medicine schools. I had a dream of creating a hybrid healthcare model that was all encompassing…. Read more>>

Ben Sorensen | President- Ascent Digital

I have always had a passion for marketing and for helping businesses grow- after 10 years with a corporate agency it became clear that there was so much more we could do to help businesses. So, I took a leap of faith and started my company with the belief that if we helped enough other businesses thrive- we too would thrive. Read more>>

Xan Rubey | Artist. Writer. F*ckabout

Oh, that’s sweet, you think I had a thought process. You’re giving me way more credit than I’m due. For most of my life I’ve dabbled with side businesses while I was otherwise employed, or while being a stay-at-home mom, so when I officially retired in 2019 from my position as Queen of a local developer and homebuilder company, I jumped into a huge pool of possible pursuits. Read more>>

Christopher Lee | Athletic Performance Director

Starting the Business was really out of neccesity. I was working with many high level athletes as a strength and performance coach. However, I was in a shared space with many moving parts. Ultimately I wanted my athletes to have a safe and private controlled environment for them to train in. I wanted a place for them to call home base. So I did some research and the numbers made sense and I opened my business. Read more>>

Meghan, Sarah, and Morgan | Owners – Wit.Co Ltd.

Meghan – I had just left a small company and knew I liked working on a small team with the flexibility of working from home most days. I wanted to do something creative but knew I didn’t want to do it on my own. I also knew I didn’t want to go back to working in a corporate environment anytime soon. Read more>>

Gina Di Tullio | Owner and Creator of Delights

As a person with multiple food allergies, I struggle to find safe food options when dining out. Socially, our culture is deeply intertwined with food, and not having the opportunity to fully participate in social events such as parties, simple food centric gatherings, or even a happy hour, left me frustrated and feeling like an outsider. Eating out in restaurants that are not allergy aware can be unsafe and intimidating–not to mention that, in most cases the options are very limited and typically tasteless. Read more>>

Britnie Gagnon | Outdoor Enthusiast & Hiker

We have separately all experienced the outdoors through various activities such as sports, travel, hiking, etc and showing our kids/nieces and nephews to do the same. Many segments of the outdoor experience are built around a community component, engaging with others with similar views and thoughts about nature and the environment. Read more>>

Doug Waldbueser | Creator of The Inspiration Company””

1. Starting the Inspiration Company was the creation of my wife and I. We were sitting in a park watching our kids after we both just had the company we had created and worked at for 20 years go out of business and got news that our close family member just had an overdose and was in the hospital. Read more>>

Melissa Denver | Business Owner & Bartender

I started Neon Gold Bartending & Libations in Springs of 2022 under the preface that I wanted to do things my own way. I have always had a rebellious spirit and a knack for finding myself at the right place at the right time… so I figured I would put my nose to the grindstone and capitalize on it! Read more>>

Amy & Kayla | Co-owners of Blissful Nest

Kayla & Amy both have a background in real estate with Kayla being a mortgage lender and Amy being a real estate agent. One common theme they were finding is that homes were missing the most important thing- JOY! Our goal is to bring women together to uplift, motivate, and provide inspiration and tools to create a heart & a home of JOY! Read more>>

Malia Michael | Women’s wellness coach, Ayurvedic Practitioner, yoga instructor, Maya therapist, herbalist

For all of my early adulthood I struggled with my health, from hyperactive parathyroid to amenorrhea, and more. I have been told that my conditions could potentially lead to infertility, osteoporosis, and even endometrial cancer. During this difficult journey I had discovered Ayurvedic medicine that had eventually cured me of all my ailments. Read more>>

Judi Blondin | Metalsmith

When I took my first metalsmithing class, owning my own business wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. I was just so excited to try something new, and was delighted at how quickly I picked it up. It was just after the pandemic and the work fueled me. It wasn’t until a few months later the thought of owning my own business came about. Read more>>

Barb Imes | Broker Associate/Partner with The Group, Inc

With a background in banking, finance, and lending then in marketing and advertising, Real Estate was a natural progression and blend of all those skills. After a few disappointing experiences personally with the home buying process, I felt with my background and expertise, I could do better. Read more>>

Celine Goudy | Co-Founder and Executive Charcutier at Goudy’s French Cuisine

when we follow my husband from Europe to the USA in 2013 for his work, I have to reset all my food habits and try to accommodate with the local food. after 2 years it we found the food too sweet and the meat, cured meat and Charcuterie in general not adapted to our taste and for a lot of foreigners. My husband’s family was in this business for generation (farmers raising hogs and veal, ran a slaughter house to Butcher and Charcuterie shops) and I decide to make my own from his family recipes. Read more>>