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Success Stories

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.”

Launch Pad Brewery

The end of an unexpectedly volatile 2020 is a great time to tell the success story about one of Aurora’s prized businesses.  David LeVesque spent about a decade perfecting his technique of home brewing with some help from The Brew Hut and visiting Colorado breweries.  The idea of opening a business location started ‘brewing’ about six years ago, and Launch Pad’s mission came together after working on the start-up’s financials over several meetings with an

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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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vintage
Vintage Theatre Productions

Starting out 15 years ago in a basement as a touring theatre group for small audiences, Vintage Theatre has grown from that “tiny” beginning to currently reaching over 20,000 patrons each production season. “It has been amazing to see the growth,” beams Cr aig Bond, Founder. Since moving to Aurora in 2012 into an existing black box theater, Vintage immediately added a second more intimate theatre to augment the season’s offerings. Creating a greater draw

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Aurora AutoPros

The Aurora AutoPros mission guides owners Edgar and Reneé Leon’s daily operations:  to provide the highest quality mechanical repair solutions in a professional, honest, and transparent manner.  They keep their environment clean, educate car owners and are family-friendly.  Their customers value AutoPros’ personalized service given by ASE certified technicians.  As a TechNet Professional Repair Shop, AutoPros’ customers receive a nationwide 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on all repairs that also includes roadside assistance for all invoices of $25

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Havana Street Tattoo and Legacy Tattoo Collective

Havana Street Tattoo opened 15 years ago in Aurora.  The tattooing industry has shown its potential for significant growth in the past 10 years and continues to do so, because the customer base and artists offering the service have evolved past an old stereotype into a market of true professional artistry and serious collectors. In mid-2019, business partners and co-owners, Larry Foussat and Gilbert Ledesma decided to open a new location in Aurora to expand the shop’s client base and

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grade-power
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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