Sunday, February 9, 2020

Grand Opening: Colorado Springs!

By Tiffany Amber Stockton

Last month, I shared about America being partially founded by entrepreneurs and risk-takers. If you missed that post, you can read it here:

My very first book series highlighted some of those pioneers and their refusal to give up, no matter the circumstances. The same can be said of anyone establishing a new town or city. Since I have been living in Colorado Springs for more than a decade, I've been itching to explore the rich history right here. So, here we go!


There are many who say America is becoming more and more geared toward the individual entrepreneur and less on the corporate world or company-dictated economy. Economists have predicted by the year 2025, more than 50% of Americans will own a "side gig" or be an entrepreneur of some sort...even if it's only part-time.

I honestly wouldn't mind this at all! Small businesses almost always come with a personal touch that is often overlooked, neglected, or completely missing with larger companies and "big box" stores. Think about your small towns that pretty much run America. What makes them so appealing? Why are they so often the subject of novels and movies? What made small towns thrive and in some cases cause them to become bigger towns or central cities?

The answer? Entrepreneurs.

Our nation was founded, quite literally, by entrepreneurs. In 1607 the Virginia Company sent three ships across the Atlantic and unloaded 109 passengers at what became Jamestown, Virginia. They had a goal in mind that didn't quite pan out to become successful. It was a joint-stock company, a relatively new invention that allowed people to invest in enterprises without running the risk of losing everything if the business did not succeed. By limiting liability, corporations greatly increased the number of people who could dare to become entrepreneurs by pooling their resources while avoiding the possibility of ruin.

Their attempt to establish American plantations introduced a rather new venture. Unfortunately, this venture also came with a rather steep learning curve, and the Virginia Company made almost every mistake that could be made as other industries developed and new ideas were introduced. Once John Rolfe introduced tobacco, it quickly became an export item and made Virginia rich. Other colonies followed suit, and that eventually led to cotton plantations as well.

However, plantations required supplies, wagon repairs, horses, medical attention, clothing for the workers, personal grooming, dry goods, legal services, and so much more. They couldn't often get or have all of that on their plantation, so they had to go into town for it. That's where the entrepreneurs were in abundance. And that's where the long-standing tradition of trading goods and services was at its best!

The smaller towns could be quite limited in the variety of their businesses. They would start with the basics of a blacksmith, apothecary, cobbler, mercantile, and a grain/feed shop. Some might also feature a candleshop, tailor, barber, doctor, lawyer, seamstress, library, and alehouse. The larger a town grew, the more diverse the businesses became. Whatever the need, there was a business that provided it. If the need existed and an existing business couldn't meet the need, someone would start a new one. If you couldn't afford to pay cash for goods or services, you offered your own goods or services in honest trade.

I would love to see America return to this in a greater manner. So much in business has lost the personal touch, the relationships, and the community feel. Who knows? Maybe with this increase in "side gigs," we'll see a little bit of the small business mentality growing again. I know I wouldn't mind!


* What might be a reason YOU would have traveled west to uncharted territory?

* If you had been one of the first people to discover the natural hot springs in this region, what would you have done?

* Have you ever visited Colorado Springs or anywhere in Colorado? Where and when?

* What did you like the most about today's post? What topics would you like to see covered in future posts?

Leave answers to these questions or any comments on the post below. Come back on the 9th of
March for my next appearance.


Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having a very active imagination and cited with talking entirely too much. Today, she has honed those childhood skills to become an award-winning and best-selling author and speaker who is also an advocate for literacy as an educational consultant with Usborne Books. She loves to share life-changing products and ideas with others to help better their lives.

She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, along with their two children and two dogs in Colorado. She has sold twenty (21) books so far and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can find her on Facebook and GoodReads.

1 comment:

  1. It takes a lot of dedication to work at one job, let alone start a business doing something you love. My fear would be losing the passion for your "hobby" amidst the practical side of running the business. Plus, if you are trying to raise a family as well as two jobs it seems as if something is usually shorted. I wish people realized that their children are small for only a very short span of time in the totality of your life, and unless you are going to immerse them in your business ventures as a lifestyle, that precious time can be lost. There can be just as much passion for hobbies or business in your 40's and 50's as when you are in your 20's and 30's. I know this isn't the train of thought you were headed for but this is where my mind took me. Thanks for the thoughtful post.