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Meet Cat Wile of Forlulu Events in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cat Wile.

Cat, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Forlulu Events in 2018 after leaving my job with a tech startup. I’d organized and run events for organizations I had worked with over the years and realized that I’m naturally talented at event planning and production due to my love of Type A planning, spreadsheets, and bringing people together. I’ve been involved in the outdoor industry both personally and professionally and decided to focus the company on leveraging events and the power of bringing a group of people together around a common interest to create positive impact in the outdoor industry. The events we host, along with the clients we work with are all consciously focused on creating a positive impact in the outdoors whether that is sharing unique stories through film festivals, supporting independent entrepreneurs in the outdoor industry, raising awareness and funds for conservation efforts, or providing opportunities to engage in the outdoors to marginalized populations. We love the community of entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts we’ve surrounded ourselves with and feel fortunate for the work we try to accomplish every day.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Hahaha entrepreneurship, like many things in life, is never a fully smooth road. The biggest challenge is definitely being a solopreneur. Everyone tells you that starting a company is challenging and takes an incredible amount of time, and it’s true. I’m a bootstrapped solopreneur, so I’ve learned a lot of new skills like building a website to drafting contracts and navigating insurance to basic bookeeping. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a co-working space full of entrepreneurs who have taught me a lot of skills from Quickbooks to SEO and allow me to pester them with questions. It’s overwhelming when every decision and task is up to you from social media posts to sponsorship negotiations to insurance policies. As a one-woman company, I know that if I don’t work, no one is, and I’ve done a poor job of balancing work and a healthy lifestyle this past year, regularly working 14-16 hour days until I one day hit a wall. My goal this year is be better balanced and prioritized in what needs to be done right now vs. what can wait or isn’t important so that I can get back to healthier routines and avoid burning out.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Forlulu Events story. Tell us more about the business.
Forlulu Event is an event company that hosts and plans events for the outdoor-inspired. Our flagship event is Gear & Beer, a festival showcasing entrepreneurs in the outdoor industry which is held bi-annually and features 25-30 independent brands. We are excited by how much the event has grown in a single year and by the budding partnerships we are developing to fully support entrepreneurship in the outdoor industry to connect founders to other events and resources to help them find funding, key industry contacts, and support as they develop their businesses. I’m proud that the event is gaining recognition and support from key players like the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Office, Startup Colorado, legal and funding teams who support startups, and media. My goal with the event is to raise the profile and opportunities of individuals who are creating the next generation of products and brands in the industry.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in blind luck but in the idea that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. There is nothing in my life that I attribute solely to luck as I have always been a high achiever who commits 100% to goals I want to achieve. I’m not the smartest, nor the most talented, nor the most connected, but I have an uncompromising work ethic that delivers results and creates opportunities. I have become less afraid of taking risks and being comfortable with failing, but that has taken years. I’m still not fully confident in the face of risks or failure, but because of that work, I have been better prepared to take advantage of situations that others may not like quitting my job and taking a one-way ticket to the other side of the world or reaching out to high-level contacts without an introduction. I believe we make our own luck by taking risks and learning not be afraid of failure. My failures have occurred when I was not adequately prepared and successes have come from continuing to learn, try again, and continuously seek opportunities.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
SaSS Photography, Josh Berendes Media, Luke B. Hall Photography, Casey Lorenzen

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Wile

    May 6, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Awesome article. What a terrific idea to help other forward thinking startups get exposure while building more contacts with like minded goals. I look forward to attending her next event.

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