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Trailblazers in Denver

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

Sommer Grandchamp

When I moved into the corporate world, I quickly noticed something disturbing. Women did not speak up in meetings. They raised their hands, not their voices. They talked about the struggles of trying to be “superwoman” (i.e., Do all the things and do it all really well). They made less than men in the same positions and they rated themselves generally lower in yearly reviews than their male colleagues did. After witnessing this, EmpowerDenver was born. Read more>>

Penney Bidwell

I came into the world on April Fools’ Day, 1968, and was born into the carnival. My mother had been an accomplished ballerina and carnival showgirl, while my father was a third-generation carnie on one of the largest traveling carnivals. My great grandmother was the tattooed lady in the early 1920s. Read more>>

Tina Chavera

I was living and working in a hostel in central London in 2005 when I learned how to crochet dreadlocks, my manager in the hostel was working on locks and she showed me her technique with a crochet hook… Never in a million years did I think it would be my life’s work, but through helping people on their journey I have learned more about life than I ever imagined. Read more>>

Susie Jimenez

I grew up with the same story as Grapes of Wrath, the Mexican version. My family migrated from Mexico to pick crops in the US. For months during the season, we went from immigrant camp to immigrant camp to pick, prune and of to the next location we went until we were done. I had to help my family pick cherries from the bottom branches of the trees to help put food on the table and pay bills. Read more>>

Becky Wareing Steele|

I am a small scale sculptor living and working in Denver, Colorado. I’ve always gravitated towards art as a means of self-expression. Growing up in South Jersey we spent a lot of time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which introduced me to the work of artists like Marcel Duchamp who was questioning what art is and challenging the traditional ways in which we view their work. Read more>>

Anne Irene Fitzgerald

I am an artist with a focus on pen, ink and markers. For as long as I can remember art has been a facet of my life. In school, art was my favorite subject, and at home it’s become almost a meditative process. It was in 2018 that I decided to start showing my art to actively try to get my art seen by the public (before then most of my art was sitting in a box under my bed). Read more>>

Jessie Dore

When I was 11 years old, I went door to door with handmade brochures soliciting my babysitting services. Looking back, it couldn’t be more obvious that entrepreneurship has always been in my DNA. I grew up with an entrepreneur for a father, so it’s no wonder I’ve always believed that anything is possible if you can conceive it and stay dedicated. Read more>>

Ouida Touchon

My formative years, my twenties, were in California. I began making art for a living at age 21 and pursued careers in the arts until, at age 50, I shifted into full-time professional artist and educator. Here is my statement. Art is complicated. Even though I mostly make prints, and sometimes paint, I think of myself as an image-maker. Read more>>

Claire Ewing

A little outside the box of a typical “Denver” story – but thought this would be a beautiful one to share about how the Denver market was my jump off point for a beautiful journey that have led us to the mountains right outside of Vail. I have always been a connector – through fitness and branding. The last five years I have been a senior instructor at CorePower Yoga teaching. Read more>>

Tori Price

Creating art has always been a big part of my life. Ever since I was little girl, I’ve loved the feeling that the creative process gives me– time slows down, and I get lost in another world. I’ve always been drawn to vibrant colors, nature, and observing the world around me in a very thoughtful way. Read more>>

Ellie Mandeville

I first found a love for photos by taking pictures on my flip phone back in middle school. I then got my first point and shoot camera in 8th grade and began taking photos of everything I saw that seemed photogenic. Landscapes and nature were my favorite things to capture, specifically sunsets and up-close shots of flowers and plants. Read more>>

Shoni Bell

Writing resumes and offering interview coaching entered my life in 2016. I had just moved across the country without a job or a place to live and was really wanting a career change. I got a position at a community college helping students prepare to enter the workforce. Read more>>

Michelle Langdon and Ella Chase

It all began in a smokey cafe in Bolivia. We met each other during an entrepreneurial Think-tank that was traveling the globe. We wanted to explore different cultures and understand the complexities and similarities of humans across the planet. We took what we learned and combined it with our family-run business backgrounds, and created Wellth Works. Read more>>



Julie Blackford

I was living a life that may have seemed perfect from the outside looking in. In fact, I even thought it was perfect, well, mostly. I had worked in engineering for 14 years, and while I loved the place I worked, I didn’t love what I was doing. I constantly thought about doing things with animals and my partner, at the time, would encourage me to go for it. Read more>>

Olivia Coleman

On a whim, I packed up my life and decided to travel full time with my then boyfriend. We didn’t have a plan (which is pretty much how I ventured through all of my life’s adventures). We explored parts of the United States I have never seen before, spreading the gospel of CBD oil. Through serendipity and a little bit of magic, we eventually found ourselves hosting a retreat in Peru. Read more>>

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