Photo by Chris Mueller
Colorado Collective founder Mundi Ross is a mother to a son and wife to a whiskey maker. Mundi founded salt+butter co. in 2012 and began selling uniquely flavored cookies at various farmer’s markets in the area. It was through that experience and developing relationships with the different vendors that she decided she wanted to start telling their stories outside of a Saturday market. Mundi founded Colorado Collective in an effort to grow that community but also to highlight all the talented entrepreneurs and local gems in the Southern Colorado region. Instagram: mundikay
Teryn O’Brien is a Storyteller of all things beautiful, healing, true. After working in publishing, she launched her own freelance business to help organizations and individuals tell their stories through photography, writing, editing, and social media. She is the managing editor for Colorado Collective, as well as a photographer and writer. A published poet, she also writes a popular blog on creativity, healing, and authenticity (www.terynobrien.com). When she isn’t off exploring the mountains or working on a collaboration with fellow creatives, she’s writing her novels and dreaming about making this world a beautiful place no matter the hardships.
Karen Scheffe is replanting in Colorado Springs after her career carried her to NYC for two years. A creative, tenacious, detail-oriented self-starter with a penchant for dreaming + executing. Passionate about welcoming people to the table to share food, stories and life. Curator of community, marketer of all things believed in, visionary, business builder, analyzer, organizer. Thrives in midst of relationships business + personal, host of friends new + old, explorer, adventurer and photographer.
Abby Mortenson and her husband Dan have been living in Colorado Springs for 7 years now. She loves the stunning beauty, the sweet community, and the adventure opportunities this area has to offer. She is a photographer on this project and is looking forward to capturing the “authentic, creative, and the cool happenings of Southern Colorado.” There is truth and beauty in the moment(s) she captures on film. Learn more about her and her work at www.loverootsphotography.com
Kate Perdoni is a mother, television producer and instructor for Rocky Mountain PBS, freelance radio and print journalist, and a musician, playing guitar and singing in the dream-pop band Eros and the Eschaton on Bar/None Records. Kate developed a free, public audio recording studio at Library 21c’s Center for Public Media, is a longtime grant writer with the cultural non-profit Hear Nebraska, and publishes Mamá Liberada, a zine celebrating creatives and families. She is the President of the Pikes Peak Arts Council, a 48-year-old arts advocacy organization, and serves on the City of Colorado Springs’ Public Art Commission. Read Kate’s Colorado Collective profile, written by Mundi Ross, here.
Kaitlin Boyer is a writer, student, and mama by day, and a waitress by night. Her introverted nature found solace in writing at a very young age, and by high school Kaitlin was immersed in her school newspaper as a writer and editor. Her passion for dance and the performing arts brought her to the Pacific Northwest where she studied ballet and taught as a Pilates instructor. After having her son Ezra in Portland, Oregon, Kaitlin returned to her home state of Colorado to continue her education in pre-nursing and english. When Kaitlin isn’t behind a computer writing and studying, you can find her fly fishing on the South Platte River, or exploring the Rocky Mountains on her Kawasaki dirt bike. Kaitlin loves being able to share the stories of those who make Colorado unique and creative.
As a professional historian and native of Colorado Springs, Susan Fletcher is excited to share the continuing story of the Pikes Peak Region with Colorado Collective readers. Her writing credits include two chapters in forthcoming volumes of the Pikes Peak Regional History book series and her first coauthored book Dawson Trotman in his Own Words, which is available through NavPress. When she isn’t doing mental time travel, Susan enjoys photography, drawing, painting, and hiking. She also serves on the leadership council of Via Affirmativa, a global network of artists, writers, actors and dancers, which seeks to “affirm art makers and champion beauty.”
Minnesota native Tanya Martineau has had a love affair with photography ever since that fateful college elective requirement in a film photo class. She did a year stint in South Korea, teaching English by day and volunteering for a safe house for trafficked girls and doing undercover photography in the Red Light District by night. Tanya returned to Fargo, North Dakota to cofound a media and marketing onprofit called Unseen. After establishing headquarters and traveling abroad to further their mission, she passed the torch of Unseen and moved to Colorado Springs. She since has become best friends with the mountains, developed a serious addiction to kimchi and is rocking her role as Head of US Operations at the Colorado-based film company, Prospect Arts.
Katie Lew is a native Springsian and mother of two who enjoys cooking up recipes using fresh ingredients and a pinch of homemade love. She will be one of COCO’s food writers and working closely with the farms in our region to create delicious recipes for our readership. “I truly believe food has the power to bring people together. A shared meal can create an immediate sense of community and connection, whether it’s between family, friends, or even strangers.” Make sure to check out her website (www.cookitfresh.com).
Advertising enthusiast, yoga teacher and PR professional by trade, Brittany Lippert is a Colorado native who stumbled upon COCO by serendipitous word-of-mouth fate and naturally became set on the idea of getting involved and contributing to this project however she could. She spends her free time posted up at local coffee gems, hiking mountains with her tall, dark and handsome fella and enjoys the art and process of antiquing furniture. Brittany will be one of our writing extraordinaires and is thrilled to be a part of this movement that is dedicated to enhancing and promoting local, entrepreneurial people and places in Southern Colorado
Bekah Friesen moved from Seattle to Colorado in the spring of 2012. Knowing only a handful of people, she started to connect to the artistic community in the area and quickly fell in love with all that Colorado had to offer. She, along with husband Caleb, enjoy adventuring in the local mountains, finding amazing coffee shops, and cooking at home. Bekah also owns and styles for Brilliant Styling, which offers real estate home staging and private interior styling services.She is a COCO writer, as well as a dabbler in COCO events. You can also find her personal blog at: http://atwinkleofbrilliance.wordpress.com
Becca Simonds would like to consider herself an honorary Colorado native since she has frolicked here since the age of 4. She enjoys rock climbing, hiking, camping, taking her dog on adventures, and really anything to do with the beautiful outdoors we are so blessed to have. “It is important to foster a sense of community”, Becca feels, which is one of the many reason she loves being apart of COCO. “I want to be apart of something bigger than me. I want to help make the unseen, seen, and start showing people the amazing talent, creativity, and beauty just outside our front doors. Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas are not dull, they are vibrant and alive!” Becca also contributes to Free Spirit Colorado (www.freespiritcolorado.com) and her own photography (www.beccasphotography.com).
Becky Kyle has lived in Colorado Springs since she was three and treasures being fortunate enough to call this amazing community “home.” She is a portrait and wedding photographer by day, a high school volleyball coach by night, and a mother of two all the time. “I believe that small businesses are critical to the health and life of our community and I’m excited to use photography to honor the artists, creatives, and hard workers that make Southern Colorado a rich place to live.” Becky will be a photographer and occasional writer for CoCo. You can see her work at www.good-photo.org
There is no place like home. Setting Colorado Springs as her base, Darcie Nolan has travelled the world, found the good people, and set her mind to being a part of amazing community. From radio to web and publication to art installation she seeks to tell the stories that make a difference – and has done so from the comfort of her couch and the discomfort of some of the craziest places on Earth. You can find her and her favorites exploring the Rocky Mountains, traveling to far off lands, laughing, cooking, and creating. Check out her various publishing credits, invite yourself to ladies’ whiskey night or get connected through dlynnwriter.com.
Patrick Parks is a visual artist born and raised in Florida. After graduating from college, he moved to Colorado Springs and soon afterward started publishing Rover, a magazine that focused on Colorado musicians and music events. He has worked in graphic design for a variety of large and small customers and has most recently begun painting. He paints from life, photos, and images he has created with 3D software. His most popular paintings have been of old neon signs from around Colorado Springs and he continues to add to that series. Patrick also enjoys the Colorado outdoors with his wife and two daughters. Twitter: @patrickparks
Meagan Thomas is a fitness enthusiast, food lover, freelance writer, content manager, Colorado Springs native and shopaholic. After spending time in Kansas for college and a reporting job with a local newspaper, she decided she couldn’t stay away from the Rocky Mountains and came back to Colorado Springs. Meagan believes in the power of working together to support the local community and is excited to spead Colorado Collective’s mission throughout southern Colorado. When she’s not teaching Pure Barre or writing her next blog post, she’s busy spending too much money at her favorite boutique or discovering her next favorite restaurant. She’s always on the hunt for a great slice of pizza and during the summer you can find her at any locally-owned restaurant patio taking advantage of happy hour.
As a Co-Co contributor, Steve Elder is returning to his (pre-internet!) roots as a journalist. He thrives on sharing the stories about people’s dreams and passions. As a senior partner with The Suddes Group/For Impact, Steve helps organizations tell their story and fund their vision. He grew up in New Mexico and Colorado and has lived and traveled extensively in the West. When not at his Colorado Springs Tejon Street office, or with his family, or with a client, you will find him on a trail or in a trout stream. Or anywhere else there is an adventure to be had!
Devin Richter is a Colorado Springs native. Devin spent his childhood summers traveling the country with his grandpa on a semi-truck photographing the sights with his analog camera and learning about the diverse culture of America. As he grew older, his desire to photograph faded for about 10 years. In 2013 he realized that photography was his true gifting and passion. While growing in his gift, he found himself inspired by the creative prowess of highly developed communities and has longed to bring that to Colorado Springs. Devin’s photography is meant to expose the beauty of normal everyday life. A year later, Devin started the award winning creative company Sun Chaser Studios. Partnering with other local artists to teach and equip young creatives, Sun Chaser Studios provides various photography and design services.. (www.sunchaserstudios.com)
Kate Doerksen is a homegrown Coloradan who loves photography and graphic design. Kate has been working in photography in some capacity for over 10 years and now owns her own business, KateCreative Photography & Design. She has a wonderful husband, Danny, and beautiful daughter, Gracie, who join her in daily adventures. Kate’s current passion is working with families or small businesses to capture their personality through photography so they can speak to who they really are. She also has a love for travel which has taken her to over 30 countries and of course her camera always comes along. Her own personal creative passion is to find the beautiful patterns that surround us and capture them through lens. Being one for adventure, she has lived many different places, but Colorado Springs always draws her home and she is excited to see how this amazing city will continue to flourish in the coming years. Instagram: @katecreativephotography
Chris Davis Murphy is thinking too much. He dislikes speaking about himself in the third person; yet, he loves storytelling, which makes the above statement seem rather contradictory. He spends a lot of time in the mountains—as things just make sense out there. Deep conversation is the only way he knows and that sometimes outweighs his awareness of social norms. Chris is heartfelt, honest and finds satisfaction in using his gifts to bring wonder to others … Chris also wonders if he sounds dull, and hopefully not boastful.
Allison Daniell is not a Colorado native, but she got here as fast as she could. She spent two summers in college working at a camp in Pike National Forest and fell in love with the mountains. As soon as she graduated college in Tennessee (where she grew up) with a BFA in Graphic Design, she packed her car up (and left anything behind that wouldn’t fit!) and headed for Colorado Springs. That was 11 years ago, and she quickly made this place her home. She immediately became involved in the photography and arts industries, working under other photographers and with the nonprofit Imagination Celebration until 2008. That’s when she started her own business, Stellar Propeller Studio. Since then, she has been hired to photograph all over the world but is proud to call Colorado Springs home and to contribute to Colorado Collective, which does a fantastic job of highlighting the greatness of this region.www.stellarpropellerstudio.com Instagram: stellarpropellerstudio
Tessa Harvey and her husband Derek moved to Colorado Springs from Texas in the summer of 2014. Soon after, they welcomed their first born daughter, Journey Mae. Tessa seeks adventure and authenticity and discovers the future one day at a time. She strives to see the beauty and meaning in all things and to create out of that inspiration in various mediums. Tessa’s a passionate designer, photographer, hand-letterer, golden doodle owner and tea drinker. To get in touch and view her work, check out www.tessaj.com.
Past Contributors Include: Mike Lyon, Seth Braverman, Kelly Heider, Katie Clifford, Claire Swinford, Heidi White, Kendall Rock, Brian Kwan, Ericka Kastner