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We’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs. Here are some of their

SUCCESS STORIES

Fireside Production

“With resources like the Denver Metro Chamber and the Denver Metro SBDC – and a community of entrepreneurs and leaders who are so willing to share their insights – I have to admit, learning how to run a business has been one of my greatest joys.” Naomi Binkley, founder and managing partner of Fireside Production said.

Naomi Binkley and Tom McDonald make their living telling others’ stories through video. They are committed to bringing creativity, leveraging technology and taking a genuine interest in every project. Now that their business is entering its teenage years, they’re focused on sustaining and growing their company.

Their business started out of necessity.

In 2005, she left her full-time career as a journalist to raise her and McDonald’s daughter. When the downturn hit, much of her freelance work dried up: “Suddenly, we were up a baby – down a salary.”

As they were figuring out their next step, people they knew were asking them to shoot projects, script or voice videos. They started by borrowing or renting equipment and slowly saving up money after each project to purchase their own gear.

By February 2006, they decided to name their venture. Fireside Production was born.

As with many entrepreneurs, Binkley and her husband were experts in their trade, but were new to running a business. They had to connect with the right people and businesses and build the right skills and support to build Fireside.

Binkley began to engage with the Chamber and Denver Metro SBDC in 2009, receiving one-on-one consulting and attending programs. They also applied for Emerging Business of the Year Award in 2011 at the Chamber’s Business Awards – becoming a finalist that year and winning the following. Today, they sponsor the event and provide video services for it.

“The relationships that we’ve built through the Chamber over the past seven years have been some of the most powerful – and meaningful – of my life,” Binkley said. “I’ve made friends. I’ve learned about myself and developed my strengths and skills. I’ve gained new insights into our community.”

As the Fireside team – now five strong – looks to the future, they’re focused on smart growth. They’ve recently added drone video to their arsenal of offerings and have developed their own apprenticeship program to grow their team, Binkley said: “We are working to achieve that delicate balance of maintaining the quality and spirit that Fireside is known for – while needing to add (and pay for) new members to the Fireside team to ensure we can continue to turn videos for our clients quickly and meet demand.”

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

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Back2Basics

Brittany Winkfield is like a lot of entrepreneurs. She saw a gap in the marketplace and instead of waiting for someone else to fill it, she went after it herself. Led by a belief and desire that a Christian lifestyle magazine existed within the community, she used her creative skills, business network, and the SBDC to create Back2Basics Magazine. And she did it with the grace and style of a dedicated entrepreneur that understands how

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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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Med-Fit

Med-Fit, PLLC provides physician-supervised individualized weight management systems designed to help overweight and obese clients lose and maintain a healthy weight. Owner Dr. Angela Tran is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and has practiced in primary care since 2007. Despite Angela’s extensive education and experience, she admits she knew very little about how to start a business when she decided to seek assistance from the Denver Metro SBDC in January of 2012. Angela

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Moss Pink

A love of flowers led Jil Schlisner to buy an existing flower shop in 2006, rename it and build her business by creating inspirational, beautiful atmospheres for clients. She believes people should wear flowers more often, in the form of corsages and boutonnieres—and on ordinary Wednesdays, not only proms or weddings. Moss Pink Flora & Botanicals, located on E. 23rd and Dexter streets in Denver, provides clients with beautiful shopping environment, as well as personal

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dance2b

Jennifer Tisdale learned early in her years as a consultant that creativity and business opportunity are imperative for a successful startup. Looking for a dance studio to express her own creative outlet, she explored the Denver region to see what dance studios existed and what they offered. The more she searched, the more she realized that a true business opportunity existed. Her idea? Start a boutique fitness studio that provided daily dance classes for adults.

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