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We’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs. Here are some of their

Success Stories

Black Hound Design Company

Black Hound…a name one would at first think was associated to a dog training business or a hunting operation; however, the reality is that it belongs to a custom furniture design and manufacturing business…Black Hound Custom Furniture and Design. In 2013, the owners, James and Kate Hixson, had an idea…a vision that would expand and enhance James’s college education in sculpturing. What started as a wood sculpture for a friend, evolved into a prosperous and growing business in the design and manufacture of unique custom furniture made from wood, primarily, logs. At the onset, James and Kate had a pet dog named Murphy. Kate jokingly describes him as truly a “black hound dog”….and thus was born the name of the business…Black Hound.

Over the next few years the business sustained steady growth. The ability to design and create unique custom product offerings, opened doors and has developed a loyal customer following. James and Kate both agreed that a focus on quality control and internal customer service is emphasized at all times to insure customer satisfaction. With the unique custom design of the products, assembly and installation at the customer location is often required. Black Hound employs a trained staff that is focused on delivering and installing the highest level of products and customer satisfaction. Black Hound’s prime customers are found in the restaurant, bar and hotel industries although they have designed and manufactured products for residential home owners as well.

James said that their first real client was a BBQ business in New York City that ordered several custom tables. After seeing that their unique design capability was marketable, they went to work on creating different product designs for tables and chairs. Soon, one sale led to another as word spread and referrals began to contact them with ideas and requests for furniture. This soon created a need for skilled employees to handle the design and manufacturing need of the business. James commented that many of their designs are quite unique and often require a different manufacturing process that may require specialized tools.

As with any successful business, Black Hound began to experience growing pains. Having never developed a formal planning process, they contacted the SBDC for assistance. With the guidance and facilitation of an SBDC consultant, experienced in Strategic Planning, they held their first formalized planning meeting. Kate commented that the consultant assisted them in developing a sound Strategic Plan that challenged them and created specific goals and Action Plans focused on the desired growth direction of the business. She further went on to add that they have continuously focused on this plan and in fact have expanded several of the “To Do” areas and that the continued follow up by the SBDC consultant, has kept them focused on their planned growth path. With new product ideas in the development stages, the future looks very bright for Black Hound and they plan to continue to use the programs and resources provided by the SBDC.

2nd Time Sports

2nd Time Sports is an affordable, fun place to shop for team sporting gear and snow sports. Recently, the City of Northglenn honored 2nd Time Sports with the 2017 SMALL BUSINESS of the YEAR Award. Chuck and Anita Adam’s business philosophy is to keep sports affordable for families, by keeping new prices competitive and offering gently used at discounted prices. Kids grow so fast that they really don’t “use up” the cleats, shoulder pads, helmets,

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Mon Cheri Bakery & Bistro

Baking for Cheri Spickard owner of Mon Cheri started as a young child in her grandmother’s kitchen. Cheri loved spending time in Grandma’s kitchen making biscuits and cookies using Grandma’s method of a pinch of this and a bit of that. She did not learn about recipes until age 13 when working with her mother in her mother’s catering business. No one on her mother’s team liked to make deserts so Cheri took out the

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Miss Penny’s Playskool

After a career as a preschool teacher in a childcare center, Penny Steinhour made the leap to become a licensed home childcare provider about 6 years ago to spend more time with her grandchildren. During this time, Penny said of herself, “I never really looked at it as a business. I looked at it as I was just grandma and I stayed home to take care of children to give them a good foundation for

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Profound Fitness

Diana Rael is the owner of Profound Fitness, a small, personalized gym and training program for all fitness needs. That sounds like the description of many typical fitness establishments. However, Rael’s program is anything but typical. She serves people with special needs, those dealing with the challenges of aging, and those who are uncomfortable in a gym setting—as well as everyone else. Rael’s background includes early childhood education, science education, martial arts, and personal training.

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Cipher Roasting

Kristen Dering, owner of Cipher Roasting, didn’t set out with the intention of starting a small business. Her passion for great coffee led her to start experimenting with small-batch coffee bean roasting. As her friends and family began tasting the coffee brewed from the roasted beans though, they couldn’t keep it a secret. The buzz around Kristen’s coffee slowly grew to the point of officially opening business in July of 2020. Kristen felt she needed

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Mass FX Media

Mass FX Media is a small business that delivers big creativity in the area of video production. Shawna Schultz and her husband, Matt, met in high school, drawn together by their interest in producing videos. After they both completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in film production at the University of Colorado, they got jobs making documentaries for Group Publishing for almost three years. When faced with the opportunity to go on a four-month

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