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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.”

The PB Love CO

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Bridget’s Botanicals

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Wong Way Veg

When Lisa Wong stepped foot into the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center in 2011, her dream of starting a food truck in Denver was just that – a dream. Wong envisioned herself running a business that would marry her love for vegetarian food with her passion for building community. Two years later, her dream became a reality. But Wong’s dream didn’t come to life without hard work. In the fall of 2012, she enrolled

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Sky Blue Builders

When Mowa Haile set out to build a business with a couple of friends, they agreed on one fundamental principle: customer service. “The opportunity to be customer focused is what motivates us and differentiates us,” said Mowa, President of minority-owned Sky Blue Builders, LLC. “As consumers, we see the mistakes that big companies make – and we want to change that. Everything we do, we consider it from the perspective of the customer. If it

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Gel-Oh Dolly!

Do you want a fun, easy-to-use way to consume your favorite craft cocktails and deserts? That’s where Gel-Oh Dolly! comes in. Gel-Ol Dolly! is a grown-up twist on an old favorite. They provide a gourmet Jell-O shot mix for you to create your own fancy shot. For Dolly Fiedelman co-founder of Gel-Oh Dolly!, running her own company seemed natural coming from a family of entrepreneurs. The desire was always there – that’s why Fiedelman took

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Big Sky Aerial Technology

In business, the sky is the limit for Big Sky Aerial Technology—literally. This start-up company captures high-resolution aerial images for use in precision agriculture, allowing farmers to analyze the health of their crops. Founded in 2015 by Ron Lester and Jerred Lane, the idea to launch Big Sky Aerial Technology was inspired by the years Lester and Lane spent working with land and air-based remote sensing technologies in the Middle East. “With some of the

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