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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.

Jamie Tatreau

I have always appreciated the beauty of nature, the intricacy of the human body & herbal healing traditions. In 1998, I obtained a B.S. in Community Health Education, deepening my knowledge of holistic medicine, mind-body connection and the concept of well-being. Followed by 20 years of experience in the evolving spa industry as a massage therapist, esthetician, skincare manufacturer and spa vendor. Read more>>

Jamie Grayson

I took a survival job at buybuyBaby in NYC as a product demonstrator. That job evolved into a personal shopper once I learned every product in the store (long story), and I would be booked 3-4 months in advance with appointments to help expectant parents build their baby registries. I was at BBB for 4 1/2 years and then worked at NYC’s top birth education center for a year. Read more>>

Christina Cookson

I would photograph clients on the weekends and slowly built up business on the side. A year and a half ago, my husband and I moved to Denver, and I made the decision to focus on my photography full-time. I secured a studio in Prism Workspaces near the Santa Fe Art District and have had the most wonderful experience being in that space with so many other artists and creatives. Read more>>

Ryan Mayo

I used to work in marketing for an energy bar company. We talked a lot about ingredients and process: where the food comes from and how it’s made. That was a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Consumers were finding value in knowing the origin story of their food, how it was farmed and the quality of ingredients. I changed my personal behavior as a result. My grocery list would never be the same. Read more>>

Verena Starke

I started out as an esthetician working at a Salon and Spa in downtown Denver. A few years into skincare and running the front desk, I quickly realized I had a passion for hair. I decided to go back to school and figure out if this was the path I wanted to take! In 2015 I graduated and quickly immersed myself in the industry with lots of continued education, I was hungry to learn. Thanks to my loyal and loving clientele. Read more>>

Paul Schiff

Circular Threads is a Frisco, Colorado-based business that re-purposes and upcycles unwanted, pre-consumer and post-consumer waste materials into new products. We got started upcycling while looking for solutions to the many waste streams that we encounter on a daily basis. Our mission is to source waste materials that are destined for the landfill and to refashion them into new products fit for the circular economy. Read more>>

Kaelin Tillery

My husband Richard and I built Counter Couture out of a very basic desire to live a simple, fulfilling and creative life. After the coffee company I worked for went out of business in 2009, I was faced with what to do next. While pondering, Richard happened to mention he knew how to screenprint. I always wanted to learn and we both have an art background, so we did the logical thing. Read more>>

Kristen Drakulic

Left her five (5) year position as an Operations Manager for a Fourtune500 company to follow her true passion and calling into the Beauty and Wellness industry. After successfully becoming licensed in Colorado, I started working for a Facial and Massage franchise, the money was little and the clientele was very slim, I often questioned my decision to walk away from my previous career. Read more>>

Aux PT

grew up in this neighborhood called ‘North Main’ & it wasn’t the best place to grow up as a child. Especially while watching people break into other people’s houses, steal things & gang affiliation. Having seeing that & being told it was something that would get me incarcerated, I knew that wasn’t the road I wanted to go down. I knew I was different. I started doing music at 12 to release some of the anger I had. Read more>>

Dave Halchak

I started as a musician in high school. Once I was in college, I started playing shows more regularly and took on the management/booking role in the bands I was in. Touring up and down the east coast with a jamband called The Breadbox Band learning my craft as musician/booking agent/manager. That continued for about another 5+ years until I moved to Denver in 2008. Read more>>

Kris Carino

As a quick background of myself, my name is Kris Carino and I am Filipino-American. I’m originally from the Bay Area, California (hence “hella” in Hella Herbivore) and moved to Denver in 2017. Just like every other transplant that’s moved here, I’m loving the Denver people and the Denver culture. Hella Herbivore was created as a vehicle to share my vegan activism. Read more>>

Kali and Clay Vansteel

We started making hot sauce in our kitchen early in 2019. We shared our sauce with friends and family in the early months and kept getting requests for us to make more. One thing led to another and everyone finally convinced us we should be selling it so we decided to start Sendy Sauce Hot Sauce. We started social media pages to spread the word. Read more>>

Cathy Alderman

Cathy Alderman has served as the Vice President of Communications and Public Policy for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) since 2015 and oversees the Education and Advocacy (E&A) Team. The E&A Team is responsible for public/media relations, lobbying activities, social media, publications, community engagement, public outreach, and education. Read more>>

Kim Farrington

I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2003. After two years without experiencing relief, coupled with a refusal to follow Western medicine’s solution, which was to prescribe major pharmaceutical drugs, I decided to subscribe to what we now call “clean eating.” Not many people were doing that back in 2003. I educated myself about nutrition, digestion, supplementation and natural topical treatments and began to incorporate all that I was discovering. Read more>>

Cole Schlam

Like many folks who enter into jobs of service, my inclination to teach yoga came from witnessing its benefits to others, specifically, folks who had directly or indirectly experienced violence. It was only once I started really diving into practicing for myself that I realized the benefits of yoga run deep and are supportive of all of us. More importantly, it was clear that to offer yoga to others. Read more>>

Michelle Rasul

Ten years ago, I walked into a specialty baking store, wearing a tattered former student chef uniform, searching for everything I needed to bake a wedding cake. I had a crumpled photo of a large, tiered, elegant black and white wedding cake in hand. Fumbling around with cake pans, pastry bags, etc., a petite blonde woman noticed my coat and promptly said, ” are you a student that universit. Read more>>

Keely Buchanan

I started Preparing for Denver Kindergarten five years ago to fill a need for Denver families navigating the search for public and private Preschool and Kindergarten. When I began the search for Preschool for my oldest son, Arlo, to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. Simply put: I didn’t know what I didn’t know. As I began to research public and private options. Read more>>

Meadow Coldon

I have been working with fiber for over a decade, and have built my skillset to include each part of the process, from sheep shearing, combing and spinning the wool, to dyeing by hand, and creating knitted garments. I was raised an artist, so each part of this long process calls to me in different and beautiful ways. With my wool processing and spinning. Read more>>

Jennifer Lester

After recently having a baby daughter Ruby Kate, Jen Lester set to revaluate her life, family and what it means to be a success. Spread thin between trying to work at the same high level as she did prior to having a child and feeling insecure as a new mom with absolutely nothing left to give her Mr. Darcy, Jen decided success in her mind needed a new definition and that was doing great work, navigating motherhood and loving her prince charming. Read more>>

Saara Haapanen

I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada and found my way to the USA through a diving scholarship for the University of Wyoming (go pokes!). I met my wonderful husband a few days after moving to the states (he was on the swim team) and the rest is history. I was always interested in the body and health, at Wyoming for my undergrad. I studied Kinesiology and Health Promotion. Read more>>

Rajan Shankara

Having been raised in a difficult period during the mid-90’s Chicago gentrification, Rajan became a drug-dealer as a teenager. Living a troubled and crime-laden youth-led to conflicts with police, judges, and the criminal world. In 2005, Rajan was given a second chance by a police officer and avoided prosecution and jail. Realizing this was divine intervention, he vowed to change his life, never straying from the path again. Read more>>

Skye Mitchell

When I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study so I went to a community college to take general credits and study business. I ended up taking pretty much every photography course they offered and decided to transfer to Metro state to pursue that. While attending Metro state is when I was first introduced to wet plate collodion photography. Read more>>

Sam Long

Prior to my birth, my parents immigrated from China to the United States to pursue graduate studies in science. After my mom finished her Ph.D., we settled in Toronto. As a result, I am an American-Canadian-Chinese man with deep roots in science. I came out as a transgender man while in high school and then I went to college for Physiology, followed by a Master’s degree in education. Read more>>

Josh Oakley

My career began twelve years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona at Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, where I started as a pantry cook and worked my way up to the line and grill.  I remember it was that classic scene of an 18-year-old in over his head with star-packed chefs—and it was a butt kicking. I was hungry for more, so I embraced my sense of adventure and accepted a line cook position with the Pullman in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, working my way up to sous chef in just one year. Read more>>

Daniel Howard

As time went on Me & My brother had came up with an idea of getting into the music industry (Creating content) We didn’t take it so seriously at first & were going by ”Video God Visuals” Months after my brother had been Killed & I honestly got discouraged from being alone with the big plans, dreams we visioned. I continued months after creating content & soon enough realized it’s what my brother would have wanted. Coming from (pueblo). Read more>>

Jayme Henderson and Steve Steese

The two of us met at a restaurant in Denver back in 2005 and immediately fell for each other. We did our first two sommelier certification classes together in 2007 and continued to work together, on and off, in the Denver restaurant scene for the next ten years. For many years, we spent all of our time away from work in wine country somewhere in the world, and we fell in love with it. After pursuing ideas up and down the west coast. Read more>>

Erika Boyd

A few years ago, I thought that my story was one of failure, but today I can say that my story is of grit. My dad is a retired builder, so I grew up on job sites. I was pretty sure that I wanted to go into something to do with building materials as I was finishing up my marketing degree. During my senior year, I was doing on-campus interviews at Colorado State University and met with a roofing product distributor. Read more>>

Miranda Guerra

I am a daughter of entrepreneurs and have always valued hard work and living out your dream. I knew that maybe one day, I might follow in my parent’s footsteps but was always terrified of the idea. I knew early on that I had a love for people and the event industry. I went into college knowing I wanted to get my degree in Event and Meeting Management and was lucky enough to add a Beverage Management minor time that. Read more>>

Ali Duncan and Erica Danielle

Erica and I met in India in 2011 while attending the same Yoga Teacher Training. Over the course of nine years, we have stayed in touch, co-teaching our own Yoga teacher Trainings and coaching each other on life’s ups and downs. We both have over 20 years combined of whole life coaching, energy work and intuitive practices. Read more>>

Eboni Boneé Coleman

I guess you could say I’ve always been someone with multiple hats, even as a child. From dance lessons to classical piano classes, I was always on the go and wanting to try new things and create new experiences for myself. What I decided at a very young age was that whatever I genuinely decided to touch and put my energy towards, I would be good at… and that’s exactly what I did and continue to do on a regular basis. Read more>>

Ericka Sommer

I started my career in corporate HR. I was fascinated by people – their motivations, why they make decisions (or don’t) and being supportive to people’s goals. I have worked for Fortune 50 companies and small family-owned Asset Management companies – and people are people. It wasn’t until corporate America drove me into insomnia, outrageous levels of work stress. Read more>>

Beth Pestotnik

From a very young age, I have been obsessed with skincare! My mother would send me to the mall with money for back to school clothes, and I would come home with the latest skin product from the department store. I struggled with acne when I was in college and found a clinic that introduced to me to all the possibilities of the aesthetic industry. Read more>>

Eric Dieter

I started Movement Strategy with a close friend that I met while attending CU Boulder and studying Advertising. That was back in early 2008. Early on, we recognized an opportunity to build an agency that focused on social media and how brands could leverage some of these new platforms to build communities and deeper relationships with fans/consumers. Read more>>

Devonte Holt

I have always been an artist in some way, form or fashion as a kid. I would draw a lot of anime, cartoons, tattoos, etc. I’ve always had an interest in art and just being creative period, I got introduced to tattoos because my uncle had a tattoo on his arm and I asked how did he get it he said a needle and sum ink. So in my mind, it sounded stupid so I wanted to know more. Read more>>

Tylah ‘𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑄𝑢𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑂𝑓 𝐹𝑎𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑜𝑛’ Mack

2008 in Columbia, SC. I was in elementary school. I had to be ten years old, I was sitting in the back of a class and it was quiet. Everyone was taking their test and I was finished. I pulled out a burgundy agenda (you know the old ones with the lines and dates in them) and I started to draw. I sketched people, the classroom and then I sketched clothes and at that moment, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. Read more>>

Brian O’Connor

Mindset is Everything. The decision to launch Terrace Creative stems from a variety of experiences. These experiences have shaped who I am today. A couple of years ago, after graduating college, my contract expired with the agency I was working for. My lease was up on the house I was renting and I had $120.00 in my bank account. I packed up my car and moved in with my parents that summer of 2019. Read more>>

Jordan Cazares

My whole life, I had grown up around food and really found that as an interest when I used to sit down with my mom and watch Emeril Lagasse on TV. I remember thinking when I was 11 or 12 that he had the coolest job because he just got to have fun and make people happy. Read more>>

Dave Hecker

When I was 20, I enlisted in the USCG. While serving, I took a few online classes for copywriting and marketing which ultimately led to me leaving the military to pursue business. While working at a restaurant, I came up with an idea for a personal concierge service. Speedy Wheels Delivery was in business for six months before I realized two things. Read more>

Jason Leeper

Creating engaging videos has been in my blood for years as I’ve had a camera in my hands since I was a little guy. From filming my mom showing horses, barley able to keep the camera steady to know owning my own business and operating full time as a creator. I found my passion for filming around 2006 when I began filming my friends ride and race dirt bikes and putting together short videos that I got to share with a handful of people at the time. Read more>>

Amanda Larrimer

I started my small business life five years ago when I opened Intrigue Boutique in Sunnyside with a friend of mine. Having a small boutique has been a lot of fun and has taught me a lot about running a small business. I’ve met some really great people along the way! About two years ago, I could not ignore my love of home decor any longer and enrolled in design school here in Denver. That’s where I met Lisa and Madison, my partners in my new adventure. Read more>>

Amy Kwak

Being active and athletic has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a family consumed by Motocross racing that started when I was six years old. We would pack up every weekend and head for the races or a camp trip with some of our best friends, family, and a community of people with the same love. Read more>>

Laura Heck

I grew up in South Dakota, moved to Minnesota to attend college, pursuing a degree in art education. Both of my parents are teachers, so a career in education seemed natural to me. Post-college, I moved back to South Dakota to teach high school art. When art is both your passion and your 8-5 job, it’s difficult to find time and motivation to allow your own creative voice to flourish. Read more>>

Myron Swanson

I started printing 32 years ago. I have run and managed many shops in the Denver area as well as consulted with many more. I got tired of watching the way that owners treated the employees and customers and decided to start my own shop four years ago. Everybody has their own idea of success, and with most people, it starts and ends with money. Read more>>

Dr. Joey Potter

I knew I wanted to become a dentist around the age of 12 when I saw my mom smile for the first time. She never smiled while I was growing up because of problems with her dental health, causing her to lack the self-confidence to smile. When I saw her smile for the first time after a visit with a dentist, I knew that I could help her, and so many others, by pursuing a career in dentistry. Read more>>



Katon Patel

My mission is to provide blends of responsibly sourced, small-batch tea & organic, high-grade CBD encouraging the natural rejuvenation of body and mind. Our blends are made up of loose leaf tea, wild herbs and organic spices in conjunction with 99% pure hemp CBD, which aide the body in rebalancing it’s natural equilibrium & reaching its highest potential of vitality. Read more>>

Kristina Johnson

I started in my hometown of Las Vegas, NV in 2011, working at a magazine as an intern. I then received my first client in 2014 — the oldest steakhouse in Las Vegas, the Golden Steer Steakhouse. I was still in school and was mostly self-taught! I had two bartending jobs but really wanted to expand my knowledge on social media. I really enjoyed social media for my personal use but loved how it could really help a business. Read more>>

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