Spire Physical Therapy & Wellness

“I want my clients to own their health, empower them to take charge, help them learn, take ownership of their bodies and do what they love.” That is a quote from Jacki Gilpin. She is the owner of Spire Physical Therapy and Wellness, located in Cortez, CO. She chose to leave her previous job as a staff therapist as the clinic’s primary focus was on the bottom line. The structure emphasized billing more each visit and having a patient come in more often instead of getting the patient better. Jacki said, “There was frustration working in that system. I was getting burned out on the clinic’s demands and not enjoying the profession.”

Jacki obtained board certification as an orthopedic therapist as she pondered her next career move. “There wasn’t another setting I came across that worked with my goals and I believed the community deserved a higher level of service. It was near the spring of 2018 when I heard about the Leading Edge program (LE) hosted by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Durango. I needed help with the planning stages to develop my business. I came to LE with a general idea on how to run my business, but had no business experience.”

Jacki said LE was great to acquire fundamental business knowledge. SBDC advisors taught the ten-week class. “The SBDC consultants have a marketing and finance background. I met with each personally for one-on-one advisement.” The LE program offers two meetings with SBDC advisors in addition to the class. “Those meetings made the class content more relevant to my business and turned concepts into reality.” One example Jacki highlighted was the importance for her to implement a marketing approach called a value proposition, and how she learned to design one specific to her business. “A value proposition would send a loud and clear message to potential customers informing them what makes me special and what separates my business from other professionals.” Jacki also learned from her classmates. “My classmates were in various stages of their own business development. To hear different points of view regarding one specific issue was helpful.”

Jacki’s major challenge was finding a work space. Her initial thought was to collaborate with a local business to keep overhead costs low, but that didn’t pan out. She referred to such challenges as speed bumps. Jacki had to make changes to her initial plans in order to bring her vision to life. Jacki launch Spire in August 2018. She offered physical therapy, dry needling and equipment Pilates in a small rented space in Cortez, and taught mat Pilates from a local gym. That arrangement felt somewhat chaotic and limited. Jacki decided to make a leap and find a facility large enough to provide all her services under one roof. That was the ultimate vision for Spire. She plans to move into her new space early November. “Whether a person is needing help recovering from an injury, illness, looking to maintain or improve their health, I want them to come to me as their first resource.” Jacki’s mission is to focus on her clients’ well-being and overall care as she creates individualized therapy programs. In the future, Jacki would like to host wellness workshops and broaden her service offerings. “I understood that starting a business would be a lot of work. I work more hours than a traditional job and have way more responsibility. I’m a one-woman show, but this experience is much more enjoyable.”

Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch

            Garry and Ming Adams created Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch, a luxurious boutique guest ranch, in Cortez.  When Garry purchased the land in the beautiful McElmo Canyon in 2006, the three dwellings on the property were uninhabitable.  Their goal was to stay true to the land’s western heritage and create a working guest ranch.  Guests would stay in comfortable remodeled houses, part take in the raising of livestock, be offered organically raised foods

Read More »
MUNIRevs: Creating a Nexus

In 2011, Erin Neer had finally found a solution. Erin, who is a CPA, was working as a finance director for a municipality in Colorado. During her tenure, she began to see that many municipalities, cities, counties, and states throughout the country were struggling to streamline their tax collection and licensing processes for businesses within their communities. Most jurisdictions were using antiquated methods that involved manual calculations, paper coupons, extensive mail processing, and frequent runs

Read More »
Fast Signs

By Christine Rasmussen When Durango-based Fast Signs owner Laurie Sigillito asked SBDC Director Joe Keck if he could spare an hour to offer feedback on an upcoming sales presentation, Keck had a better idea: Why not have a panel of advisors from the Business Advisors Network listen to her pitch? The Business Advisors Network (BAN) is comprised of 25 business counselors with wide and varied areas of expertise. Clients can meet individually with an advisor

Read More »
Cafe Au Play

Kelly Tregillus and her mother-in-law, Liza Tregillus, are the co-founders of Durango Café au Play (DCAP). DCAP is a non-profit organization (NPO) that offers co-working space and childcare for new and expecting parents in a family friendly ‘café’ environment. Parents with young children are provided a space to work, socialize and attend parenting classes. DCAP provides a support system for moms and dads who feel disconnected and isolated at home. Kelly relocated from San Francisco

Read More »
P.S. Chocolates

Michele White is a lifelong artist who lives out her creative passion.  She transitioned her career as an art teacher and into a self-taught business entrepreneur.  Michele imported clothes and jewelry from Indonesia and sold them at her Satori Boutique, in Pagosa Springs.  Michele sold the boutique after eight years, but continued to import items from Bali as she wondered about her next venture.  On a day when she visited Santa Fe to sell her

Read More »
Earthsense Herbals and Gift Gallery

There is a saying that “if you can dream it, then you can achieve it,” -Zig Ziglar. Lake McCullough is an example of this by turning a hobby into a growing business. Earthsense Herbals and Gift Gallery is a quaint and sunny store located in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs. Creatively decorated, the store is full of handcrafted items from perfumed soaps, herbal teas and remedies, to silk paintings, porcelain sculptures, greeting cards and

Read More »