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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.

Leah Vuko

I got my start in the interior design community after I had my first daughter in 2010. I was staying at home with her and working part-time as a nanny and wanted to do something creative. I began refinishing furniture for my own home and it quickly grew into commission work for clients and local businesses which also included staging and decorating. I was worked on my own for a couple of years and then took a job at a local lighting showroom as a lighting designer. I absolutely fell in love with lighting and loved the people I worked with. I grew and learned so much during my almost five years there. I decided in 2017 that I was ready to make a change and expand my interior design knowledge and began my journey with Springhaus in June of 2017. Read more>>

Haley Hasler

At my recent solo exhibition at the Fort Collins Museum of Art, the walls were covered with paintings of one woman, in various guises, poses, and narratives. I was asked to speak about the work. It was clear that one question had to be first addressed: Why the Self-Portrait? It started with a practical problem: I needed a model; as an art student twenty years ago, models were expensive; and I found in my always-at-the-ready reflected image a means to taking on the problem I was obsessed with: how to paint a face. This began a twenty-year inquiry into the purpose and meaning of the self -portrait in today’s world, with oil paint and brush on canvas. Read more>>

Ryan Ericson

No one in my immediate family is a farmer. Sometimes folks are surprised when I tell them this because it’s not the kind of career path many young people think about taking. There’s an assumption that somebody in the family must have passed it down. For me, I just fell in love with getting my hands dirty. I had the privilege of growing up in some of the most gorgeous parts of the upper Midwest. It’s a part of the country that holds a lot of wildness: lakes and rivers galore, springs and creeks and old-growth forests, most of which were relatively untouched at least when I was young. My surroundings gave me such an appreciation of nature and a desire to co-exist peacefully within it. Read more>>

Jennifer Tuuk

My journey into entrepreneurship and online holistic wellness coaching began in the fall of 2016. I was introduced to a whole food lifestyle program after having digestion and bloating issues, and by day 5, I felt better than I had in years. I immediately started sharing the power of fruits and vegetables with everyone I knew and was basically coaching as a hobby. However, I learned along the way that a large part of successful entrepreneurship is the behind-the-scenes personal development & consistent mindset work. I’ve had to work on rewiring the parts of my brain that were holding me back, embrace vulnerability, and continually push out of my comfort zone to get where I am now. Read more>>

Lori Jackson

I am a diamond. That’s what my mom called us kids, her diamonds. Her precious treasured jewels. She would say her jewels were the best kind! They were the ones that can wrap around your neck and give you the warmest hugs and make your heart so full it’s about to explode! So for me growing up, we were always about our family. Through my parents and grandparents, I was taught about the bond of families. That no matter what you go through in life, you have each other. That holds true today and it is what I hope I have conveyed to my family. I tell you this as I feel it is a large part of my story. So fast forward a million light years, just kidding, I am not that old. Read more>>

Sara Bates

I grew up with a mother who had a natural remedy for everything. From a young age, I learned the importance of using foods, exercise, and supplements to influence health. I knew early on that I wanted to work in healthcare in some capacity. I attended Miami University in Ohio with the intention to go on to medical school or enter a physical therapy program. As my final year approached, I spent more time looking into my options and discovered acupuncture. My limited experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine had been with herbal formulas, and I was initially most drawn to this aspect of the medicine. I visited several schools, I had my first acupuncture treatments, and I began to see that the depth of this medicine was so much more than just acupuncture and herbal prescriptions. I moved to Portland, OR to attend Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Read more>>

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