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Inspiring Stories from Fort Collins

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 Fort Collins’ rising stars below.

Courtney Bohlman

Wholesome Alchemy started 2 years ago, in a small kitchen in a shared home. I had been making natural products for YEARS and finally decided I want to allow those products to serve a larger community. The beautiful thing about our company/movement is that we source our oils directly from communities in West Africa AND donate a minimum to 15% of profits towards developing more schools in that area. It is a beautiful circle of service.  Since Wholesome Alchemy started, we have expanded in big ways. We are no longer just an organic body-care product company. Now we are 100% Organic Health & Wellness. We offer online courses and host 6 international and domestic retreats a year. Allowing our community to travel the world and do their internal work at the same time.  Read more>>

AnnMarie Kirkpatrick

In 2014 after the birth of my second baby I began carving out niches of time for myself by running with my then 2- and 6-month-old boys in a jogging stroller. As I trained and entered local races, I enjoyed the feeling of putting in work and seeing a tangible outcome in the form of faster and faster times. I put thousands of miles on that jogging stroller but inevitably they got too big. As I tried for bigger goals I put in more miles and the majority of my training was solo. In 2017 I qualified for the Olympic Trials in the marathon was able to run in the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon in 2020- the last big event before the world shut down. In that time, I had trained solo for all of my big races and really craved a team dynamic. I wanted a team to train with but more importantly, I felt like a support structure for an elite training group in Fort Collins was something that future generations would benefit from. There is so much talent in this town, but if anyone wanted to make a career out of running there was very little here to support that. Read more>>

Laura Resau

I have my mom to thank for sparking my love of story-telling. We would read books together every night of my childhood, even through middle school. I discovered that the only thing I loved more than immersing myself in a great book was trying to write one myself. As a kid, I shared my hand-written and illustrated tales with anyone who would read them . . . but as a teen, and into my early twenties, I kept my story-writing a secret. It made me feel too vulnerable to bare my soul through my stories. In fact, I was so terrified of criticism that I kept my manuscript-in-progress locked in a box and wore the skeleton key on a string around my neck. But once I had a solid draft of my first novel, What the Moon Saw, I realized I needed feedback, so I gathered my courage and opened the box. I reached out to form a writers’ group and joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). After several years of revising my book—while supporting myself with an array of part-time jobs— I was offered a publishing contract with a wonderful editor at Delacorte Press. Read more>>

Shannon Peter

I have always been an individual who doesn’t like to work for someone, rather have someone work for me. I was very determined to be my own boss. Many years ago, my dream was to open a smoothie shop. I researched a local company and sent in my application and business plan. Fifteen years later, I’m still in business (although COVID cut into our sales last year) and I’m a survivor. Read more>>

Keilen Shigematsu

I have been a chef for the past 14 years working in traditional French and American style fine dining restaurants. I first began as an apprentice at a large resort while I was in school. This gave me the opportunity to explore many areas of a kitchen, including the line, pastry, banquets, and bar programs. I used the restaurant opportunities to build my foundational skills and to get an insight into how to budget and operate my own operation. I started Table Focus Catering about four years ago to give me more freedom in my expression of food and freedom to be an active participant in raising a family. The growth of my business was slow but calculated. I decided that I wanted to start slowly while working full-time, to give me the time to build my book of business. There have been many evolutions to Table Focus in these four years, but we have always stuck to our core belief that food has to power to bring people together and drive the conversation. Read more>>

Elise Rigney

Growing up lower class, I knew that if I wanted to go to college, I would need to make that happen on my own. I began working at a young age. Picking rock in fields and babysitting turned into a W2 position at age 14 as a grocery clerk. As soon as I turned 16, I began to wait tables at a local restaurant. It was ten years in the restaurant industry and applying for multiple scholarships, that took me through my undergrad and graduate school. I attended the University of Minnesota and studied abroad at the University of Oslo and completed my Bachelor’s degrees in two and a half years. I knew I needed to accelerate that process in order to decrease student loan amounts. I then went on to complete my Doctorate of Chiropractic at Northwestern University. Shortly after my last residency in The Woodlands, Texas, my husband and I packed up our car and drove to Fort Collins, Colorado. Read more>>

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