Founded in 2015, The Whole Works quickly won both clients and accolades for its apt pairing of a contract cut-and-sew business with a socially conscious mission of creating jobs for women transitioning off federal assistance.
While studying microbiology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the Chicago transplant started homebrewing. “Mostly I was interested in the science of it,” says Howat, now 30. “I wasn’t even that big of a beer drinker.”
Henry Bergeson, 58, lost his job as an engineer for a medical manufacturer in Massachusetts in 1987. So Bergeson moved to Colorado and looked for an engineering job before going into the kaleidoscope business full-time.
Now 52, Oliver originally found the job via a want ad in the newspaper when she was 22. “Tens of thousands” of belt buckles later, “I think now, ‘What the heck would I do if I did leave?’”
Renee Newton, 33, moved to Colorado for the mountains and stayed for the science. Craft spirits came later.
A truly international company, windmill giant Vestas employs more than 3,000 people in Colorado. Among them is Manuel Rubio, 25, who joined the blade-making operation in 2011.
McGuckian, 55, earned the nickname “Lefty” when he started working in the shop at a California aerospace museum with three other Mikes in 1982. Even though he’s right-handed, the name stuck.
Now 31, Ortiz started working at the venerable candy factory when he was a senior at Aurora Central High School in 2001. He soon moved to the warehouse before going into actual candy-making. “They needed somebody to make the chocolates and the marshmallows. I asked them to give me a chance.”
After serving in the military, Michael Clark moved to Lyons to get away from the crowds in Denver. “Too big, too much, just too many people,” says the 68-year-old Lakewood native. Lyons had less chaos, plus one very important lure: “It had a river in it,” Clark says.
While master luthier is a moniker he shies away from – “I still feel like I’m learning, for sure,” he says – Rich Sharples has had a hand in making thousands of banjos in his tenure at OME. He now supervises two other luthiers, and the team crafts about 180 high-end banjos a year at the company’s shop in northeast Boulder.
On March 3, machinists, and welders, engineers and designers, sewers, painters, brewers, butchers and more, gathered for the 4th annual Made in Colorado manufacturer’s forum and awards program.
At first, gaining traction in the snow sports arena with brands such as K2, Boa’s® unique reel and lace cable system technology moved into the cycling world, and by 2005, was integrated into golf products.