Dream Towns: Profiles of Success


Brad Stevenson

Business Consultant in Aspen, Colorado

What was your former life?
"After college I worked for Boston Consulting Group in L.A. and Mexico City. After a few years, I moved to Chicago with thoughts of starting my own business but decided to crew on sailboats instead. About a year later, I ended up in Spain thinking, 'Okay, what am I going to do now?'"

How'd you make the move?
"A friend told me about a job as an ad rep for the Aspen Daily News. I applied and took the job over the phone. I always thought Aspen was a cool little town, and working for a newspaper was a great way to integrate myself into the community. A few years ago, I left the paper to start my own company, Deliberately Successful Communications, specializing in cross-cultural business communication with the Latino community."

Was it worth it?
"Absolutely. I make my own schedule, ski three days a week, and am actually proud to show people around my hometown."

Audrey and Erick Mosher
Owners, Diggity Dogs in Telluride, Colorado

What was your former life?
A: "We got married in Richmond, Virginia, and moved to Phoenix while Erick was going to culinary school. I was a bookkeeper in a restaurant."

How'd you make the move?
E: "While in school, I saw a job posting for a chef's position at Leimgruber's in Telluride. So I worked there for a season, then the bakery for a month, then Eddie McStiff's-until Audrey had the idea for a hot dog cart."A: "When I was an undergrad, there was a guy who had a cart outside the library. He always did good business, and when I went back five years later for grad school, he was still there. That always stuck with me."E: "The money we spent to buy the cart would've only paid for one month's rent if we had started a restaurant in town."

Was it worth it?
E: "Yes. Because everyone recognizes me, it's tough for me to buy a drink when I go out."

Patrick Kruse
Owner, Ruff Wear in Bend, Oregon

What was your former life?
"I lived in Huntington Beach, California, and operated a marine and yacht maintenance yard. After learning to kayak, I realized that there weren't many accessories specifically designed for kayaking. So I began designing some stuff, took it to trade shows, and eventually the company Salamander began to take off. Four years later, I started Ruff Wear camping equipment for dogs, and that took off like gangbusters."

How'd you make the move?
"My two other partners in Salamander live in Bend, and about five years ago, we threw around the idea of getting together in order to have our thought processes going in the same direction. I figured I was ready to get away from all the concrete of California, anyway, so I went up to Bend and bought a house."

Was it worth it?
"Actually, sometimes I miss the fast-paced life, but here I can load up the car and be skiing or boating or biking in around 20 minutes."

Jenny Morris
Co-Owner, Mad River Massage in Waitsfield, Vermont

What was your former life?
"I moved to Manhattan from London with my husband about 10 years ago, when he got a job running the American side of a British software company. I worked at Columbia University doing research in renalphysiology."

How'd you make the move?
"One Christmas, we went up to Waitsfield to get out of the city and ski, fell in love with the place, and started renting a house for the weekends. One day we were driving back to New York thinking, 'Why are we going back?' So, we decided to make the switch. I knew if we moved here, I couldn't make a living doing what I was doing, so I enrolled in massage school, gave my boss two weeks' notice, and the rest is history. I started Mad River Massage three years ago with two other partners, and business is doing really well."

Was it worth it?
""Yes. During the ski season, everyone wants an afternoon appointment, so I can ski every weekday morning."

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