To Top

Inspiring Colorado Springs 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 Denver’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Colorado Springs’s rising stars below.

Rachel Langlois

I have always been drawn to art. My favorite classes growing up were always the classes geared toward some form of creation–English, band, drawing and painting. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had some project or creation in the works, and when I have decided give myself breaks, it isn’t long before I’m itching to make or create something. It’s like a motor in my head that I can’t turn off. There was a short period of time in high school when I wanted to go to art and design school after I graduated, but I am also driven by logic and practicality and instead decided to major in English with the intention of working at a law firm after college. Those plans didn’t pan out and eventually I became an art teacher and later on an English teacher. I dabbled in photography as a kid, my mom is a very skilled hobbyist and I used to love going on hikes with her and my grandmother and shoot photos with old disposable film cameras. Read more>>

Tabby Halsrud

My professional background is in Human Resources for a large corporation – providing coaching, consulting, training/facilitation, and more. While I was working in that job, my number one focus was my work – and I was neglecting my most important relationships. As a result, my marriage and friendships were surface-level and strained. When I realized how alone I felt, I started bringing more attention and focus to forming healthier relationships in all areas of my life. After my divorce several years later, I struggled through the dating process. Now I’m following my calling, serving as a guide to help others strengthen their relationships. My work allows me to integrate my background, my education, and specialized studies, and my own personal experience to help others. I work 1-1 with singles who are feeling discouraged from the dating process, and I work with couples who feel like their relationship is ‘okay’ but could be better. Read more>>

Jenn Cancellier

I moved to Colorado from Illinois back in 2007. I always knew as a little girl I would land here. Very quickly I started planning backpacking trips with my friends. I had a couple of trips under my belt after spending two summers in Westcliffe, CO, and hiking all over the Sangre de Cristos range. So I would organize trips during the weekends and take off as soon as Friday hit. A few years later, I joined El Paso County Search and Rescue. It was my passion and love of the outdoors that made volunteering for the team so easy. I spent three years on the team and plan to join again in the coming recruiting cycle. Jump into 2017, I find myself leading more and more friends on backpacking trips for the first time. I even took two different groups of ladies on a bachelorette backpacking trip! As I became more and more comfortable leading people into the outdoors… I decided I might be able to make this into something more. In January 2020 the groundwork for Focus Backcountry began. Read more>>

Jenn Watton

I relocated to Colorado Springs from the Central Coast of California in 2011. After a few years in the business world working in public relations and marketing, I decided to take a leap and try for my real estate license since I had been considering it from the time I was about 18. I had just gone through some major life changes, and I felt a huge pull to do something for me. Taking that risk to start my own business was the best choice I could have made. My first year as an agent was tough, as it is for many just starting out because I limited myself and didn’t want to be a “pushy salesperson.” I’ve learned that having a positive mindset as a business owner, especially in the world of real estate, is a necessity. Once I was able to reframe my thinking to come from a place of service and contribution rather than a pushy salesperson, I began to thrive. I found my passion and absolutely love networking and connecting with others, which is a must in real estate. Read more>>

Lisa Smith

I was a teacher, and my husband was the soccer coach. We lived in a nice neighborhood, volunteered for the PTA and belonged to the local pool. We were the typical family that exists in so many neighborhoods around the country. But despite our very normal-looking lives, our family was dealing with our son’s drug addiction. Shame and fear isolated us and I spent precious years yelling, crying and searching for help and answers. Suggestions about “Rock Bottom” and “Tough Love” did not feel right to me as a mother, and as I navigated this path, it did not appear that anyone had walked in these shoes before us. We felt alone and without hope. I searched for answers and help for both myself, my son and the rest of my family. In desperation, I realized that my son was walking further from help, and I was also on a path leading to sadness, guilt and shame. What I came to realize is that the only one that I had control over was myself, and I became determined to regain purpose and happiness in my own life, rebuild the family relationships in jeopardy and love my son, the young man that I knew him to be, separate from his disease. Read more>>

Theda Stone

I am a Maine-iac living in Colorado for the past 20 years. My husband and I moved out here shortly after our first son was born because the CO economy was better for our growing family. My first real job was at USAA, an entry-level position but I worked my way up to Manager of a Sales Team. I worked there for almost 12 years before making the decision to stay at home with my then three sons, but I was always still looking for something that I could be passionate about and still allow me to be there for my kids. My mind is always filled with ideas, and when in January of 2020, the community of Black Forest was asked on a Facebook post what they’d like to see for activities in our area. I commented that I thought a farmers market would be a great addition, and to my surprise, my comment had the most likes from all the suggestions. I was asked to come to give a presentation in more detail of what the “vision” of the farmers market would be at our local community center. Read more>>

Diana Cordaro

I have always been creative as far back as I can remember. My mom had a ceramic studio in our basement in New Jersey, so it was fun to play with clay, carve designs, and paint. I continued loving art throughout school and when I had to decide on a path for college, it was medical research or design. I finally decided on art and design. I’m a graduate of Buffalo State College (SUNY) with a Bachelor of Science in Design. During my last year, I worked at a small advertising company and was offered a job but made the decision to move to Houston, Texas for a change and warmer weather. Fortunately, I quickly landed a job with a small printing company near the Johnson Space Center, where I learned so much about design and production within the industry, plus customer service and observing how a business is run. I loved the owner and my co-workers but wanted to keep moving forward to better myself as a designer and I took a graphic designer position with the San Jacinto College District in the Marketing Department. Read more>>

Allison Daniell

I started out drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles in elementary school, fell in love with making art (even in 4th grade, I would’ve told you that Da Vinci was my idol), and decided to pursue all of that during my college years. I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, and I planned to become a full-time designer. It’s a good thing I don’t try to stick to a five-year plan because life had other breadcrumbs for me to follow. I ended up working at a professional photoshop right out of college in 2005 because it was the only job in the field I could find, and through that, I connected with lots of local photographers. I began second shooting for a couple of them, and after a few years in 2008, I launched Stellar Propeller Studio. Read more>>

Shannon Katsos

In 2015, a small group of local educators, gardeners, artisans, and environmental enthusiasts were discussing “what happens when the trucks stop rolling?”. This question led them toward the importance of empowering individuals and the wider community to be more resilient in the face of a changing climate and increased demand on our natural resources. A 20-acre chunk of land on the edge of Black Forest, on the border between rural and suburban living, became the focal point of where people could come to learn and be inspired, and the concept of creating “The Shire at Old Ranch” took shape. The initial creators of “The Shire” believed that people could learn to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable future by learning to produce their own food, understanding their local ecology, pursuing sustainable energy and habitations, and harnessing artisanal skills. SEE was born as the organization that would provide and organize educational experiences in these four areas to the greater Colorado Springs community. Read more>>

Jennifer Gallegos

My husband, Francisco, wanted to have his own business for a long time, but it wasn’t until we moved to Colorado that we decided this was the right time to do it. He had over 18 years of experience working in the industrial laser services industry in Oregon, so our business was born from his expertise. In 2016 we bought a laser and started up Precision Quality Laser in a garden shed in our backyard. While most laser engravers begin as product-based businesses, we were the complete opposite. We started off by taking customer-supplied materials and engraving them. Even though we began a little backwards, it’s been the most rewarding part of what we do. Read more>>

Marie Button

Towards the end of 2019, I made the choice to return to school to get my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling-Art Therapy. I was teaching second grade at a school I loved, but I knew there was more that I wanted to do for my students. I have my Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, and I had found that the impact I hoped to make in kiddos’ lives was in the social, emotional space. I also knew I wanted to change the conversation surrounding mental heal in my own community online and here in Colorado Springs. In 2020, after teaching online for five months, I decided to quit my job as a teacher and start an online product shop focused on mental health awareness. The goal was to put good vibes out into the world while I went back to school. It started as a small batch online shop, with mugs and paper products displaying important messages. My love for mental health advocacy has only grown, and so has this business. By fall of last year, I moved into a beautiful co-op here in Colorado Springs, called Eclectic OCC. They were opening a second location and I would be able to reach more of the local community. Read more>>

Kirsti Logan

There’s no such thing as a short story in my life. Hi. My name is Kirsti Logan and I am the owner of Sleepy Turtle Coffee Co in Colorado Springs, Co; a mobile coffee shop located in the heart of a 1974 VW Van. Ever since I was a little kid I would dream of being a business owner. My friends used to make fun of me and call me “Chef Kirsti”. When I was around ten I came up with the name “the Sleepy Turtle” and it just stuck. I was born in Denver, but grew up on the beaches of Florida. My dad rocked a VW Bus or a “hippy van” as we called it. He used to drive me and my friends around town and encouraged all our crazy antics. I remember him and I sitting in the VW watching the sunrise on the beach, drinking coffee from our favorite beachside shop. We would go early and watch the waves come in, and if we were lucky we would see dolphins, sharks, or turtles. We learned a lot about each other over the years, and that kind of stuck with me. Anytime I go to a new place, I search for three things. The best restaurants, bars, and coffee houses. Read more>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative

    The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us...

    Local StoriesJuly 7, 2020
  • 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...

    Local StoriesSeptember 21, 2021
  • Denver Artist iBleazy releases Higher

    Today we’re connecting again with iBleazy to discuss his new song and lyric video Higher. iBleazy is  a content partner. Content partners...

    Local StoriesAugust 27, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 3

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesAugust 25, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesAugust 19, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 2

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesJuly 21, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 3

    During Women’s Month I had the honor of having a heart to heart with two powerful women in the creative space....

    Local StoriesJune 26, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesApril 21, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 1

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesMarch 22, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 1

    We are so thrilled to present Heart to Heart with Whitley, a high-energy talk show hosted by the brilliant and empowering...

    Local StoriesFebruary 1, 2021