Frame Depot

The Frame Depot was opened in 1986 by Randy Bogart. The business was originally housed with its companion business, Art Depot, which was owned by Randy’s brother, Jack. In 1996, the business moved to a new location with a street that was yet to be named. Since two other family members also had businesses on the street, it only seemed natural to name it Bogart Lane. The new building housed both Depots, but after Jack retired, he sold his side of the building to the Frame Depot. Since 2000, Claudine Bogart, Randy’s daughter, had been running the business. After the tragic loss of her father in 2011, she became the new owner. In 2007, in order to build her skills and knowledge, Claudine enrolled in the Leading Edge class. In 2009, Frame Depot won the “Best Back Room in the Nation” award from Décor Magazine.

Up until 2012, Frame Depot had been renting out the unused half of the building, but after losing their renter, were left trying to fill the vacant space. With the loss of the tenant, Wells Fargo informed Claudine that they would not renew the loan, and thus left her with one year to decide how to fill the vacancy, as Frame Depot could not support the full building. During this time, Claudine met with the Small Business Development Center and took advantage of free coaching, and, combined with skills she had learned in Leading Edge years earlier, was able to refinance the building through a Credit Union. Claudine says that learning how to do cash flows from the SBDC was an integral part of negotiating the refinance.

Claudine credits much of her success to working with the SBDC through counseling and Leading Edge. She met with SBDC coaches in the areas of marketing, real estate, finances, QuickBooks, and business plan review. She says the Leading Edge class filled the gaps and helped her to understand “why we do the things we do” in the business planning process. She feels Leading Edge and the SBDC provided her with tools to succeed.
Claudine’s advice to people looking to start a business is, “ask for advice, listen to it, and do your homework. Make sure the product or service you want to provide is needed.” And as for the SBDC, Claudine says, “It is helpful to know there’s people out there who can help you for free!”

Press Colorado Juice Company

Stephanie Witwer’s dream of creating high quality, all-organic cold press juices to help individuals live healthier, came to life at an event early in 2015. She met Jon Maraschin, Executive Director of the Business Incubator Center, who encouraged her to attend the SBDC’s Leading Edge course in February. Stephanie did and was inspired to launch her business from the Business Incubator Center’s Commercial Kitchen a few months later. After moving into the Business Incubator Center,

Read More »
Vital Earth Minerals

Long time SBDC client, Jody Ahrens, is no stranger to starting and running a successful small business. Jody was an attendee at the first Leading Edge course offered by the Grand Junction SBDC in 1986. She attributes the success of her first business, Evergreen Productions, to the knowledge she gained in that class. She learned the basics of starting and running a business and the proper way to keep books and do the day to

Read More »
Kannah Creek Brewery

For Jim Jeffryes, brewing beer had always been a source of refuge from his stressful job in technology. That is, until 1998 when he decided to jump into brewing beer full time. Although Jim had brewed beer recreationally, he had never done it in the quantities he was going to need to support a brewery, so after purchasing land on 9th & Struthers in Grand Junction, he enrolled in beer school and took Leading Edge

Read More »
Angels In the Making

Teri Thomas, owner of Angels in the Making, LLC, has always had a passion for working with animals. She trained her first dog at the age of 8. As a child she spent her summers at her grandparent’s ranch in New Mexico, there she raised and trained chickens to do a variety of tasks much to everyone’s surprise. Born and raised in Colorado she attended CSU in Fort Collins for 1 year and Mesa College

Read More »
Epic Escape Room

Larry and Kathleen White, along with their daughter, Leslie Kell, were on vacation looking for something fun to do as a family. They looked at a local website listing upcoming activities when something caught their eye and they visited a place called Epic Escape Game. They had so much fun, all they talked about on the way home was how exciting it would be to run a business like Epic Escape Game. They even met

Read More »
Edgewater Brewery

For Jim Jeffryes, brewing beer had always been a source of refuge from his stressful job in technology. That is, until 1998 when he decided to jump into brewing beer full time. Although Jim had brewed beer recreationally, he had never done it in the quantities he was going to need to support a brewery, so after purchasing land on 9th & Struthers in Grand Junction, he enrolled in beer school and took Leading Edge

Read More »