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: https://agents.allstate.com/christina-pulciani-wheat-ridge-co1.html to learn about the services she has to offer.