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SUCCESS STORIES

C-21 Project

Keaunna Figgers, Denver’s newest fashionista, is raising awareness of Down syndrome and doing so in style through her company The C-21 Project, which refers to the extra 21st chromosome that she was born with.

Born with Down syndrome, Figgers faced obstacles from the start – she had open-heart surgery at just 3 months old and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age. Growing up with arthritis, Figgers would spend hours coloring in coloring books and doodling. Books of her detailed artwork would stack up. Her father, Phildale Billingsley, encouraged her to turn that creativity into a business.

Figgers launched her business at just 25 years old. She decided she wanted to use her creativity to teach others about Down syndrome and bring awareness.

“I love kids with disabilities. That’s why I want to make my clothing line, to teach kids how much I love them,” she told CBS4.

Figgers says that the best part about owning her own business is getting to work with her parents and the owner of the t-shirt printing company Out of the Blue, Blue Grimes.

The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been an intricate part of Figgers getting her business off the ground. She has received help with taxes, inventory, software, trademark, marketing, website assistance and much more.

“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful resource in our city,” Figgers mom, Jennifer Billingsley, said.

Since working with the Denver Metro SBDC, Figgers has received help from the Denver Vocational Rehabilitation to start her own small business, and is also working with Out of The Blue, another Denver Metro SBDC client, a custom printing shop in Denver to help her merchandise the items she has for sale.

For more information and to see Keaunna’s merchandise for yourself, visit c-21project.com.

ECS

Jessica Acosta’s business philosophy is focused on three things: people, planet and profit. The Environmental Consulting Services (ECS) founder and CEO works to bring new jobs to the region while creating sustainable environment and financial stability. ECS, established in 2011, provides services ranging from design and development of stormwater management plans to training. Acosta launched ECS to serve and address environmental management and water quality compliance needs of private, federal, state, and local clients. “I’ve

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Ristole

“Moving to Denver set me on a trajectory that changed the course of my life.” For Ristole CEO Jackie Adams, a woman whose life has already taken many turns, that’s saying something. Starting her career in computer programming, she quickly found the hours behind a computer screen tedious. She then applied for and was accepted to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, where she taught high school math in Swahili. After returning to

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MindCraft Makerspace

“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” — Reid Hoffman Entrepreneurs are passionate risk-takers who make an impact on our economy, and they‘ve made Colorado a top-five state for startup activity and for innovation. Entrepreneurs know it takes a lot more than an idea to make a business come to life. Brenda Lane is co-founder of MindCraft Makerspace knows just that. Lane has poured herself

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Denver Bouldering Club

The Denver Bouldering Club (DBC) started in 2009 when three local climbers – Thomas Betterton, Lee Payne, and Kevin Brown – decided that Denver’s passion for climbing and the outdoors deserved a better indoor training facility. What began as a dream to construct a small training center has now grown into one of the best climbing gyms in Colorado – a gathering place where climbers can learn, train and share their love of climbing. “It’s

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My Identity Doctor

What was the inspiration behind starting your business? I was inspired to start My Identity Doctor™ not to become rich, but because I believe if you truly care about customers, the quality of your product and believe in yourself, the money will come naturally in conjunction with the right business plan. No other company that employs me can pay me enough for the self-gratification of putting in a hard days work and at the end

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Open Road Snacks

In January of 2007, Karen and Tim Bradley were looking for an opportunity to combine Tim’s expertise in consumer packaged goods, finance and operations with Karen’s background in graphic design, marketing and sales. That’s when they acquired Rocky Mountain Popcorn Company. “We work really well together and we wanted to use both sides of our collective brain,” Karen said. “With our experience in brand management, we recognized that, while Rocky Mountain Popcorn was proven in

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