Localworks Resolution 2016

Resolution of Support for City of Wheat Ridge Ballot Question 2E

WHEREAS, Localworks is a 501(c)3 organization advancing Wheat Ridge as a vibrant and sustainable community and may support policies that impact our mission;

WHEREAS, the citizen-led DIRT Task Force identified needed infrastructure projects and together worked with City Council to prioritize four projects that are important to the economic health, safety, and vitality of our city. City Council unanimously agreed to present this to the voters and ask all of us to say YES to Wheat Ridge;

WHEREAS, these projects are the vision of people of people who live in Wheat Ridge. The idea for this investment came from our community and it will benefit our community. We know the value of our unique city, and we want to preserve what makes Wheat Ridge special;

WHEREAS, 2016 ballot question 2E will allow income-producing investments and an increase in quality services that will provide long-term economic benefits to Wheat Ridge residents and businesses. Improving traffic flow and active transportation infrastructure along Wadsworth will support existing businesses and encourage the opening of new ventures. The investment in Clear Creek Crossing will provide infrastructure for an area that will generate new sales and property tax revenue for the city. Investments in the Ward Road Commuter Rail Station and Anderson Park will contribute to the livability and attractiveness of Wheat Ridge for residents and businesses;

WHEREAS, 2E allows us to protect Wheat Ridge’s legacy and invest in our future. Wheat Ridge needs to say YES to investments that will retain our small-town heritage and add to our quality residents and businesses. Wheat Ridge needs to say YES to making our community safe and strong by updating existing areas and building great new places. This is a sales tax increase of just a half percent, which is only a nickel for a ten dollar purchase. The sales tax is limited to 12 years. Wheat Ridge’s sales tax is currently below the average rate of nearby cities and this temporary increase will bring us in line with the average.

WHEREAS, Ballot Question 2E is a great deal for Wheat Ridge residents, and we get a better deal if we begin now. It is estimated that visitors pay about half of our sales taxes, so those who contribute to some of the stress on our systems will help pay for the solutions. Voting yes on 2E will allow us to access up to $38 million in federal and state grants for Wadsworth traffic congestion relief alone. If we don’t agree to invest in our community by supporting 2E, we lose our place in line and could potentially wait decades to have access to state and federal money again to solve this problem.

NOW THEREFORE, We the Board of Directors of Localworks, incorporated as Wheat Ridge 2020, do RESOLVE to support and to endorse the YES Wheat Ridge campaign and a YES vote on 2016 ballot question 2E.

Christina Pulciani is here today for when tomorrow gets too unpredictable

Depending on whom you ask, and what it’s covering, insurance can be quite a sensitive topic to broach with just about anyone. As hard as it can be to think about, and as much as we don’t want to discuss it, there are events that happen in life. Unpredictable things can occur too, and when those extreme circumstances come together to form the perfect storm in our lives, it’s usually in those moments that we need and finally recognize the value of our insurance.

Born and raised in Denver, Christina Pulciani is home grown insurance agent, with Italian roots. When not consulting clients about the important decisions of today, she volunteers her time, and regularly donates money to higher pursuits for a greater tomorrow. For example, she is also a meditation practitioner and helps BeMindful, a nonprofit that teaches meditation, clarity and mindfulness to kids at the high school level, as well as at homeless shelters.

Equally talented as she is humble, Christina shares that it’s hard work. It’s not that people think they are invincible, there wouldn’t be insurance if that was the case, but most times it’s because people don’t want to spend the money, or they just get the cheapest insurance they can find. Worse, some potential clients don’t always think about certain insurances being a necessity.
I wouldn’t have guessed that Christina has been in the insurance industry for over 16 years; immediately after meeting her, I noticed how laid back she was, and made note of her friendly demeanor. Our interview ran longer than most I’ve done, and one of my favorite parts about it was sharing quotes with one another that have inspired us. She went on to explained how when she started out, it was from the bottom, and she had very little help. Faced with many forks in the road at different points throughout her life, it was the events of 9/11 that has left a large impact on her to this day. After moving 5 times, she’s happiest with her newest location which is easily accessible off 44th Ave.
Do you need a new insurance policy, or have you think about switching companies? Christina is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, located at 6701 W. 44th Ave Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. Call (303) 463-1750 today for more information or to set up an appointment!

Tell me about your business – What got you or it started? How did the idea for your business come about?
I’ve been an All State agent for 16 years as of September 11th. I was one year into the business, and that’s when 9/11 hit and I thought, “oh my god, what am I going to do!?” I was still waiting to get a contract from being a scratch agent, and I didn’t have any customers at all – I worked for state farm for 3 years before that, so I had a really good base, then an opportunity showed up and all state was like ‘let’s give you a business’ so I was ‘okay cool, let see what happens’. However, I started out with nothing when opening my agency off 38th. No calls, no customers and little to no help. I was at that location for about 3 years and then moved 5 times since, all within Wheat Ridge. I’ve tried to stay inside the city; my son plays football for a local league and my kid’s go to school in Wheat Ridge. The reason why I moved to the new location I’m at is because I’ve always wanted to have a house – I’ve always wanted a place where people can drive up to that’s not your typical office, it’s got that home feel. We do our insurance reviews over a coffee table or in the kitchen, just like what was done back in the day. I think it’s a really good fit, it’s a great location and we have our own parking lot with all appropriate signage.
It really fits the Wheat Ridge mantra – being a little more laid back
Yes, exactly! And that’s very much me- I’m a trusted advisor and I’ve learned it’s really about listening to and taking care of our customers – making sure they know what they’re have and why they have it. Cheaper isn’t necessarily better and I think that’s one of the most important parts – I think doctors, and attorneys, and insurance agents are the ones that take care of things when the house burns down, or when someone is injured in a car accident, they call us. People don’t always think about that when they pay their car insurance. People don’t always see the value in our services until an unfortunate day comes in their life. We’re the ones that calm you down and walk you through the processes. We really emphasize that it’s about service and not price, we’ve really tried to create that environment, and I think we were successful doing that here. I’d really like to buy the property when my lease it up, but we’ll see if that’s a possibility in three years.
I’m from Denver; I was born and raised here. My family owned a few bars and a restaurant growing up as a kid – most everyone in my family is entrepreneurs so I kind of had no choice. As far as the community, we are in connecting with Family Tree, so we are one of their main sponsors – AllState does the abuse awareness month, and we also have the Purple Purse Foundation, which were able to give them a $1000 grant to help with their growth, as well as all states general stance on domestic violence – they have some really great videos about it. I’m also part of a company called BeMindful (website here if possible), which teaches meditation and clarity to kids in the high school level, as well as at homeless shelters, so we do all of that which a bit different than most insurance companies. Last weekend for example, I help a car wash to help with the Wheat Ridge Farmers.

How long have you been located or have lived in Wheat Ridge for? Or why did you move/relocate to Wheat Ridge?
Well we lived in Wheat Ridge. Commuting at the time to where I worked before was long, but being able to create a business within the city where my kids go to school in, and to be part of the community for more exposure, was all a big deal. I used to have park benches with my name on them in different places. It was good for me being a female business owner with kids in school being able to leave and go pick them up and bring them right back to work with me was a very big convince. That small town feel, where we worked and lived, to be a part of that was really important to me. That said, I do have a big group of clients from the highlands, but over 20% of my clients are from Wheat Ridge, which I hope only continues to increase.

What has been your biggest success for your business? What has been the biggest challenge?
With moving 5 times, the biggest challenge has been to find the right location – I was in a bank building, then I was street level, then I moved to a retail center of 38th and Sheridan, then I moved back to a bank building off 38th, and now I’m back to being on street level, so I think for me the biggest challenge has been the exposure and letting people know we’re here. I’ve learned that it’s finding what works best for my clients, this new location, which we’ve been at for just over a year, and it has been the best location so far. The 2007-2008 economy was also a challenge, people that were entering the insurance industry then seemed to be solely in it for the money, I also almost sold my business then, but the people interested didn’t seem to care about maintaining those relationships that I spent years building, and cared for. I ended up not being able to leave.For our biggest success, I would say it’s the people who trust us and recommend us, that’s the biggest success. When people come up to me and say we hear “you’re the best at what you do”, or “my mom has insurance through you, and we like you and want to do the same” – to get that kind of feedback reminds me of why I come here every day. Honestly, when I walk through the door and I see my name on it, I still think that’s weird. But I’m still here doing what I do and doing what I love, I’m part of a community, and I try to give back, all 16 years later. Without my clients, what’s my purpose? I’m here because they’re here, every week, Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016/2017
For the rest of the year, we’re sponsoring BeMindful ‘s push to get into more school districts, as well as our year end self-awareness about life insurance and why you should have it, then finally our financial assistance planning. Towards the end of the year, budget are tight, fiscal years are changing, so we think it’s a great time to sit down with clients and help them on their road to success for the following year. We take a look back on what they’ve created for the past year, and help align their goal what they want to focus on as well. Although shit is really our wind down time because of all the holidays, people are shopping, Christmas is around the corner- it’s still a good time to talk to people about insurance because they’re around their families, and showing them the importance of if a loved one were to pass away, would they would be taken care of? It’s never fun, even being on the other side knowing that we didn’t have those discussions until it was too late, but opening up the conversation early really helps people be more aware.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What is your favorite thing to do while in Wheat Ridge for fun?
My special interest would be that I’m also a meditation practitioner, so I lead groups on a weekly basis over the past 6 years – we use some of this space here for that as well so that way we can create a balance from the insurance industry and the mind as well. My other hobbies would be motorcycles, I ride a 650 VStar Custom because I’m shorter but I don’t have any tattoos, I just enjoying owning a motorcycle, and being out and doing fun stuff in the neighborhood. The best part about Wheat Ridge is the restaurants, there are some really cool places here, and one of my favorites is Granny’s Goodies right over here off of Harlan – supreme Italian food and great desserts! And I love being able to take a break to go sit in a park somewhere, we have some amazing parks in Wheat Ridge. The park they just built up the street, I was so happy to see them do something with that wide open space.

If a young entrepreneur walked up and asked for your advice but you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
To find their why… Why they want to be in business, what’s going to drive them, what’s going to keep them motivated and moving forward. Without your why, you don’t have a purpose. You gotta have direction, a mission – like what’s going to really make you want to get up every single day for the rest of your life – it could be your family that you go to work for, maybe it’s your future – but there’s always has be a direction. Being an entrepreneur, you’re your own boss and if you want to be truly successful, it isn’t easy. I remind myself every day when I walk through the door that I don’t have anyone to tell me what to do every day, so then I think, “well what AMI GOING TO DO?” A successful entrepreneur is someone who can really be accountable for themselves. So that’s what I’d say, be accountable for yourself, know your why, develop your mission statement, and be around the spear of influence of other people – other peers, coaching each other, that’s really where it helps. Get to know other people who are successful, there’s a reason why they are- you can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hanging out with the turkeys.

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
I would change or eliminate domestic violence

If you could high five one person, living or not, who it be? Or who is or has been your biggest inspiration?
Tony Robbins, he has been such a big inspiration to me!

Call 303.463.1750 today to set up an appointment with Christina or visit her on Allstate’s website at: to learn about the services she has to offer.

Annual Meeting & Call for Nominations

2016 Annual Meeting
All members are invited to the Localworks Annual Member Meeting on Thursday, November 10th, 2016. This past year Localworks celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a successful rebrand, and our events and programs continue to grow. We will also recognize an individual and business with the Community Builder Award.
Annual Meeting and Board Election:

Thursday, November 10th
6:00 – 6:30pm Cocktails & Networking cash back
6:30 – 8:00pm Dinner & Program ($20 suggested donation)
Location: Abrusci’s – 3244 Youngfield Street, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

RSVP required via email (, phone (720-259-1030) by November 2nd.

Call for Nominations
Six (6) board seats are available for nominations. Board members serve 2-year terms with newly elected Directors seated at the January 2017 Board meeting. We are looking for nominees who possess skills and experience in fundraising and marketing to help promote our organization’s mission, as well as someone who has business relationships in Wheat Ridge. All nominees are asked to complete a Board Member Application, which can be found on our website and to review the Board Member Agreement. Please pass this on to anyone who has interest or that you believe will make a good board representative. If you would like to nominate a candidate, please email Britta at their name, phone number, and email address and we will follow-up or our Nominations Committee Chair Kelsey Robb. All nominations are due by October 3, 2016.

Please contact the Localworks office if you have any questions regarding your membership, the annual meeting or nomination process.

2017 Capture Wheat Ridge Submission Page

Fill out my online form.



The Capture Wheat Ridge Photo Contest (“Photo Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the United States who are at least eighteen (18) years old. Board Members, Employees, interns, or Fund Development Committee members of Localworks, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees, are not eligible to enter.


The Photo Contest is sponsored by Localworks, incorporated as Wheat Ridge 2020, 7391W 38th Ave, Suite 130, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 (“Sponsor”). This Photo Contest is in no way sponsored by, endorsed by, administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Instagram.


The Photo Contest begins at 12:00am MST on October 21, 2016 and ends at 11:59pm MDT on January 15, 2017 (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Photo Contest.


Localworks is committed to a vibrant and sustainable Wheat Ridge and we want to see it through your eyes. For our 2017 Photo Contest, we’d like to know: how do you experience Wheat Ridge? What about Wheat Ridge captures you? What has captured you from Wheat Ridge’s history? Capture those vibrant moments and express what Wheat Ridge means to you!
To ensure eligibility for the contest, please submit files no larger than 20MB at the time of entry. Higher resolution files of at least 300 dpi/ppi will be requested should an entry be preselected to be awarded a prize or an honorable mention. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically in a .JPEG .jpg, or.png form. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single “High Dynamic Range” image are acceptable.

Entries should include metadata if at all possible. Caption information should include:
• Location
• Name of location (ex: Anderson Park)
• Approximate address or cross streets within the City of Wheat Ridge
• Detailed caption of subject matter
Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see “Your Rights” below). You must be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to Localworks upon request.

If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to Localworks upon request.

The following submissions are ineligible:
• Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright.
• Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content.
• Images that involve willful harassment or damage to the people or property by the photographer.
• Images that involve putting any individual or animal in danger.
• Images taken outside of Wheat Ridge.
Localworks shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.


All images must be submitted though:
• our photo submission form including all required fields, including name, email and other information about your photo submission
• Photo post on the Localworks Facebook page with hashtag #CaptureWheatRidge and the category name
• Instagram with the hashtag #CaptureWheatRidge and the category name in your post.
You can select an image directly from your computer desktop, or submit images from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for consideration in the contest.

You may enter up to ten times, but you may not use an agency or automated system to enter. Sponsor reserves the right to reject any additional entries or entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, you indicate your unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements in these Official Rules.
Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission (such as with a paragraph about their photo or the highest resolution version of their photo) anytime on or after January 15, 2017.


Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence and composition, overall impact, artistic merit and Wheat Ridge story or significance. Judging will be conducted by a panel of local photographers to be selected by the Localworks at its sole discretion (the “Panel”). The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and pick the following winners in the following categories:
1. Overall Best in Contest (1 winner): You’ve nailed it. Your image rises above the rest and encapsulates our community in a stunning way.
2. Categories:
1. Community (1 winner): Illustrates the Wheat Ridge community in a clear and compelling way.
2. History (1 winner): Best photo showing Wheat Ridge history that is taken before 2006. Please take care to ensure you have the rights for the photo you scan.
3. Agriculture (1 winner): Illustrates agriculture in Wheat Ridge.
3. Honorable Mentions (Up to 12 honorable mentions will be selected at discretion of the Panel): Quality images that showcase Wheat Ridge.
All potential winners will be revealed online within 10 days of April 1, 2017.
All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.
Localworks will notify the winners via the contact information provided at the time of entry.


Except where prohibited, a potential winner may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, statement of originality, certification of place captured in Wheat Ridge, and liability/publicity release within 14 days. If a potential winner is a minor, his/her parent or legal guardian will be required to sign the documents on his/her behalf. If a potential winner fails to return these documents on time, an alternate potential winner may be selected in his/her place.


Localworks will award the following prizes.
One (1) Overall Best in Contest winner will receive:
• $500.
• A photo mention in digital presences of Localworks.
• Placement in the annual report for Localworks.
• Two tickets to Capture Wheat Ridge Celebration on April 1, 2017.
• A framing design session with the creative and experienced staff at Metro Frame Works. Their winning photo will be framed using museum quality materials at a value up to $500.
• Total Value: $1050
One (1) Community category winner will receive:
• $100.
• Mention in digital presences of Localworks.
• One ticket to Capture Wheat Ridge Celebration on April 1, 2017.
• A framing design session with the creative and experienced staff at Metro Frame Works. Their winning photo will be framed using museum quality materials at a value up to $500.
• Total Value: $625
One (1) History category winner will receive:
• $100.
• Mention in digital presences of Localworks.
• One ticket to Capture Wheat Ridge Celebration on April 1, 2017.
• A framing design session with the creative and experienced staff at Metro Frame Works. Their winning photo will be framed using museum quality materials at a value up to $500.
• Total Value: $625
One (1) Agriculture category winner will receive:
• $100.
• Mention in digital presences of Localworks.
• One ticket to Capture Wheat Ridge Celebration on April 1, 2017.
• A framing design session with the creative and experienced staff at Metro Frame Works. Their winning photo will be framed using museum quality materials at a value up to $500.
• Total Value: $625
Up to 12 honorable mention winners will receive:
• Mention on Localworks photo contest page
• Invitation to a matting and mounting demonstration at Metro Frame Works (date TBA) and will have their photo submission matted professionally at no charge
• Total Value: $40
Prizes will only be shipped to an address in the United States. The professional matting and design sessions may only be claimed in person at Metro Frame Works.
All winners are responsible for paying any income taxes and any and all other costs and expenses not listed above. If the prize value equals or exceeds $600, a winner will need to complete, sign and return an IRS W-9 form prior the award of any prize. Any prize details not specified above will be determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion. A prize may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. A winner may not request a substitute prize; however, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason, as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.
Your photographs help Localworks celebrate and promote the community of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Thank you for helping to further our mission through your photography.
You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit — including ownership if applicable.
If you submit a photograph to enter the Photo Contest, you grant Localworks a royalty-free, nonexclusive right during the Photo Contest to:
• Display the photograph on the Localworks website.
• Allow third-parties to share the photograph on the following social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
If your photograph is formally honored by the competition as a winner or an honorable mention, you grant Localworks a royalty-free, nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to:
• Use the photograph on the Internet and in Social Media in support of our mission.
• Use the photograph in Localworks internal and external communications materials including but not limited to websites and web publications, fact sheets, fund raising publications, advertising, multimedia, presentation and membership services, and annual report.
• Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for Localworks use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, videos, promotions of the Wheat Ridge community, and the like.
• Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, and state in promotions and other publications.
• Retain a digital copy of your photograph that will be archived in the Localworks photo library and accessible to Localworks staff via the Localworks internal online photo archive.
Localworks will endeavor to credit all photographs with the caption “Person’s Name” when the full name is available and space and context allow.


In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired in any way, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to Sponsor by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by Sponsor. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.


By entering, you agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Facebook, Instagram, their respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Photo Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Photo Contest; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) late or undelivered mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Photo Contest; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property. You waive the right to claim any attorneys fees and any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.


When you enter, you will automatically become a member of Localworks. This includes special event invitations, digital messages and a monthly e-newsletter. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time. There is currently no cost for membership.


The information you provide when you enter is provided to Sponsor, not to Facebook nor Instagram. Except where prohibited, you consent to Sponsor’s use of your name in any list of winners (if applicable) and for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration.


You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Photo Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Colorado. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Sponsor in connection with the Photo Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Colorado, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of Colorado or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Colorado.


To request a winners list, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to Localworks, Capture Wheat Ridge Photo Contest, 7391 W 38th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. Requests must be received by July 1, 2017.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to

Home Collective: A business that feels like home

The minute you walk in to the Home Collective, you will immediately experience a feeling of comfort come over you that may be unfamiliar when visiting most wellness studios. Rather than being bombarded by a check in desk or racks of yoga clothes, you will step into an environment that feels close to the heart, one that feels like home.

Opening this past January, the Home Collective features a vast array of services that include but aren’t limited to: refl exology, embodied talk therapy, holistic nutrition therapy, phoenix rising yoga therapy, structural integration, and therapeutic message. In addition to offering group classes and workshops, they also have space available for you to host your own event.

Talking with Owner Liz Keltner, it’s hard not to be inspired by her passion and enthusiasm. With a background in mental health and physical therapy, she believes uniting the mind and body is a crucial step in the process of a person achieving wellness. After running a successful private practice, she felt like something was missing. Living close by and always impressed with Wheat Ridge’s rich history, she started looking for a larger space that could provide the opportunities for growth required to start a wellness collective.

After a quick tour, I started noticing the amazing attention to detail; everything has been arranged so thoughtfully, nothing feels empty or like its wasted space, and the layout is great. It is clear that someone has invested an incredible amount of effort, time, and money to make this dream a reality. There is ample space for classes, and their back yard area is the perfect place to be after an invigorating workout or therapy session.

Tell me about The Home Collective – What got you or the business started? How did the idea for your business come about?
So my background is in mental health, and I was in community mental health for a long time before I discovered yoga therapy. I got really into the therapeutic side of mind meeting body and how that can be really useful if integrated in people’s lives. Merging these worlds, I decided I wanted to be back in a community of people who are like minded and supporting healthy vibrant lives for our community, so I began to look for space. I knew I wanted multiple offices, a place where we could have variety and different perspectives, and I love groups and community. I was also looking for somewhere that would have a space large enough to support a group environment as well. When I walked into this building, it kind of had it all magnetized by 100 – the group space is huge, everything is beautiful and expansive – the offices have charm and are inviting. My businesses name was always “Home”, so my private practice is called Home, where body and mind align – that’s my business within the collective and then the building as a whole is the “Home Collective” so it has that feeling of walking into a home which was really important to me. Walking into this place, my vision expanded and I knew that I had to live up to what was possible here. I love all the other local businesses, it’s such a fun area so we’re excited to branch out and get to know the neighbors and have more consistent offerings to help us connect in those ways.

Has it always been at this location? Or was there any reason specifically you choose Wheat Ridge?
I live nearby, I am not in Wheat Ridge but I am in North West Denver. So that was a very nice to feel like I’m a part of the community as well, and I think Wheat Ridge is redefining itself – it has some amazing roots and has such a rich history when it comes to community. There’s a lot of newness, yet a really strong foundation all at once, and so I was excited to be a part of the newness while celebrating the vibrant community that’s already here.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays? What do you find most enjoyable?
So my days are really split, I still see clients one-on-one for yoga therapy and mental health. I typically see my clients Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – so that time is reserved for sessions but then Monday and Friday or whatever time I can find in between is really around supporting and cultivating this space – you know like anything from doing the laundry, to watering the plants to bigger vison things like marketing or trying to learn everything else while trying to reach out and network to create those ties. It’s a lot, so my days are always different and I’m finding what my balance is, especially with this being new; the home collective with my private practice. Luckily we’ve got other practitioners within the collective, so we’re definitely a team and everyday we’re building what that means together, in terms of supporting clients and one another, to creating connections in our lives that we hope has the potential to last a lifetime.

What has been a challenge for your business?
The “build it, they will come” idea. One of the biggest challenges is always marketing – some things work and other things don’t end up being very useful. There are many hats that are new to me and I’m not a marketing person, so trying to learn and adapt to get ourselves out there is a challenge. We’re doing yoga classes in the fall, and trying to get a small schedule going, nothing huge but it’s something where we can be consistent by potentially offering something to the community on a daily or weekly basis. The yoga is gentile and therapeutic in nature, so really anyone can benefit from it.

What has been the greatest success? Or what are you most proud about?
Just… Like the experience you had walking in. People walk in and right away say this place is different than other therapy offices or other studios – that it’s welcoming and engaging, and in my opinion there’s an immediate nurturing aspect to being in this space. So you could say I’m really proud that our place can support people on a lot of different levels. Maybe they just want to come and see their practitioner for one-on-one support and we welcome everyone to come to group yoga classes. We also offer trainings, so community members or even international schools can rent some of our space to provide their training. For example we had our first extended training in June, and to watch a group of complete strangers live in our space (not overnight) but every day for a month… We got to feel the space be utilized as it held them in their process of growth while they were in school to become yoga therapists, which was incredible. Most people have their own processing happening and I think our space holds that really well so I’m really proud of that feeling we’ve cultivated here. From the garden to the outdoor space it’s all been envisioned and built from the heart and with love, from a place of wanting somewhere that’s really accepting and welcoming.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016?
The biggest things is the Yoga class schedule, so we’re kicking that off – also we’re working on a monthly mindful living series that different practitioners will lead, that will be very open and accessible – again we really want to engage community members that might be interested, or who say,” What is this? Maybe I can go to one of their things and see what it’s like.” We also, like I mentioned, have outside people rent some of our space. The International Association of Yoga Therapists came to provide information around yoga therapy, to talk about what it is and explain the certification. Starting this fall, we also have a mindful, stress reeducation class that’s starting up so we’re really figuring out what’s possible here from within and then from people who see how special this place is or that want to provide their offerings from this place.

What is your favorite inspiration quote, or what advice would you give someone trying to be an entrepreneur?
When I decided to leave my job at the mental health center, to pursue yoga therapy training, I quit and was on an airplane within two days to spend weeks in Vermont because that was the only place the training was available at that time (since then they’re expanded, including Denver which is really exciting!). The day I left, when I was at the airport at 6am, I was terrified of what had I just done. I quit a job that I loved – from the people, to the team and work – and now I was in an airport, at a strange place going somewhere for a long time with no real plan or idea how this was all going to play out. That’s when I got a cup of coffee… I sat down and turned the mug around and on the front it said, “Life is diving in heart first”. So I took a deep breath, and I still thank the universe for sending me messages – because I’m where I am today.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What is your favorite thing to do in Wheat Ridge for fun? What do you enjoy most?
I walk around the community when I need a break and I’m really excited about some events coming up. As far as my hobbies, I like to walk my dog, ski, hike, and anything outdoors – you know the typical Colorado stuff.

If you had the power to solve only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
I would say within supporting people to be aligned with their inner wisdom. And I think when that’s possible, when people slow down and connect with the wisdom of their body and of their inner knowing, we can all connect with ourselves and each other in much more meaningful and productive ways that allow for growth, acceptance and willingness to be present.

If you could high five, shake hands, or hug one person, living or not, who would it be?
I have to go with hug, I’m a hugger! Buddha- to be that close with inner peace while having the presence to be in that moment.

Lao Tsu said, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” If you are in mindful of your wellness, then do yourself a favor and stop by the Home Collective. Their comprehensive services and the compassion of their practitioners is on another level. Finding the balance between your mind and body has never been easier. You can find Liz, and the beautiful and unique studio on the north side of 38th Avenue located between Harlan and Jay Street.

Call 720.340.2566 today or visit their website at: to learn about all that Home Collective has to offer. Like me, maybe they’ll be your new favorite place to find your balance.

VinylWorks: Cultivating Greatness One Client at a Time

Someone once said, “Don’t wait for opportunity, create it.” When Scott walker, owner of VinylWorks, arrived in Wheat Ridge he immediately saw the city’s potential.

Talented from a young age, as a reward for good grades in high school his parents bought him his first screen printer. After finishing a marketing degree at college, he secured a job with Miller (before it was MillerCoors) where he found himself managing over 25 employees who were installation technicians. Fast forward eight years and one company merger later where he found himself laid off. That’s when Scott decided to buy his first vinyl cutting machine.

His idea was to sell businesses vinyl cutouts of their addresses if they didn’t already have it posted. Starting by working out of his basement, he ultimately didn’t feel successful until his second year, but he loved every minute of the job. People may say that owning a business comes with risks, but what they don’t tell you about is the learning curve, and how it affects your business individually from others. Once in the flow of things and as business grew, he expanded by getting his own shop, getting more machines, and eventually had a large enough clientele base that required hiring a few employees.

VinylWorks has a wide array of services, but that’s not the only draw for clients. Mickey Blackwell, Scott’s right hand man is a very gifted graphic designer and adds an incredible amount of value to their products. While only some businesses might be able to afford design firms separate from the printing process, others can be left with limited choices when printing companies don’t have a designer. VinylWorks is the ideal choice and closet thing to a boutique signage store in Wheat Ridge.

Tell me about VinylWorks – What got the business started? How did the idea for your business come about?
It kind of all started off, I guess going all the way back to my high school days, where I was really into making logos , t-shirts, and screen printing – I got my very first screen printing kit in High School for getting good grades and in college I studied marketing with an emphasis in advertising. Later I was in the beer industry for 8 years, and I had experience hanging banners, signs and neon’s. I actually managed 25 guys that did that kind of work all along the Front Range for a Miller Brewing company before it merged with MillerCoors.

I had that great experience but unfortunately that was the first job I had ever lost. So afterword’s I bought my first vinyl cutting machine because well honestly… I love stickers! My friends were like “we love stickers you should start a sticker/sign shop” and I knew about it from being in the beer industry. Once I bought the machine, it’s the classic tale – I started working from out of my house for the first two years in the basement. I had sales experience so I literally went around knocking on every door to businesses here on 38th Avenue. The first year was rough with sales, then the second year I was actually able to make a living off of it. From there, I mean yeah, we’re in year 8 now with 3 full timers, and one part timer in addition to me. It’s really just my love for stickers, that’s all it was [laughs]

Do you guys vinyl wrap cars?
We do wraps for cars, Right Coast pizza for example. We’ve done tons of food trucks and other types of vehicles. We just did a full vehicle wrap for Yamaha,which will be driving all across the US. The largest fleet we worked on was with 30 cars. We’ve also worked with Google up in Boulder at their new location. As mentioned earlier we just got done doing the installation with Visa. Gusto is a really big job that we did down town, also for MapQuest we did a ton of graphics for them. I mean we do stuff for UPS, like their distribution centers in Denver where we made their interior signage and whatever else that need that fall under our services. It’s really cool stuff, we LOVE what we do and appreciate the positive feedback we’ve gotten throughout the years. We are lucky to be able to get the big contracts, but we also love working with locals like mom and pop shops. I also know I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now without my team. They’re all incredibly gifted and I feel very fortunate to have such great employees.

When I started, I just looked around. I thought to myself, “ how many businesses are out there that just need store hours?”. I was like, “If I could just do 10 sets of decals a day, to make a living off” and that turned into where we are now.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays? What do you find most enjoyable?
My typical workday starts pretty much when I wake up and get in the shower. My mind starts going 100 miles per hour with every job, like every busness owner, as with every job, you know you’ve got to do pretty much everything. You have to get the things done from the day before, so I start my day with that, then it’s coming in and sitting down and seeing what’s due for the day and seeing what orders came in. I let Mickey run the shop, than I do all of the sales and installation. So managing that, you know I think at the end of the day my job is typical marketing, accounting and book keeping – reviewing all business information and taking care of things behind the scenes that I think a lot of people don’t know about. In a typical day, I get to step away from running the machines and equipment because my staff is here to handle that.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016/2017?
I have a pretty big goal, I’m actually working on the business plan right now, my first goal was originally on target for this year but we’ve had a lot of work to do with a larger account, but we’d like to get a second shop open in the Boulder area which would enable us to focus on Boulder and Longmont. We have a lot of clients already in Boulder that we deal with but my long term goal, really, is to have a solid business plan and model so that we could have 5 locations. But really just to take the idea of this small shop because really we only have 3 machines We do so much for small business, we have the big accounts that don’t always know what they’re doing and they need more creative shops like ourselves. There something about us being a young group of independent people that love what we do and work really hard. We don’t just put out designs to collect paychecks, we’re more creative and like boutique shop, versus just a sign or banner shop.

So that’s our future! We’re really looking at getting a new location and to see if that works. I do really love supporting our community and our street because it’s really how these whole things started. Everyone taking care of everyone else – I’ve been in every one of these other businesses and I’ve gotten to know all the owner and yeah, that’s why I support Wheat Ridge I mean I love over there, that’s me [points to his house walking distance from his shop]. It’s a unique community and it’s very tight.

What has been your biggest challenge for your business?
The biggest challenge is understanding how to handle and manage your customers, manage your accounts and that break down pretty much in two ways, one you need to manage your orders because there is such a quick turnaround in the industry now- I mean sometimes we only have days when we get stuff in because they need. So that’s been tough, learning how to manage your consistent orders and then getting the quick turnaround down. I mean learning this is basic but I think the most important thing for small businesses is learning collections, especially when working with bigger accounts , people don’t teach you about how manage working with large accounts that take 30-60 days to pay you. That’s something, you know, I don’t think all small business owner are aware of immediately when starting out. I just think it’s really interesting and important to stay on top of. We have an accountant now that can help as needed; the begging was a different story. Cash flow is so important for a small business. We don’t have bank loans, we’re a small operation and working with those accounts so we’ve changed the way we do our billing through the years and that was a struggle initially because you need people to pay you. That said we’re growing though and we’ve almost doubled our business every year.

How long have you been located or have lived in Wheat Ridge for? Or why did you move/relocate to Wheat Ridge?
I’ve lived here since 2012, but I’ve been here since 2006. When it came time for me to move, there was no question, I didn’t have a single doubt – I wanted to move to Wheat Ridge, over Denver. I like the street for some reason. It was really under developed when I first moved into this building, it was really at the beginning of all the change. There was something about this street that I liked. I saw a lot of opportunity and to be honest the price point was right, I just see the potential.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
I’m a typical Colorado, I love my outdoors. I play soccer twice a week; I’m really into wake boarding and snowboarding, in my younger days I was a competitor semiprofessionally in snowboarding in border cross. I used to race BMX bikes, I was always kind of an action sports guy, I think that kinda works with stickers a little bit and that is maybe why all of that was there. But yeah I’m super active and honestly. I love working on my house and I love gardening. I just love doing home fixing up projects, like tearing out walls, adding new bathrooms and counter tops… I like being at home to relax when I’m not at work.

What is your favorite thing to do while in Wheat Ridge for fun?
I love running around the city and love checking out the growth, wheatear it’s people moving her or redevelopment of homes or just running down 32nd street or Fairmount park, that and all the restaurants here that have slowly been coming into town. I frequent Colorado plus and Right Coast Pizza at least once a week.

If a young entrepreneur walked up and asked for your advice but you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Anyone can run, and start a business, but you have to work hard at it. It can be done, it’s not magic but you really have to be willing to put in that extra effort and time into it. You have to really care about it, it’s not something you can just think will run on its own. I think that’s the basics, if you’re willing to put the time into it, you will be successful.

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
Eliminating people debt, I know that’s kinda first world problem, but I think it’s hurt a lot of people. That’s not from my standpoint that’s just watching people around me, it’s such a difficult thing for some people to deal with. It can destroy families and ruin homes by putting people in a bad place. BUT if I had to choose a second option, I think honestly fixing our pollution problems. We waste so many materials in our society that we don’t even think about. I wish there were more resources for recycling or reusing things as simple as ziplock bags. People use them once then throw them out, you can actually wash or rinse the bag out and reuse it, you know things like that. The sign industry is not a green energy, they’re doing what they can but green products aren’t durable, they don’t hold up as well or last which is a difficult thing to be faced with. You know, with our products there’s a lot of waste – sometimes because of production there can be up to 50% waste. The vinyl is oil based, we have many products that aren’t made with paper, that feature petroleum based products. Personally I feel really guilty sometime and I wish there was more we could do, again I wish there were more resources. We get a lot of cardboard that we keep, and we try to go recycle it once a week, or once every other week.

If you could high five one person, living or not, who it be? Or who is or has been your biggest inspiration?
My most inspirational person, by far is my Dad. There are two people locally, Tom Schmuke from Quality auto care, has been a great person to talk to. You know just to sit down and talk quick business, I mean they’ve been quick conversations but they’re been so influential. And my dad, I me and my dad is the most important figure, I mean I talk to him almost every day. He cares so much about this business, even though he’s retired and lives in Florida, I bounce ideas off of him and ask for advice. He ran the world’s largest mushroom farm in Pennsylvania, with over 1300 employees. I mean it’s all underground in mines, but he ran mushroom farms his entire life and that was what he did. He was always a great manager; he knew how to hire really great people and treated people really well. When he retire he got letter from people saying they still wanted to work for him and would help out if he needed anything. He always believed the best managers and the best business owners have all capabilities whether they’re being a good people person or being authoritative, they can do all of it when it’s needed because they’re well rounded people. He raised a good family, my mother and him are still married and madly in love to this day. Yeah, I just thought he was a great father and person to look after. On his sixtieth birthday I had to give a speech in front of, you know, like 20 family members and close friends, I had turned 30 right before and I was serious when I said to him that day, “I always said if I could be half the man you were, I’d be happy growing up. And now that your 60 and I’m 30, I am half the man.” I was serous; I mean I was joking but I he is my biggest inspiration for sure.

Scott’s business has been going well, and ultimately he would like to expand to additional markets. To date they’ve worked with big name clients such as Google, Visa, UPS, and Yamaha. If you decide to work with the team at VinylWorks, you’ll experience their amazing abilities first hand. When 5 people can consistently put out amazing products, the friendly service and approachability is just the cherry on top.


Call 303.351.6963 or visit their website at: to learn more about all of the services they offer, to get a project quote or to set up a meeting.



Brewery Rickoli, Wheat Ridge’s First and Original Microbrewery

If you’ve had the opportunity to order and enjoy a craft beer in the state of Colorado within the past 15 years, chances are Rick Abitol had something major to do with brewing it. He begins by explaining that the road wasn’t always easy in the beginning; he has worked multiple jobs at the same time as owning a business, at multiple times throughout his career in order to become successful.

A computer technician by trade, Rick started brewing beer back in the late 90’s. He says that he was bit by the home brewing bug severely early on. After gaining a few years of experience brewing for Golden City Brewery and Twisted Pine, by 2001 Rick was a brewmaster working for Rock Bottom Brewery, a position that lasted eight years until the company was then bought out by Craft Works.

Growing tired of working so hard for others while having to constantly readjust to always changing rules, 2012 is when Rick decided to be his own boss again by opening Wheat Ridge’s first microbrewery, Brewery Rickoli. He knew he had an original idea; make gluten free beer that tastes good so everyone can enjoy. Their trick is using a special enzyme, available to all brewers, which when added during the brewing process breaks down any gluten without affecting the flavor of the beer.

It wasn’t long before Rick found himself working with arguably one of the oldest, best and original brewing companies in America. In 2013, Brewery Rickoli was selected for Sam Adam’s Brewing the Dreams program. To be eligible, they filled out all required paper work as well as submitted a 300 word essay. Once they sent in their application, within a few weeks, they received a response that they won! They were flown to Boston, Massachusetts to meet with the brewmaster at Sam Adams where they created a collaboration beer and received additional advice on brewing.

Tell me about Brewery Rickoli – What got you or the business started, and how did the idea for your business come about and when did you start?
I started brewing in the 90’s, and then by 2000 I became a professional brewer. I used to be a computer tech at my own computer rental business but once I found beer, I just kind of… Well I don’t know, I just ignored the business and then lost it [laughs] because I became so busy brewing beer. In 2001, I had already started working part time as a brewmaster, and I was declaring bankruptcy at my own business at the same time, so it made it cheaper to work actually, I didn’t have to have so much money to pay my bills. So that’s when I started working odd jobs as a brewer. I worked at Golden City Brewery, for 3 years, I used to help out at the twisted pine, and I used to live in pueblo for a couple years. When I was working in golden city I started working part time at the Denver Chop House and the Chop House is owned by Rock Bottom. I eventually got on with Rock Bottom and became a head brewer for them which lasted about 8 years, and then when they sold the business to a company called Craft Works, which I saw as kind of my exit point because things like the culture was changing, so that’s when I started my own brewery, only to realize that we had no money, but it was a great idea!

So my spark for wanting to start and what I’m doing is basically I didn’t want tow rok for other people anymore. I didn’t like how people kept coming in and changing the rules and I wanted to work for myself. So I knew how to brew great beer and I wnted to share that. I’d also been kind of keep9ng this thing under my head where I’m using an enzyme that breaks down the glutin in a lot of beers, so it might sound like quite the process but I can still make my great beer and add this enzyme to it and not change it, therefore making it more accessible while keeping the quality high.

With 300 breweries in the state, you have to do something that’s going to differentiate you. There are a lot of folks out there who can’t drink beer because of the gluten and they don’t want to drink cider or hard liquor, and they really miss beer, so that’s what we’re here for.

In 2013 we won the Sam Adams brewing and business experience ship. They took us under their wing for a year and we got to get graded and received help and guidance, as well as did a collaboration beer with them. I can’t say anymore, but I did just get back from Boston last week so it’s very possible that there may be something in the future but I can’t say what it is at this point.

How long have you lived or have been located in Wheat Ridge for? Or why did you relocate to Wheat Ridge?
No, it was just an empty spot here. We opened in November of 2012. We have been doing really well and growing since.

Was their anything in particular that attracted you most to Wheat Ridge?
There was kind of a void and a need in this town. When we opened up, you know, we were the first brewery in wheat ridge. When we came and looked around, we didn’t see anyone else. It was also close to my house and I was working at park meadows, so it helped my commute every day. It was really attractive to find a spot that was so nice, off a busy street, with no brewery in sight. We though, “we should open up here!” We really love the community here, the people that are from here are very proud and you don’t get that from people in Arvada and wheat ridge or even Denver, people can be all about themselves and here =, we’re a lot more community minded. It really shows, our regulars are awesome, they make us feel necessary.

What has been your biggest challenge for your business so far?
Just our small size. We have to really hard to keep up and it’s sometimes hard for people to take us seriously because we’re really small.

And what has been the biggest success?
We’ve gotten a few medals and we won 2nd place for our beer ‘The static’.

What has been your most successful strategy with Marketing?
Social media!

Could you describe one of your typical workdays? What is it that you find most enjoyable?
Well I wear a lot of hats! So typically when I come in, I see what needs to be done and that dictates my day. So whether it’s brewing beer or transferring beer, or getting beer kegs shipped off or cleaning the tap lines and that’s what I love about it. I love the variety of things that I can do in a day, and that I get to say what it is, because it’s up to me to turn the wheel.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016?
Actually, they’re all for 2017 [laughs]. I can’t explain or say much, but we may be looking for a bigger spot some place in Wheat Ridge but we’re in the middle of trying to figure out a way to make that work for us.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? Or what are some of your favorite things to do while in Wheat Ridge for fun?
I visit other breweries pretty regularly and last month I did some hiking and camping. Really just anything in the outdoors, I love Colorado!

If a young entrepreneur walked up and asked for your advice but you only had a minute to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Make money, don’t spend money. That’s what Jim Cook told me and that was my biggest takeaway.

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
Definitely equality.

If you could high five one person, living or not, who would it be?
Jimmy Carter, because he legalized home brewing for everybody and I don’t think we’d be here without that.

Despite the success, it has required a strong work ethic, discipline and a lot of long hours, to which Rick says he wouldn’t have any other way. Once he discovered his love for brewing, there was no looking back, and everything else is history. Brewery Rickoli is open Monday from 3pm to 9pm, Tuesday through Thursday from 3pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 8pm. Stop by Brewery Rickoli’s today to try some of the best tasting, gluten free beer in the country.

For more information, Call 303.344.8988 or visit their website at: to view their craft brews and food choices in preparation for your visit.

Catching Up with 2015 Criterium Winner, Julie Emmerman

Eliminating prize disparity between genders is still a relevant issue throughout sports, especially pro cycling. This year, the Ridge at 38 Criterium will be issuing equal purse prizes for both men and women, which is something not as common as you might expect. With that in mind, we wanted to check in and follow up with last years’ winner, Julie Emmerman, but first a short introduction.

Julie is equally as much an intellectual, as she is a thoroughbred athlete. A practicing psychologist by day, and fearless cyclist by weekend, she enjoys spending time with her family while taking advantage of Colorado’s beautiful outdoors. When asked about the purse differences, she said the cyclists feel the implications of the prize differential, “it’s definitely frustrating when you’re doing all the work, putting in all of the effort, and being trained just like the guys… It’s hard to keep racing when the purse money is significantly less.”

So tell me a little about yourself:
Where should I begin haha – I used to race mountain bikes professionally and then I “retired”. I already had my doctorate degree so I built up private psychotherapy practice. After a short while, I really missed being around athletes so then I decided to specialize in sport psychology. Soon thereafter, I was hired by Garmin- Slipstream (at the time that’s what they [cycling team] were called) to be the sport psychologist for their Pro Tour riders. Eventually, I just missed being in the mix of competition as well as the social camaraderie so in 2009 I decided to race again. I dabbled mostly in local road racing at first and kept developing, honing fitness and skills. I have come a pretty good ways- I am not getting any younger and recently competed in the USA Pro National Championships where I finished 9th in the Time Trial. It’s an Olympic year so everyone is on superb form, which makes it super exciting.

Do you have any hobbies or things you’re passionate about besides cycling?
I love trail running in the fall and winter. In general, I love hanging out and spending time with my family while enjoying Colorado sunshine whenever and however I can.

What brought you to the Criterium originally or how did you hear about it?
The Criterium is part of the BRAC [Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado] Series, so our team was trying to get points for the series overall. I knew that it would be important to win so that way we could accumulate more points. I also just like to go out and support local racing whenever I can. The woman’s fields tend to be kind of small, so I figure the more I can race, the better. It’s a great course and atmosphere.

How did it feel winning last year’s Criterium?
Haha, winning is always a good feeling! I enjoy the challenge of coordinating physicality with strategy. It was hard; I remember being exhausted afterwards!

Do you do any special training in advance for it or anything different than normal?
No, not really, because most of the races that we enter into professionally, the categories pro 1 and pro 2; there’s road races, criteriums, hill climbs, time trials, so we train pretty much all year round and for all of them. I am sure some people train specifically for crits, however.

That said, will you be returning this year to defend your title?
I hope so!

what would you tell others about the Criterium if they were interested?
It is a completely family friendly place. There’s that huge park in the middle where they always have food vendors and fun stuff set up for kids. It’s really invigorating and fun! The race itself is on a great course where people can spectate from a lot of different corners to see the action happening. It’s a relatively short loop so there’s not much down time between when the racers will come around again. The course also lends itself to break aways and attacks which means that some riders will try to separate from the main peloton. That usually makes for a very exciting race. I would sum up the event as lively, fun and inclusive.

Traditionally Criteriums don’t have equal purses and we’re trying to change that, do you have an opinions or thoughts on that?
It’s awesome that this year’s Criterium is offering equal prize money. Personally and on behalf of all women I want to say thank you. I’m all for trying to reduce that disparity. I understand the common local argument of, “Well there are so fewer female racers, why should they have equal prize money?” But at National events the women’s fields are 80+ strong. I don’t have a quick answer or an easy solution to offer but having equal prize money makes a strong positive statement. Hopefully, sponsors see the market value of putting their money behind women athletes and improve their strategies for reaching target audiences, whether it is pro cycling, soccer, etc. I am very proud of the Ridge at 38 and Wheat Ridge Cyclery for offering equal prize money this year. So, again thank you!

Julie, thank you very much again for your time this evening. Was there anything you wanted to add?
It is an awesome event and I hope women show up in all categories because it is really a great course and a great opportunity.

Join us June 12th from 9:00am-7:00pm for The Ridge at 38 Criterium Bike Race & Brewfest. This is a FREE event for the whole family!

For more information visit the website event page at: or you can also go to our Facebook event page at:

Flesher-Hinton relocates its prestige to Wheat Ridge

Flesher-Hinton, Wheat Ridge’s newest addition, has over 60 years in the business and is the second oldest music store in the state of Colorado. With a grand opening currently being planned for the summer, Flesher-Hinton sells instruments, sheet music, and accessories while providing affordable private music lessons, rentals and instrument repair.

Located off 44th Avenue just west of Sheridan, between Fenton Street and Gary Street, you’ll find this music sanctuary, now exclusive to Wheat Ridge. Originally just starting off repairing music instruments for local schools, Mel Flesher and his brother in-law Carl Hinton opened for business in 1951. Shortly after passing away in the 80’s, Mel’s wife Geraldine took over, until eventually handing it down to her two children and current owners, Herve and Kristi Flesher.

Colorado native Dave Sampskins, who works at Flesher-Hinton, sits down and we start sharing stories about music classes in college. Dave, who grew up and still plays the bass, reminisced about getting his first instrument in third grade at Flesher-Hinton. Although the freshest staff member, he says the average employee has worked at Flesher- Hinton for over 20 years.

Ecstatic about their new location, which offers more space in a less compact and sophisticated layout, he says another big factor was choosing the right neighborhood that had a strong sense of community much like where they were previously located. They particularly enjoy their new straightforward storefront and parking lot, opposed to the confusing and difficult situation they had before. It didn’t help that teachers and customers found their old location to be arduous to get to. Despite that, their success has been a unique combination of a expertise, experience, professionalism, and affordability, topped off with friendly customer service. After the interview, Dave was handing out stickers and Jeff offered me a free t-shirt from a stack they had left over from an event.

Tell me about Flesher – Hinton – What got you or the business started, How did the idea for your business come about and when did you start?
It started as a repair shop in 1951’. Mel Flesher, started the company with his brother in-law, Carl Hinton. They started out by just fixing band and orchestra instruments for local schools. That’s still a large part of our business, but we’ve branched out to retail sales, sheet music and instrument and the like, as well as lessons and instrument rentals. He ran the company with his wife Geraldine for many years, and now their children, Herv and Kristi Flesher, own the business and live here in Wheat Ridge.

That’s great! You guys have been open a very long time…
We are one of the oldest in the state, so yeah, we’ve been here doing this for a long time. I’m the new guy, actually… and I’ve been here 15 years I think, so…(we both laugh hysterically).
(Still fresh meat huh?) Yeah, they’re still hazing me. But seriously, most of the technicians in the repair shop have been here 20 to 30 years, so we have a lot of experience under our belts here.

That’s incredible employee retention to say the least…
Well, it’s a family business so we try to treat everyone like we would our family, so it’s worked out well.

How long have you been located or have lived in Wheat Ridge for? Or why did you move/relocate to Wheat Ridge?
Our business moved here in February, so that’s about 3 months now? Tennyson was just very crowded, and customers found it to be an endeavor just to get there. You couldn’t just swing by on your way and drop a horn off, or get a couple reeds, you’d have to plan an afternoon around it. So we were hearing more and more, especially from teachers, that it was really burdensome to get to the store. Say you have a truckload of tubas that need to be repaired, you can’t park two blocks away and walk them over. So Tennyson was very nice, it’s fast paced and it’s growing, but the rapid growth was making it a lot harder to do what we do. Out here, it’s a little smaller than our building was there, but we’ve got a parking lot which is so much better, it’s just a more functional space. We’ve got space for deliveries, pickups, and our customers now. Our location is overall just much easier to get to get to and more accessible off the highway.
We miss some of the quirks from our old building though, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that store? It was an old renovated theater from the turn of the century, really old movie theater turned into a music store. A very cool building, it had this gigantic marquis signs hanging over and above the street. We were doing everything spread out over 3 floors though, floors that had been forced into a movie theater over a hundred years (laughs). But yeah, we’re settling in here at the new location nicely, and it’s really starting to feel like home now.

How do you like it so far?
It’s great so far! We’re starting to meet the neighbors, we’ve signed on for the Rumble on 44th, and met some folks from Shop44th, the neighborhood group. It seems like it’s a nice neighborhood community. Coming from Tennyson street, there used to be a lot of the sense of community, but it felt like a lot of that was getting lost as the older businesses either moved or closed up shop. But a lot of those businesses have been moving out here across Sheridan we’ve noticed. There’s a little more room for us to do what we do.

I think the secrets getting out about Wheat Ridge…
A lot of the musicians I know, that grew up in north Denver are now moving out to places like Wheat Ridge because you can still afford to live in a house for a Musicians income.

What has been your biggest challenge for your business?
Getting the word out that we’ve moved, you know, we try to do our social media, update all our listings, get in touch with the press and things like that, but people drive by our old location, and see the signs down and windows papered over, and think that like so many other small, local music stores do, we’ve closed. We’ve been trying to fight the rumors that we’re closed rather then moved which has been fun. We want to let everyone know that we’re still doing what we love, just a little further out west.

What has been the biggest success?
Getting here and getting the doors open, it’s been a very busy couple months but we’re doing great. It’s also been tough getting all of the teachers transitioned in, and it was a challenge getting through all of the inspections and construction while we were still open, but it seems that we are running at full speed now so the big success has been getting back up to normal operating speed (laughs). Who would have thought moving a business from the location they’d been in for more than 60 years would be so much work?

Could you describe one of your typical workdays? What do you find most enjoyable?
The thing I enjoy the most is when a kid comes into the store and wants to play an instrument, and doesn’t know where to start – so you let them hold a violin, then let them try out a clarinet or trumpet, and then they find something that they really like. We do a lot of student rentals here, and we try to make it easy and affordable to get an instrument, because a good instrument can be expensive, and we don’t want that cost to be a barrier to a child, or even an adult, discovering that passion. We also see a lot of parents whose kids have tried soccer or gymnastics or whatever it may be, and now their child wants to join band or orchestra, and they ask “how long are you going to be into this for?” Again, you don’t want that kid to miss out on what may be their passion because of the cost of an instrument. but you know when you get an instruments in a kid’s hand and you see them fall in love with it, that’s fantastic.
Some of those kids, I’ve seen start now, and you watch them come in over the years for lessons and repairs, and eventually they come in and get their first professional instrument or they’re going off to college to play. If you’ve been here long enough, you’ve seen kids go through their own journey, and eventually you’re out gigging with those same kids. It’s really amazing to see it all come full circle. I came here with my family in third grade actually to get my first instrument, so same thing. It’s just really fun to connect kids to instruments and watch them fall in love with it, which is the most rewarding part of any day I’d say.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016?
Rumble on 44th – we’d like to do a grand opening but we just don’t know when yet. We’re still putting some things away before we get to that point but we’d like to do a big grand opening party in the summer at some point, get some bands and just have a fun time with it. Maybe we’ll do it in July? We’ll get the word out to everybody we can.

If a young entrepreneur walked up and asked for your advice but you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Do it because you love doing it, not because of the money. When you have lean times, its nice to do be doing something you enjoy.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What is your favorite thing to do while in Wheat Ridge for fun?
I have a croquet league – we play in a lot of parks located in Wheat Ridge. Every week the winner calls the next park, so Apel-Bacher and Randall Park here on the corner, are some of our favorite parks to play in, so we certainly enjoy the facilities. I’m here every day, so I’m trying to learn all of the businesses, my new spring hobby has been to go out walking and try new places, or discovering the local options for lunch. When you get over to 38th, Colorado Plus is really cool; I went there the other day. Grammy’s Goodies is fantastic. Wheat Ridge Lanes is my favorite place to bowl in the city too; I mean cheap beers and no black lights?

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
Hunger. When people can eat, they have time to pursue their passions.

If you could high five one person, living or not, who would it be?
My son. I hug him and high five him every day, and it’s the absolute best thing in the entire world.

The old adage rings true; Age ain’t nothing but a number at Flesher-Hinton, so stop by if you need to get your trumpet fixed, someone in your family is in the market for an instrument, or you just need to pick up some reeds for your son’s sax. Located at 5890 W 44th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80212, they are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am to 6pm. They’re also open Wednesday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm and closed on Sundays. Join us in welcoming them to the neighborhood because after all they’re not just the 2nd oldest music store in Colorado,they’re a local tradition.

Call 303.433.8891 or visit to browse their online store, get rental information, see upcoming events or view their private instructor list, and more!


Ridge at 38 Criterium Bike Race and Brewfest Volunteer Information

Ridge at 38 Criterium Bike Race and Brewfest

2016 LogobrewfestNEW


Volunteering Information:

WHO: You!

WHY: To help with a great event for a great cause. The mission of Ridge at 38 is to be a hub of positive growth for the community by hosting events like the Ridge at 38 Criterium and Brewfest, promoting local restaurants and shops, and supporting close relationships between community.

WHERE: The Ridge at 38 ride starts and finishes in front of Wheat Ridge Cyclery.

WHEN: To volunteer you must be available for:

1) Brief Volunteer training meeting: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 6:00pm (If you can’t make this date please volunteer let us know)

2) Ridge at 38 Criterium: Sunday, June 12, 2016 Shift options include:
Morning (Times vary by assignment. Approx. 4-5 hours between 7:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.)
Mid-Day (Times vary by assignment. Approx. 4-5 hours between 11:30 a.m. & 5 p.m.)
Afternoon/Evening 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
All day 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Are you available Saturday, 6/11 to assist with event preparation?
* Early volunteer positions include set-up help, and late volunteer positions include tear-down help

WHAT: Volunteer Positions include:
Information table and Registration: Help register cyclists and provide information to attendees
Road Marshal: Warn cyclists at intersections and other locations on the ride
General Assistance
Main-stage entertainment: Help assist with band and performance set up on the main stage
Brewfest ticket sales
Vendor ambassador
VIP tent or kids area ambassador
VIP tent access with food
VIP bleacher access with great views
2 beer tickets with commemorative cup
Tee shirt