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SUCCESS STORIES

Lori J Photography

Entrepreneurs are known for having to perform many different roles. Many struggle with the financial and accounting aspect of their business, while others have a hard time understanding the power of social media. For Lori Johnson, owner of Lori J Photography, she’s the first to admit that her nemesis is marketing.

Lori J Photography provides a boutique photography service experience for Denver wedding photography, family portraits, and lifestyle headshots for entrepreneurs in Denver. The business offers a full product guide for home artwork decor, specialized ordering appointments for families and couples, and easy and quick sessions and ordering for Denver’s busy entrepreneurs.

Marketing may not be Lori’s strong suit, but she is gradually overcome her dislike. “Our work with Wendy and the Denver Metro SBDC team has allowed Lori J Photography to focus on our target clients,” says owner Lori Johnson.

“We have learned so much about our business needs that we didn’t know before. In the photography world, there is so much competition and as artists we are constantly critiquing. It can sometimes turn destructive and get in the way of the artwork we produce. In working with Wendy, we have learned to put the destructive critiquing aside and focus on the needs of the clients. We have gone from completely despising marketing to enjoying the process of creation and implementation of new marketing plans that our clients love.”

Lori’s revenues have increased by 280 percent per customer since working with the Denver Metro SBDC.

Lori J Photography has begun to expand its support network by becoming a part of photography groups across the world. Lori enjoys helping other blooming photographers as well. She says, “Of course everything is scary in the beginning. It is a huge leap of faith that makes you sick and overwhelmed with defeat. But it’s not this big scary thing anymore. It’s actually a work of art! The most important thing we have learned is to be consistent with marketing strategies. Getting started is the first key, without that leap the world’s inventors would not have given us electricity, cars, and computers. Consistency is also key, it’s not that we saw results right away, it took time, energy, consistency, and effort to keep the Lori J Photography business growing.

“Sticking with it has allowed us to push beyond barriers and get beyond the hatred of marketing and find the fun in getting our name out there. As the owner of Lori J Photography, I feel proud to share our hard work and efforts with Wendy and SBDC. We found results by working smarter, not harder.”

Rupp’s Drums

Rupp’s Drums serves the Denver community with a wide range of music merchandise from drums and apparel to lessons and rentals. Run by a team of experienced musicians, they certainly know their stuff! Learn more about this accomplished SBDC client and finalist for Small Business of the Year at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business Awards below. Rupp’s Drums began back in 1984 and was later purchased in 2018 by Alex Simpson, a

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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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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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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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Coppertops Paperie

When considering starting her own business, Jessica Burke was given the advice, “do something you completely love, even in the tiny details.” The only thing she felt absolutely certain she loved – tiny details and all – was paper products. Jessica’s passion drove her to start CopperTops Paperie, a company that sells personalized paper products, in 2013. CopperTops is most widely known for their patent-pending bottle wrap, which emerged from a conversation with a customer

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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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