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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.

Alyse Opatowski

I feel lucky to have grown up in a loving family. I played every sport, was captain of most clubs and had great friends. This led to following my passion of advocating for the environment and a host of social justice issues. Yet beneath the surface, I was struggling with depression. Roughly eight years ago. Read more>>

April Maple

I have been a musician for 17 years, with a Bachelor’s in Flute Performance at Northern Arizona University and Masters at Longy School of Music. I am a 200 hour Registered Yoga Alliance Certified instructor, through Mudra Yoga Studio. I also love to articulate feelings through writing, dancing ecstatically, conquering mountains. Read more>>

Angela Ireland

I started my business in 2005, I was still attending school at the time in Fort Collins, CO. The business started out as Refined Design & Staging. Two weeks before I officially started the company I flew to Minneapolis Minnesota to obtain my Interior Re-Design & Staging certificate. Read more>>

Whitney Shearer

My name is Whitney I’ve been a local Denver artist for as long as I can remember. When the question in school was what do you want to be when you grow up I would say an artist. My love of drawing painting and doodling on pretty much everything led me to a small liberal arts school in California. Read more>>

Adam Riggs

I started playing the cello when I was four years old, with the Suzuki method up in Canada. From an early age, I knew that a career in music was what I really wanted, so while my peers in high school were struggling to decide what they wanted to pursue. Read more>>

Mauriah Creelman

During the summer of 2018, I purchased an insect-spreading kit from Anatomika Science, and after my first attempt felt like a bit of a failure, I decided to search for additional ethically-sourced specimens to develop this new skill that I felt very excited about. Read more>>

Kierra Aiello

Growing up in Grand Junction, I still managed to find ways to be active in the art communities while still skiing, hiking, and biking most weekends. I participated in art classes at The Art Center, attended a wide variety of arts events, and played cello in the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra. Read more>>

Terry Gardner

Balancing fine art and the need for money begins early, as early as college, when you contemplate how you are going to make a living. I graduated from Maryville College in St. Louis with a degree in communications, yet I had loads of credit hours in the fine arts. Read more>>

Lahni Carney

I started Clutterless Home Solutions because I was passionate about organizing and I wanted to help people and decluttering and organizing definitely helps people. The expression on my client’s face and the happiness they feel when their project is finished is why I keep doing it. Read more>>

John Imbergamo

I was the vice president of marketing for a national steakhouse chain and grew weary of the corporate BS and constant travel to places I didn’t really want to see. The president of the company and I were at odds over direction so I proposed outsourcing the marketing department, allowing me to start my business with a client. That was 1990. Read more>>

Hank Williams

Rocky Mountain Aardvarks (RMA) is the Colorado branch of a groovy tree with roots in Brooklyn, NY. RMA founder, Janet Casson, taught Music For Aardvarks and Other Mammals in New York. When she moved out West in May 2011, she brought the wacky and wonderful program to share with families of the Mile High City. Read more>>

Paul Dreyer

Our mission at Avid4 Adventure is to empower kids to choose active and healthy lifestyles in the outdoors. Avid4 was founded in 2004. In the early 2000s, we all first began to see some alarming statistics – increasing rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, increasing rates of childhood screentime. Read more>>

Gregg Gonzales

That is the day everything changed for me. I had just finished having the first of two surgeries on my wrists after a 19-plus-year career in massage therapy and was facing the dilemma of finding a new direction and purpose in my life. In truth, I was searching for my joy again. I felt lost, discouraged, frustrated, hopeless and scared. Read more>>

Michelle and John Davidson

After more than a decade of working in notable kitchens throughout the US, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Chef John Davidson and his wife, Michelle, opened their own successful restaurant located in Denver Colorado’s historic South Pearl Street neighborhood, in 2007. Read more>>

Lauren Skye

I moved to Denver in 1993 because my then-husband was offered a great job here. At the time, I was not happy about this change that would become one of the greatest gifts in my life. I had spent the previous five years in Portland, Oregon (having escaped the east coast) and I was deeply involved in the spiritual community there. Read more>>

Andrew Sams

My love of houses goes back to an early age when I would obsessively watch “This Old House” and “Home Again” with Bob Vila. In fact, I believe I was around eight years old at this time when I realized that I wanted to be involved with homes in every capacity that I could. Read more>>

David Kammerzell

I began working in television creating graphic animations for CBS Channel 4 in Denver in the early 90’s. Three years later I moved to Starz, a premium cable network with more than 17 channels. I received many industry awards there including regional Emmys. I was promoted several times, eventually to Director Of On-Air Design, the head of the entire department. Read more>>

Bri Hill Kastner

I am a teacher by trade and an artist by accident. Five years ago I began writing and creating art after suffering massively with postpartum depression and anxiety. During that time I needed a way to reclaim my identity outside of motherhood. Soon, friends started hiring me to paint them things. Read more>>

Christina Ray

My career started in property management – leasing apartments in Broomfield, Colorado. I immediately fell in love with my job and quickly found that I could turn it into a true career. I loved the fast-paced market, it was a large community (500 apartment homes) so there was always things to do and people to help. Read more>>

Joey Hoisescu and Rhianon Schuman

We started out I think like most successful businesses do; by identifying a need for an Olympic weightlifting-specific gym in Denver and filling that gap. There were literally no weightlifting facilities in the city so we rented a 500 sq ft space from Crossfit Lodo and started running classes three times per week. Read more>>

Radhika Mukhija Sud

I was born in India and raised with yoga, consciousness and meditation. As a child, I was always intrigued in the workings of the human mind and that led me to pursue my bachelor’s in Psychology. I recall my Dad’s home library and that piqued my interest in personal development early on. Read more>>

Tran Wills

Base Coat was started out as a need for a non-toxic nail salon in 2o12, a safer nail salon option for people who are very conscious about their health, but also creating a safe space for pregnant and nursing moms, people who have severe allergies and somewhere you can feel good taking your little ones. Read more>>

John, LuLu Demitro and Forrest Raup

Sludgy riffs, ripping guitar solos (think your favorite track off Smashing Pumpkins “Mellon Collie” meets QOTSA’s “ Era Vulgaris”) and driving intricate rhythms are a large part of this band’s sound. But what stands out are those song’s counterparts. Pink Fuzz can still throw down with the heaviest rock n’ roll. Read more>>

Jubilee Stevens

For most of my working career, I’ve struggled to be fulfilled in what I’m doing and lacked passion. However, I have always worked hard and pushed myself to achieve my roles. Even so, I bounced around.many types of jobs from customer service, showroom management. Read more>>

Buffy Barfoot

I initially came to yoga after being broken into pieces and needing to repair my body and my spirit. I crawled into my first yoga classes to change my physical patterns from years of dance (primarily ballet) that left me injured, and I didn’t realize that the practice would be so revolutionary for me. Read more>>

Michelle Farrell

I wish I could say that I’ve dreamt of being a doula my entire life but that would make for a far less interesting story – the truth is that this incredible and life-changing work found me. Flashback to a year ago, you could find me schlepping onto the commuter rail into the big city of Boston (blazer ready). Read more>>

Liz Foster

I was awakened to the labor and birth world when, as a single mother, I birthed my son via emergency c-section. Never again do I want a mother to feel the dread and despair I felt during pregnancy and birth. Five years later, I successfully delivered my daughter via vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Read more>>

Jaidene Anderlini

Babysitters In a Pinch was founded in 2011. As much as I’d like to relate one of those great inspiring stories, it was really born out of desperation and recognizing a need for quality babysitters for families that struggle to find a quality, dependable and loving service for their children. Read more>>

Conner Judson

I started to take a serious dive into creating and being more involved around my high-school years. Being surrounded by my close friends who had similar passions and interests made it really easy to make the step. From plotting in the back of the homeroom class, the bus, the back of the neighborhood (where the sessions went down) and so many other places. Read more>>

Manushkka Sainvil

Raised in Queens NY, Manushkka Sainvil is a self-proclaimed Double-Dutch Master and Girly Girl that has always loved all things hair and makeup. She loves everything about the 80’s because c’mon – it was the best decade ever! After studying History at the University of Florida and Meteorology at Penn State. Read more>>

Eric Silver

The E-counseling team is not from Denver, but I am originally. I joined the team about three years ago and am now one of the managing editors. I had no prior experience in the mental health field. Moreover, I am the only one on the editorial team who is not a licensed mental health professional. Read more>>

Barry Osborne

The short story is, in my late thirties I wasn’t doing so well. I worked what was for me a highly stressful job in journalism, and struggled with anxiety. I turned to music – playing the banjo and songwriting – as a means of self-care. Ultimately it created a path for me to move forward in a more fulfilling and healthier direction. Read more>>

Danny Ramos

A lot of the time I was left to my own devices. My mom had me very young so I was the kid at the parties watching T.V. in the other room, coloring or opening the door at the restaurant she served at, or leaving my watercolors out to dry in the SDSU student apartment housing courtyard. Read more>>

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