Meet the Maker: Evan Huwa of jakshop

Posted on October 30th, by mshafer in The New Entrepreneur. No Comments

Putting aside the design, marketing and branding company he’d started with his two best friends to take a job with an established firm wasn’t in Evan Huwa’s original business plan. Or any of his plans for that matter.

But when a  job opportunity came along, complete with the promise of an office space and coworkers (the things  you miss during long days  alone at the kitchen table), he was forced to make one of the hardest decisions of his career.

The entrepreneurial-spirited designer still hopes to one day return to jakshop in a greater capacity. But for now, slowing down the venture for a tried and true 9 to 5 may be the best entrepreneurial decision he’s made yet.

Why did you start jakshop?

So jakshop started when myself and two of my best friends were dreaming about how we could make a difference in the way people experience media. The three of us each bring different things to the table, so we decided to put our skill-sets together and start a full-service shop. In short we work with organizations to create epic ideas, designs, and videos that enhance the lives of our customers and community.

Initially, I was referred to you as an entrepreneur I should feature on the blog. But by the time I reached out, you’d decided to take … Read More »

Meet the Maker: Todd Simmons of Wolverine Farm Publishing

Posted on July 15th, by mshafer in The New Entrepreneur. No Comments

When I first met Todd Simmons, he was intimidating. Well, at least as intimidating as a man in a kelly-green sweater and cycling cap can be.

And it’s no wonder the man has a formidable presence. Simmons is the publisher, editor and founder of Wolverine Farm Publishing Co. and Bookstore, a small publishing outfit housed in the Bean Cycle coffee shop in downtown Fort Collins. With the help of a mysteriously dedicated staff and a collective of writers, artists, knitters, cyclists and avid makers, WFP publishes a journal, a quarterly newspaper and a cycling almanac, as well as hosts community events, encourages the mapping of apple trees and keeps tabs on most things farm or arts-related. It is a beautiful mess, to say the least.

WFP recently announced a fundraiser for an expansion project, complete with a new building, a letterpress print shop, retail space for local and handmade goods, revolving bicycle exhibits, community rooms for literary/art/craft workshops, and food and drinks for public and private events. It other worlds, things are about to get a lot more messy. And one can only assume, a lot more beautiful, too.

I asked Todd why all the hope for an antiquated business and why the community can’t help but … Read More »

Meet the Maker: Nathan Salley of Nathan Salley Tells a Story

Posted on June 5th, by mshafer in The New Entrepreneur. No Comments

When I first met Nathan Salley, he was working as the neighborhood Great Harvest fairy, dropping day-old bread and pastries from his job at the bakery on the doorsteps of young women’s porches. When he wasn’t making carbohydrate-themed dreams come true, he was taking pictures and selling them for a little extra cash.

But Salley’s mind was set on much bigger sights than greeting cards and bakery dominion, and so in 2010 (much to the chagrin of his free Harvest recipients) he joined the World Race with Adventures in Missions, traveling to 11 countries in 11 months to take more photos and change lives with bread of a different kind.

By the time I knew he’d returned from traveling, he’d left again for Kolkata, India to work with Word Made Flesh and take more photos.  From the look of the blog he’s kept religiously throughout the journey, it appears that he’s caught something much more serious than the proverbial travel bug.

While he doesn’t consider himself an entrepreneur necessarily, he certainly embraces a lifestyle that involves risk taking, creating and working towards something much too big for a 9 to 5. You can read about it all on his website, Nathan Salley Tells a … Read More »

Meet the makers: Victor Saad of The Experience Institute

Posted on May 24th, by mshafer in The New Entrepreneur. No Comments



Victor Saad wanted an MBA.

But as a middle school pastor with a heart for the nonprofit world, he didn’t want to take out a school loan that would take him the better part of his career to pay back. A six-figure salary wasn’t likely in his cards anytime soon.

And so he created the Leap Year Project – a 12-month plan to fully immerse himself in 12 different apprenticeships in design, business and social change. A self-made, experience-driven MBA of sorts. He asked others to join him by taking leaps of their own and recording them, stories he has since compiled and published in a beautiful coffee table book.

His goal is to encourage and empower people to be students again, using education to encourage positive change.

Saad, now 27, is using his own experience as a blueprint for the Experience Institute – an educational program that encourages experiential learning and mentorship and cultivates entrepreneurs and other world changers. He wants the institute to propagate job makers that respond to human needs, create solutions and offer services that help people better serve and care for those around them.

If all goes according to plan, he will have created a lifelong pursuit that … Read More »

Meet the makers: Amy Wyatt of Little Bird Bakery

Posted on May 10th, by mshafer in The New Entrepreneur. No Comments

Amy Wyatt is tired.

She started the Little Bird Bakery in 2010, and has since maintained a schedule so demanding that it’s not unusual to hear her say things like “I got to sleep in till 6 a.m.”

Rest deprived as she may be, Wyatt is still baking pastries that make Europeans jealous, as evidenced by the packed seating area and long lines of devout regulars. On Mondays, when Little Bird is closed, it’s not uncommon to see people walking away defeated from the locked door, cursing under their breath.

I worked at Little Bird for the first six months it was open, and have witnessed from both sides of the counter its evolution from the mysterious new kid in town to an integral part of the Fort Collins culture.

I met up with Wyatt last week to ask her a few questions about the differences between then and now, and what keeps her getting out of bed to bake cookies when it’s still dark out.

Do you still love to bake?

I do. I do still really enjoy it. I wish I didn’t have to do it so many hours, but I do still love it.

I’m in the kitchen about 70 … Read More »