Mountain View TLC

By Malia Durbano

Family Physician, Kirsten “Kicki” Searfus originally approached the SBDC to learn how to structure the partnership she was entering with Megan Lewis Grotefund. Instead, Megan moved away and on June 1, 2013, Kicki officially was in private practice.

Having always been an employee at clinics or hospitals, she was wondering where to start in figuring out how to be an entrepreneur. Advisor Joe Bishop “was super helpful” in assisting her regarding the structure to choose for the business and helped her with the business plan.

He then recommended her to attorney Lindsey Nicholsen who drafted the purchase agreement. When she needed help with Accounting and Taxes, Joe Keck referred her to Virginia Cavanaugh from AccounTax. “If Joe recommends her – she must be good. I don’t know where else I would have gotten all this information.”

When Kicki was ready to add partners, again Joe Bishop “was open to our ideas. It was great how he approached it and made it so much easier. He basically said, if this is what you want to do we’ll figure out a way to make it work.” Lynn Asano helped her compile the demographic data to put into the business plan and assisted with marketing advice to tap into their market.

The group, which now consists of four separate business entities decided to structure it that way and form a collaborative rather than a partnership.

One of the other members of the collaborative, Exercise Physiologist, Kevin Dehlinger, also got assistance from Joe Bishop. “The task seemed daunting.” Kevin faced the challenges of securing financing, structuring his business, and deciding to hire independent contractors or employees.

Joe Bishop helped him decide what a reasonable amount of debt to accrue would be weighed against projected income. They put it in the business plan and the loan was approved in a week! “It was really helpful to have all those things sorted out and decided upon before I asked for money.”

In addition to Dr. Kicki Searfus and Exercise Physiologist Kevin Dehlinger, the smoothly running collaborative now also includes Registered Dietician Nutritionist, Lisa Smith and Judith Vanderryn, Ph.D providing Psychotherapy and Behavioral Health.

Kicki summarizes, “Having these specialists in house is a tremendous resource. It enables us to really move clients forward and be incredibly transformative. It’s remarkable how much more effective our work is and there is a huge benefit to the client.”

Alpine Medical

Tabitha Zappone loves the conveniences in Pagosa Springs and considers it a “big city with coffee shops and restaurants.” Before moving to Pagosa, she and her husband both worked in a hospital in rural Alaska, in the town of Bethel. He is an Emergency Room nurse and she is a Nurse Practitioner. The two served people from 57 villages. “They would come in on dogsleds, four wheelers or small airplanes. In the winter it would

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Handcrafted House

Since opening its doors in mid December of 2010, Handcrafted House has seen a great response from the community thus far, says owner Sheryl Lock. Located at 1323 East 2nd Ave., the store offers sustainable finishes and interiors. “We carry all non-toxic finishes and will be expanding into interiors: natural latex beds, rugs, shower curtains, organic bedding,” describes Lock. “We’ll also have more wall stencils and fun things like that; we’ve been adding about a

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Smitty’s Liquors

When Barb Higgins, her son Shiloh and his business partner Doug Jorgensen wanted to buy Smitty’s Liquors in Cortez, the first thing she did was call Joe Keck, who she had known for years. She knew the owners of Smitty’s and they were ready to retire. Her son and his partner had run a successful skateboard and clothing store in Las Vegas, but wanted to come back to Colorado. Higgins and her husband decided to

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Out West Saddlery

By Malia Durbano Out West Saddlery owner Terri Beecher knew advisor Rich Lindblad since they both live in Pagosa. She contacted him for some advice.While most businesses contact the SBDC for help with getting started or growing, Terri had a different problem. After several visits, Rich concluded that the business had great potential for growth. However, Terri explained what a hard time they had finding good help. She and her husband had built a wonderful,

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Rivendell Education Center

Arawyn Madu taught toddlers for nine years before deciding to open her own center. Three of those were at the Campbell Center at Fort Lewis College. She attended night school for seven years to accumulate the credits required to become a Director of an Early Childhood Education Center in the State of Colorado. When she had the state requirements satisfied, she took the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs Class, “to learn the business side,” she explains.

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WeFill

“We are here to care for the future generations of all species.” That is a bold statement. It happens to be the motto for Durango’s newest business, WeFill. Forward thinking owner and biologist Cristin Salaz created her business model to be a part of the pollution solution. WeFill is a refilling station for household and personal care products: dish soaps, household cleaners (all purpose, laundry, toilets and drains), castile soaps, shampoo and conditioning bars, and

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