MFF Road Trip 2014 - Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins

We had a great time in the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area. We stayed several days with Rick and Hongyeon Doering, one of Eric's former roommates and groomsmen and family, which was a great blessing for us. Each day we would venture off on one of our excursions and then return to relax and regroup. Rick's mother and aunt joined the party as well, feeding us well and regaling us with stories of their own travels.

Our first expedition brought us to the lovable community of Fort Collins. We started off with one of the boutiques on our list but were quickly pointed in the direction of Old Town. We loved this part of Fort Collins and parked our car in one of the center lane spots so we could meet and greet in the area. Right away, we encountered friendly people who were more than happy to share their thoughts about Creabelis and select their favorite potential patterns for our new line of bags. We also met more boutique owners who were interested in Made for Freedom and Creabelis, including one where Dawn purchased a new pair of sandals. This definitely seemed like a community open to our product lines.

Day 2 in the area took us to downtown Denver. We got a late start and went to a Starbucks for caffeine and to plan out our day. Unbeknownst to us, God had a different plan. Our brightly colored Creabelis caught the attention of the baristas, and we spent the next 45 minutes sharing with them about Made for Freedom and getting their opinions on the pants and the potential bag fabrics. We even made a sale! After finishing our espressos, we spent the day visiting several known neighborhoods that cater to our target market: West Highlands; South Broadway; Larimer Square; 16th Street Mall; South Pearl. We joined our friend Emily Clark for lunch at Wahoo's and discussed future visits to this great city. We greatly enjoyed our experiences in Denver and ended our day exhausted and satisfied. We look forward to returning and building further relationships in the months ahead.

We finished off our time in Denver with Dawn speaking at the Denver version of 1 Million Cups, an entrepreneurial get-together sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation. Dawn presented and fielded all the questions well, but when Karen, the moderator, asked how we keep from being broken-hearted all the time, we both had to hold back tears. We ended up making some great connections again and have even more possibilities for future collaborations.

We made our way to Boulder to stay with Colleen, Dawn's cousin, who is a hoot, and to peddle our wares among the local boutiques. We were grateful to spend the evening with Colleen picnicking in a park that had food trucks and chatting about life and all that has been going on.

Boulder definitely welcomed us with open arms on day 3 and assured us we had found our market. Even boutiques that felt our products would not resonate with their particular clientele let us know that we will easily find rabid customers in Boulder. We visited a few boutiques along Pearl Street west of Broadway first to get a feel for the area and then stopped in at ImpactHUB, a socially conscious collaborative co-working space. Tim greeted us as we entered and gladly gave us a tour of the space and excitedly explained all that was going on there, including the Coffee Collider, which we look forward to attending before leaving the city.

After lunch, we strolled further east along Pearl Street and some of the side streets to see what we could find. Several boutiques were excited about Creabelis, particularly the colors and patterns, and several were excited about the bags. We continued asking people to share their opinion about the potential bag patterns, and generally made a lot of new, great contacts, all of who were excited about the cause behind Made for Freedom. Throughout the day, Dawn kept mentioning how she wants to move to Boulder now, and I kept threatening to tell Ginger and Ben, our Arch Grants friends and supporters.

At the very end of the day, Dawn was telling Colleen that she would like to have Patrick Stewart as a celebrity endorser. Colleen also thought of several other celebrity males that she felt might wear the Creabelis well, and who did Dawn respond heartily about: Matthew McConaughey! Who knew?

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