Dear, 4

Boulder’s top movers and shakers leave love notes for their mothers, younger selves, mentors, colleagues, and you…


The fitness business, like any business, is hard and the critics are tough. Some will even try to mold you into what they want…

I learned over and over in my career that when I stuck to my authentic self, doors started to open, and I felt right. Because, if you don’t love yourself first, how are you going to be able to inspire and transform other lives?

It all starts with love.

Movement is all based on passion and love — when you love yourself, you have a little extra in your tank to give to others; when you love yourself, others feel it too. Energy does not lie!

You are a fierce woman of will. Your passion is your mission. You are unapologetically you — after all, no one wants a copy.



Natalie Uhling

Owner of Natalie Uhling Fitness, creator of NUFit and the MVMT Tour, founder of Natalie Entertainment Group




Building is both an art and a science.

But, after practicing for 25 years, I now understand that architecture and interior design also have a huge people component. The biggest challenge lies along the path of building trust with your clients.

See, one day you’ll walk through the construction site when the walls and roof are just going up, and the vision that has existed only in your head and on a computer screen will finally make its presence known. Then, the tipping point happens.

They’ll walk through the spaces, as they are taking shape, and say, Wow, I get it now!

You will bring joy to people’s lives through designing spaces that will far outlive our presence on Earth. Hold on to this magic.


Kind Regards,

Jane Snyder

Founding partner, Mosaic Architects, Mosaic Interiors, and BLUBOX




Leaving the investment world will be the most challenging decision you’ll make in your career. I know you adore this job, and you think you’ll return and continue this work…but you won’t — at least not in the way you thought.

Don’t be afraid to fail! We learn to ride a bike by falling; life and business are the same way. Just remember to get back up!

Had you not been awakened by your children’s health, had they not gotten sick, or been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, you would not be the leader you are today. You see, so many of your best lessons have come through enormous challenges that have forced you to grow.

When you feel that constriction that is fear, lean into it — don’t let it lock you in your comfort zone – the magic in life and work happens beyond it!

You just might even find yourself on the TEDx Talks stage, recognized and supported in your work by people from around the world.


With love from the woman you become,

Robyn McCord O’Brien

Food industry advisor, author of The Unhealthy Truth, and public speaker



Watching you cook is like magic, Abuelita.

I still remember sipping your champurrado in the morning while you made tortillas — the taste of that rich chocolate atole — everything fresh. It’s different from Mom’s cooking. It’s made out of love, not just necessity.

It was those trips to visit you in Mexico that made me fall in love with food. You were one of my biggest inspirations when I decided to open my chocolate business. You taught me that chocolate is at the heart of our culture. I like to think that with every batch I make, the deeper I get to my roots. The closer I get to you.

You will always be with me, Abuelita.


Con amor,

Damaris Ronkanen

Owner, operator, and chocolate-maker, Cultura Craft Chocolate

2018 Good Food Finalist, 2017 Good Food Award, 2017 Academy of Chocolate Bronze Award




As soon as I graduated dental school, I realized just how much more there is to learn. I’m still continuing that path — I don’t think you ever stop — but along the way, I’ve discovered new areas of interest: one that’s sparked my passion.

We need oxygen, and if we’re deprived of it, our system tries to find a way to accommodate. I’ve seen children dealing with poor sleep, allergies, and in turn, attention deficit, who develop orthodontic problems; I’ve seen adults with sleep apnea, who show signs in the oral cavity. As I began to understand the effect of airway issues on the dentition (really, our entire system), I learned something even bigger.

See, in order to get to this conversation, we have to take our time with patients, and develop the rapport. Life isn’t all that different.


Yours truly,

Dr. Ania Brackhage, D.D.S.

Dr. Ania General Dentistry




The truth is, stylists come with tons of baggage. Literally.

My career dictates so much about my living space and lifestyle that I can’t imagine not thinking about: Are there stairs that might make loading in and out hard?; Is the space big enough for my revolving prop or wardrobe closet?; Do I have a big enough credit line to front shoots?; Can I ever own a small car?…(Spoiler! The answer is no.)

I’m telling you now, being a stylist is not glamorous. I knew that from my first assisting job, but you know what? I still decided to go down this path, and never looked back.

We are in an exciting time where the lines between fashion and function are being blurred. No longer just for yoga and spin class, boutique labels like Tory Burch, and Stella McCartney are dominating runways and the campground. Outdoor women are making headlines, and are refusing to be labeled as fashionless or masculine — just look at the wildly strong crop of female climbers we have in Boulder alone!

If you ask me, that’s something worth sticking around for.



Emily Choi

Lifestyle and fashion wardrobe/prop stylist, The Alpine Stylist




I was an early founder of three San Francisco companies that went public. I oversold my quota by $6 million, and I was a Miami party girl. The problem was I didn’t know that my thoughts created my reality.

Once I understood this, I decided to do something with more purpose. I created Shift, a game that shows people why they do what they do; I’ve worked as an advisor, agent, and scout to startups — many of them women-led. I learned to surround myself with positive vibrations, to resist getting caught in the chaos, and to separate my identity from the success of my business. I learned to say no unless it’s a hell yes.

Being an entrepreneur is one of the quickest paths to enlightenment. It brings up every fear, upset, and trigger. Everything you know about yourself will be tested. It’s how you decide to thrive, not just survive, that makes you a winner. Plus, it’s way more fun!



Nicole Casanova

CEO and Connection Catalyst, Casanova Ventures




Everyone has their own idea of how the path to success ought to look. Take it from me — it’s not always a linear line…

Just because you’ve built a rewarding business, doesn’t mean you should kick back and letup on your momentum. After establishing my interior design brand, I’m now finding myself in the midst of my biggest entrepreneurial undertaking.

Some might ask how cocktails and design are related, but the way I see it, I’m just doing what feels true to myself. Launching my line of craft cocktails is an extension of my hometown cultures, Boulder and New Orleans. We enjoy life to its fullest: Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!

Why resist the unknown if it feels right to you?



Lauren Maggio

Interior designer and co-founder, Cocktail Squad




I’ve known a lot of creatives who’ve dealt with resistance from their family early on in their career. Mom, you made sure that I didn’t.

I remember when I was 12, and I begged you for a set of turntables, you surprised me with a pair that Christmas. That might have seemed like such a small gift, but Mom, it was one of the most impactful moments of my life.

You’ve been my biggest supporter from day one. That was imperative to my development as a young adult — it instilled a confidence in me that has resonated throughout my career as a DJ.

You raised me to be the creator I am today: intuitive, a tastemaker; unapologetically myself, even when others viewed it as weird, or quirky. I owe all of my success to the fact that you never allowed me to believe something was impossible.


Your daughter,

Simone Pier

DJ and owner of Simone Says LLC




It’s funny, two very different people involved in my training gave me the same piece of advice: “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well, lucky for me, people are a big part of this job.

Take my missions with HUGS Foundation: I’ve had the opportunity to spend quality time with some distinguished experts in the field, sharing ideas about the patients we are helping, as well as ones at home. Connecting with them has pushed me to stay curious and continue to grow. You can’t always expect that to come from within.

Having a strong network of colleagues — that has made all the difference in my career as a facial plastic surgeon. Foster those relationships.


Be well,

Dr. Catherine Weng, M.D.

Facial plastic surgeon at Peak – Ear, Nose, Throat & Voice Center




You can plan and ponder — that’s all good — but it’s truly more important to get in there and do.

I have what I like to call a “busy brain.” I’m always dreaming up beautiful treasures that I hope my customers will fall in love with. Some days are very long and filled with nail-biting and white knuckles, as we careen dangerously close to tippling over deadlines, but when the dust settles, it makes you go ahhhhh

Go chase that muse. She makes her appearance graciously and swiftly, but like any creative knows, you never know when she’ll return. I still wonder if she’ll appear again when I have a momentary creative block, but trust me, it’s a part of the process. When you catch your breath and have time to sit back and enjoy what you’ve made, you’ll know it was worth the work.


Do. Listen. Question. Learn. Succeed. Fail. Meditate. Breathe. Love. Eat real food. Repeat,

Margot Elena

Brand author of Lollia, Toykomilk, The Cottage Greenhouse, Library of Flowers, Love & Toast, Me Life + Home




Listen, there will always be someone who doubts you.

I had one mentor tell me early on that what we were attempting was a moon shot. He wasn’t condescending when he said it; in fact, it was meant to be helpful. Like, “You know what you’re getting into, right? You know how hard this is going to be, right?”

Truthfully, there was no way I could know what we were getting into, or how hard it would be. The only way to learn that was just to start doing. Without a leap of faith, nothing new would ever be accomplished.

The key to overcoming doubt is to hold in your mind a paradox – to tell yourself: I know that the chance of success is very, very small, but I’m not going to worry about that today. I’m going to worry about making the best decisions I can make given what I know to be true today so that my vision can move forward. And by making a series of good, small decisions, I will continue to increase the chances of success.


With love,

Erika Trautman

CEO and founder of Rapt Media


Meet the Artist

Katie Vuletich | @kvuletich


Describe your artistic edge.

I am not afraid to try new things even if it means failing. To me, failure is as essential to my art as it is to my life.


Your muse?

Artists often see themselves as bringing art into a community; but, I believe that art already exists in the rich and complex culture of a place.


How would you explain your use of color?

Vivid! Color is just so much fun! Even the slightest adjustment in light can change the way we perceive something.


How can others commission work in the future?

Commissions make great gifts! Whether it’s a small-scale pet portrait or large-scale portrait mural, I do it all. You can contact me directly at or via my website at