From passion to production: the courage to emerge

SUN Columnist

Has anyone said to you, “What a great salsa, bread, dressing, soap, quilt, purse (fill in the blank), you should market this product?”

Have you thought of turning your hobby into a more lucrative business?

There are several ways you can take your passion and make it a viable business. Find out how on Wednesday, June 19, as the Chamber hosts the second part in a three-part Women’s Conference series at the Quality Resort from 4-7 p.m.

The afternoon will consist of a variety of successful women speakers.

Sarah Shaw of Entreprenette Consulting had a very successful purse designer business until the market crashed. Not letting that deter her, Sarah recreated herself and not only started another successful business, but now consults with women wishing to get into the design and production industry. She’ll convey to you not only successful words of wisdom, but also pitfalls to watch for.

Also speaking will be the female duo of Laura Lewis-Marchino from Region 9 and Sherry Waner of First Southwest Bank. These women will give you some ideas on how you can finance your endeavors, tax credits for a woman business owner, and what you will need in order to speak with the finance community. Lending is not dead, and there are banks and sources out there to help you — especially women.

The evening will end with a networking reception with a cash bar. You can speak to other businesswomen and the featured guests in a relaxed and engaging atmosphere.

Even if you are not interested in starting a business right now, come out for an educational and interesting evening with other like-minded women. Perhaps you are looking to expand your current business. If so, attend this conference and you might get some enlightening ideas. Reserve your space for the conference by calling or e-mailing the Chamber. The cost for the conference is only $7. We look forward to helping women in business.

Little Sand workshop, tour

On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 18-19, the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, Mountain Studies Institute and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute will hold a review, workshop and tour of the Little Sand fire area.

On June 18, there will be panel discussions and presentations from fire managers, scientists and landowners. The workshop will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

On Wednesday, June 19, there will be a tour of that part of the Little Sand fire area that is accessible.

The purpose of these workshops is to explore wildfire management issues, share key findings and lessons learned before, during and after the fire by agencies, stakeholders and fire managers.

Participants will also look at long-term stewardship restoration and monitoring, incorporating bio-fuel contracting, citizen monitoring and other tools.

It is always great to be a “Monday morning quarterback,” however, managing a fire is a complicated and intense process. Learn more about what happens during a major fire, how you can become fire ready and what you can do to help out. Times for the sessions will be released next week.

Ride the Rockies 

Countdown to Ride the Rockies continues.

Restaurant owners: If you would like to submit restaurant specials or highlight your business, submit a flier to the Chamber by June 7. These fliers will be displayed at a Community Information Booth that will be staffed by trained Visitor Center volunteers. We will give this information out to the riders. Also, if you would like to open early — 5:30-6 a.m. on June 12, let the Chamber know by June 7 so we can communicate this information to the riders. Many of the cyclists like to leave early and they are looking for coffee and breakfast. We would like to promote our facilities as much as possible, so please get us this information. Help us help you.

The Chamber will also be delivering Ride the Rockies posters next week. Please display them in your place of business to welcome our guests and let them know you support this event and welcome their business. We will also distribute an economic impact survey for your business to fill out that we will provide to Ride the Rockies. In this way, they will have some hard data to help them understand the impact that this event has on participating communities. We appreciate your cooperation in completing the survey when the time comes. One more reminder: If you have a U.S. 160 road cleanup crew, please try and execute a road cleanup prior to June 11.

Community reminders

If your organization is putting on an event during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, make sure you send us a note about the event. The Chamber is currently formulating the agenda for the weekend and we would like our residents and visitors to know all that is happening in our community during the holiday. This agenda will be listed in The SUN in a “Clip & Save” section of the newspaper and copies will be handed out to our visitors. We don’t want to leave your event out if it is open to the public. Questions can be directed to Mary Jo Coulehan at the Chamber.


We have two new members to welcome to the Chamber of Commerce this week.

We have Keith Jackson and Pagosa Fish & Pets joining. This pet store, located on Put Hill, specializes in both fresh and saltwater tropical fish. They also carry small reptiles and small animals. You can purchase your aquarium tank supplies at Pagosa Fish & Pets. If you have been thinking of adding a tank to your home or office, stop and see Keith, who can advise you of products and fish types. For more information, visit his store at 1501 W. U.S. 160.

We also welcome Debbee Tucker with the Debbee Tucker Trio/Quintet. Most Pagosans know Debbee’s wonderful voice and high energy. She always surrounds herself with some fantastic musical talent, as well. Debbee and her group are available for all sorts of occasions, with their special blend of jazz, pop, blues and folk. Depending on your needs, Debbee can arrange for a specific number of musicians (single to quintet) to make your event special. For more information, give Debbee a call at 903-3122.

Our renewals this week include Weminuche Drafting, Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Center, and the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. We also welcome back the McAnelly’s as associate members.

This story was posted on May 30, 2013.