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Success Stories

Rodeo News

Siri Steven has a passion for life, a desire to educate, and a work ethic and determination that have made Rodeo News the successful, nationally recognized magazine it is today. “This is the culmination of all of the things I have learned in 40 years.” Good friends, life circumstances, and hard work brought Rodeo News into her life, and she has devoted herself to its success completely.

After getting her start working on the publication Fence Post, Siri moved onto Roping Newsletter in 2001. She bought the magazine that would become Rodeo News in 2002. “I had a vision of what I wanted but no idea how to get it. I lacked the business sense.” Siri turned to the SBDC for help. “I got into this from the journalism side and went to the publishing side. I needed help with the financial and business sides.” Larimer SBDC consultants helped Siri get her business plan in place, register with the State, and get the name trademarked. With the support of the SBDC, she has brought Rodeo News from a monthly publication to a national, color, glossy magazine in 10 years. “When I first started, I had a cot in my office. You have to be ready to breathe it. Be ready for the buck to start and stop with you.”

Siri has had a successful relationship with the SBDC and continues to use the support offered by staff and consultants. “There was a period of time when I was about to go under. Jim at SBDC helped me through it.” Rodeo News fills a niche; it is human interest stories cover to cover. However, the print industry is fading, and reinventing ways to encourage people with alternatives to print is challenging. The SBDC’s Leading Edge – NxLeveL class has provided Siri with the support and structure to get her ideas down on paper and re-write her business plan. With support from the SBDC in research and marketing, she is ready to take Rodeo News to the next level.

Beau & Belle Littles

The true measure of a successful product is: Does it solve a customer problem? As new, active parents, Paul and Rachelle Baron faced a common problem when trying to take their little one swimming. They wanted a high quality, reusable swim diaper that handled solid waste well, but there was nothing on the market that met their standards. “The problems we saw were that disposables were not good quality, didn’t contain solid waste well, and

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August Ink

Taking the leap into entrepreneurialism happens for many reasons and takes you down many roads, as Andrea Daniel has learned. After leaving a full-time job, Andrea decided to begin selling pillow covers on the handmade goods site Etsy, while searching for a job in an unstable economy. Despite a bachelor’s degree in math and a master’s in public administration, she had trouble finding employment. At the same time, what began as a creative outlet to

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Teaching Tree Early Childhood LC

Northern Colorado businesses are working hard to fill workforce needs. One of the main barriers is the availability and cost of child care, which can run as high as $16,000 annually for infant care. Teaching Tree, a nonprofit with facilities in Fort Collins and Loveland, has provided quality child care since 1970, with much of this care supporting low-moderate income families. Teaching Tree is undertaking an ambitious expansion that will double its child care capacity

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The Magic Bus Tours

Fort Collins has an amazing amount of things to see and do. No business, however, had offered a service as fun and forward thinking as Magic Bus Tours to create a unique and educational experience around the local activities. “When I first started visiting Fort Collins, I loved learning about the local history, lifestyles and culture, but I couldn’t find another bus-tour service in town,” said Michael Murphy, founder and visionary behind Magic Bus Tours.

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Rocky Mountain Westy

You don’t often see a growing business based on a product that hasn’t been made in almost 20 years, but twin brothers Mike and Greg LaBate built this at Rocky Mountain Westy (RMW). RMW designs, manufacturers, and sells camping and lifestyle parts to Volkswagen Vanagon “Westy” van enthusiasts and service centers worldwide. These products help the van owner upgrade or convert the Westy van, often to performance levels above the original factory model, such as

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Rain Boutique

Opening Rain Boutique, a shop featuring refreshingly wearable clothing with a sprinkling of unique gifts and housewares, took a lot of guidance. That was when Kristin Mouton turned to the Larimer County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for practical advice. “My counselor at SBDC really kept me going and gave me a lot of reassurance, even after I had been turned down by two banks for a business loan,” said Mouton. Mouton started with an

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