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Trailblazers in Fort Collins

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around Fort Collins that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Kat Wickstrom

My father had been trying to get a camera in my hands for years. He has been a hobby photographer for his entire life, and every family vacation isn’t complete without a camera around his neck. We even had to convince him to not walk me down the aisle at my wedding with a camera. When I finally caved and picked up my first DSLR, it was like coming home. Now I cannot imagine my life without photography. Read more>>

KT Marshall

I came to interior design in a very indirect way. It makes sense to me now, because I think the heart of my creativity has remained consistent, but the medium of expression has certainly changed. I earned my MFA in Acting at the University of Madison, Wisconsin and taught there for three years while simultaneously performing in everything from musicals to Shakespeare. I am passionate about storytelling and creative collaboration and it was a very happy, very fulfilling season of life. Read more>>

Melanie Burgess

I have always loved art. I was incredibly shy and quiet as a kid, so drawing was my happy place where I could express my emotions without words. When high school came around, my appreciation and need for creating became stronger and stronger. We all know high school can be an awkward and painful time, so when life threw some tough stuff at me, art was my outlet, my therapy, a way to wash my soul. Read more>>

Hope Hartman

I’m often asked, “How did you come up with this idea?” and my response is multi-faceted. When I was an executive at two software companies, often times I was the only woman sitting at the leadership table. Also, when I would attend business conferences, I would see this phenomenon and kept thinking, “Where are the women?” We need more balance and it would make our businesses stronger if there were more women and men working together. Read more>>

Samantha Martin

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved making things. I remember being overjoyed to go to the bookstore as a kid – I loved reading but even more than that, there was a specific section that had books on crafts with some of the supplies to get started. I would dream of the day when I would have enough allowance saved to buy the book on friendship bracelets, then a few months later, the book about paper twirling. Read more>>

Jaime Carden-O’Brien

I am the founder of Free to Be and a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been working to help people live their best lives for 25 years. I have specialized in working with children and adolescents for the majority of my career and noticed consistent themes occurring with the teen girls I saw in my practice. Young women are getting caught, just as so many women before them, in the comparison game.Read more>>

Chelsea Plummer

I started cooking for my family when I was 13 years old. My parents were super busy running a grocery delivery business and I didn’t want to go out to eat, so we made a deal– I could order whatever groceries I wanted if I made dinners for the family. I quickly became obsessed with Food Network and had multiple magazine subscriptions that I read cover-to-cover each month. Read more>>

Erin Cartwright

My pathway to entrepreneurship has been non-linear. I began my career by serving in AmeriCorps in my hometown of Indianapolis, where I ran a food pantry at an inner-city community center. Being on the front lines of hunger relief work ultimately led to an interest in how this country’s food system works and how food can be grown sustainably. So, I spent the next year apprenticing on small, organic farms in Wisconsin. Read more>>


Allison Song

My creative journey began about seven years when I first started selling handmade accessories. At the time. My shop was called Flower Crown Society, where I specialized in flower crowns and hair accessories. My mission was to help other women feel brave and beautiful while wearing such bold accessories. Read more>>

Korena Hallam and Summer Hurd

Green Buffalow was founded in 2015. We are a small, female-owned and operated business, breaking into the male-dominated industry of wildland firefighter (wlff) uniforms. There have been little updates to the design elements of wlff uniforms in over 30 years. Read more>>

Sarah Bott

My interest in art heightened in high school and I decided I wanted to study fine art in college. In 2014, I graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a concentration in painting. I spent a significant amount of time in college adventuring outdoors, which inspired me to move to Breckenridge, Colorado. Read more>>

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