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Inspiring Denver 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 Denver’s rising stars below.Dana Lynch

Cher Aslor

My moment studies began as a young girl studying ballet, jazz, and modern dance, and I danced my whole life. After studying as a dance major and the Spanish minor at CU Boulder, I moved to Los Angels in 1995 to accept a dance scholarship and danced as a professional dancer in LA for ten years. I did my first Pilates session in 2004, and I was hooked on how good it made my body feel, and it’s attention to anatomy and precise controlled movements. Read more>>

Dr. Lily Zehnerf

This is a multi-layered answer. The evolution of how I became a sex therapist was essentially always in the works, it would be years before I would know or understand this. I am the daughter of two Deaf, Cuban immigrants– I am hearing and American born. I have always straddled many communities and identities. Never quite feeling like I clearly belonged in any one of my communities. Read more>>

Jennifer So

I know my story is different from other people, as people who sell Young Living Essential Oils come from all walks of life! I was born six week early and as a baby, I had Yellow Jaundice and RSV.  I was in the NICU for quite some time, but I eventually was able to go home. Read more>>

Jessica Day

Some of my strongest childhood memories involve my early artworks and sharing them with family. My parents always encouraged me artistically, which eventually led me to art school. There, I majored in art photography, but also studied painting, sculpture, printmaking and art history. After graduation, I entered into the world of magazines as a photo editor. Read more>>

Tracy and Sushe Felix

Sushe began showing professionally in Denver in the Fall of 1984 and I started showing in 1988. Over the years, our work has changed somewhat but always reflecting our love of the West. We have been collected by many museums and corporations as well as countless private international collectors. Currently, we show in Denver, Breckenridge, Vail, Santa Fe, Scottsdale, and Tucson. Read more>>

Derik Penny

I guess to trim the fat I’ll say that it all stems from my dad. Self-efficacy wasn’t a skill you gained growing up in our household. It was basically a subchapter of our chores. Cutting and hauling wood. Being a part of the “Bucket Brigade” during heavy rain, running manageable sized buckets of rainwater away from the house at the gutter’s end. And with five kids, our parents had plenty of creativity to work with. Read more>>

Hannah Weidmann

We are husband + wife artists growing two beautiful babies and building two creative businesses from our foothills studio in Denver, CO. You may more readily recognize us from our influential platform at where we share Beauty and Truth in the world of fine art. Jake is a professional artist and certified as one of eleven Master Penman in the world. Read more>>

Derek and Chef Jami Fynboh

After a thirteen-year hiatus from the restaurant industry, Derek and Chef Jami returned nearly seven years ago to open mmm…COFFEE! A Paleo Bistro, the nation’s first grain-free restaurant, as an outlet for their passions. Through the wonders of nutritionally dense food, Chef Jami began to heal from a several-years-long health crisis that had left her house-bound. Wanting to share her newfound health with others through delicious, homemade food. Read more>>

Wyse

I was born in Aiken, SC on September 24th, 1992. After constant moving around from cities like Atlanta to New York, my family and I relocated to Gastonia NC, where I began to take his music seriously at the age of 14. I am the younger brother of a military older sister. By the age of seven, I knew I wanted to be a musician due to the fact my mother would play soul music throughout the day. Read more>>

Dannia

I am originally from Lima, Peru. I was born and raised in the city, amongst the busyness of a city that holds around 10,000,000 people. I graduated from San Marcos University, the oldest university in South America. My major was Clinical Psychology and my minor was English; I’ve always had a love for this language. In 2002, I had the great opportunity to be part of a cultural exchange program here in the U.S. Read more>>

John Carmona

Barber Theory was started by two partners that shared a common vision in the industry of hair. John Carmona and Eric Fuller have both been successful barbers in Denver for several years, and have built a strong reputation and clientele within their circle of business. We both love what we do and have given many hours of our time to become masters of our craft. Read more>>

Lia James

After graduating college into a market where there were no jobs and we were all competing for unpaid internships just to get experience, I got very intrigued or fascinated, maybe mildly obsessed, with how people were marketing themselves to companies as if they were a brand or company themselves. They were taking out social media ads to target CEO and other top-level decision-makers. Read more>>

Daniel Fox

My path was surely not a straight one! I started in business and marketing. Then, moved into the high-end hospitality business. Later, I created and hosted an online educational video series and after looked into starting a charter school. Finally, I got to a point where I reassessed everything. There was nothing in my past that I wanted to keep. Read more>>

Pat Bruno

I started as a musician, playing in bands. So many people back in the 80s were hiring DJs – I figured that I had the gear, knew the music and could perform it live – how hard could it be to spin tunes? I grew the company into the largest in the region and then went back to providing live music, too. We’ve been at it almost 35 years. Read more>>

Hannah Beeghly and Austin Bourdon

We moved to Denver in 2016 and went to an Open Mic, in 2018, where we met Ian Mahan, our current bass player who encouraged us to get more involved in the Denver music scene. Ian also introduced us to our drummer Sydney Jones and we played our first full band show in November of 2018 and have been playing as often as we can. Since then, we have recorded an EP and toured together on the West Coast. Read more>>

Steven Crawford

After nearly 20 years as an executive in Business Process Outsourcing, I had a paradigm shift. While I was great at what I did and made great money, I was not feeling fulfilled. I missed the mentoring and coaching I did for people in my charge as I was ‘working up the chain’. I found myself spending most of my time with the board, finance folks, and C level execs at my client companies. No longer developing my people. Read more>>

Ross Bernards

I chose the latter and didn’t really touch a camera for about a decade after that. Fast forward to moving to Colorado nine years ago as a golf professional and I was quickly enthralled with all of the amazing outdoor activities that don’t involve a perfectly manicured golf course. Every chance I got I was going hiking, backpacking, camping and for the first time in my life really experiencing the outdoors. Read more>>

Chris Counce

In late 2014, my daughter Finley and I went to the art store to buy some colored pencils. As a dad to a five-year-old girl, if you don’t find some common ground, I think you run the risk of gradually doing less and less with her. The idea was to find something we could do together that we both enjoyed. Once we had our supplies, we started creating. We drew together a couple of times a week and really enjoyed it. Read more>>

Elise Lieberth

I am a singer/songwriter and owner of a virtual skincare company as a consultant for Rodan+Fields. I have sung my whole life and always knew that was the gift God had given me and writing came really natural to me as well, I was a bit of a broken child and experienced many unfortunate life experiences way too young, music was often the only way I could cope and writing was very healing for me. Read more>>

Nicole Toledo

After finishing college, I moved to Denver in 1999. Not knowing what I wanted to do professionally, I thought I would pursue a “fun” job until I figured out what my “real” job would be. Always being in love with the fashion and beauty world, I decided to apply at a makeup counter. I had zero retail or makeup experience, but to my surprise, I was hired. Once I started, something just clicked for me. Read more>>

Cathy Jones

I was doing a scalp massage with a client when my thumbs spontaneously began moving, like the bumpers of a pinball machine, on my client’s forehead. I remember looking down at them and saying to myself… “Wow, that’s so weird, and I’m not doing it. I’m just going to see what happens.” Within a few seconds of that, my client sat up, put her hand to her forehead and said… “Cathy, did you feel that? It’s gone! Oh my God, it’s gone. Read more>>

Skyler Sun

I was surprised by how talented the design community was in Colorado. There are so many events sprinkled throughout the area, from morning meetups to design tracks at Denver and Boulder Startup week. As I began attending events and meeting creatives, I noticed a disconnect between the communities in Boulder and Denver and the total invisibility of any other place outside of those two locations. Read more>>

Marissa Yennie

I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was a little girl – selling baked goods, up-leveling lemonade stands and creating restaurants for my family to enjoy the finest cuisine (always hot dogs) at the coolest table in town (the only table in the kitchen). I’ve started a couple of different businesses before that came easily to me, but it took a lot longer with Lovivo. Read more>>

Gerry Mulowayi

I’ve been drawing since I was seven years old and never stopped since. When I was seven, I was out on an adventure with my mother to meet one of her friends. Once there, they got to talking and I simply wandered off into her house. Once there, I bumped into another kid who was on the floor surrounded by papers. He was drawing and I was curious. He noticed and asked if I would like to draw with him, I said I didn’t know how. Read more>>

Kara and Jeff Smith

The ranch has been in continuous operations since 1913. Being born the 5th generation on the family ranch, Kara has an inborn love and passion for the cattle industry, the ranching lifestyle and of course Colorado beef. Therefore, after moving back to the ranch with her husband, Jeff, the idea of Colorado Craft Beef formed as a way to connect our historic western heritage and values with a changing consumer. Read more>>

Madelyn Hadel

I’ve always been drawn to fashion design, even as a little girl, I would make clothes for my Barbies out of paper, I would color and tape together. I started cutting and painting t-shirts in middle school and even made a catalog of my designs that I passed out around school. In high school, I started selling vintage clothing on Etsy. Fashion was always the driving force in my life but at that point, I didn’t know how to sew so it didn’t seem like a viable career, I didn’t pursue it in school or professionally. Read more>>

Shelly Rollison

It took another few years for that light to break free, but something was stirring. Something that had always been there, a realization that there is music in my blood. In 2016, I took the leap to see what music could be in my life. It’s been a process to figure out what that leap looks like, but more and more, the things I really want to do and who I truly am are finding their way in the world. Read more>>

Lauren Piner

I had always wanted to own my own business and even went to college with it in mind. I had planned to open a dog daycare but that seemed really daunting at the time. So, I started dog walking figuring it was low, almost no, overhead and pretty simple at least in the beginning. I planned to give it 6-12 months and see how it was going. Read more>>

Jonathan Dritto

I was constantly around art in some way, shape or form so even at a young age I remember the wonder of creativity. My parents would always take me and my brother to the Museum of Natural History where I became infatuated with ancient artwork. I definitely was the kid that was writing on walls and doodling through school. In hindsight, I’ve always been a creative soul and I just never thought in a million years I’d make a living out of it. Read more>>

Jacy Eylar

I was born and raised in this industry. I can remember being eight years old and working with my dad in his honey house. I would label jars, package honey, sell the honey out the door and even help him extract the hives every summer. I can honestly say that I loved going to work with him and never felt like it was a job or like it was expected of me to help out with the family business. Read more>>

Jenna Rice

I studied fine art in college with a focus on Photography and Multi-Cultural studies. My love of photography gave me a reason to venture out into the world after college and live in Oaxaca, Mexico and the Dominican Republic where I began to really hone in on my love of portraiture and storytelling through imagery. I have always enjoyed getting to know people who are different than me and capturing a bit of their story to share with others. Read more>>

Scott Uhl

A friend of mine asked me once to “take a guitar with me so I know someone in the class.” It’s amazing how much of my life was determined by one sentence. After the first class, I instantly was hooked. The first song the teacher showed us was “Run-Around” by Blues Traveler (which I hadn’t even heard), and I was obsessed with being able to make those 4 chord changes. Read more>>

Zach Martinucci

I grew up near San Francisco in a family that loved to cook and eat, and spent evenings together at the dinner table. I’ve always been passionate about food, and tried and failed to bake throughout my childhood, but it was only in recent years that I learned to make bread and realized I could make a career out of it. Read more>>

Dolly Fiedelman

My gourmet jello shots were a hit and before I knew it, they were an expectation at every event I attended. My friends kept telling me I should sell them and in 2017, I decided to get serious about it. My wife, Terri, and I attended the Leading Edge program at the Small Business Development Center where we developed our business plan to sell a dry mix of all-natural ingredients. Read more>>

Tan Tigress

I have always loved to be entertained, I taught myself to read at a young age and books were my window into so many worlds that I would never have experienced as a half Black, half white chubby girl growing up in the suburbs of New York City. I am part of what has been coined “The Loving Generation”; mixed-race children born after ‘Loving Vs. Virginia’ the landmark case that legalized interracial marriage nationwide in 1967. Read more>>

Annie Burke

In 2017, I was living in Denver and working at a finance startup in an Investor Relations role. While I wasn’t too passionate about the day-to-day aspects of my job, I really loved the startup atmosphere and watching ideas come to life and disrupt conventional ways of thinking. I learned a lot about grit, hustle, the value of mentorship, as well as the highs and lows that come with building a business from scratch. Read more>>

Jake Cook

I started playing drums when I was 12, and have been in the Denver Music Scene since 2008/2009. I had played drums (as well as sang from the drums) in multiple bands in Denver up until I was 18. At that point in my life, I became absolutely obsessed with a band called The Gaslight Anthem. I loved everything about their music, but what I really loved, is that I felt like they had something to say with their music. This inspired my own desire to start writing my own songs. Read more>>

Kimberly Brady

I was disillusioned with the corporate grind; I wanted to change my trajectory and somehow be able to afford to move back to California, and my eldest nephew held a virtual “mirror” in front of my face when I came back to California to visit and said to me, “Aunt Kim you have always supported me, but I am having a hard time wanting to follow your advice right now because you are so frustrated and miserable.” Read more>>

Jamie Sarche

I got a call one night 20 years ago. My friend Michele explained that she’d been having terrible headaches that woke her in the night, she had a scan, and there was a tumor. The doctors were certain it was benign and everything was going to be fine. In surgery, they discovered a very different kind of tumor, glioblastoma. The worst kind you can get. People don’t survive it. A few weeks, maybe months later, Michele and I were together working on our high school reunion. Read more>>

Jared D. P. Anderson

I started first and foremost as a Visual Artist in Denver, well that’s not entirely true… I would say I was always an Artists but started professionally with my own advertising company out of school fresh out of CU Boulder. I was not fully satiated with advertising so I opened my first art gallery and co-founded the Arts District on Santa Fe Drive in the early 00’s. Hard to imagine our virgin First Friday opening on Santa Fe drive was a few art galleries. Read more>>

Andrea Enright

My parents were entrepreneurs, but I certainly didn’t start out that way. I hated selling Girl Scout cookies. I never had a lemonade stand. But as a teenager, I was a joiner–a friendly cheerleader, a theater junkie, a class president. One of those annoying people who actually enjoyed high school. I got a bachelor’s in advertising at the University of Illinois and then spent my junior year abroad in York, England, as the recipient of a Rotary Ambassador Scholarship. Read more>>

Lisa Hill

As a psychology major at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I chose to leave my hometown for a summer to work as a Congressional Intern in Washington DC for Congressman David Skaggs before my junior year. It was there that I transitioned my professional vision from working with clients in need to working on their behalf in the policy arena. After graduation. Read more>>

Jessica Alvarado

After months of research, nights of sleeping on my idea and not to mention praying if I should go with it. This LATINA Chingona has a vision. A vision of bringing our culture back to life in the Milehigh City. I want to form a culture of artist, entrepreneurs, chingon@’s who need a shout out and recognition here in the MIlehigh and be there biggest Supporter. Read more>>

Madison Dorenkamp

I grew up in Southeastern Colorado, on a farm and ranch. I moved to Denver from Lamar for college in 2012. I wasn’t really sure what to expect moving to the city from such a small town, but I fell in love with Denver. If you asked me to describe myself, I would tell you I’m a “hustler”, in the best way possible of course. I am currently a blogger, a free lance model, micro influencer. Read more>>

Tiffany Nickel

I started painting in my early twenties. It is a passion that sort crept up on me. I am 100% self taught and have never taken an art class. But frequently, I would imagine in detail the things I wanted to bring to life on a canvas. A couple of years ago I switched to exclusively painting women, as showing women how beautiful they really are is what I am most passionate about in life. Read more>>

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