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Inspiring Stories from Boulder

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 Boulder’s rising stars below.

Lauren Zavala

Zavala Bespoke started first and foremost as a passion project. While pursuing my MA in Decorative Arts in London, I discovered leather paints. I began painting for family and friends and loved doing it. Once I got my degree, I moved back to Colorado and started the dreaded job search. On the side, I was painting anything I could get my hands on. I painted a jacket for my boyfriend and he suggested I make a business card because he got so many inquiries on where he got his jacket. I made a quick business card and (lucky for me) it blew up from there! I always say that this is my favorite job I never thought I’d get to do it. Read more>>

Michelle Vargo and Hanna Harem

Hanna and Michelle both studied and worked in creative fields before finding their way to Bliss. Hanna previously studied at Le Cordon Bleu’s San Francisco location before taking a chef’s position at the Michelin star restaurant Quince. After moving back to Boulder, Hanna worked at Frasca as a pastry chef. The small boutique across called her creative tendencies, and in 2011 Hanna started working at Bliss. Michelle joined the Bliss team in 2014 while finishing her Studio Art and Art History degrees from CU. After graduation and interning at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary art, Michelle accepted a full-time, co-manager position with the newly rebranded store. In 2020, after nearly a decade of devotion to the brick-and-mortar location, Hanna and Michelle took over as co-owners. They continue to find joy in the creative aspects of running a small, artisan-focused business and dream of watching the business grow into new creative avenues. Read more>>

Craig Curelop

I went from a net worth of negative $30,000 to financially independent in just two and a half years. Now, with his financial independence, he has fun building a team of investor-friendly real estate agents at The FI Team, helping others achieve financial independence as he did. When he’s not slaying dragons with his newfound mustache, he is rocking podcasts episodes and living the biohacker good life in Colorado and Hawaii. Read more>>

Cassandra Perry

Creativity has always been an outlet for me, a way to express my voice. Diving deeper into this passion as the years went on, I graduated with my BFA in graphic design. Because I am someone who loves learning and opportunity, I found myself organically picking up jobs in new creative fields- finding new skills, mediums, and interests. One expressive drawing, in particular, developed what my brand is today when a friend of mine convinced me that it was too powerful to sit alone in my studio. Suddenly, I began imagining this piece as a femme jean jacket design, so I took a screen printing class and started thrifting. I spent all my extra time designing a series of jackets that happened to sell out right away. From there, I kept evolving the designs, the fabric, and crafting techniques to become Raw&Radiant; up-cycled fashion meets original art. Read more>>

Alex Fletcher

I grew up in the Bay Area and frequently visited Tahoe and Santa Cruz with my family. This evolved into a lifelong love and passion for all things outdoors, which brought me out to CU Boulder for college in 2014. While chasing my passion for mountain biking and snowboarding/skiing, I was studying Environmental Design and Architecture since I was also passionate about design and building things. I ended up transferring to CU Denver for their accredited Architecture school but soon switched to their Business school since I was afraid to stuck as a starving artist, or Architect, so I thought the solution was to become an entrepreneur… My passion for the outdoors and the adventure travel space stuck with me through business school, and I knew that whatever it is that I get involved with, I would try my best to align my passions with work. My life had primarily been spent on the consumer side of the outdoor industry, where I purchased outdoor goods and services. Read more>>

Andrew Barker

I’m an artist and designer based in Boulder, although I ended up here in a rather roundabout way. I was originally born in Utah but then my family moved to Somalia when I was eight so my father could teach rangeland science and resource management. I was very fortunate to have been exposed to so much of a wider world at such an early age, and traveling to new countries has been a mainstay throughout my life. It also began my early obsession with birds and animals. I still have and use field guides that my parents bought for our safaris. We were in Africa for 4 years before moving to Oregon where I would grow into an adult-ish human, getting my degree from Oregon State University, and then beginning and solidifying my design career in Portland. Read more>>

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