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Denver’s Most Inspiring Stories

The heart of our mission at VoyageDenver is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Denver’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Denver’s rising stars below.

Danny Stephens

I originally was raised in Mississippi, I spent most of my young life focusing on sports, with that life carrying me to play 3 years of college football. I always was into art and music, but it wasn’t until I took psychedelics in my junior year that I was able to shake up the dogma that kept me locked in a life path that wasn’t fulfilling me. Soon after I left school and football, I left the south to work seasonal jobs, landing as a ski lift operator in Utah. While there I felt inspired to finish my art degree at The University of Utah with an emphasis on Art Education. Read more>>

Bob Karisny

I was culinary trained at the Culinary Institute of America and after working in kitchens for most of my culinary career I did menu item development for large restaurant companies. While that work came with its own challenges I still needed a culinary outlet. For that, I chose chocolate truffles. Using my creative culinary and menu development training I took the basic chocolate truffle recipe and gave it a rollercoaster ride. Read more>>

Leah Hahn

Scott and I met in chiropractic school. We both learned early in life that if you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters. We both shared a passion for health, well-being, and healing. We loved the elements of fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness, and were/are very passionate about how chiropractic care can enhance every aspect of health and well-being. While in chiropractic school, we spent many extra hours studying pediatrics, maternal health, nutrition, functional medicine, and a technique called Network Spinal Analysis. Read more>>

Casara Andre

I founded Veterinary Cannabis in 2016 in response to the myriad of questions about medical cannabis for animals that began arising from the Colorado, U.S. veterinary community during that time. This period marked a rapid rise in human interest in and access to cannabis…and consequently, animal exposures began to increase in parallel. The need for harm reduction education for veterinary professionals and animal caregivers, as well as the emerging cannabis industry itself, was starkly evident. Read more>>

Thomas Staab

I’d been looking to open or buy an existing business for about 5 years. I hadn’t found anything that felt right though. Then about 9 months ago a couple I’d been friends for a long time with decided to move out of state. They had plans to keep the business & run it remotely. After moving they decided that they were more of the mindset that they were ready to retire & came to the conclusion that they would just close the business. It is a window tinting business & not anything that could be a sole source of income, but a nice add-on. Read more>>

Madeline Fric

For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to putting pencils, crayons, markers, and paint on paper from the easels in my preschool room to the walls of our home, to the margins of my notes in class, to eventually sketchbooks and canvases. However, the career path of an artist was paved with doubt, struggle, and discouragement. “You can’t make a life for yourself as an artist.” I would hear and eventually tell myself. So art became a hobby that I would carry with me, but it would never be my life. Read more>>


I started as a DJ on a community radio station in Massachusetts in 2017, but my love for music started long before. As a kid growing up in Long Island, NY I was in the church choir and also played the trumpet and drums which helped lay the foundation for my understanding of music. It wasn’t until high school and college that my love for Hip-hop music and culture started to impact me on a deeper level than most. Once I discovered the 90s era of Hip-hop and the roots of how the culture and music were built I knew I had to figure out a way to get involved and be a part of this community. Read more>>

Sarah Moore

Move | Yoga & Fitness was established by our 4 current owners here in Silverton in August of 2022. Our current building had been vacant for almost 2 years, just sitting and waiting for students to move and practice inside. Our idea for this space was thought out very diligently and developed very quickly. We opened in a matter of 4 weeks with almost zero changes to the interior of our studio. We quickly added the gym addition to the back end of our space in November. Read more>>

Katherine Fraser

I grew up in Maine as an only child, and I think that formative experience contributed to my love of solitude and interest in exploring the solitary figure in my work. I pursued an art career because I didn’t feel there was any other choice for me. I have always loved art, and I have always been making things. When I was in high school I was pretty serious about ballet, and I was a good student, but when I asked myself, what is the thing I can’t live without? Art was the answer. That’s how I decided to go to art school. Read more>>

Maritza Pietri

In 2015 I became the mother of a child with a rare disease, Congenital Hyperinsulinism. It quickly became apparent that my life would never be the same again. Navigating the health care system for a child with a rare disease was a big feat, but I was determined to get the absolute best care and resources for her. This journey cost me my accounting career and led me to the world of family caregivers.In 2020 I founded ANIMO Homecare, a home care agency that specializes in hiring family members as caregivers. Read more>>

Marco Rivero

Our journey at Cheers & Co was and continues to be inspired by our travel around the world, with Italy at the top of the list. From the beautiful cliffside views in Positano to wine tasting in Tuscany, there really isn’t a better place to indulge the senses. Even the busy streets of Napoli with the buzzing sounds of Piaggio apes everywhere have their own charm, enhanced of course, by the abundance of family-run pizzerias on every corner. And so began our little dream to bring back a taste of Europe to share with you all. Read more>>

Cortez Daniel

Tones began as a group of friends who shared a deep passion for music. We spent countless hours jamming together and dreaming of one-day making music that would inspire others. As we grew older, we each pursued higher education and discovered a love for educating others as well. We found that teaching music was the perfect way to share our passion and inspire others to pursue their own dreams. Today, we are proud to be both educators and musicians. We perform at local events, sharing our love of music with the community. Read more>>

Drew Hersch

Drew Hersch is a 22-year-old independent artist pop based in Boulder, Colorado who strives to resonate through his lyrical honesty, production style, and creative philosophy. Heavily inspired by artists like Billie Eilish, Rex Orange County, and Lana Del Rey, Drew has found a way to combine stylistic familiarity with unapologetic originality. Drew Hersch’s signature sound can be recognized by its unique textures, vocal performance choices, theatrical structures, and its distinctive blend of predictability and surprise. Read more>>

Lori Sutton

I do volunteer work full-time, helping people cope with life’s challenges by means of the practical advice found in the Bible. My small business supports my volunteer work. But before I started my business, 6 years ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. At first, he just had surgery and we thought it was the end of it. But a year later, he had excruciating back pain. After going to the ER and getting an MRI, the doctor found that his cancer had metastasized or spread to his bones. Read more>>

Brian Stevenson

We just celebrated our tenth anniversary in the business. I had previously worked as an instructor at a band instrument repair school, and my wife, Deanna, and I decided we were ready to open our own repair shop and music store. We looked at the map of Denver and saw that there was a gap in areas that had good brass and woodwind repair along the US-36 corridor and we opened up shop in January 2013. We started really small, just the two of us working in a shop that today we can see as a tiny corner in an industrial park, but at the time felt like the castle that we had built together. Read more>>

Rebeca Bolio Hernández

I’m a photographer/model. I was born and raised in Mexico, and I moved here when I was 15 years old. Originally I didn’t want to go to college, I wanted to go straight into modeling, but thanks to my parents insisting I get higher education I fell in love with photography once I started college.I’ve faced struggles all my life being an LGBTQA+, autistic, female immigrant, but I’ve overcome them and only gotten stronger. Read more>>

Katie Dahle

From a young age, I enjoyed taking photos. I had a small little point-and-shoot camera that I’d use to take photos of random things like our cat or my parents at home. In high school, I took some photography classes and eventually bought my first DSLR. My first paid gigs were taking senior photos, mostly for my friends or people I knew. I was literally shocked people wanted to pay me! Throughout college, I got involved in wedding photography and fell in love. But, I told myself I would never pursue this full-time. Read more>>

TeNeil Hartley

I have been working in the event industry since my senior year of college when I took an event internship for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. After college, I was fortunate enough to continue my event and hospitality career by working for some incredible organizations at amazing venues, including a large event center in California, the Telluride Conference Center, Red Rocks Parks & Amphitheatre, and Coors Field. I had the pleasure of working my way up from a private event manager, to director of sales for events, to a director of operations. Read more>>

Dana Harris

I was the Recruiting Manager at Vail Resorts 15 years ago when I realized that there was a big need for a reputable, reliable HR staffing agency in Denver. That’s when I decided to go out on my own and create one! For the past 13 years in business, my goal has been to create a recruiting firm that gives back to local charities, puts candidates’ needs first, and hires the best talent possible for companies. When you mix great talent with great companies and are able to give back in the process, that is where the magic happens! Read more>>

Jennifer Blazis

As a child, I was always drawing and painting and experimenting with making things. My sister endured years of sharing a room with my half-completed creative pursuits scattered in piles around the room. Although painting was my first artistic love, when I discovered photography, I enjoyed the satisfaction of creating something beautiful in a moment and freezing time. My mom has always been an avid photo-taker, so I would steal her camera often and take an entire roll of photographs of my pets. Read more>>

John Paul

I’ve always enjoyed and followed the philosophy of morals, good work ethics, and patience. I am not necessarily a “John-of-all-trades” but I am always willing to learn and grow. How I started out is just like any other teenager still in high school, in the food industry. After high school, I left to serve my country, the United States of America, as Enlisted Navy (I signed when I was 17 with my parent’s permission). After I left the service, I went back into the workforce — Read more>>

Emily Vizzard

I have been an artist all my life. I love to create one-of-a-kind pieces. My husband and I LOVE live music and I love to dress up as much as humanly possible. I started to make flower crowns for each show we would attend. I noticed others loved my headdresses so I started to make them for others. Creating one-of-a-kind pieces for others brings me so much joy and also helps with my ADHD, which is an added bonus! Read more>>

Joe Puhr

During a vacation in Florida in 2016 my friends introduced me to a sport with a strange name…called Pickleball. When I returned to Colorado I went to a local rec center and met a few people who encouraged me to join them during indoor play. Since then Pickleball has become my obsession. I continued to play both recreationally and then competitively. Not realizing that I still had the desire to compete. Before Pickleball I was competing in triathlons, strictly competing against myself.  Read more>>

Rodney Rice

I started into music while growing up in West Virginia. Since picking up the guitar, music has always been with me. I have traveled around the country, first kayaking and raft guiding on various rivers then working in mines and oil rigs. It has allowed me to meet many characters from all walks of life. These characters and life experiences eventually end up in the music in some form. After making two records down in Austin, TX at the Congress House studio. Read more>>

Becca Dollard

Like many entrepreneurs, my business was born from a place in my life that I couldn’t look away from. I couldn’t NOT build this business because of the need I once had for what I’m doing now. When I was a new mom and my daughter became a toddler, I remember standing at the kitchen sink one day crying because I was so TIRED. I was no longer tired from lack of sleep, I was tired of being me. Everything I had ever dreamed of was all here, but I didn’t feel capable to carry it. Read more>>

Jaime Carden-O’Brien

I have been working in the field of helping people with their emotional health since I was 19 years old. I began as a volunteer at a crisis counseling center while in college and it was this work that inspired me to become a mental health therapist. My work as a child and adolescent therapist has definitely influenced the work we do at Free to Be but it was actually my own personal growth work that inspired me to create Free to Be! Read more>>

Brittany Gramm

Briefly walk you through 27 years of life, sure. Well, it started at birth obviously. I was born and raised in Colorado and have lived here my whole life I have seen the good, bad, and ugly around me. To sum up my journey briefly, I overcame many suicide attempts, overcame almost being killed on a few attempts, and overcame a drug and alcohol addiction. By the grace of God, I did not end up in prison for attempted murder and I was able to escape the stripper lifestyle and all that came with it. Read more>>

Elyssa Edgerly

My art career really began in Byron Bay, Australia circa 2014. I moved to Byron after a year+ of global travel and my partner and I found a spot with epic beach and bike access. We fell in love with the house because of the extensive art collection that filled the space and signed a lease, only to discover upon moving in that the owners had removed all of the art, leaving the place in desperate need of color and energy. The empty walls encouraged me to zip down to the local art shop and chat up with the owner about a bundle of art supplies. Read more>>

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