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Design-minded Colorado companies topping the charts

Looking good: Companies worth watching shine through, inside-out


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Ink Monstr

Ink Monstr is a graphic design and large format print shop specializing in graphic design, large format artistic design, fabric, logo and branding design.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS: In 2016, CEO Reed Silberman was named SBA Colorado Small Business Person of the Year.  “This award allowed me to be able to draw more attention to our presence and be exposed to businesses and governmental agencies across the country, bringing in a higher level of clientele and larger scale projects,” he says.

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR The large-scale artistic wall murals on buildings around Denver? Those are Ink Monstr’s large format “building wraps,” which remove cleanly without damage to the building. “There is no other company in my industry that has been able to achieve this goal for their own brand building purposes,” Silberman says. “Industry leaders nationwide are constantly trying to pick my brain on how we have built such a unique brand out of what we do. This is forcing my entire industry to rethink their traditional methods and take a closer look at their business structure.”

COMPANY CULTURE Ink Monstr describes its culture as positive, fun, creative, artistic, energetic, encouraging and educational. It offers incentives such as design commission on every artistic project, year-end bonuses, and recognizes an employee of the month. Once a quarter, the company does an Employee Appreciation Day featuring activities such as a family dinner, massages, kart racing, skydiving or snowboarding.

GIVING BACK: Ink Monstr hosts an annual Denver Days Community Block Party, featuring giveaways of hundreds of bikes and backpacks filled with school supplies. The company has also partnered with Rude Recreation Center on its annual Turkey Drive and Santa’s Elves toy drive. 


Front Range Dermatology Associates

Front Range Dermatology treats skin conditions, disorders and diseases in locations in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Morgan and Fort Collins.

WHY COLORADO: Dr. Aaron Hoover, who served in the Army from 1999 to 2011, ended that career as the chief of dermatology and dermatopathology at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson. The higher elevation and numerous Coloradans working outside or participating in outdoor recreational activities meant there was a huge need for a medical dermatologist focused on the care of a population at increased risk for skin cancer, particularly in rural communities across Northern Colorado.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS: Dr. Hoover started practices in the offices of three other physicians, giving him access to an instant patient base with minimal investment.

COMPANY CULTURE: New employees are mentored by a seasoned employee with the same job. Employees are caught “being good” through a program called “Shining a Light,” where patients, providers or employees write down positive actions they have witnessed an employee performing. Celebrating success might mean Paint and Sip events, movie night or bowling in the office. The company hosts a summer barbecue at Boyd Lake in Loveland and ends the year with a Christmas celebration for employees and their families.

COMMUNITY IMPACT: FRDA is the only dermatology office in Northern Colorado that accepts Colorado Medicaid. It hosts medical students, physician assistants and residents from several institutions in and out of state to educate them on dermatology and to impact the future generation of providers. The practice provides numerous free skin screenings at the Greeley Public Works Department and through health fairs and hospitals. Community event participation includes Toys for Tots, Junior ROTC events, the Alzheimer’s Association and Habitat for Humanity.


Epoch Eyewear

Epoch Eyewear wholesales its own brand of sunglasses to retail outlets across the country.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS In January 2017, the company attended its first PGA Merchandise show and wrote $36,000 worth of orders in three days.

DEFINING INNOVATION: In 2016, the company introduced a light adaptive lens that retailed for $39.95; it has since created 26 more products for the motorcycle market, earning business in about half the nation’s Harley-Davidson dealerships. It also makes an entire line of products for EagleRider.

COMPANY CULTURE: Epoch is proud to be a veteran owned company that builds great products and jobs for their community. The company pays 100 percent of its employees’ insurance and offers schedule flexibility, performance bonuses, company meals and birthday and anniversary celebrations.

COMMUNITY IMPACT: Epoch donates to Colorado Springs Little League, BeastMode For the Brave, which supports veterans and many other charities with small product donations.


Motherlove Herbal Company

Motherlove manufactures and distributes natural and organic personal care products specifically for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

WHY COLORADO: Motherlove was conceived at and grew around founder Kathryn Higgins’ kitchen table. In time, the handmade herbal products she made for her own pregnancy and birth became so popular that she was asked to make them for a local retailer. In 2012, Motherlove acquired a 120-acre organic farm to grow many of the native herbs used in its formulas. With more than 300 days of sunshine, Colorado is a perfect place for MotherLove products, from seed to sale.

PIVOTAL MOMENT: Motherlove’s first pivotal moment came in 1991, when Higgins traveled to Austin, Texas, and got the product line into the flagship store of a then-small company called Whole Foods Market. The products are now carried nationally at Whole Foods Market, Target and Walgreens.

DEFINING INNOVATION: To appeal to more consumers, MotherLove was able to develop a way of encapsulating its liquid tinctures into an easily digestible capsule, giving it an edge over companies producing either less potent dry herb capsules or unpalatable tinctures.

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR: MotherLove has helped shift perception of the efficacy of herbs to support breast milk supply. Over the past 10 years, Motherlove has worked closely with lactation consultants and health-care professionals to provide information and support, leading to a widespread recognition of its products’ safety and efficacy by health care providers and hospitals.

COMPANY CULTURE: MotherLove is a Certified B Corporation - meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. MotherLove employees recently formed smaller committees to focus specifically on the health and well-being of staff, giving back to the community and ensuring sustainability practices exceed expectations.

GIVING BACK: Through its Nurturing Life Foundation and corporate giving, MotherLove donates 1 percent of annual revenue to community-based nonprofits such as the Food Bank for Larimer County, Realities for Children, and Trees, Water & People. Several tons of sweet corn and pumpkins are donated to local food banks.

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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