Women’s History Month: Colorado is home to innovative and creative women – past, present and future
Did you know? For those who have hiked or rode the train up Pikes Peak, the expansive view, the crisp air and the incredible height might move one to tears. It’s no wonder that one of Colorado’s most famous fourteeners was the muse, or rather the purple mountain majesty, behind one of the country’s most cherished anthems, “America the Beautiful.” For some, hearing this song before a sporting or momentous event might fill one’s chest with pride. But not many know that, Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor from Wellesley College, was inspired to write a poem that would later become this anthem during a wagon ride up what’s now affectionately known as America’s Mountain.
Bates is far from the first or last woman inspired in the Centennial State. Check out some current innovative and creative women-owned businesses across Colorado:
Buderflys: Shea Gerhardt loved listening to music while riding the slopes in Steamboat Springs but she could never find earphones that would fit under her helmet without causing discomfort. She was inspired to design earphones that would flex and mold to whatever sport she was doing, something she could wear all day. Read more about her story and the evolution of Buderflys.
Wadfree: Cyndi Bray purchased an energy-efficient washer and dryer with the intention to save time and energy when washing her clothes and bedsheets. However, it was inevitable that even with a high-efficiency appliance, her bedsheets would take all day to dry because they would get tangled and wadded up. Bray was motivated to find a solution to this problem and designed a product that prohibits sheets from wadding, a creation that led her to an appearance on the show Shark Tank. Learn more about Wadfree and you too can live a wad-free lifestyle!
Fit & Nu: Sisters Joslyn Reese and Brittney Rae Reese, nutritionist and fitness coach respectively, joined forces to bring a wellness program for women of color in Colorado. They provide a holistic approach to wellness by assessing each individual’s body makeup and needs, make a plan for a healthier lifestyle, and offer exercise and nutrition classes. This program is accessible in person and virtually: check it out!
Timberline Adventures: While Colorado is home to endless opportunities for adventure, we know there is so much more to explore beyond our state. Carol Gottsegen’s woman-owned and operated company offers cycling, hiking and other tours expertly-led in Colorado or in over 35 national parks and monuments around the US and Canada. Book your next adventure with this team!
Fill and Refill: A lifelong outdoorswoman and nature-lover, Allison Burgund is doing her part to protect the planet. After examining her own family’s plastic waste and visiting a recycling center with her daughter, Burgund launched Fill and Refill, a shop where you can refill your shampoo and soap bottles instead of buying a new single-use plastic bottle. Shop here for soaps, toothpaste, reusable cloth wipes and facial rounds, and feminine hygiene products.
Aunt Helen’s Coffee House: Coffee is one of life’s great pleasures and Aimee Hutson knew the best person to name her coffee shop after was her Aunt Helen, who lived to 108 years old. Aunt Helen’s secret to living a long life was: “minding your own damn business,” so visit this local coffee shop and sip some coffee, eat one of their signature Waffle Wraps, and mind your own business.
Resources for women-owned businesses in Colorado
- To find more women-owned businesses across Colorado, visit our Minority Business Directory. Women-owned businesses can also add themselves to our directory at any time.
- Women-owned businesses can also take advantage of our Minority Business Office, which provides technical assistance and helps them learn how to best market themselves as a certified business and secure government contracts. They can also take advantage of the support of the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, which provides no-cost consulting and low-cost training and workshops to entrepreneurs in every county across Colorado.
- To learn more about our #ShopLocalColorado campaign, visit our #ShopLocalColorado toolkit. There, you will be able to see themes for upcoming months and fill out a form to submit your business for consideration for promotion.