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Trailblazers in Arvada

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 Arvada that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Autumn Hess

I was an EMT for several years and trying to be a single mother, but the hours and job life were too demanding. So I decided to go back to school and get my cosmetology license. I had a passion for color, high fashion stuff, photoshoots and weddings. I was one of the stylists for Denver Fashion Week, which also lead to me going to Mexico with the Denver Broncos as a stylist for their calendar shoot. I have done hair and makeup for a lot of weddings, engagement photos, prom, and more. Read more>>

Laura Murphy

Knowing the medicinal benefits of cannabis through my own experience with anxiety and after taking herbalism classes as well as my own research, I decided to open a CBD apothecary called Velvet Roots Apothecary. The mission with herbal and CBD remedies is to have an open conversation about and to help target mental health issues. To help and guide people to find more ways to embrace wellness. Formulating and crafting with herbs and CBD constantly moves forward with the vision of helping others. Read more>>

Darcie Smith

My interests in natural science, cultural history, immersion in nature, and an appreciation for exceptional guiding converged in Africa, where I also discovered the significance of supporting travel that contributes to meaningful conservation and uplifts the local communities. I continue to find opportunities to contribute through my work as the Director of Safari Planning for The Wild Source and have spent the last decade traveling the continent. Read more>>

Sarsee Beauty

My main passion lies outside work. I’m starting to be able to do more freelance makeup artistry where I can truly explore my creativity and independence. I love turning someone from their bare self into something just a little more magical. My story is only just beginning and I can’t wait to see what else I can create. Read more>>

Ally Skiba

Music and the Arts have always felt like home to me. You could say these unifying elements have developed a code of ethics and merit I live by in life. That trickles down into my small business mentality. All of my joy blooms from memories my grandparents have gifted me. Moments filled with pure love, tenderness, and acceptance that have now evolved into my sense of self. Read more>>

Brianna Titone

My story begins when I was a teenager when I joined the volunteer fire department. There I learned the value of service to my community. I served in this volunteer capacity for seven years through high school and college. Since then, I have volunteered in many different ways including as a radio DJ at the college radio station, at the Denver Botanic Gardens, as HOA president, and as a member of Necrosearch International. Read more>>

Suzzane Collins

They come to us throughout life. Some are expected, like turning 16 and getting a driver’s license. Some are unexpected, but they occur none the less. In 2010 I was contemplating a big crossroad retirement. I wasn’t nearly old enough, but time goes by so fast…. I didn’t want to retire somewhere and play golf, not that there’s anything wrong with that! I wanted adventure, travel, excitement and new experiences. Read more>>

Christina Gonzales

My dad was an artist and him and my mom always supported my passion for it. As for photography, there was a day in Middle School Art Class that we made a pinhole camera, take a picture with it and develop it. This memory has stuck with me to this day, as I was so amazing by how the light drew the picture on the paper to capture the image, the memory. Read more>>

Nicole Berger

It wasn’t until my second year of business school that I realized I had to change my trajectory. With almost no artistic experience and really no idea what I was getting myself into, I signed up for a class in the glass department at Tyler School of Art, part of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. There I was introduced to two things that changed everything; an incredibly nurturing community of makers and the versatile mistress that is glass. Read more>>

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