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Trunk Nouveau | Squadron

Trunk Nouveau /t^nk/ ‘nju:’veo/ noun:  A curated monthly showing and sale from an independent maker who offers handcrafted wares.  Trunk Nouveau in Aurora started with a remarkable dream:  a busy aviation studio, industrial in nature, doused in the smell of engine oil and creativity.  In the back, a room with steam trunks and suitcases filled with forgotten treasures–the kind that people hold on to, handcrafted and meaningful.

A trunk showroom was created at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace–packed full of love and local, a curious place to discover and explore.  Suitcases are packed with jewelry, cards, charms, gemstones, wooden toys, and other unique gifts from talented local and regional artists.

Although their businesses Pandora on the Hill and Soul Haus have been in operation for over 20 years in Denver, Trunk Nouveau is young, celebrating its third year, and Squadron Co is celebrating its first anniversary at Stanley Marketplace.  Who knew that a business in the middle of a field with no major intersections could succeed, along with 50 other businesses, in the local economy.  In fact, Trunk Nouveau has now exceeded sales over their businesses in Denver.  When a second space became available at Stanley just before the holidays last year, owner Chris Bacorn jumped on it, and opened Squadron Co, a men’s gift and clothing boutique.

Owner Stephanie Shearer recalls, “Before Trunk even had a name, we met with Aurora-South Metro
SBDC to review our finances to make sure that we were liquid enough to open this new venture in a location with zero financial history.  The SBDC helped us trim and tuck, with reserves in place for growth.”

The SBDC gave advice on traffic patterns and location quirks and suggested a rolling suitcase feature filled with products geared toward men.  “It’s that brainchild of Aurora-South Metro SBDC that proved to us that we needed a men’s shop.”  In the Fall of 2018, Squadron Co was born and now has the fastest growth pattern of all four shops.

Trunk Nouveau started with the owners plus two staff on a bootstrapped budget.  Today, the two businesses employ seven full-time, three part-time and several seasonal positions.  Since opening, sales have increased 12% (nearly tripling the national retail growth of 4.6% for the same period), and gross profits increased 11.5%.  Net worth has increased, also.

Stephanie and Chris have community heart in hand demonstrated by their donations to local nonprofit organizations and being an environmentally aware business.  They are both proud children of Veterans, and they built Squadron Co as a tribute to their fathers, grandfathers and Chris’s grandmother, who served our country.  They proudly hire veterans at Squadron and offer military discounts.

Trunk Nouveau and Squadron Co have one mission:  to do business honestly and ethically, while serving the community.  “As we say in our ‘Stanifesto’, we’re here for good.”

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Petersen Custom Glass

After 15 years in the glass industry, Kris and Valerie Petersen opened Petersen Custom Glass, LLC in 2014. Kris has extensive experience designing and installing custom glass products. His specific areas of expertise include high-end frameless shower enclosures, ADA accessible showers and other custom glass projects. With his leadership skills gained from the military and her executive skills, Petersen Custom Glass has become a successful local business in Parker, CO, serving a 25-mile radius in

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Leatherneck Precision Machine

Leatherneck Precision Machine is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in precision machined components for the aerospace, defense, medical, dental, injection molding and other commercial industries that need precision machined parts for their product lines.  Sometimes people’s lives depend on special machine parts, such as aircraft structures, automobiles, and human-rated spacecrafts, and Leatherneck is an AS9100D- and ISO9001-certified company able to do that technical work.  He also has SDVOSB and SDVBE certifications (for small

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Colorado Safety Supply

Starting out as a dream in 2012, Valerie Boyd developed her knowledge and contacts within the safety equipment industry to move forward with confidence in 2014. Valerie started to make the dream a reality. Coming from a family working in the structural steel industry, Valerie’s top priority is to keep families safe by keeping workers safe. Colorado Safety Supply does just that, providing safety training and equipment for construction job sites. Located in Aurora, Colorado

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Yumbana, LLC

To be declared a U.S.A. Taste Champion by the American Masters of Taste national judging panel, especially when the category is “Gluten Free” baked goods, is quite an accomplishment. Yumbana was selected as a winning product line in 2017 and, since its beginning in 2011, has been committed to making products that don’t require self-discipline to eat and enjoy. ‘Yum’ is in the name and comes from the owner Christopher Lehn’s first creation, a YUMmy

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Grandma’s Rockin’ Rolls

It was Laura Neilson’s grandmother who spent hours teaching her children and grandchildren how to bake – while sharing life lessons and family stories. Grandma and her sister-in-law sold cinnamon rolls ‘in town’ to help supplement the farming income. Can you image the commute on horseback during the depression in a Minnesota winter?! Laura had been making Grandma’s rolls and giving them as gifts and holiday treats for over 30 years. But as Laura’s career

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GradePower Learning

Robert and Olga Mead, the owners of GradePower Learning, started out with a vision to help build children’s confidence and self-esteem. They found an opportunity to do that not only through tutoring students, but also in teaching them how to learn. The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series was the perfect tool for Olga to test her business model. She graduated from LEADING EDGETM in 2015 and continued on as a client at the Aurora-South Metro

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