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10 Women-Run Businesses in Denver You Should Know About

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DU chapter.

Denver is home to many renowned businesses, but the true magic of this city lies in its growing community of women-owned businesses. Last October, Denver ranked as the best city for women to start a business. In the last decade, female entrepreneurs have been paving a path for themselves to survive and thrive. Show some love for your fellow ladies and support these amazing, local organizations. Who knows, maybe your business will be the next one on the list!

Amethyst Coffee Company

Elle Taylor started opening coffee shops in 2015, when she realized her passion as a barista was not being economically valued. Now as an advocate for women, gender non-conforming, gender queer, and transgender coffee professionals, Elle has created a coffee company that’s not just about the coffee but the people, as well.


Anyone love to cozy up with a book and some wine? Nicole Sullivan created an ingenious space where people can get together for a glass of wine, do some book shopping, and snag a seat at the café. If this place isn’t already calling your name, their locally sourced, house-made menu (and garden patio where they grow their own herbs and veggies) should do it.

Denver Cat Company

Leila Qari founded one of the country’s first cat cafes in 2014, building an environment for all to grab a snack and destress with some feline friends in. Instead of paying by the hour, there is a flat fee of $10 or $8 if you’re a student or senior. Customers can stay for however long they’d like and fully interact with the cats. Leila decorated the place herself, and she’s taken the care to make her business entirely run by women who were loyal customers beforehand.

The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place (TGP) is a personal favorite of mine because of its uniqueness and necessity   in the Denver community. It is the city’s only daytime drop-in center for women, transgender  individuals and children experiencing poverty/homelessness. Founded by two graduates from DU’s social work program, Toni Schmid and Kathy Carfrae, it is now run by Julia Stewart.  

Girls Inc.

By partnering with schools and community organizations, this organization provides mentorship and programming that empowers young girls navigating adolescence. The founder, Sonya Ulibarri, hopes to help girls find fulfilling careers and feel inspired to be strong, smart and bold individuals.

Green Lady Gardens

In 2018, Green Lady Gardens was founded by Jessica Schutz, a woman who self-describes herself as obsessed with Latin design colors. This boutique is filled with beautiful pottery, handmade décor items, and more. As for her common and rare houseplants, Jessica gives unique recommendations to each customer that match their skill level and living environment.


This sustainable bulk retail store is the perfect place to reduce your plastic waste. Kim Whitehead is the owner, and she opened the store to provide all-natural and organic products for her customers and her planet. By bringing your own containers or purchasing and reusing one of theirs, customers can help keep single-use plastic out of landfills, recycling systems and the ocean—and support a local business! 

Judith & Joe

It’s hard to be conscientious while clothes shopping – often, your options are to buy sustainable but expensive fashion or scour through thrift shops. But Judith & Joe provides an ideal middle ground for customers to build an ethical wardrobe. Owners Brandee Castle and Sara Graf have given the Denver community an opportunity to ditch fast fashion and join the slow-fashion movement instead. All pieces in their store are made in the USA, under ethical practices, and from sustainable materials.

Mercury Café

Founded by Marilyn Megnity, this organic food café and night club is a must-go for those living in Denver. This establishment offers everything from flamenco dancing, poetry and community theater to opera, film and jazz concerts. Looking for something to do any day of the week? Check out their events and support this woman-owned business.

Women’s Bean Project

CEO Tamra Ryan started this nonprofit to break the cycle of poverty and give women the opportunity to change their lives and their family’s lives as well. The Women’s Bean Project provides employment for women who are chronically unemployed, and they teach them to work and make nourishing products. They work to given women self-sufficiency and life-changing empowerment.

Also, check out this article written by April and Kendall about their experience visiting this business!

I'm a current senior undergrad at University of Denver, majoring in International Studies and minoring in Environmental Science and Writing. I believe in the power of words and stories--their ability to expand our minds and create change. When I'm not writing, you can find me planning my next visit abroad, dancing around my apartment or reading memoirs.
Currently a graduate from the University of Denver with a BS in Psychology (concentration: cognitive neuroscience) and BA in Spanish. With a passion for learning, she enjoys understanding more the world, others, and herself. She absolutely loves her orange hair, being a woman, traveling, languages, and exploring new ideas and cultures. Also, she's in the #girlgang for life.