My Name Is … Brenden Coney

Teen entrepreneur looks to further expand business

Posted 11/5/18

About me I am the 18-year-old owner of Elevation Creations. I live here in Castle Rock with my parents and two younger siblings. I just recently graduated from Castle View High School in May. In my …

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My Name Is … Brenden Coney

Teen entrepreneur looks to further expand business

Posted

About me

I am the 18-year-old owner of Elevation Creations. I live here in Castle Rock with my parents and two younger siblings. I just recently graduated from Castle View High School in May. In my free time, you can typically catch me spending time outdoors whether it's hitting the slopes, camping or going for a hike.

Becoming an entrepreneur

Elevation Creations specializes in high-quality handmade kitchenware, home décor, cribbage boards, corporate gifts and wedding gifts and favors. We also have the ability to do custom wood slab furniture as well. I founded the company in 2013 in my parent's garage.

I first had the idea to start my own company when I was just 13 years old. I was looking for a way to make money. Not too fond of mowing yards and too young to get a typical job, I thought the “easiest” way to make a little money was to start my own business. My dad had been a carpenter earlier in his life, and when our family moved to Colorado in 2005 he had also moved all of his woodworking tools. I had always helped my dad woodworking as a young child and asked my dad to teach me how to work with wood. He agreed, and after numerous failed attempts over several frustrating weeks, we were finally able to produce a few cutting boards and pens to sell at our church's fall craft fair.

How the business has evolved

Several things have changed since I started Elevation Creations. Starting out, we only offered a few different types of cutting boards and pens. As I learned more techniques and upgraded tools, I was able to expand my lines to include a variety of different products including an entire Colorado line. When I first started selling my products, I would go to craft shows nearly every weekend during the Christmas season and attend other small shows. As I expanded my lines gradually, and learned more about how business worked, I was able to open an online store, present my products to other shops in the area and attend larger shows.

Expanding into the future

Although I have experienced lots of success over the past couple years, starting a business definitely comes with its challenges. Looking back on the past five years, I have come across several challenges and made countless mistakes, both large and small. The most challenging issue I have always faced is finding enough space to run my business in. I first started Elevation Creations using one third of a three-car garage, but I have since taken over our entire garage and the entire basement as well (Sorry, mom and dad). Within the next year, I am optimistic that I will find a larger warehouse to move my operations to and my parents will finally be able to reclaim their garage and basement again.

I have found lots of success attending wholesale trade shows and generating interest with some of the nation's largest retailers including Home Goods and Xanterra, which operates numerous gift shops in the nation's largest national parks. Looking into the future, I am hoping to open up a kiosk in the airport to sell my lines and other handcrafted artisan goods in 2019.

My advice

One thing I have learned from running my own business is not to dwell on any mistakes. Mistakes I make are just learning opportunities. Another mantra that I live by is to take advantage of every opportunity. Speaking from experience, you will always regret the opportunities passed up or the things you didn't do rather than the things you did do.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is…, contact Jessica Gibbs at jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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