Entrepreneur Spotlight: Stephanie Shearer, Chris Bacorn and Carol Tervo - Pandora on the Hill, Soul Haus, and Peppermint
Owning a business is no easy task. Try owning three! We got the inside scoop from Stephanie Shearer regarding day-to-day life owning three businesses as a trio with her mother and husband [Carol Tervo and Chris Bacorn]. As a team, these dedicated entrepreneurs have been pumping heart and soul into Denver’s Capitol Hill since 1999. Drawn to the neighborhood by its eclectic soul, their first business venture, Soul Haus, began on the intersection of 13th and Grant. According to Stephanie, “13th Avenue has always been an epicenter of street art, politicians, artists, urbanities, business suits and creativity – and remains true to that spirit to this day.” The following years brought Pandora on the Hill and Peppermint, each with a wide variety of jewelry, gifts and treasures.
Denver Style Magazine: Could you give a brief description of your businesses, and how they came to be?
Stephanie Shearer: “Fifteen word elevator pitches: Pandora on the Hill is a one-stop, sparkle shop for gifts on the go. Peppermint is a pretty-in-pink paperie & sweet spot for the particular. Soul Haus : attire and accoutrement is a modern-day mercantile that sells cool sh*t.”
As a team, Stephanie, Chris and Carol cover all of the bases. Every business must have the free spirited dreamer, in this case, Stephanie. Thoughts and dreams are what keep a business afloat, and she is full of them. She describes most of her ideas as “insanely crazed.” Luckily, she has two people close by to keep her grounded. Her mother, Carol, comes with 30 years of accounting experience. Carol is the brain behind the business, making to sure to keep focus on the books just as much as the creativity. Last but certainly not least, Chris is the “customer service guru,” Completing the circle of necessary entrepreneurial strengths.
DSM: How do you benefit from having family as a team base?
SS: “Never go into business with family, right? Well, all I know is that I could have never opened Soul Haus without my mom, and it would not still be running without my husband. My mother gives me guidance and lots of candid feedback that I might not hear well from other people. My husband is my strength and my pillar. He is the one who sweeps up after me, picks up the pieces and gives me the confidence to take the next step. He is the voice of reason, and perhaps most importantly, can always make me laugh even when things get really, really tough. Together, they are the spring in my step and the proof to my pudding. They say you can only count on two things in life: death and taxes, but in this business - family is everything and I would be nowhere without them.”
Stephanie accepts the fact that starting a business naturally brings along a set of challenges. Multiply that by three, and you just might be able to swim in those! Luckily, family is the best support system. They are able to recognize that rough spots are healthy trials all business must face. Each one presents the opportunity to grow and learn. “It is when unseen strengths of our team members emerge, and a time when new ideas are born,” said Stephanie.
DSM: How do you manage your time running three businesses?
SS: “Running a local boutique, never mind three of them, is a never-ending, exhausting, all encompassing lifestyle. It is extremely difficult and infinitely rewarding. I think it must be like having three unruly, ridiculously smart and beautiful children. To keep all three running to our exceptionally high standards, we have acquired a top-notch team of managers and floor staff who show up to work everyday ready to rock. They are the true heroes of our shops.”
DSM: What is it like being a business owner in Capitol Hill?
SS: “Denver is such an amazing and intimate city of people who give so much to their communities. Capitol Hill is Denver's heart, eventually every Denverite in the city walks on these sidewalks - and these sidewalks are what ties the entire community together.”
Being an entrepreneur is a sure sign of bravery. Putting your dreams and visions out for the world to see is a completely pure and raw act of art. Stephanie Shearer, Chris Bacorn and Carol Tervo are a huge part of Capitol Hill’s heart.