Celebrating Women-Owned Businesses in Colorado Springs
October is not only the season to celebrate the uniqueness of every falling leaf, but the individual contributions of hundreds of women entrepreneurs in communities throughout Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak region is brimming with women-owned enterprises — from production companies to boutique storefronts to resort spas — and each business is a testament to the power of vision, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Across the state of Colorado there are close to 700,000 small businesses. Join us as we take a moment to spotlight just a few of the remarkable women-owned businesses in Colorado Springs that are shaping the landscape of this vibrant city.
Garden of the Gods Resort & Club
Since 1951, the Garden of the Gods Resort & Club has been a haven of peace and tranquility set against the geologically unique backdrop of Garden of the Gods Park. Upon taking ownership of the property in 2013, Judy Mackey and Brenda Smith spent five years building it into a multidisciplinary clinical health facility, complete with spa treatments, personal trainers, and lifestyle coaches. Judy was nominated for the Business Leader of the Year award at the 2018 Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Accolades Award Luncheon. Brenda received the University of Colorado Colorado Springs College of Business Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award in 2018.
Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort
Less than a mile from the renowned Garden of the Gods Park, the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort is a cyclist’s dream. Woman-owned and operated by Torie Giffin since 2016, the 47-room bicycle-themed retreat is perfectly situated along a designated biking trail and fosters a sense of shared community on a property once frequented by President Theodore Roosevelt. Guests can immerse themselves in the experience, enjoying themed rooms, savoring Colorado craft beers, and relishing live music.
The Nonprofit Makeover
The Nonprofit Makeover in Colorado Springs is a dedicated organization that empowers 501(3)(c)s to enhance their impact by helping them develop innovative strategies aligned with their mission statements. Owner and Founder Kristen Faith Sharpe began her journey in the charitable giving world as the founder of the renowned nonprofit Breaking the Silence Against Domestic Violence. Her impressive achievements — including the Rising Star Award from the Colorado Springs Business Journal and recognition as a Woman of Influence in the Colorado Springs community — underscore Kristen’s commitment to supporting and transforming the nonprofit sector.
Story Coffee Co
Founded by husband-wife duo Don and Carissa Niemyer, Story Coffee Co’s background is somewhat of a fairytale. Over a decade ago, Carissa served Don a latte at a former coffee shop she was working at, sparking a love story that would send the two on a cross-country journey in search of the world’s finest roasts. In 2016 the two opened Story Coffee Co — a minimalist coffee house in downtown Colorado Springs’ Acadia Park — and has since launched their own, nationally-distributed roasting company.
In the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, you’ll find Odyssey Gastropub — a culinary haven that combines creativity and innovation in every dish. The eclectic, brick-walled and art-accented restaurant is owned by Tyler and Jenny Sherman and offers an entirely vegan menu upon request. In 2023 Odyssey was a gold award recipient in The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Best of the Springs Food & Drinks in the gastropub category.
Red Herring Productions
The arts thrive in Colorado Springs, and at the forefront is Red Herring Productions. Founded by local women and military veterans, the murder mystery dinner theater company has been a staple in the Pikes Peak region for over three decades, offering high-quality performances at high-end venues throughout the state of Colorado.
The Front Porch Gift Company
Thoughtful and impactful gifts are a mainstay at the Front Porch Gift Company — a locally-sourced boutique gifting service co-founded and owned by Brooke Waldo and Lauren Kinder. The team started the Front Porch Gift Company to support local businesses in 2020 and takes pride in ensuring a personal touch in every item included in its gift boxes. The small business is even capable of fulfilling corporate orders in the thousands, and maintains a client list that includes the Broadmoor, Chick-fil-A, and UCHealth.
With so many women-owned businesses in the Pikes Peak region, National Women’s Small Business Month offers an opportune time to begin exploring them all. Find inspiration by the extraordinary women that continue to enrich communities throughout Colorado Springs, and if you’re interested in starting your own small business, check out some of the resources throughout the city for entrepreneurs.