The LoCo Experience

EXPERIENCE 95 | The HQ Team, Get to Know Alisha Jeffers and Year-End Recap 2022

December 26, 2022 Alma Ferrer
The LoCo Experience
EXPERIENCE 95 | The HQ Team, Get to Know Alisha Jeffers and Year-End Recap 2022
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode you’ll get a glimpse behind-the-scenes of LoCo Headquarters in my conversation with LoCo Experience Producer Alma Ferrer and our new Marketing Manager Alisha Jeffers. We give focus especially to Alisha, her arts background and travels that eventually led her to LoCo. She talks a little about her introductory project with us to revamp our logo, and suggests reading her guest blog post for the complete narrative with pictures here.


We also take some time to review and share highlights from the top 10 podcast episodes of 2022… listen in to see if your favorite made the list!

This was a dynamic episode with lots of laughs and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Episode Sponsor: InMotion, providing next-day delivery for local businesses. Contact InMotion at inmotionnoco@gmail.com

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Music By: A Brother's Fountain

Curt:

Welcome back to the Loco Experience Podcast. Today is gonna be the 2022 recap episode, and I'm honored to be spending time with both of my key staff people here at Loco Headquarters. Uh, newly Alicia Jeffers. Hello, hello, of Marketing Manager and Alma Sue Ariano

Alma:

My name is not Sue, but Kurt

Alisha:

just says that

Curt:

recently married Um, and Alma is our digital experience coordinator. So, um, we will do a few things today in this episode, we're going to, um, just as we had a get to know with Alma last season, we're gonna have a get to know with Alicia today. Exciting, and, uh, that's looking forward to that too. And then we're going to talk about really what she's been spending most of her time on here at Loco is a re. and we've got a new logo for the local experience podcast, as well as one for, um, local Think Tank. Mm-hmm. And finally, we're gonna be going through our top 10 episodes. So our top 10, uh, episodes of 2022. Reflecting a little bit. Alma is the producer. What, what's, what's your title again? Producer. I thought it was like the, the fricking

Alma:

Well, I was just saying that to myself, like, oh, that was more freaking insight.

Alisha:

Fricking producer of the podcast. Yeah. Like you mean a badge of honor? Yes.

Curt:

Fair. So, um, let's start with, let's just start with Meet Alicia. And so, Alicia. Isn't even technically on the team yet because she's working for Lerer County in their,

Alisha:

uh, I've considered myself on the team since day one. It's a hundred percent and you more affiliated

Curt:

with that. But as of like 10 days from now or five days from now or something, you'll officially be the marketing manager. Well, who at local marketing

Alisha:

manager. Alma would say. We can cuss on the podcast. Yeah.

Curt:

Well I get a, I get a explicit fricking isn't cuss. I get an explicit warning every episode just about,

Alisha:

so Yeah. Yeah. We got alive in things out up. Right. I mean, I marked it as an explicit Oh, is that why? Yeah. preemptively. You were expecting this to be

Curt:

explicit. Oh, I thought it was the damn sensors.

Alma:

I don't know, but actually like is checking. Yeah, but I just put it cuz I figured that it be saved and, sorry. See, now we figured Kurt would drop an F bomb at some point and

Curt:

some episode, or My guess I have very irresponsible guests on here sometimes by design. And we've drank, well, at least we've Yeah. Drank an IR irresponsible amount of bourbon a couple times. Let a few. Only a couple. Yeah. Yeah. But I don't like the sound of myself. I sound pretty

Alma:

dumb. Yeah. I didn't like that. That's that episode with, uh, Sean Neck, I think.

Alisha:

Oh, that one. We got pretty corrupt. How would you describe, was he slurring? Was he kind? Kind of, but just it wasn't like, I'm just not as

Curt:

sharp mind. I'm not as good at Yeah. The questions doing my job that good. So I'm more of a moderate, uh, bourbon drinker. Now it's scale. Yeah. It's a good way to be. You live and learn for sure. Yeah. Yeah. But listening back to yourself, being a little too drunk on the podcasts and, you know, remembering walking home, that nighter. Oh yeah. It's like, didn't really need to do that. Yeah. But, you know, sometimes we associate with having fun. We didn't really, you, it's like, well, I'm having so much fun. Might might as well have a little more fun. Where did the off switch go? So Alicia, um, tell me, you picked from a huge list of people that you could come applying for an internship with and how did you, how did you notice us local think tank a little? That's

Alisha:

an interesting question. Yeah. So yeah, so this was part of the internship opportunity they offer at, um, the full name is LaMer County Workforce and Economic Development Center, which is a mouthful. I usually just say Workforce Center, but you know, they, they offer to pay and then just you find whatever host company is into the idea of kind of mentoring you or just, you know, yeah. Letting you have a tryout and, and they foot the bill through a grant that they have. So, yeah. So they have a number of like 400 plus businesses that they've worked with before. And um, and so you were on that list Loco and I was familiar with the name from some years back. Um, drew started, my husband Drew started forwarding me your emails cuz he's on the, the email list. I probably popped

Curt:

by there and grabbed a business card of the owner or something. Somehow.

Alisha:

Yeah, probably so. With craft trophies, the family business. So, um, yeah, he kept forwarding me emails when they were interesting and relevant cuz I've always been entrepreneurial myself and had my art business when we first moved here. Mm-hmm. And so before I started working for the county and yeah. I'm getting ahead of myself a little bit. No, that's okay.

Curt:

That's the way we do it here. Yeah. We chase squirrels. Yeah. Um, and a lot of times we squirrel chase her a little bit. Oh. What we do oftentimes. And let's just go ahead and follow the pattern and um, we're gonna let Alma have some spotlight too in this episode. Definitely. Yeah. Because uh, she's gonna tell everybody about her honeymoon. She just got back from Cancun and she couldn't help but think about work starting on like day 3, 4, 5, 5 When I was on the airplane hanging home, I got a six Yeah. But, uh, we jump in the time machine and we're like, where are you from? You know? Where did you grow up when you were five years old or even born? Like what was your family.

Alisha:

Oh, okay. So we're jumping right in. Yeah, we're

Curt:

jumping right in. This is the Alicia. Good to know. Alicia, for examples, we're gonna spend like 15 minutes just really having a good to know. Okay. In that crooked path. Glad you're here.

Alisha:

I feel honored. I feel honored. So, yeah. Jumping in the time soon.

Curt:

You'd have been nervous if I told you we were gonna do it this way.

Alisha:

I had a hunch you hinted at it. And I, and I am a little nervous. Full disclosure. No, but we'll, we'll see where we go with it. Yeah, exactly. Um, so yeah, you wanna go back to five years old? I don't know. We already, I, I was born in northern California. Okay. We moved up to Washington State, uh, when I was about one and a half. Okay. Because my dad was a counselor. He was just getting started. Okay. And so that's where he could get licensed sooner than, than California. Sure.

Curt:

California was over-regulating already way back then,

Alisha:

apparently. Yeah. Yeah. Just kidding. So he's, he's an entrepreneur himself. He's mostly run his own business around counseling. Yeah. So, um, yeah, we moved up to Washington and. You know, got used to the rainy, dreary gray a lot of the year up there, like Seattle. My brother never got used to it though. He moved back to California. Really? Yeah. But Seattle area, we lived in Renton, which is like, yeah, 20 minutes southeast. Well, it used to be 20 minutes. right? Southeast of Seattle proper.

Curt:

Yeah. I've been through Renton a

Alisha:

few times. Oh, you have? Oh yeah. You didn't tell me that before. Yeah,

Curt:

well, Jill's, you didn't talk about it. Jill's twin sister lives in Tacoma, or lived in Tacoma for a long time. Oh yeah. And now lives in Vancouver, Washington. But we,

Alisha:

and that's where my parents are moving to. Oh, is that way. Actually, right now they're in the process

Curt:

of that. Oh, Washugal is actually where they're moving to where they live. Washugal, Washugal. It's basically as far east. Um, yeah, east up the Columbia, Riverside from Vancouver as you can get. Okay. It's like across from Portland is Vancouver, and then if you go east up to Columbia and then, so that's where they're living now. It's like a little town. 10 miles or eight miles or something from there. Yeah.

Alisha:

Yeah. I went on a solo road trip one time and stayed at a park right near that area. Yeah, yeah. Mary Hill Park. There's a Mary Hill winery too, like right along the Columbia.

Curt:

It's a brilliant part of the country there, because what is it, they don't pay sales taxes in Washington, but they pay heavy. No, they won't. Don't pay state. Income tax in Washington, but the sales taxes are heavy. So you just go across the river over into Portland where there's no sales tax and you buy all your furniture and your cars and all that kinda stuff. And it's like the, like the little Bermuda triangle of tax avoiders.

Alisha:

Oh, interesting. I never thought of it that way, but yeah, you're right. Anyway. Well, my mom's excited to be right across the river from Portland. She wanted to stay close to a bigger city.

Curt:

Well, and would you describe her as a tax avoider?

Alisha:

No. No. she wore things in places. She always says, I'm just gonna go roam. I'm gonna roam here and I'm gonna roam there. So she, you know, plenty of places to explore in Portland. Yeah. Yeah. That's why she's excited about. So

Curt:

your dad had his own counseling firm as you were mm-hmm. growing up. And did you have brother or sisters?

Alisha:

I have one older brother. Oh yeah. Two years older. Yes. We've talked about

Curt:

em. Mm-hmm. Hey Jeff Hope you're listening. Hey bro. And, um, did your mom do vocation or was she raising littles

Alisha:

or both mom's been in nurse. Well, she was a homemaker, you know, up until, um, you know, primarily just taking care of me and Jeff and up until I was in middle school. Yeah. Um, and it was a big deal. I remember when she went back to nursing school and then like, I had to like share my mom with the world, you know, Right, right. She'd be studying all the time and. Yeah. So she's a registered nurse and, um,

Curt:

were you already an artist?

Alisha:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I've pretty much been an artist since I could hold a pencil and I, my earliest memories actually of drawing are in church and keeping myself entertained, you know, sitting there in the pew with like the little prayer card and the stubby little pencil and making these little doodle doodles, you

Curt:

know, and not hearing a word of the sermon

Alisha:

almost. Yeah. Yeah. Kidding. It's kinda in my own world, as a child. Yeah.

Curt:

Fair, fair, fair. So, um, talk to me about like, who, how as an artist, like, was that really common in that region? It was probably more common than, like, I'm from North Dakota, where if kids are like, I'm art, you know, the farmers be like, what the hell are you gonna

Alisha:

do with that? Mm-hmm. you know, it's difficult. No matter where you are, it's gonna, you're gonna reach artists always gonna stick out where it'll be like, what the hell are you gonna do with that? How are you gonna make money? And of course I was confronted with that, but earlier on, just being an artist, it was just, I don't know if it was com it sort didn't seem common. When I reflect on it, it's like, well, when you look at the Seattle area and the music scene specifically mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. like that was the thing. Right. And certainly like the weather contributed to like, well, Depression, but also like Yeah. You know, kind of that, that sweet melancholy that like feeds art, you know? So a lot of people would be indoors. Yeah. And naturally you'd be doing the indoor things rather than here where you could be hiking around all the time. And I remember

Curt:

journal journaling a lot, like in that middle school time. Did you

Alisha:

do that as well? Yeah, I especially got turned onto journaling in freshman year of high school. I found my way to a, a creative writing class that was actually an elective. And um, I ended up taking it all four years of high school. Oh wow. And, you know, got voted like, um, outstanding achievement in language arts for my senior year. Oh wow. I didn't know you a full much a descriptive poetry writing. Nerd writing, yeah.

Curt:

Oh, totally. Yeah. Oh, you got a resume. I knew you were good at it. I didn't really realize you had a pedigree. Well, that's

Alisha:

high school, you know. Well, you know, but Yeah. Apparently I stood out cuz I was in advanced English. Yeah. And, um, yeah, so the, the teacher of that class was a published poet himself, so he was really good at teaching and it got me super inspired. Like he would just have a spy. I was telling Alma about this recently. Mm-hmm. he'd have a spy just like cheap, you know, college notebooks. No, they had to have page numbers, but like nothing fancy. Hmm. And that was by design. Because if you get a fancy journal, then you're too intimidated to write what you really feel in there, you know, and break past the barriers. So, you know, he had us get these journals and then he is just like, write anything you want. Just absolutely anything. And no one had encouraged me to do that before, like, really speak for myself and just whatever's on my mind, just let it come out. And it was just like this key that unlocked this freedom. You know? I'm trying to

Curt:

think. I don't know if anybody told me to journal either. I think I just did it. Oh, have you journaled it before? Did you in those days?

Alma:

I've not in the, oh my guess. I mean, I started, I guess my version of journaling was on my laptop. I that I also like bought myself and stuff. But it was like, I think my sophomore year when I first moved to Colorado. Okay. And my version was, um, writing like, eh, like that's a lot. Like my hand hurts. So I just pulled up a random Google Doc and I just started typing in it. So that was like, cuz I wanted to basically write faster, so I preferred to type it out. And so I wrote in that a few times and, you know, that like didn't care about spelling, like, you know, whatever. Just kind like. Just kidding. Maybe it's a little bit, but

Alisha:

yeah. So kind of,

Curt:

I noticed one thing about the kids. We'll say younger people. Mm-hmm. they rely on the spell check to just go take care of it. Just do it. So when Alma mistyped something and there's a little squiggly red line that says you mistyped it. I can't keep typing when, once I see that line, I gotta figure out what the problem is with that word. But almost moving on. Yeah. Which is great cuz sometimes she's typing what I'm saying. Yeah. It, you know, then she can

Alisha:

come back as perfect. But the thing about that, you know, is that you have to read a lot to be a good writer. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. And the more you read, the more you just know the, the right look of a word even. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm Even if you don't think you know how to spell it, you'll just know if it kind of looks wrong. Cuz you've been reading so much that, you know. That's fair. Yeah.

Curt:

So to get back, so did you do this a lot before we finish on this? Because I'm curious, did you like, have just a string of Google Doc and you would just kind of just keep writing all your thoughts and whatever

Alma:

one Google Doc then I'm like, was a little bit, you date it? Yeah, I would date it a few times, but it made me a little nervous. Cause I'm like, technically this is on the, like it's, you know, on a computer which can be accessed, which technic Nina, anybody can actually read this if you know my Google information, you know? Right. So, but it, it, it was like, I don't know, like teenager stuff, but I fucking

Alisha:

hate school and I hate this. And it was

Alma:

just a bunch of that stuff, you know? And.

Curt:

Well, I came to understand or maybe that uh, uh, before you and Isaac became a thing that you were kind of a punk around your church and stuff.

Alma:

Too much of a punk, more like a try hard punk. Like I wish I really was a punk but you know, I mean, oh, that's funny. I started journaling I think, because I moved here and I didn't really know anybody in that whole, like nobody understands me and I wish I could be a better punk or something, And so I stopped writing in it basically. Once I did have friends and once I was not like follow up otherwise kind of. Yeah. And through some f kind of, I mean, you know, form of depression. So I just use it to type and like, you know, my parents said no to this.

Curt:

So you helped you use writing to help put yourself through depression? In some

Alma:

ways? In a way. But also just to say things, you know, cause I don't like keeping things in, but did you see a counselor? No, that is not like a,

Alisha:

something culturally that's

Alma:

normal for you. Yeah. It's like what therapy now? Like I counselor now like Right.

Curt:

And so Alicia knows that world Inside and mouth

Alisha:

Yeah. I had the Dalton counselor at home and Right. We would have family council meetings and we'd have to acknowledge each other's feelings. Yeah. Acknowledge I'm doing air quotes, cuz that was the big word that dad would use. That's acknowledge. Which is a good thing to do for sure.

Curt:

So, um, let's shift back to meet Alicia Moore and get into your career zone a little

Alisha:

bit. I'm loving getting to know Alma because it, I, there's a lot that I can relate to, to, with her and, and like she's saying stuff that like reminds me of stuff and we had this conversation about how we're both kind of from the west coast, we kind of have a certain slang we, you know, culture kind of, or the West coast culture. Yeah. Um, but in, in high school, um, like during that time when you were talking about riding and. I was just thinking about how you were wanting to be so punk rock or whatever. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. It's so funny cuz like all my friends were like that too. It was like this contest to be the most punk rock. And like one of my friends, like, I remember going to a show with her and um, she had her eyebrow pierced with a safety pin, you know, and then another little girl punk saw it and she's like, Hey, will you help me do that? Like, she was trying to do it on herself right then and there we were at a show, like at the Seattle Center, like out in the grass and she's like, can you help me? And my friend just walked up and just like, here's that thing right there. No, no,

Curt:

no. Lighter sanitation,

Alisha:

tugging at her, her eyebrows skin until she post. I mean, granted she had did have a, a belly piercing that got badly infected, so that wasn't always good

Curt:

Right. It wasn't always that bravado. See, I was the outwardly a student pretty much that behind the scenes was getting into as much trouble as I could without actually getting in trouble. Nice. The covert. Yeah. Yeah. You know, driving around, sharing a liter of whiskey with two guys and stuff like that.

Alisha:

Was this high school then? Yeah. Okay. I didn't drink till after high school,

Curt:

but yeah. No, we, in North Dakota we started around 14.

Alisha:

Oh wow. Okay. Generally. Oh, that makes sense. For North

Curt:

Dakota. Right. Some kids, not until 15,

Alisha:

but Yeah. Like that's better. I think I started at 18. Um, when my brother was old, no, it would've been 19 when my brother could buy us alcohol. Yeah. I, you know, nudge. And then I got him drinking and then I felt kind of bad about that. turn into a

Curt:

problem.

Alisha:

It's a whole nother story. Anyways, so back in high school, Jeff,

Curt:

we heard about your drinking around here,

Alisha:

actually, kidding. But in high school, I was all about being a skater. That was, and you'd spell it, SK eight with the with the number eight. And I was like, super cool And so I was, I was trying to be a hardcore skater. I love it. And I never, I never was as punk rock as my friends, because I. cut my hair to about the length it's at Now you're rocking the same dude. Pixie short. Yeah. This is the first time I've had my hair this short in like 20 years. I love it. But back then, like I cut it that short, my friends went all the way and shaved it. Mm-hmm. And the thing to do was leave your bangs, you know, for the girls would leave their bangs. Right, right. Shave their head. Yeah. Yeah. And they, anyway, that's very, but I was more of the like the non-conformist in my groups, cuz I was al also on the swim team and I had friends of all different groups, but then I also was kind of a loner. Yeah. So I'd bounce around between the groups and then I'd go wander out to the woods and eat lunch alone.

Curt:

Yeah. Did you paint and do things like that already? Or not yet?

Alisha:

Yeah, I drew a lot. I really got into writing and it's always been kind of a teeter-totter for me. It's back and forth between, if I'm drawing a lot, I'm writing less. If I'm writing a lot. Mm-hmm. I'm drawing and painting. Less painting. I didn't really pick up until. Well, actually I took a class, a couple of classes, um, my parents found like an artist, their studio called Local Artist Compounds as you, when I was like in middle school and I was doing like master copies of Thomas Kincaid, which I'm admitting, but I'm totally embarrassed about. Have you ever seen Thomas? Well, he's the painter of Light, right? Can't stand him now. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz it's so commercial and cliche. But that was like one of the first artists that I learned to paint from, like copying his work. I think my dad still has the painting in his office or something, you know, he sold a hell

Curt:

of a lot of paintings.

Alisha:

He sure did. He had the commercial side figured out for sure. Yeah. Well that's beautiful. Other people

Curt:

painting for like, seen from afar, they're pretty beautiful in some ways. You know? okay. I, I won't make you say that. Okay. Thank you. Um, and so like what were the options that you were exploring once you, as you approached the end of high school?

Alisha:

It was, you know, I never really considered just going straight into a four year college for some reason. I just, I just didn't think about it. It was, I think I knew from very early on that it was gonna be more practical to do community college first. Yeah. For the prerequisites the first couple years. Yeah. And then transfer to a four year. But in community college I found a program for graphic design and illustration. Okay. After I had been going there about a year for my general classes. I see. They put on this really cool show at the end of the year and it was like, it was way more artsy than the program actually was. I don't know. This show didn't really hold strongly to what the program was. They kind of went off on a artistic tangent and that's what attracted me. Yeah. I was like, oh, this is cool. These are

Curt:

just graphic designers. These are actually

Alisha:

artists at this design school. These art kids. Yeah. So, so then the next year I, I enrolled in that and that was the two year program. Yeah. And then from there I went on to, um, by the end of it I was like, screw computers. I, you know, I was like 21 and I wanted to see the world. And so I moved to Spain with a friend just on a whim kind of. Yeah. We're like, let's go live in another country. Okay, come on. Let's, and we shook on it. Yeah. Like when we first talked about it at a cafe, I remember clearly. We like, we shook hands. Did you have to like we were really gonna do this

Curt:

just like save up and just like hope for the best to be able to burn some income while you were over there

Alisha:

and stuff. Well, we found a program for teaching English as a second language. Oh, cool. Yeah. Yeah. Tefl, TEFL Cert certification program. So that was for like a month, right. In Barcelona. So we're like, okay, we'll start with that, see where it goes. Right. You know,

Curt:

and we could apply for some of, you know, oh, teaching English for a month in Madrid. After that, maybe Yes.

Alisha:

Or whatever. Yeah. We didn't really have a long term plan, like after that. Yes. Well, we'll just get jobs. Right? like teach English. And then I realized how hard that was. That's all the entrepreneur stuff, right? It's hard to move to another country. Yeah. Yeah. And for some reason I thought they'd speak more English than they did in Barcelona, but no, they spoke not just Spanish, it was Catalan, not the Castillian Spanish that you learned in high school. Like I, I took a couple years in high school, so I thought it was good, but, and then I thought, you know, there'd be plenty of English, but I get there and it's like, whoa, no, it's a pride thing. You know? Like maybe they understood English, but they're not gonna be speaking it for the most part, right? And so I was like, oh my gosh. First time I ever move outta my parents' house. And I just jumped right into that. And so,

Curt:

And did your, you and your friends stay together and how

Alisha:

long and what, what was that experience? I stayed, well, we went with open-ended return. And um, so we didn't know how long we'd stay. Like maybe we would just settle there, you know, in our minds time. And it was so devastating for our families and my parents were so sad, you know, and I left and like, it was so abrupt, but it ended up that I came back sooner than I thought. It was like, teaching is hard. Right. I learned when I got there. And not only that, but English grammar is hard and English in general is kind of weird. Yeah. And you

Curt:

know, right. It's just like quite a do. You hadn't really been equipped to teach English and grammar, no matter how many writing high marks you got

Alisha:

in school. It's funny. What's funny thing. Yeah. It's because, you know, it's just natural when you're a native speaker, it just kind of flows. You don't really think about, you thought it was gonna

Curt:

be easier than it was to teach because you knew it so well. Yeah.

Alisha:

Yeah. I thought, I thought I knew it so well. But then when you have to back up and go into the basics of grammar. Yeah. It's like, I don't remember learning this. I just kind of always knew it, you know? Is that weird? I mean,

Curt:

you got this look. No, what I, what I was thinking about is inviting Alma in on this because her experience, it relates Well she, she learned Spanish and English kind of side by side.

Alisha:

Oh, I was thinking you're gonna talk about her experience teaching, teaching, teaching English Oh,

Curt:

well that too. We covered that in the last podcast. Yeah. But I mean, just that experience of like learning, even not being focused on one or the other, but kind of learning. Unparallel tracks.

Alma:

Yes. Again, that like I wasn't taught Spanish. I wasn't never like saw like my mom sit me down and taught me how to read and write Spanish. Hmm. But because I spoke it, I saw my sister and like when we would, I remember specifically when we'd go to Mexico, like Tijuana, like my sister would be reading all the signs and would read all the store signs, like anything, right. And I'd be like, okay, I'm a just, you know, kind of, I basically, I think applied of how you try to read like a memory system, something out of English and not to like be, so I kind of basically did that, but for Spanish and same thing for writing I guess. But it's like no one really taught me how to do that.

Curt:

So if you had to write in Spanish, it might be kind of tough. It might be

Alma:

a little tough. It's a little bit like hard for me because I don't really ever need to, other than like texting. But even then, like I still kind of like, just like short little word bursts or whatever. I mean specifically with like v and b, cuz those was are very similar and like, Sometimes because it's more of just like speaking. So I'm like, is this word technic? Is this separate? Like, is this a two word or is this a single word? Like, cuz I don't know, you know? So it's a little bit difficult. But they

Alisha:

did, you have to learn, they understand. Did you have to learn how to roll your Rs or did that come pretty natural? That was all, no,

Alma:

not

Curt:

really. Um, well cause their parents mostly, do they speak to each other in Spanish mostly or in

Alma:

English? They only speak to each other in Spanish, right? Yeah. Hmm. Because English is their second language. Right. But now, I think after, after maybe, I guess after high school-ish, maybe sophomore year. But after that I always started just talking just in English. Cuz it's like, oh, you understand then? So I'm just gonna talk

Curt:

English now. Well, and do they talk English to you now? Or they talk Spanish to you?

Alma:

Like my dad, only Spanish. Really? Um, because I think, I

Curt:

don't know, he's, he's being stubborn too.

Alma:

Probably that, but I think he's like kind of self-conscious about his accent. But my dad also never really got any formal language past elementary school, I think. Wow. So then it's like, why would I be speaking. Not mine. First language, proper training there. And

Curt:

I understand Spanish. Yeah. Yeah. So, well I was thinking probably even if you were being a, you know, doing whatever mm-hmm. probably they, they were blessed a lot by you speaking English around the household a lot because at least then they get consistent regular exposure. Yeah. Yeah. To hearing it. Right.

Alma:

That's true. I mean, and my parents made it a big like goal for them to learn English, you know? Yeah. Once moving, living in the United States. And my mom, I think I asked her about it and she's like, yeah, well you guys would watch tv all like kids dress, PBS kids obviously that's just in English. She's like, some, like watching it too, I guess. your mom's watching Sesame Street.

Alisha:

Yeah. And so she's like, so

Alma:

that start with the basics also helped. Um, but I mean, she has to help me with my homework from elementary and she was like, if she doesn't understand it, how she can help me. Yeah. So that was like another reason why, what she said. But I think same thing for me is did she

Curt:

kind of grow along with you as you learned? I

Alma:

don't really, I mean, maybe, I guess so. Yeah. I don't really like remember, but she was already, your sister's a little older. Yeah, my sister's 21. Okay. So that's why, I mean, by the time I was born, I think they were already here in the United States for like five years maybe. Yeah. So, and I mean, picked up some skills and very intentional and I, and to get your citizenship and stuff, you have to kinda like, Like some an English test form. English test.

Curt:

Oh, is that great? I didn't know we had a national formal language,

Alma:

I guess. I don't know if still now.

Curt:

Right back then. Seems like everywhere I need to go. I could read it in Spanish just about in the Southwestern at

Alma:

least. But I think she was because of like they talked to you, the questions, you know, and so things like, what are five national holidays, So she kind of, she had to, you know, at least know enough.

Alisha:

Um, but yeah. That's really cool. I know about that because one of my favorite shows was Jane the Virgin. Have you ever watched that show? I meant to ask you that. Yeah. I love that show. There were so many seasons too of it. I think I'm almost done with

Curt:

it. Do our paid promotional for, uh, 10 Bears Winery. Oh yes. The putter River Red is actually quite good. Surpris. Good. It's,

Alisha:

it's very vibrant. Yeah. A very vibrant red

Curt:

wine with it. A little sweeter than I usually like, but I'm enjoying it.

Alisha:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I like the sweetness and

Alma:

I'm, I'm drinking juice, by the way.

Alisha:

Jux. Jux Jum

Curt:

Mix juice. My favorite juice. Um, yeah, JMX, you can sponsor the Jux wants to sponsor the Loko Experience podcast that can contact us and connect. Or just Alma. Alma probably,

Alisha:

I think you're more likely to start with 10 bears here. There's a more

Curt:

a little more local. Local. We're a little more of a local show. Exactly. Um, well fun detour. Let's get back to Alicia Okay. Ready? Where did, where are we going? Where did we leave off? Uh, you were in art school, then you went to Spain. You came back, didn't to

Alisha:

Spain and Oh. And that lasted not as long as I thought. Cuz we got to talking about teaching English and how hard that is. Yeah. Um, so I, I'm a world class,

Curt:

uh, squirrel chaser by the way.

Alisha:

That's my, that's my role. Hey, you and me both So you come back's. Gotta keep us on track here.

Curt:

She chases squirrels with me sometimes. Yeah. Cause So anyway, it's

Alisha:

fun. I don't mean to interrupt. So I was there a total of three months and it felt like a very long time. It felt like a year, but it was the three months it was first time away. It was a lot. Yeah. And every day it was a new adventure and a new challenge, you know, and, and that's the first time I ever got a cell phone was in insane. Right. The first time I ever rented an apartment. Yeah. And all of this in my mm-hmm. my span, my custodian Spanish. I came

Curt:

to Fort Collins in a similar way in some. My cell phone I got from work was the first time I ever heard a cell phone and stuff. And you know, my family was six hours away now.

Alisha:

Yeah. And my family, like the first thing I wanted to do when I got there was just step back on the plane back home. Really? Cause I'm like, what am I doing? Like reality hits. Oh really? You know? And then I'm like, okay, and then I gotta call mom and dad. But then it's like, what's the time difference? How do I dial it? Oh my gosh, what am I doing? And I'm freaking out. And my friend Kirsten, she's always been such a cool cat chill. She's just like, all right, we're in Spain. This is awesome. And I'm like freaking out. Just like, ah,

Curt:

you like to have everything in its place, kind of.

Alisha:

Yeah. The older I get, the more I realize that and I see it reflected from other people, like what other people are. Mm-hmm. or at least nature about it. I guess. I, yeah. I like to have structure and you hear that from me a lot. Like I, yeah. I feel more comfortable when I know what the structure is and then I can kind of cut loose and be the free spirit artist that I am. Yeah. But until I have the structure in place, I, the artist self kind of hides away until it's

Curt:

safe, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Your, your non-conformist kind of part of you kind of hides. Yeah. Knows it's safe and has boundaries

Alisha:

and things like that. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That's a new awareness I've been having more in the last year. Yeah. That, that's kind of my phenomenon. That frequently happens. Yeah. So fair.

Curt:

Yeah. I'm a little psychoanalyze you here. I'm not qualified. It's okay. Sorry. Alicia's dad. I don't, and I

Alisha:

territory, I have a habit of kind of going deep on conversations like right away. Mm-hmm. and not, and then realizing later like, oh, other people weren't raised with a counselor father. They're not necessarily used to this, you know, quick of a excuse me. Deep dive. Right. And they're like, oops, sorry.

Curt:

People have told me awkwardly personal things, like my whole working career. And that's part of why we do this podcast. Well,

Alma:

maybe you should have been a

Curt:

counselor. Well, I could be, I could be a counselor if I wanted to. You should be good. Yeah. I think it would be fun. But you, you kind

Alisha:

of are in a sense, right.

Curt:

Once in a while. Like it could, it would stink a lot too. Right? Like a lot of times you just have people that don't wanna do any work on

Alisha:

it really hard. Yeah. Yeah. That's a frustration. Did you listen to my, Josh Emery just commented Onuh. Oh. Oh, you should listen to, oh, I might listen. No, no, I didn't listen to that

Curt:

one. One of the, there's another one. So he's been overflowed and kind of fully booked for a while and I was like, well, how do you decide if you should refer somebody or keep a client or whatever? Yeah. And, uh, you know, who, what is your best clients? And he is like, well, you know, I'm, I like the clients that are really ready to work on it and this and that. And they're responsive to feedback and. Well, every counselor wants those

Alisha:

clients like Yeah. Right. And I guess it's more rare than you would think, I would imagine. But yeah. One thing my dad mentions is like the frustration of Yeah. The folks who he worked with four years and it's kind of like they just stay stuck. Yeah.

Curt:

You know? Well, people can only help themselves. Right. You can't really help some, you can, you can help

Alisha:

people, but just cuz you're paying a C counselor doesn't mean that they're doing the work for you and they magically

Curt:

fix you. Yeah. One thing the Matthews house, uh, trained their employees on from like the earliest days of it mm-hmm. was that if you ever feel like you're working harder than the client, then you need to back up as to they need to want it and work for it harder than you. Even if it's just a little bit harder, you can work hard for them, but they need to work harder than you. Right.

Alisha:

Otherwise they don't want it. And then it gets you to thinking like, oh gosh, what an easy job. You would think. Right. And like, why do they get paid so much to say so little. But then you realize like how deep the need is for us to just be able to sit in a room with someone like this actually and have someone just ask you questions about yourself and actually listen. Right. You know? Yeah. People pay just to be listened to. We do it for free

Curt:

worth the money. Have to look

Alisha:

and we get drinks. Thank you. Yes.

Curt:

All the Jux you can drink. Um, I guess that's a good question for you Alma, to bring you back circle before we'll jump back. do you feel listened to at the local think tank headquarters

Alma:

office? Yeah. I mean, I feel like our team is very, you know, we collaborate on everything and I mean, our whole entire thing is, you know, pers different perspectives. Yeah. You know, our really, really valuable and ask of your needs and ensure of your abundance. So it's like, it feels like, because that's like our entire, you know, the whole point, it's our dna, our whole thing. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. It makes it like, if you don't, that's weird, you know, so like, if you don't share, if you don't, you know. Yeah. It's kind of already creating that space, safe space and stuff like that. So yeah. Cool. That's

Alisha:

one of the things that I really appreciate about this place, and I could tell right away, is that there's that authenticity, that honesty and that respect, you know, and I was thinking of it this morning, like, wow, you know, it takes a minute to sink in, but I've landed my dream job here,

Curt:

Oh shoot. It doesn't pay nearly as much as you, I hope your dream, you

Alisha:

know what, and, and we've talked about this before, Alma and I, like, money is definitely not everything. And when you come across an environment like this and someone like Kurt, you know, that's try let it flow. not the easiest too. So I mean, that's Yeah. That's worth more than Yeah. A lot of places with higher paychecks, that's gold. Yeah. You know, so when you find that you, you hang on. Yeah. And I'm just really excited to be here, you know, and be part of this. Yeah. Because of that respect, that mutual respect. Yeah. I've

Alma:

been able to like, um, basically learn this or f not having any other, it's like my first kind of formal job, you know? Yeah. And,

Curt:

and I'm like, I don't really know how to do most of your job almost. So here's what needs to

Alisha:

happen.

Alma:

good, you know, but I mean, yeah, not having any other formal job before to be able to like, um, you know, right now my, you know, generation and stuff is all about like online. Oh, I can get a job of doing something online and it pays 80, 80 grand salary with this and that and very like, almost kind of demanding with, you know, like pay and benefits and, you know, stuff like that where I thought that okay, everybody else is doing that. So I guess it's easy to do that or easy to get that now. I'm like, you know, without actually being out there. Yeah. So I kind of thought about that a bit, but it just never, yeah. I don't know, I guess never aligned, like, you know, and like Kurt, I mean I, I, well there's, somebody's

Curt:

gonna pay 80 grand a year, they'll grind you up.

Alma:

that's kinda these days. Experience that, but I don't know. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm I'd rather be here basically.

Curt:

So far. And we'll keep, we'll keep, we'll keep working on it. Yeah. So, um, anyway, that's a very flattering, the dream, dream job comment. But uh, it's been great. Um, so like, take me into, cuz you kind of moved into professional art, young, right? A little bit. Well, yeah. Or when did you first stop? When I came back. When did you first do some art for money?

Alisha:

Yeah. It was when I came back from Spain, it was, and I had snapped a picture of a friend, a flatmate that I met in Spain, uh, named Colin. He was from Ireland. He was a character right from the start. And, but he was kind of, He felt like a big brother figure to me. Yeah. And he made me feel safe cuz he felt familiar even though he was rough around the edges, you know, he was like that older brother figure. And so we lived together in our first flat until there were like seven of us from all over the world. Okay. And then we got evicted from that flat for being too noisy. Apparently coming home late drunk

Curt:

and like having seven people in a four person

Alisha:

flat. Yeah. And we lived on like the fifth floor and there was like this really echoy stairwell that you would have to go up to, you know, there was no elevator or anything. It was just very, just coming home was loud stairwell. Yeah. So, of course me and Kirsten would come home giggling the whole way up. We, you know, we've been friends since we were in elementary school and we've always been gigglers together, so it's like, oh. So that, I guess that got us evicted. But anyway, um, back to my art I snapped a picture of Colin in Spain. I came back home and I was like, I don't know what got me inspired to paint him, but I, I developed a style that I, did you have a crush on him from that? Um, no. Like, I occasionally in my life had these like platonic crushes on guys. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it was more like that. Yeah. And um, he was kind of just an inspiring figure to me. So yeah. I used a style that I had learned back in that Thomas Kincaid painting studio those years always comes back to Thomas Kincaid. No, I didn't, I never meant to bring up that name even in this interview. But, um, but that artist who I learned from in that studio, uh, she was, she introduced this really cool technique of dry painting where you basically just get this teeniest amount of paint on your brush on like a really stiff bristle brush and you just rub the paint into the canvas. Have you ever seen seen that? I seen,

Curt:

I've seen it on, you know, not on the, on PBS of some sort, but Bob

Alisha:

Ross does not paint this stuff. Bob Brass is the opposite. I was gonna say not but pallet knife and go paint and slop

Curt:

knife. And I've actually seen it demonstrated in person before too. Really? Because I'm actually kind of art curious.

Alisha:

I Oh good. Yeah. That's cool. Yeah, so I remembered that. Okay. And I thought, well, you know, for one thing it's cheaper to paint that way. Oh really? This is a lot less paint really. You know, you're just using the teeniest dab and you can do in whole image. You just have to be patient and build up the layers and, you know, one layer at a time. And so I painted his portrait that way. And then, um, Somehow it was like right down the street from, you know, I moved back to my parents' house when I came back and right down the street was a new coffee shop that came in. Oh, it was called Doo Espresso. And it was like right across from the DMV where I got my driver's license. You know, I was like, oh cool. New coffee shop. And I checked it out and you know, I always noticed if there's empty wall space in anywhere I go, you know? And I think I noticed, oh, they need some art on their walls. I don't know what prompted it, but I started talking to the gal who worked there. Yeah. And I was like, um, she brought up that she needed art for the walls, or maybe I brought it up and I was like, Hey, well you know, I have this one painting, I think I had started another. And that same style, I was like, sure, I could have a show ready for you in, I don't know, a few weeks or something. And like, so I busted out like several more paintings like that. Interesting. That were based on like photos, photos you took of people and stuff. Well, around the same time I got interested in finding old black and white photos in secondhand stores. Oh. Um, just around, you know, I'd go to, I'd shop at the thrift store a lot anyway, but they were just like, people just abandoned their photos. Very authentic thing, right? Yeah. And I was like, oh, these abandoned people. And I picked it up and it's like, they're strangers, but I could see in the images, like things that I emotionally resonated with. And so I wanted to paint that to like show kind of our common humanity, you know? And the common, and this just like

Curt:

when you had a little. Art classes and drawing. Mm-hmm. and stuff. But you just like started painting pictures? Yeah.

Alisha:

Outta these pictures? Yeah. Pictures outta pictures. They just went to town and sure enough, I had a show to hang for her. And yeah, that was the first art show. And then I, soon after that, I set up another one in a cafe, actually in Seattle, north Seattle, I found Wow. The next cafe that I approached and was like exploded onto the scene. Yeah. Yeah. And then after that, it was like the next 10 years I was finding, uh, opportunities, finding different businesses where I could exhibit my art and I would go hang it and sell it. Yeah.

Curt:

You know? And you just stayed busy, like either meeting coffee shop owners or painting pictures. Did you use the same style the whole time?

Alisha:

I stayed with that style for a number of years and sold quite a few paintings. Okay. Um, so, um, I called it drawing a collective. That was the name of that whole series. Hmm. And within there were like subseries, like one was called trouble. That was, um, all little girls and expressing these intense emotions, you know, because I used that to express like the feelings that I was going through at the time. I was like in my twenties and I was going through my first heartbreak. Yeah. And I was like, oh, these little girls, their emotions are so raw. I can like paint my emotions through painting these little girls. And you

Curt:

got start to classify probably cuz you have got kind of a, a bit of an organizer's mind and you're going through these old pictures and you're like, oh, these are men whose hearts have been broken or whatever. Like Yeah. Different kind of categories

Alisha:

or it was more like, I'm feeling this intense emotion and I'm, it's like the, the innocent part of me was feeling like really hurt or feeling betrayed or whatever. And so I sought out the images of little girls for that reason. Oh wow. To show their vulnerability and then in the context of heartbreak, you know,

Curt:

and, and then whatever emotions you were feeling, you were trying to find kind of things resonated

Alisha:

with that. Yeah. Yeah. And it, and I felt like that expressed it better than anything else. Like, there were certain images of like a little girl, like with the tier street face and it was like, I scratched, you know, words into the painting and I just wanna stop missing you so much. You know, like things like that. And it was like boom. It was like that emotion was right there on the canvas. Yeah.

Curt:

So where like, did you kind of stay the same most of that time? Uh, not, not in terms of your actual art, but were you a solopreneur the whole time? Did you ever do galleries or things like that? Or like, talk to me about the experience of being that and, and like, did you make pretty good money sometimes and then go through dry periods? Was it pretty steady, Eddie? Like, talk to me about both of those things as far as the business elements of really, you were self-employed as an artist, but it had to have

Alisha:

ebbs and floors. Well, you know, I never really planned ahead about like how I would do it as a business. It was always like the art leads, you know? Yeah. I'm an artist and, and people are responding to this. I can sell this. So I did, you know, I never got licensed at that time. You know, I never went through all the steps you supposed to have license. I don't know. I mean, I never went to, you became an actual business at that point. Like I never, yeah, I never created an entity. You just deposited

Curt:

checks. Yeah. So you're admitting to tax evasion, is that what we're

Alisha:

saying here? I'm admitting to, uh, shouldn't my naivety and my lack of understanding of how the whole system works, at that point, I was just like, I'm gonna paint. I'm gonna sell my, I

Curt:

got my rent, paint, paint my

Alisha:

power bill, because that wasn't my sole source of income. And that's why I didn't give it that focus, because I always worked in coffee shops at that time. Like I worked in a number of coffee shops throughout the years, and that was a great way for me to like have my social frustration, social connection, social, my

Curt:

networking for my team. Well, it goes back to that theme you were talking about of being with people and then being off by yourself. Yeah. I

Alisha:

like to have a balance and being with people, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have to have both. And, uh, I'll get, you know, overloaded if I spend all my time around people, but then I'll get, you know, conversely I'll get too much in my head if I'm just like painting and making art all the time. Yeah, yeah. And then I'll use all perspective of the world, you know.

Curt:

And how would you say, what would you say about you, Alma, in that regard? Like, do you like the same like balance of both? I know you and I both get a little lonely when we work by ourselves

Alma:

here. Yeah, I think, I think I have that balance. I mean, I think it also kind of depends on what. Um, because yeah, like for me, like social life of it's like church or like every single Sunday there's somethings going on or Right. Somewhere, every single Sunday that's like playing volleyball at the park. So just, yeah, I don't really like see it too often cuz it's just based on how I feel. Um, but I think now that I'm married it is like, okay, if I don't wanna do something, I'm just gonna go to my house. You know, versus it's kind of,

Alisha:

and that's a new thing. Yeah. Which do that like done. I mean,

Curt:

the first week sometimes you're like, I don't, I have two bad options. I could hang out with my friends or I can go home and hang out with my mom and dad,

Alma:

you know? Yeah, yeah. Before, so that's why, that's why I was kind of like, all right then I'm just gonna go out with everybody else because what else am I gonna do? Yeah, yeah. Just be in my room or something, you know, So that was, I think, yeah, now I'm starting to see that. But I think even, you know, being engaged was like, okay, I'm just gonna go hang out with Isaac.

Curt:

You know, you're

Alma:

allowed to at that point. Yeah. And it was a lot more like, okay, let's just go do this, you know, and, but I still wanted, I specifically wanted to keep a balance of, it's not like, okay, I drop everybody now. Yeah. Because I have a boyfriend, you know? Um, are

Curt:

you worried about like, him being all on you all the time is not

Alma:

yet. I think we're both kind of loving, like, we both, you know, I'm like, I'm a person, you're a person. Like, it's not. you're the reason why, the sole reason why I'm gonna be happy. Like, if not, I'm gonna let you down. You're gonna let me down. And I think, um, I was also like, well, I can't miss you if you're always with me, Or like, how could I

Curt:

miss you if you'll never leave?

Alma:

Yeah. So I was kind like, you know, um, like I even him like, okay, good, good, good. Like, yeah, go talk to people. Or I'm kind of like, I want to talk to people. Can you just go like, hang out with your friends or something.

Alisha:

So I love listening to Alma, like in her first, you know, you're just in your first weeks of marriage and. Ever since I met you. You're such an

Curt:

old soul. She's wiser. She's wiser

Alisha:

than she has any right to be. I've got this figured out. Yeah. Like she's gonna hundred percent save herself. A lot of trouble. Trouble. She's already had brown or something. But you know,

Curt:

that's not skin color, by the way. That's how relational,

Alisha:

that's, yes. I'm glad you clarified that. Racist comments right here. I forgot about Halls in that moment, I should say. Cause I, I saw

Curt:

Brown. I'm better than you. I saw you turn, look right?

Alisha:

Yeah, because I'm clarifying brow power, Oh, I mean, yeah. Power to you, but

Alma:

hey. Yeah, yeah. No Halls. It's like the the integrator style personality

Alisha:

type thing. But yeah, that's like a, and I had that in common deep thinking and. in our house profiles. Yeah. Yeah. We get it. So we're a wait, what's the converse of an inch deep? And a mile wide? We're a mild, deep and an inch wide

Curt:

Yeah. Being integrators, that's quite that bad. Yeah. But when you focus you, you're more like a laser. Mm-hmm. Yeah. You know, they're focused power instead of like say yeah fol along with whimsy and humor like myself, you know? Sounds like

Alisha:

like her. Yeah. there. There's both in there. But I definitely appreciate like the hyper-focused times I get to have. Yeah. Because it's just like really calming to me and it's like you go into the flow and you're like in another world and time disappears and like if I'm painting or I'm designing or whatever, it's just like a good space

Curt:

to be. Mm-hmm. do you have really good headphones? Like the noise canceling kind?

Alisha:

Oh, like just for when I'm doing my work. Yeah, I was thinking about that. Cuz you've got some Alma right? You know when she's working cuz the full noise canceling Right. Headphones come get it. That I just had the earbuds and Yeah. I've been kind of curious about getting Yeah, we might those myself. Yeah.

Curt:

Maybe I can bonus you for a new pair of headphones sometime or something. Sweet Because I'd like some too Yeah, for sure. Um, but I think it might be effective for you because Yeah, like always there's, you know, if I'm on a phone call Yeah. There's a lot of background noise in here. Yeah. Do your headphones cancel that

Alma:

out? Pretty good. Oh yeah. I mean, that would be nice. Yeah. Mine even have a thing where it like can detect like talking, so it'll like get out of noise canceling. Oh really? When you guys start talking. That's interesting. Unless Kurt's like on a phone call, then I'm like, manually turn it off because it, you know. Right. But yeah,

Curt:

so, but I can sneak up behind you pretty easily.

Alisha:

Technically we're local, we're

Curt:

sitting nurk Right. Visually it'd be pretty hard. Yeah. Yeah. Visually, I mean, technically you, Alyssa Yes. She's the vulnerable one with your Right. The way my desk is back, right. My door,

Alisha:

right in the walk. This is a funny story. So about that, like when I first started getting into, back into graphic design after I came back from Spain. Yeah. And I, and I had been doing my paintings for a while and then, um, there was a, a professional illustrator who, um, noticed my work and he referred me to, um, a guy that, that he was friends with named Pip Mcca McCaslin and Pip ran Realtime Inc. Which was, uh, that pip Oh, hey Pip. He, it's a, a CD manufacturing company in Seattle. And I'm sure he's probably transitioned his business cuz CDs are Right. He's probably not in the CD business anymore. It's interesting. He went from from dubbing tapes. Okay. And then he transitioned to CDs and then I noticed like he was having more trouble making the leap to MP3s. Like, what does he do?

Curt:

Because it was Right, where's my place, where's my value? My

Alisha:

manufacturing kind of business. Yeah. So anyway, um, when I was getting ready for making the leap to that, that was like my first professional graphic design job. Yeah. And I was like, oh my gosh. So I, you know, I transitioned from doing paintings alone in my studio and then I was gonna go work for this, excuse me, company. And at the time I, um, sorry. I was living in, I think. My first place on my own, aside from Spain. Mm-hmm. like when I came back from Spain, it was in Seattle with a couple other guys as roommates that I had. And, um, So that one of the roommates was, okay, I'm getting back to the point I was gonna make. I'm chasing a squirrel a little bit. That's okay. But I'll bring it around. So, uh, so the roommate I had was kind of like this cool dude guy. Okay. He was in the music scene too, but more of like electronic, like Rav scene at the time, you know, and he was like a producer in like EDM or something? Yeah, yeah. What you would call EDM now right. Back then we didn't have that term for it. But anyway, he was a cool dude. He had cool dude friends that would come over. And then, so in the shared house where we had the computers set up were, it was all in the entry front room area. and he had like a long desk and the, all of our computers were there to work together, but it was in between, like you come right in the front door and you walk through to the kitchen and so it was a high traffic area. Mm-hmm. And when I got this job, I'm like, okay, I gotta brush up on my skills. And I was feeling kind of shaky on him cuz you know, I, I had been off in Spain and painting for a while, so, um, so I asked him, or maybe he offered, or I asked, I can't remember, but like, can I get a partition behind my area so that people aren't looking over my shoulder while I'm like, trying to create this stuff. Trying to become a graphic designer for real, for the first time. I was so self-conscious. And they're like, okay. Yeah. They were really sweet and accommodating to that. And then they found some screen somewhere his mom had or something and set it up for me. I'm like, okay, whew, this is much better. Nobody's looking over my shoulder. Perfect. Until they were like, what are you doing on their computer? That's so secret. Like

Curt:

well computers, were nearly editing some

Alisha:

porn on there. Is that

Curt:

I mean it like computers were just starting to be able to do things good

Alisha:

and easy. Yeah, yeah. Right. So that was like 2004. I think. You can't even

Curt:

really imagine this thousand three, like there wasn't really an internet when I got into the professional workforce. Like there barely was, like companies had websites, but whole bunches of companies didn't. Hmm. Yeah. Like most small businesses didn't have a website. Right. They were thinking maybe in a couple years I should have to

Alisha:

get one or something. Yeah. In my first time through graphic design training, it was like websites, like it was so new. Everything would be like from scratch. You had to just like imagine this digital environment and I was trying to create like a virtual art gallery that you like scroll through, you know, project. You know, it's just so basic, you know? It's nothing like what you're learning now,

Curt:

Well, and that's available there. The imagining, even a digital art gallery that you could scroll through, like that was, it was like beyond

Alma:

mind bending almost

Alisha:

what they could do. Right, right. At the time. Right. It was just kind of a prototype I'd be designing there. Yeah. So that was the funny story about being self-conscious about people walking behind. That's fair. Me. That's fair. That's fair. I thought of asking for that here. Actually, remember we were talking about the partition? Mm-hmm. we could, if you're walking back and forth, I might need

Curt:

that. We might, yeah. No, we can put a little bend in it there. We got one to keep me from sneaking up an alma when I'm leaving the bathroom. What? We're

Alisha:

really ergonomically designing this office. It's, it's nice. It's, it's coming together.

Curt:

Yes. Yeah. We like it Um, and so like, you really like the CD company, right? Like you got to design CD labels and different things. I

Alisha:

did. I, you know, it was only about a year and a half, but I was really fired up about it because I loved the music scene. I was all about the Seattle music scene growing up. Yeah. It was like, Nirvana was my first concert, A chance to work in 14 years old. And then, you know, every weekend was like another concert and like our friends were in punk bands and we'd travel to go see them. It was a fun job. Yeah. It was like, yeah, I'm into it. And it was fun. And then it got kind of crappy towards the end where, um, talking about compensation and what he could afford mean. He was a small business owner and what you could eventually, but he was kind of weird about how what he promised and didn't deliver. And then I, so I was like, okay. By the end of that I wanted to go and explore living pip. Yeah. Later, dude, he couldn't afford paying PE beyond what like an internship rate would be. And I'm like, okay, at this point I've learned enough. I'm worth more. I'm gonna move to la My brother lived in LA and I thought, oh, I wanna go try that out. That sounds like fun, And you know, I'd gone on a trip to visit a friend in Aruba. It was like, I got to stay with her for, for free for 10 days. And that really got into my system cuz I love the ocean. And I was just like, okay. I started to get the wanderlust again. Yeah. Yeah. But I came back from Aruba and back to real time. I was like, Hmm, this isn't serving me anymore. I wanna try something else. So did you like adventure? No. But it was an adventure.

Curt:

My friend Laura is coming to town, um, June 12th. She's coming up to Fort Collins here. We're gonna have her on the podcast. But uh, she was my first friend, kind of when I moved to Fort Collins and she was from North Dakota and she moved to LA and it has since built a executive recruiting business and blah, blah blah. Cool. But I like to joke that the week that I went and visited Laura in LA I was, what do I say? I spent a month in LA one week

Alisha:

That's how it is.

Curt:

I was like, I was so ready to leave after the, the fourth day.

Alisha:

I was like, well for me it was, nothing is worth this traffic. Right. Nothing. Well it just wasting my life

Curt:

noise and smell and I'm, I was walking all over the place cuz she was working during the day and stuff. Mm-hmm. So I'm like walking around Hollywood, going into CD bars and stuff. Cause I didn't really have any money. It was pretty wild. Yeah. Been interesting. Oh, it was super interesting. Main area. But it was, it was like, I. At least a month of real time in that week, because I just saw so many different

Alisha:

things. For me, it was like I stayed five months trying to live there and I, by the time I left, I was like, was that five months or five years? right?

Curt:

Yeah. So you resonated with that kid Totally. With that comment. Got the same vibe. Yeah. And so, uh, Roland back to Seattle then.

Alisha:

Well, it, when I moved to LA I thought, oh, I'd love to go back to school for illustration and Art Center of Pasadena is really interesting to me, and I wanted to, I went and, and at least interviewed, least in Pasadena is not in La Right. And that's actually where my brother settled is right near Pasadena. And he loves it. It's right up against the mountains. It is really pretty. Yeah. You gotta find the right areas, you know, but I, I even, you know, I brought my portfolio and I interviewed with them at the art center and I was really gung-ho about going there until I realized cost of living in LA plus the cost of this school. Like, outta my reach. Yeah. Outta my reach. So I decided to move back to Washington and go to school at the University of Washington for fine arts at that point. Right. Which was, you know, similar to illustration, it was drawing and painting. Yeah, yeah. But, you know, um, so yeah, it got, it took me three years to get my bachelor's there because for some reason the credits from the community college, the graphic design illustration program did not transfer to the fine arts. I think they get

Curt:

stale. Didn't make sense. Did you finish your,

Alisha:

but yeah, I finished both your associates or. Yeah, I finished bowl, so it ends up I have six years of college, but you

Curt:

know, yeah, whatever. I was on the five and a half year plan anyway for just regular bachelors, so everybody's

Alisha:

gotta do their own pace. Right.

Curt:

I just want, I didn't want to go into the real world yet. I was like, yeah, school is

Alisha:

sweet. This is, well, you know, your whole life, you're kind of figuring it out, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, so that. was interesting. At the end of that, I met Drew because, um, Drew's my husband now. Yep. I mentioned earlier, what's up, drew I'm sure you're

Curt:

gonna listen.

Alisha:

Hey, DUNS Um, so yeah, I met him because he worked at the art store, um, where I would buy all my supplies while I was in school. Mm-hmm. interesting. So, yeah. Yeah.

Curt:

He hit it off the clerk at the art supply store.

Alisha:

Mm-hmm. He's the cutest guy that works there. I had my eye on him from the start, and he had a girlfriend initially. He had moved from Colorado recently. Oh. And I noticed him and he was like, oh, shoot, he has a girlfriend. I gotta move him over to the friend category. Don't, don't go there. Just like, I'll just chat him up while I'm buying supplies and that's it. And

Curt:

then it's been like, like, oh, oh, you broke up

Alisha:

with your girlfriend? Oh yeah. At a certain point. He, he made a point to let me know. I could tell. Mm-hmm. he was kind of making a point to say, oh yeah, I broke up with my girlfriend. He was like showing all this interest in my artwork. And he's like, oh, you know, we're expanding the store and we're developing gallery space now. Oh. To feature local artists. And he actually invited me to be the first artist to show there that wasn't just

Curt:

to

Alisha:

get in your pants. Well, you know, You know, I made sure, here's the funny thing is like he wanted to take me on on a date, like really soon after that and I made him wait because I'm like, I gotta separate business and pleasure. I gotta note Yeah. That you're inviting me to do this and yet you're appreciating my art for my art. Not cuz you wanna get with me Right. So I made like a clear distinction. That's fair. I think that's fair. Yeah. Mm-hmm. and uh, and so we were kind of like, we got a slow start and we were kind and, and like when we actually did start dating, he wasn't quite over. He was a little hoot, too hot to trot, to like He wasn't, he didn't get back with his ex-girlfriend. He was just kind of still feeling he hadn't worked his shit out yet. And it was, he didn't want this to be a rebound. Right. So we kind of like, you know, yeah. Took a break for a few months, didn't see each other, and then he tracked me down at the coffee shop where I was working. That's cool. Later it ended up that I was working a coffee shop, like right up the street from where he lived. But I was a floater at the time, so I worked at like five different locations for that company. So I don't know how many times he tried to catch me there before he actually did. Oh wow. But that's when we really started hitting it off. Cool.

Curt:

Yeah. What a was, it sounds like it was pretty much, uh, attraction right away, but as you said, let him, let him cool down

Alisha:

a little bit. Yeah. Well, and for me, there was kind of some criteria that I had that I wanted a guy to meet, and I wasn't sure if he met it. Okay. And I was like trying to figure out if this was okay. Like, you know, at the time I wanted for sure to meet a man who was Christian, but not like a typical Christian, not too Christian, more of a nonconformance Christian, more, you know, like a brand of Christian than I was. Like me. It was really Yes. Like it, it was a tall order.

Curt:

Right. It was just enough, but not too much.

Alisha:

And, and then I found out, oh, okay, well he's four years younger than me. I was like, Ooh, I don't know. I don't know if I can go there, you

Curt:

know? Can I ask how old you were at this time?

Alisha:

At this time I was, oh, good question. I was like late twenties. Late twenties. And so,

Curt:

uh, I think So you were like 28? He's 24, 29, 25, something like that.

Alisha:

I, well, I remember he was about to turn 25 when I was giving him shit. I said, well, 25, that's right about the age you start pulling your head out of your ass. And he laughed and agreed with me and I

Curt:

was, uh, yeah. That's when he first joined you, Jill? Jill was 19 and I was 25 when we first met. Okay. Yeah. But then it was like 20, almost 21 and 26. When you got married? Yeah. When? No, when we first started dating. Oh, dating, okay. Yeah. We were friends for like over a year

Alisha:

first. That's good. Yeah. That's good. I feel like Drew and I built up

Curt:

a friendship first too. Well, it was, we had, I kissed her one night when we were just friends. Ooh. And then I was like, I'm sorry Jill. You're, you're too young for me. You're younger than my sister.

Alisha:

Sorry. So what changed your mind?

Curt:

Well then she was almost 21 when we reconnected. Oh, you're old enough now. Oh yeah. You qualify, you'd go to the bars with me. No, it wasn't. But partly cuz there's a lot of difference, especially frankly, well for men and women, but between that 18 and 21 age, there's a lot of change that happens in your brain. Yeah. You know, and I'd already been through all mine. I was

Alisha:

only half joking about the pulling your head outta his house. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. He was just getting ready to pull his head out of his ass when he met you. Exactly. you might have been what caused him to finally pull his, his head outta his

Alisha:

ass. Yeah.

Curt:

So anyways, so you meet Drew and that obviously changes the course of your life.

Alisha:

Yeah. In some ways he did. Like once we decided, okay, once I decided I was gonna get over my hangups about him, you know, maybe not being a Christian. Mm-hmm. he was more Buddhist leading. Okay. Him being four years younger. Oh. And then I found out he smoked cigarettes and he smoked weed. And at that time, you know, those were absolute no-nos. Interesting. Yeah. And says even

Curt:

in Seattle, even being fun, girl's

Alisha:

hit break skater. Oh no. Listen, I was raised by a nurse mother who's the sweetest woman in the world, but when you get her talking about smoking, she goes off She's seen how bad of deaths people can die. Right. From smoking. And so from a very young age, it was inundated in me like, smoking is the worst. You'd be stupid to do it, you know? Okay. So like, then I was the one among my whole friend group who was the non-smoker. Right. And got to breathe. Everybody's secondhand smoke and you know, at the time you could smoke a lot more in venues. So I'd come home from hanging out with my friends and my mom be like, you smell like a bowling out. Ew.

Curt:

My roommates in college, both for a short season, worked at the bingo parlor in Fargo Oh my God. They had to put their clothes in a fucking bag and in the closet and then like

Alisha:

cut and it was still seat out. Oh.

Curt:

It was so gross. I could still smell it. Like they could come into a. Hmm. After work, it'd be like, oh, go take, take your clothes off and take a shower before you even think about coming

Alisha:

back into, you know, I actually have good connotations with the smell though, because it reminds me of all the fun shows, all the concerts, and That's fair. Hanging out with my friends.

Curt:

Yeah. You, we have that in common, that How many concerts do you think you've been to in your life?

Alisha:

Man, so many. I've been revisiting a lot. Ballpark it a lot in my writing lately. And, um, I would, oh, I don't know, couple hundred. Yeah. You know. That's fair. Yeah. Is it because there's the, like I collected all my ticket masters stuff. I had 'em until they were like the official ticket masters. Yeah. I don't have, so I have all those in the earlier years and then after that it was smaller shows that you didn't really have an official Yeah. Stub for. So, I mean, at this point I've probably been to like 500 shows or something. Really? I don't know. Yeah. Like I, I just That's awesome. Stopped keeping

Curt:

track. You're, you're, you're way up over, but not too many. I bet. I'm two to 300 would be my guess. Really?

Alisha:

Yeah. I, I mean, I don't

Curt:

know. How many concerts have you been to, like ticketed concert?

Alma:

One. What? Which I don't even count

Alisha:

out thing.

Curt:

Oh my God. Maybe we should go to Red Rocks. Oh, yes. Do you guys wanna go to Red Rocks?

Alisha:

Yes, for sure. Let's red show. I, you know, my

Alma:

music taste is different and stuff, so

Alisha:

we could find a compromise. We were playing us some waafl. Yeah. Which is, was pretty cool. Different but,

Alma:

but

Curt:

I'm pretty sure we could fight a band at

Alisha:

Red Rocks. The last I just went to a Red Rock show is Mark Rebelle. Have you guys heard of him? Mm-hmm. he's like just a solo act on his keyboard and he just like, oh yeah. Has, has blown up since Covid. And he's, but he's an amazing musicians, the way he sings and layers. So it's interesting to watch how much, how much concerts have changed from my first one. Nirvana of Innovation lot Mark Rib. But then the energy is the same and the energy is what I love about shows. Yeah. And that's why I got so into them Like, I feel like music was a very defining part of my life. And a like, coming of age Yeah. And identity forming and then a constant companion to like, just navigate the world with Yeah. Like you gotta have the music that goes with what you're doing, you know, like, it, it anchors it for me.

Curt:

Yeah. I dig it. I dig it. So, um, how long before, like you packed the bags loaded up the truck, couldn't you move to Fort Coy?

Alisha:

Well, let's see. Drew and I started dating in 2009. And we moved in early 2014. Okay. And so we were dating about, um, a year and a half, no, it was a year before he proposed. And then like a year and a half or two before we got married. And then about a year after that we packed up and loaded up the truck for Fort Collins. Yeah. Where his family lives, cuz he's from here. Yep.

Curt:

Yep. Yeah. And uh, like what did you think, like, had you been here a bunch visiting his family and stuff? Did you know what you're getting into? Kind of?

Alisha:

He, yeah. Well, two months into dating he invited me to come and spend Thanksgiving with his family here in Colorado. And I had never been to Colorado. I'm like, oh my gosh, this guy is serious about me, And I did it and I really liked it. I think something about this area like elicits my earliest memories of Shingle Town, which is in red in California. Yeah. It's very arid, like, you know, shorter trees and sun, dry suns once a while. Sun. Sun, right. Yeah. So I had like an immediate affection for this area because of that. Yeah. But it's very, very different from the Seattle area that I For sure. I'm so accustomed to. And so it was a big transition to adapt to

Curt:

living here socially. Relationally, yeah. Oh, where have you lived? You've lived

Alma:

Mm. I've lived mainly California growing up, but where, uh, San Diego area. Mm-hmm. which consisted of Spring Valley, San Marcos. Okay. Uh, I kind of grew up till the age of, I'm gonna say like nine in Riverside. Okay. California. Um,

Curt:

and yeah. And then came to Fort Collins when,

Alma:

um, after California, we moved to Arizona. Okay. In Phoenix? Yep. For like nine months.

Curt:

And you were what ages

Alma:

then? Um, I was, I think I was, uh, 15.

Curt:

Oh wow. Okay. Yeah. So I didn't realize you'd only been in Fort Collins really since you were like 16 years old or, yeah, since

Alma:

I was 16. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, we lived, we moved to Colorado Springs first and we lived there Okay. For a little bit, and then moved here to Fort Collins when I was six, almost 17. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. Mm-hmm. Interesting. Um, and what did you think, like, probably hard for you to get a gauge, right? Were you guys migrating, looking for the next place? Was it related to your church and doing stuff with that?

Alma:

Like, um, it was related to my church. Well, my dad. Was slash just went back. But he was a painter. Yeah. For like 20 plus years, you know, and we moved to Arizona because he was gonna go to barber school there because there's a lot of Oh yeah. Barbering now in family and stuff. So they told my dad like, yeah, you should be a barber too. Are you getting old? Kind of low key and you shouldn't be out cuz he's fallen off in a like two story building and stuff. Like you shouldn't be out. And, but at the same time, um, growing up my dad would go out and do like, uh, be do a painting job that was outta state or something for like a week. Yeah, yeah. And stuff like that. And so that just wasn't like, you know, like my mom was like, I don't want you gone for like a week and you know, stuff. So did barber school, which was kind of the only reason why we were in Arizona for like nine months was okay for him to do the barber school. And then in Colorado Springs is where um, our family had the, their barber shop, which is, I don't remember, like family, not my blood, but like we're so, grew up like that. Yeah. Close enough family. And then they, um, moved to Fort Collins. Oh, okay. Um, eventually. And so my parents were like, do we move to Fort Collins or not? You know, like, should we stay here? And I mean, the story behind that is my parents, we were, um, we went to buy a house, we. In Colorado Springs, Uhhuh in Colorado Springs. Um, like our lease of our apartment was up. I'm like, okay. Like, you know, daughters, you know, we've, they've been going to school here and like, they like it. And with the, my dad working at the barber shop, like, it's good. So we're like, okay, maybe we should, you know, settle here. And so, um, we started, you know, looking for a house and they got a house and like, week, you know, the realtor was like, okay, like I'll give you the keys like in two days I'm gonna go get them and stuff. And like, you guys got the house. And we got the house. And like the day before, I think it was two days before, she's like, actually, like the seller doesn't wanna sell anymore. They're going through the divorce and husband just does not want to, just to kind of get

Curt:

back at, so they were able to not have the closing

Alma:

happen. Yeah. Like two days before. Yes. But my parents before then, you know, we're basically praying about it. Like, if we moved, we should be moving to Fort Collins or, you know, just generally not be living in Colorado Springs.

Curt:

Like, you know, well, it's way better up here. Close.

Alma:

Yes. But it's like, close the doors, you know? And so that was basically the legit sign of Okay, two days before the, we just, they for real. We were like, Nope, nevermind. Yeah. You know? And so, We got to looking for a place up here in Fort Collins. Like

Alisha:

I love it when there's clear signs like that. Mm-hmm. Providence, you for it. And you got that clear sign and it's like, even if it's hard, you kind of know that like, okay, this is what I need to do. I mean, and it was still kind

Alma:

of obvious that Fort Collins was better for our family. Yeah. But just the, like we were

Curt:

already been here. Momentum was there and there's no real good

Alma:

reason secure that like, my dad has a job or whatever,

Alisha:

but Well I'm sure glad it worked out that way cause I love working with you. She's a speech. Me too. It's a blessing

Alma:

to me. I mean, I met, you know, my husband here in Fort Collins and stuff. So like that one have happened and stuff like that. But also I would've been a different person because in Colorado Springs we didn't have basically a church there. Mm-hmm. So that was like

Curt:

one of the main, you'd be an actual bad kid by now. Not just a opposer

Alma:

kid or whatever. Were talking. Cause it's like you can't Tommy to go to church if church, we don't even go to like there's no

Alisha:

church here go to, yeah.

Curt:

Interesting. I think that's really cool. Yeah. Um, I wish we could spend more time talking about that in some ways, but this is Alicia's special day and we should, anyway. Special day. And we should love a

Alisha:

little bit. We're, yeah, we're jiving here as a team. Like, you know, just sharing stories and stuff. It's not just about me. It's like our, this is our new team. Yeah. Mm-hmm. gelling and like for sure, you know, getting to know each

Curt:

other more so you blow into town. Cause we still gotta do the, the podcast recap

Alisha:

stuff. Oh, you keep me on track because you blow, like I said, I chase squirrels as much as you do. So

Curt:

you're doing, uh, art stuff. Oh, well you're doing work stuff

Alisha:

at the time. Okay. So at the time I was full-time with my art, like, this is when I wanted to be really intentional about making a business about it. And I had been working on that like my whole first year of marriage. Like after we got married, drew encouraged me to. Follow my passion. Bless his heart. You know, we didn't have a great lot of memes, but he could see that. I was like not happy at the cafe where I was working at the time. And, and he was just like, go for it. Just like, now's the time. Just do it. And so I did, and I took like a, I did this intensive course, um, on like becoming a professional artist. It was through Artist Trust nonprofit in Seattle. And

Curt:

almost like the music district professional Development development course is like, Hey, we can teach you how to be a real band that makes money and

Alisha:

stuff teach you the business of it. Yeah. So I did that and, and I was going for it, you know, and that was where I had to really dive into like the solitary work of like, okay, I'm gonna be an artist, but I'm gonna be home alone all day. Everything, just pouring myself into this. Yeah. Pouring myself into the work. What kind of paintings, what kind of series do I, how do I organize this and how do I market it, plan for it. And I learned how to create a website and everything. And that was really interesting. And, and, and a whole, I put together a whole mailing list that I had been compiling over the last 10 years of collectors and followers. So then I started learning Male Chimp and all the things, you know? Yeah. To really do

Curt:

it for real. So the thing prepared you for success even.

Alisha:

Yeah, exactly. In a way, right? Yeah. Yeah. That's what I really have carried on and continued to develop to this day. Um, but it was, it was a tough transition, you know, and that was part of it is that you can't just, I've learned like through trying to live in Spain, through trying to live in California, there was actually a couple times I, traveling a couple different parts of California. You can't just take like what you had in your culture of your hometown and just transplant it like a, a plant and a pot, repot it in this new area and expect it to thrive. It's just like the culture's so different. Well, and it's different soil. Completely.

Curt:

Yeah. The way I think of it is, you know, when you're, when you're in partnership with God as my blog from last month mm-hmm. like if you're doing the things he's ready for you to. in his time. Yeah. Then he'll open doors in unexpected ways. Right. If you're maybe not quite aligned, then you'll find yourself struggling a lot more than you expect.

Alisha:

Yeah. And that, yeah, that's been the hard part to learn is like, doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong, no path or anything, or the wrong passion. It was just like there were lessons to be learned through regrets through it. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. He wanted you there for a reason too. Yeah.

Alisha:

Yeah. So all of it was very interesting. I met a lot of cool people here right away. Like I hit Hit the ground running here to get to know the artist community. I set up a show for my painting in Denver, like one of my paintings, like a group show, like within the first few months. Yeah. I was here and had that exhibit, and then I

Curt:

met the, well, the thing about Colorado is people don't wanna pay for art here is what I hear in comparison to other places, like,

Alisha:

well, that's what I mean, like the culture is different. Like the art scene is different. Like you think of art in a different way. It's not as integral maybe as Seattle and the bigger cities. Yeah. And

Curt:

I think just margin, you know, like appreciation and recognition. It's like, oh, that's a really great painting. give you a hundred bucks for it. Mm-hmm. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. Basically, yeah. Where it's like, well, I spent seven hours on it. Yeah. So I would make $11 an hour, except if paint was free

Alisha:

you know? Well, I have to brag about, like, the biggest accomplishment around that here was that I sold a painting for $1,400. Nice. Yeah. That's killer. Through the studio tour, the Fort Collins studio tour. You know about the Yeah. Yeah. So I had like, that's

Curt:

14 times more than I've ever paid for

Alisha:

Right. That was legit, as Alma would say, that was a legit sale. Right. For sure. For sure. That's huge. Yeah, it was pretty exciting. And uh, it was a painting that I had actually done of, you know, the St. Malo, um, chapel in Allens Park area. The, um, chapel. I bet I knew. Yeah. Yep. Totally do. And the flood came through there, and all I ever knew of it was this chapel on these huge boulders. Yeah. You know, these bear exposed boulders. Yeah. But that was because of the flood that had happened. 2013. 13. Yeah. The year before we moved. And so it was still fresh. Wow. And so I went out there

Curt:

and you were just struck by the beauty of

Alisha:

it and stuff. Well, I think a friend of mine actually, who was a consultant with the S spdc Oh. Who I got in touch with, like soon after we moved to this area, I found out about the S Spdc I found about, out about their business coaching. Oh. Way back when? Way back when. And I got connected with, do you know Nelia Harper? Oh, I love Nelia. Yeah. Yeah. So she was my consultant. We became good friends and she's the one who invited me to become part of the Plain Air painters of Northern Colorado. And

Curt:

she effectively became and kind of a semi-professional artist. Yeah.

Alisha:

Still. Right. And she, and she's in like Minnesota, she moved away somewhere. Yeah. Doing a four year program there for fine art is, yeah. Um, but she was like super interested in me building my business around fine art cuz she was doing the same. Yeah. And so she invited me to go paint with her a number of times and that was one of 'em. And so we, like I, I started building the painting. It was a pretty big painting of that chapel. Yeah. On location with her. And then I brought it back to the studio to finish. And then that was the,

Curt:

well make sure you send this to Nelia and uh, she'll hear me say it for sure. Hi Nelia very fondly over here. You Yeah. We'll come back and visit

Alisha:

sometime. She did reach out to me, to me on on Link LinkedIn and when I, I posted about this job and she's like, oh, that's so cool. You're working with Kurt. Oh good. Sweet. Yeah, yeah, for sure. So how did I get on that tangent? I don't wanna be taking too much time away from. Well, let's talk

Curt:

about the transition out of art into the county. Oh, right, right. Yeah. Might as well finish that chapter because that was really, thanks. Ultimately what brought you here, kinda the story.

Alisha:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, it was hard work to try to transplant my fine art business here from Seattle and, and being one $1,400

Curt:

sale doesn't pay the rent for too long.

Alisha:

Yeah. It's super exciting. But when you look at it in the context of like, a

Curt:

salary is much one of those a month and a few more seven hundreds and five hundreds, and that's,

Alisha:

but those, but you put your heart and and soul into it and it takes a lot of time to develop. And that's what people don't understand when, when there's the high ticket price, it's like, this is how much went into it, you know? Mm-hmm. but yeah, it's not very sustainable. I learned like to be building a business around as my sole income, like mm-hmm. that, and, and not that it was sole, we were married, you know, it was Drew's income too with the family business, but it was modest, you know, so I have to be a contributor. And so, um, you know, I quickly learned that, um, selling paintings is not gonna be the thing

Curt:

that, it's a good way to make a thousand dollars

Alisha:

a month, right? Yeah. Yeah. But there has to be more. So I kind of, I kind of went through a bit of a crisis with it. I kind of was very dramatic about turning my back on it for a while. Like, I tried and tried and tried for the first year and a half to like, make it here just on that. And then I realized, Ugh, I'm exhausted. It's not working, I'm just gonna put it all away. Yeah. And that's when I looked to like, okay, how can I transition all the skills that I developed, like. you know, building a website and MailChimp and all that stuff. Marketing myself as an artist, how can I translate that into something that would work for a larger organization? Mm-hmm. I could, you know, do something creative, but for a, for a company. Yeah. And, um, and it took a while, you know, and I, and I got in contact with Carrie Penski, um, pink Sky Counseling. She's great for Okay. For career counseling. Okay. And she helped me make that transition and Yeah, for sure. Hi Carrie. Um, but to, you know, to craft my resume, to like, uh, make that leap into working for a company. And so, um, it was kind of this serendipitous, like through some connections and networking, I got referred to a, um, placement agency that then, um, had a job at the county commissioner's office.

Curt:

those, there's probably characters, right? Like county commissioners are all characters. At some

Alisha:

level. They are. I came to learn, they really are. But at the time, I got the call for this and I'm like, they're like, oh yeah, we have a position. County commissioner's office. It, it's a great job. And they're like explaining to me, I'm like, what the heck is that how work? I don't even know what county commissioners do for sure. But if you say it's good, okay, I'll try it out. It's a temp thing. Right? I'll try it out. Well, lo and behold, that turned into five and a half years working for the county commissioners and county managers. Um, and that was really an interesting eye-opening experience. Yeah. That very community oriented, which

Curt:

I loved. I just applied for, I don't know if you guys saw my Facebook post, but I applied for the Leadership Northern Colorado program.

Alisha:

Yeah, I heard about that when I was working for the county. That's a good program. Yeah.

Curt:

Well, and it's kind of like an intentional step behind the scenes of how it's all put together. Mm-hmm. but the county commissioner's office, they basical. No. All like, and to some extent there's a county, they're the top of the heap on a county wide basis. Mm-hmm. it's kind of like here's how this whole machine comes

Alisha:

together. Yeah. It's pretty fascinating actually. And

Curt:

so I, so you got to go right behind the curtain, like you went right from the art world to right behind the curtain, the government

Alisha:

machine. I'm always up for adventure, you know, if you haven't noticed by now, like, I'm like, okay, here's an opportunity to try. I'll just go for it. Yeah. And then like, um, the first couple months I was there, I thought, okay, I'm gonna check out they have an LC 1 0 1. I don't know if they're currently doing it. Yeah. But that's their class for the public to like teach what exactly the county does because like me, a lot of people aren't really aware of county services and, and the breadth of it, you know. And so it's like a seven week, um, once a week kind of course, um, in the evenings and you go through each department, so. Wow. So I jumped on that cuz that was like the perfect orientation opportunity for

Curt:

me to learn. I bet you've had more interaction with like county officials and different things in the last month or two, Alma. Than ever before because you, like, you bought a, a house or not, like, just with the machine. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Right. You got married, you had to get a marriage license. Yes. True. Like you haven't really had to engage with the machine ever before. Yeah.

Alma:

Yeah. It was like when I, when we went, you know, the title of when we bought our House, I was like, oh, okay. And then when I, you know, scheduled for a marriage license, I was like, oh, this is the same building, And I was like, oh,

Alisha:

this is the same place. I was like, oh, okay. I guess that's, that's where we do stuff. He does a lot. Yeah,

Curt:

for sure. Your, your, uh, license plates and stuff like that also.

Alisha:

Mm-hmm. I haven't Yep. Done that yet. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Curt:

On the first floor when that happens, that's when you do that too. Yeah. I, yeah. Alicia, she'll coach you through

Alisha:

that Well, my favorite part of the job was just being able to be out in the community with the commissioners and just like having these, these, we called 'em at the time, citizen meetings. Yeah. We've since, uh, changed to calling them community meetings. Um, John Kafa, uh, commissioner for district one, he introduced that language more because he's like, everybody's a part of this community, whether they're officially a citizen or not. Mm-hmm. which is a good. but citizen meetings, it was hard to break myself with that. It's just a catchy term. But, you know, I'd be out and about in the community, like everywhere from Wellington to Estes Park to Beed, you know, every month. Really cool. Like a few, like sometimes. What a good opportunity to learn

Curt:

about our region here.

Alisha:

Learning about the region, learning about the issues in the region. It was fascinating. I was taking pictures, taking notes, and then sharing that on social media, creating articles for our website and yeah, and, and then a lot of the pictures ended up like, not a lot, but like a number of times I got requests for, from the newspapers. Like if they didn't have a photographer out for something, they would request my photos. They didn't get anything of this. They've ended up on the front page before. That was pretty cool. You know,

Curt:

one time I was on the front page of the Biz Wests, uh, magazine. I was That's cool. In a, uh, pinstriped, uh, suit. And I had my long hair, long hair. Yeah, I had a ponytail. He was that. At the end of my banking career, I had a ponytail. Yeah. All right. Oh yeah. Not as long as almost, but, uh, or as Drew, that's another

Alisha:

chapter, he usually has a burn because his hair is too longtail. But yeah, so, so that was, it ended up being a really cool experience where I was able to incorporate my art and creativity where I wouldn't have expected to. Yeah. Because you'd think when I tell people like local government, that's like a complete 180 from what you were doing before mm-hmm. Yeah. And kind of, yeah. It's kind of what I wanted to take a break, but I didn't really want as much of, of a break as I thought. And it was cool when one of the commissioners, um, the late Lou Gator, he was, I had have a lot of respect for him and he was very influential to me in that role. Um, he said, you know, I need someone to take pictures and we've got this nice Nikon camera sitting in the drawer here. Like, you're an artist, you know what to do. Right. But I, yeah, I'm an artist. I wasn't a photographer, like a professional photographer, but I was like, okay, I'll learn it. And like that ended up being a really cool opportunity for me to be creative in that role.

Curt:

Yeah. You know? Well, it's so much, frankly, easier to learn when there's a reason. Yeah. And you have to Yeah, for sure. To do your job or whatever to make it relevant. Yeah. I mean, I think about Alma, like her jobs before local think tank. cleaning with her mom for a few weeks. And then working at the cupcake shop, basically. Right? Yeah. That's your pretzel shop. Pretzel shop, sorry. Uh,

Alma:

cleaning a bit. And then the cleaning. I basically started talking smack and then we never went back. um, oh. Uh, bakery thing and, and then chicken farm.

Curt:

And I was like, oh yeah, the chicken farm. I forget. Chicken Farm. I didn't know about that. No wonder you'd think this is a dream job. Like

Alisha:

Well, those are, those, those are legit first jobs. right? My first job was at McDonald's fair. First two years of my working career. I mean, I was like, was a drive through a 17 year

Alma:

old. Right.

Curt:

What kind job was I supposed to get? Right? Yeah. That's very Exactly. No, well, I think I would like to just recognize that, that you're smart as whip. And so, yeah. You know, you get moved up

Alisha:

fast. And then I was telling her like, this is, this is a blessing to have a job like this, this early on in your career. You don't have a lot of bases for comparison, but mm-hmm. trust me. Me. Yeah. Don't, but this is a good, that's a good one.

Curt:

Yeah. Don't put on me. You won't find it lost.

Alisha:

Yeah. I trust her.

Curt:

Yeah. Trust me. Well, if, if somebody offers you twice as much money, you might as well see what it's like and whatever. you can always come

Alisha:

back. She just said, that's not what it's all about. Like,

Curt:

well, yeah, but I've been here for a year. Best interest. Like if somebody legit gave you an offer for twice as much money, eh, well, we'll figure it out. And I

Alma:

know, I know that too. You know, that's good. But,

Curt:

um, but everybody listening out there don't. You know? Yeah. Don't try to steal her. It would be nice cause you could afford

Alisha:

her more. Don't take her from

Curt:

us. Right. What's that old Dolly Parton song? Which one? Uh, Jolene Jo Jolene. Jolene Jolene. Jolene Jolene. Jolene Jolene. Please don't take my man just because Don't take my alma. Yeah, don't, don't take my alma We'll play it for you after. Yeah. Okay. Um, and so, County winds up. There's a reshuffle Your

Alisha:

unemployed. Yeah. Covid was weird for everybody and a lot of things changed. Like I hung on through it, but it was, there was kind of

Curt:

like no point going out to the community taking pictures and stuff.

Alisha:

Like, they were like, no. There was kind of some, some changes before that because of different commissioners coming in, different needs, different requests. So it was, the position officially was department specialists. Mm. Which I think they should have called department generalist because I did a lot of different things. Right. And it changed all the time based on who was in office. Yeah. So, you know, I had to be flexible, resilient. I did the, um, community meetings the first three years I was there and I love that. But then it transitioned, I got a new boss and it transitioned more to, yeah, I need more of this at the desk all the time in the office. Kind of a kind

Curt:

of a deal. and you were like, you know, I don't like this job as much as I used to anyway.

Alisha:

Yeah. kind of like, I stuck it out and I, I always make the most of it in every situation, but it sure wasn't the same as when I started. Yeah. And I really like, I really connected with being part of the community in that way in the beginning and being creative. Yeah. Um, so yeah, so Covid was weird and I was actually the only one who was coming in every single day, my regular hours. Oh. In the office being there, taking the angry phone calls. Did they make about the mask ordinances. I can't remember. Like, I think it was an expectation, and I think it was like I wanted to have that anchor of normalcy through that time. I was grateful to be able to just keep doing my job and ride it out. You know, like the world was just falling apart and I could just like stay steady, ride it out where I was. Yeah. So I'm grateful that I, I was able to have the job through that time. And then there was some, you know, just internal like office, uh, restructuring issues. Your boss

Curt:

total, B

Alisha:

I'm being diplomatic. Kurt

Curt:

No, people don't leave, but,

Alisha:

but one of the things I noticed about Covid is, um, how people responded. It wasn't what I expected. Everybody had massively different responses to that crisis. It's like, for sure. What do they say about like, if you really wanna know a person, like put them under extreme duress and you see their true character. Mm-hmm. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. That was absolutely at play in that office and it was, it was just like, wow. Uh, eye-opening. And so yeah, things changed, personalities changed. Working thing. The whole hybrid thing came in of like some people in the office and my boss ended up being out of the office three of the five days a week. Mm-hmm. Um, and then I was there all the time. And then there was kind of just like, Changes, you know, to how our dynamics were Well, that was

Curt:

ready for you to have a new chapter.

Alisha:

Absolutely. Like, I think I learned what I needed to learn there, Yeah. You know, and then it was time when it was time and we had some discussions about how we wanted to move forward and um, you know, the higher ups, the manager ended up like just completely creating new positions. Yeah. And mine disappeared and I had the opportunity to apply and continue with the new positions and I decided, you know what, I've, I've ran my course here, I've learned what I wanted to, and I'm ready for something new. I'm ready for the new adventure. Yeah. So I'm gonna take my, so you got you some

Curt:

opportunity edge education at the digital warehouse. Oh

Alisha:

yeah. So it was really cool. Like, um, you know, so I was on unemployment for a while and then I got a letter saying, oh, you have an opportunity to meet with someone at Laer County to talk about your, we've got

Curt:

some federal grants for all.

Alisha:

Well, it wasn't that clear when I got this letter. I thought, oh no, I'm getting audited or something. Like, maybe I'm as reporting wrong and I'm in trouble. Turns out it actually was like winning the lottery because I did get to work with some folks who, and I knew about the county enough and the Workforce Center to ask about grant opportunities. And I said, okay, I wanna get, do you have money for training? Do you I wanna get retrained on some things. I, well, you

Curt:

do. There's a lot of money flowing in from various things. I'm

Alisha:

going through a career transition right now. I knew I wanted to like. Get back on track with my creative work with marketing and graphic design and art. And so I just knew I needed to refresh my skills. So I was asking them about that. And they did have the grant funding and I, I was able to take two certification courses through the digital workshop center, which is based here in Fort Collins. And now they're all zoom, zoom, you know, virtual classes and so they can expand their offerings to all of the United States. Oh yeah. So before it was just really local. And now it was cool because I was taking classes with people from like the east coast Yeah. And Georgia and like, you know, it's pretty

Curt:

network expanding and stuff. Potentially. Yeah.

Alisha:

Also, yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was very cool. So I got certified in both advanced graphic design and digital marketing. Cool. So, yeah, so the tail end of that catches up us up with the loop of the story is like, then there was the paid internship and I could pick from the list and put my skills that I had just learned into action. And this is like perfectly matching that of like an an in digital marketing and the marketing manager graphic design,

Curt:

serendipitous. And the timing is amazing. I, I wrote in my blog last month mm-hmm. that, uh, What, I guess the end of August, Alma was like, are we gonna hire somebody to help me when Ethan's gone? Because we had an intern this summer. Ethan

Alisha:

was the last intern, right? Yeah.

Curt:

Before me. Yeah. And, uh, I was like, and his time was it, we probably should, you know, if I'd have been a procrastination pays, that's the lesson. Because if I'd have been ahead of it's lesson, well, if I'd have just hired somebody, let's write that down. If I would've already hired somebody in Laer County email me and said, Hey, do you want an intern? Right? Yeah. I'd been like, well, I do, but hey, it worked for me in this case. Yeah. No, I think, see, don't you, that's, that's, that's divine timing. That's for me. That's divine. What is that rules for me, not for the, for you guys, get your shit done. me. Not the time do

Alisha:

as they say that. As I do.

Curt:

Yes. Yes. But when I say procrastination pays, that's just for me. Right. Not for the I got you. Deeply noted. I think we should take a break and then we'll come back and, and do this top 10 list and uh, whatever else. All right. /So, um, we set out with a lot of goals in this episode, but we're not gonna hit 'em all. But, uh, we had grand ambitions. Yeah, we did. Yeah. But we're like two and a half hours in or something already. So, um, what we're gonna do now is, um, Introduce the, the logo, what you've been working on really, Alicia, since we met you here. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, do you think you can like launch into like a verbal narrative of like where we were when you found us and, and what you did with Logo? Yeah.

Alisha:

Well this is a little bit of a challenge to be mindful of Time Yeah. And to not go too broad with it, but, um, like I said, I had become familiar with Loco through Drew forwarding me some emails Yeah. From you guys. And I was intrigued, you know, but kind of curious and perplexed and, and not quite sure. And not giving it my full attention because it was a little bit ambiguous what exactly right. Loco was. Cuz we're familiar with hearing Foco here in Fort Collins. Yep. Yep. And then Loco like, well the coast sounded like Colorado. And I'm like, what, what's Loco What does it stand for? And something was business. It seems like they doing some cool stuff that would be relevant to my interest, but. Not quite sure. So, so there is, you know, ambiguity is the word that I use to, you know, my first impression is kind of like intrigue and ambiguity. Yeah. And so I thought, okay, okay, now here's, here's a chance for me to learn more about what they do. Cuz they're on the list with the internship. I can work with them, try it out, sit, learn about it, you know, and get involved. It seems like there was enough of the same interest that I had Yeah. That you were doing. And, and I wanted to

Curt:

connect. We had some abundance language in our things and different

Alisha:

whatnots and Yeah. Good values in place. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I was attracted to this business. Um, and so yeah, the, the logo redesign was, Prompted by one of the first things you were interested in having me doing was, you know, getting some branding going more around this podcast. Yeah. You know, to really have an identity for the podcast,

Curt:

not just my face with a QR code

Alisha:

which is quite clever by the cool. And we did keep that, we did keep, and it still with the stickers because those barcodes are darn handy, you know, so, so

Curt:

yeah. Part of the Covid legacy will be the QR codes forever. Yeah. May they live

Alisha:

May they live on? Um, yeah, so, so I did, I polished that up as part of it, but it was like there was a, a bigger thing happening. I could tell. You know, and, and as you've come to hear me talk about a lot, I'm a big picture person. Yeah. And, and like we were saying, I like that structure. And especially when I'm new somewhere, I like to get the lay of the land. I like to see the big picture first. And so when you wanted me to do a logo for the podcast, I wanted to know how does a podcast relate to the parent company of, um, NOCO think tank? Yeah. How are they related? How are they different? How, what approach should I take for the visuals for this? Yeah. To communicate all that. So then we got into more conversation around, um, the whole, you know, the broad scope of the goals for, for both sides of the business. And then it, for me, it seems necessary to just create a really cohesive. Visual message around what Loco is and make it really clear Yeah. You know? Yeah. And, and have a language that we could use for that. So,

Curt:

well, I think one thing we might do, maybe we can put a link to your blog

Alisha:

post. Yeah. Yeah. I think I feel the, the best about how I put it in the words there in writing, in the blog post, it really takes you on the, the trip of like the steps along the way in

Curt:

a visual journey that we can't really easily accomplish here. Although I imagine that we could slip in like a logo think tank. Here's our new logo, here's the logo experience podcast. We can slip that into the video.

Alisha:

But in the blog, I was able to like weave in the steps and then show you the visuals of like how I arrived at the end point. Because it was a journey and it has been a few months lot. It was a collaborative journey conversation. Yeah. And your input, both of you was so valuable in like forming this, I guess this was a collaborative team effort. You know, we made this together for

Curt:

sure. Yeah. Yeah. You're our skill button in some ways. Like Alma was doing a really outstanding job of. Like putting together marketing and images and stuff like that. Mama's been rocking

Alisha:

it. Yes, exactly. And then I like to think of myself as like a visual translator, you know? Mm-hmm. because like, I'm just really trying to pull together all that's, that's there and what you're trying to convey and like make that as succinct of a,

Curt:

I mean, almost rocking the brand right now with the, with the vest. You are. Yeah. Got the bright idea

Alisha:

mark right there. It's exciting to see it now. We got a lot of swag all the way people

Curt:

are digging it. By the way, the feedback I'm getting, I've been playing Santa as you guys know cause you helped me pack all these, uh, recession survival kits here.

Alisha:

that's the recession survival kit is the theme of the collection of swag right now.

Curt:

Yes. The new member gifts that all have our new stuff. Mm-hmm. and uh, clever. I like it. It is. Should we, maybe we should recap that You and Alma came up with that. Yeah. Me and Alma really talk about that. Like, almost like as you were finishing we're like, we did a bunch of swag for the members

Alisha:

as I said. I dunno, I ready for to go out yet, but, okay. Yeah.

Curt:

So we uh, I love your enthusiasm. Fanny packs. We got, uh, fanny packs for everybody. Mm-hmm. Uh, we've got, uh, nice cool wine slash coffee cups, Tumblr, hot cocoa, Tumblrs Tumblrs, insulated Tumblrs, uh, with hot cocoa and uh, pepper ORMs. Shooter

Alisha:

shooter ingredient to get to recession.

Curt:

And, uh, a collapsible silicone bowl. Uhhuh, which I think I, I bet half will be used for dog bowls. Like for people's dog backpack.

Alisha:

That's, that's the first thing Bettina said. Tina came by. She saw like a dog

Curt:

bowl. Exactly. and an oatmeal for that.

Alisha:

Whatever gets you through the recession.

Curt:

That exactly. And then, uh, as long as your dog calculator a, uh, APO fork. Oh, a spk. You don't forget. Thek Fork. Yes. A branded SPK fork. Spoons fork. If you get 500, there are only 64 cents a piece or something. But you have to get high volume. So we've got lots of sparks to go around. Yeah. Um, and then the survival. Yeah. The calculator. Yeah. We survive. And

Alisha:

the calculator's the best cuz it's, what'd you say? It's flexible. You know, it's a, it's a floppy calculator to silicon, but that's important in recession. Used to be flexible with your finances. Be resourceful

Curt:

Bennett. Like Beckham. Yeah. Exactly. So, uh, we we're gonna talk about the top 10, unless is there any more local business, local headquarters stuff. We've decided just now in the break that we're gonna have at least a, at least a regular conversation. Might not be quarterly,

Alisha:

but like, maybe quarterly, but like we can Why not? Yeah. Can certainly gather and, and have a conversation.

Curt:

We'll see. We'll see how many listens we get to the freaking producer of the podcast. Maybe be like, nobody cares about the behind the curtain at the local think tank headquarters. It's up to the producer.

Alisha:

Yeah. We'll see that fricking producer.

Curt:

Well, I'm the, I'm the executive producer. Yeah. So if I say we go, we go, you know, Um, so let's shift into this top 10. Um, Alicia, you've probably heard quite a few of our top 10 because mm-hmm. really the more, like, the more recent ones or some of our biggest episodes so far. Mm-hmm. uh, the podcast has been growing.

Alisha:

I have to say, I'm feeling a little sheepish that I haven't listened to the Ginger Graham one

Curt:

yet. Oh, you have not Because that's like, oh, she's a power woman top by the list. You're like a power woman kind of ladies Well,

Alisha:

thank you. You should definitely listen. I will definitely check it out. Okay. Well I've listened to like three quarters of

Curt:

it, I think. Yeah. Nice. So, um, I guess this part will be me recollecting in, in most cases, but mm-hmm. Bubble Water. This is, uh, this podcast, oh no. That some beer not sponsored by, I've got a Bubble Water Black Bottle Brewery. The product creators of the hard tonic. Although Mr. Nook and I are talking about a collaboration beer, um, I'm excited that, yeah, I am too. I think it's gonna be, should it be Local Think Tank or Local Experience podcast. That's the collaborative partner. Maybe the think tank if we're gonna do hot sauce. I've decided I want to give my podcast guests for early listeners and maybe somebody's got a hookup out there. The, the hot sauce, uh, the loco experience. Hot sauce should be like a, a reaper ghost pepper habanero. And we

Alisha:

were talking about that's what having guests like taste test it during the episode and so we can Yeah. Catch. I think we should, I think we should. The reactionary expressions. Yeah. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. Um, so top 10. Yeah. You guys ready? You've

Alisha:

got the list you're on. Let's go the list. Oh,

Curt:

I'm holding down to top right. So, um, number 10, we're just gonna do number 10. Uh, cuz you guys have met some of these people. Just gimme feedback. Mm-hmm. What we're just gonna talk about, uh, Emily Kincaid and Emily is the owner operator of Elevate Energy Services. So Emily's a 33 or four year old young lady that has a 150 person or more company in four states and is, uh, and she's a think Tank member. Yeah. And she's a think tank member. Yeah. Yeah. And one of my favorite clips, and maybe we can weave this in, we've probably over time already, but when I asked her what her local experience was, her crazy experience that she wanted to share, uh, she obviously didn't read my email saying, Hey, this is what to expect, But she told about her local think tank experience and she was just so. Like satisfied. Yeah.

Alisha:

So what was crazy about it? The think tank

Curt:

experience for her? Well that's she, she thought I meant What was your, what's your local experience been? Oh, just, she's like, experience, what have you got from the membership so far? Yeah. She's like, mm-hmm. Well it's been amazing and this and that. She gave the best commercial. Yeah, you were

Alisha:

saying, and I was like, I could use that as advertisement.

Curt:

Right. And we should, we should actually publish that, uh, somewhere here or there. But anyway, so that's like the highlight to me. And the other highlight is when she first started her business, her first big client paid her in advance because she didn't have the cash to like flow, the cost and the upfront. Wow. Yeah. So it's a lot of trust. That is trust. Different relationships she had and things like that. So that was my favorite part, probably of that podcast. Um, that's

Alisha:

cool. Um, speaking of like, as we're getting into like talking about each of these podcasts, I wanted to pause for a moment and just like speak to what you mean by the local experience, because obviously like Emily was confused about that and I was talking with my husband about it the other night and he, I mean, he immediately thought of like, oh yeah, local experiences, like your experiences here in Fort Collins. Like he thought that's what we'd be talking about when we say local, but I was like, no, I gotta think of like Kurt maybe gonna ask me about my local experiences. I to think about like what's my craziest experience and that you're willing for do. Oh, loco as in crazy because there's the double entendre, you know? Exactly, exactly. Oh, okay. We

Curt:

gotta write down. Well, we use it both ways because Right. Like as we just did our year end member survey and as I've talked to the members over the years, you know, I'm concerned about what their loco experience is, their experience being a member of loco think tank, you know? Yeah. Cause that's important to me, by the way, this is gonna look dorky, but Yeah, I was gonna say, say I keep bumping my, my microphone cord on my, on your collar shirt collar, and so Darn. It just is what it is. I'm gonna look dorky. That's okay. Um, so, so that's what that means is, so for the podcast purposes, it's really that craziest experience that you're willing to share. And it does have a double entendre for our membership is like, how's your local. are you getting what you need from your chapter? Are you getting what you need from your facilitator, your fellow members? Yeah, the headquarters office.

Alisha:

So we kind of have to clarify like, which lo do you mean? Right now?

Curt:

depending on the context, it should be obvious.

Alisha:

Yeah.

Curt:

Um, miles and Val L. Okay. Does anybody, you guys don't

Alisha:

remember that? Feel like Alma might have more to say about, I don't think I've

Curt:

actually listened, but you went to Val's,

Alisha:

we met Val. Yeah. Or I met Val for the first time at the Unstoppable Women's Conference. Mm-hmm. That Alma and I attended together when I first started working here. And so that was a cool way to get to know her.

Curt:

Yeah. So owners of Old

Alisha:

Town Media. Old Town Media,

Curt:

yeah. Mm-hmm. The cool thing to me about that episode is that they referred me to Mark Weaver. Mm-hmm. who then referred me to. Ginger and future guests and Kim O'Neal and like it was start of a cascade

Alisha:

that was in your November blog, right? Correct. Yes. People should should check that one out because it was a cool story of serendipity. Yeah. In that, and you said that actually built your first website. They

Curt:

did, right? Yeah. Good memory. But Alma is the brightest person most of you guys have ever listened to on a podcast. Maybe not that, but she's bright, like she remembers stuff so Well. She's like an elephant that way. Steel chair because she's wise. Yeah. Yeah.

Alisha:

Good. I can't always trust my memory the same, so, well we're, I admire that

Curt:

next generation Yeah. I'm an upper Gen Xer. You're a lower Gen

Alisha:

Xer. Yeah. Yeah. Few more years and a few more drinks in right. Life.

Curt:

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Almost just drinking Jux. Yeah. So the next two are really interesting to me. It's, uh, Wally and Miriam Viel, the owners of Wally Speed Shop in Loveland. And then, um, adjacent is Zach Schrader. Those are the number eight and number seven, and they're one apart. And they've been no more than two episodes apart for like weeks and weeks and weeks. Mm-hmm. Oh. In terms of like, yeah, they released only a few weeks apart and then they've just, they've been taken, they connect the whole time. And so I've introduced, uh, I've introduced Wally and Zack, I don't know if they've connected yet via text being like, you guys are neck and neck, gonna get out there and share that episode some more. Mm-hmm. because Zach is a putter sports car. Okay. So he builds Hot Rod Porsches and works on some vintage stuff in that category. And then Wally is kind of an Americana guy. So he makes hot rods out of old pickup trucks and Camaros and Mustang and this

Alisha:

and that. Oh, they totally gotta meet and hang

Curt:

out. Yes, they totally do. They're different. They taking up, they different like Mets and that's about it. Or they're slightly acquainted in some capacity, but I think

Alisha:

they would, it's interesting for you to have that big picture view.

Curt:

Yeah. They're so adjacent to each each other

Alisha:

and you're like, you guys gotta get together.

Curt:

Yes, totally. Totally. So they will, yeah. I'm sure they

Alisha:

will at least listen to each other's podcast episodes.

Curt:

Right. I'm sure they have actually. I would think. I don't know. Challenge Yeah. No, they'll like it. So that's one, one thing that's cool. And then Miriam is a member of the chapter that Alma in the Catalyst chapter and uh mm-hmm It's an interesting story cuz this is some local think tank insider stuff here actually cuz um, I had lunch with Wally and Miriam a few months into Covid, maybe four, six months into Covid. And Miriam had left her work with the school district to join Wally's Speed Shop. Wow. And she was doing some things. And was that because of. Not directly, but some things like that didn't really like her job as much anymore when she couldn't be around the, a lot harder stuff. Yeah. Mm-hmm. And so she was a, if not a covid casualty, at least a more like a covid, I'm gonna make a different decision kind of girl. Yeah. Um, which is, there's a lot of that happening for sure. Yeah. You know, I'm, I don't need to do this. I'm, yeah. Like my September blog, you know, the labor goes on vacation. Yeah. So, um, so anyway, uh, I go to lunch with Wally and Miriam and, and I, it's obvious that Miriam is really intelligent and I'd actually been to a Christmas party before, but I was kind of like, you know, you're kind of a little too green, you know, not ready yet to contribute to a chapter in the way that we expect our members to do so. And, uh, you know, I was a little bit Hmm. You know, things get stronger when they get stretched. And so my relationship with Wally and, and maybe even in some ways with Miriam, was stretched by that. Mm-hmm. and then like, came back around and I had some interactions with Wally and Miriam and really came to find out that, that she was adding a lot to his business. You know, she was, she was already adding a lot after a few months, but like, she was ready. Yeah. A few months later I was like, Hey, did you guys come on the podcast? And we did the podcast and really explored what her role had developed and what impact she'd made and stuff. And then I was like, Hey, you wanna be the Catalyst chapter You know?

Alisha:

So the having her on the podcast kind of led to her becoming a member? Yeah. It,

Curt:

it validated that she was gonna add enough value to really be a significant contributor to That's cool. To the organization, to the, to that chapter, you know? Right. Because that's kind of one of the rules was we don't mm-hmm. you know, nobody's in there for a free ride. You gotta give and get mm-hmm. and, uh, so yeah. So that's one of the things I look back at that episode for. That's cool. Number six. Uh, cuz actuator is number seven. Uh, Porsches are awesome old ones, especially Zack's. Awesome. Zach. We need to ride motorcycles together if you are listening because it's appropriate. Um, and then number six is a really big surprise. Brian Bauer and Brian is the founder of Abundance Foundation. Either of you guys listen to that. What is

Alisha:

Abundance Foundation? No, I haven't had a chance to listen to that one yet. A

Curt:

but I'm curious about from name. It's a sober living program that Oh, yeah. Lays on top of like what you might call halfway house kind of type environments. Mm-hmm. and gives them something to do that. Like, it gives them community, it helps, uh, give them connection. It's, it's, in a way, it's a little bit, look, think tank like in that regard is their programming for, they might go to a hockey game together. That's all. Oh, cool. Sober living ki kind of thing and stuff. Yeah. And just like, you're not, you don't have to rely on just your own strength to stay sober and stay on the right path. Yeah. And their, I guess, recidivism rate has been super low so far. And he started during Covid and has really addressed a serious need in the community. And so That's cool.

Alisha:

Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes people need those prompts, like if they're have, if they're struggling with addiction or things like that. Yeah. Like if there's a place where they already have like, okay, we're gonna do this and we have a context, this community who's totally doing things sober, well, especially around here, sometimes it can be hard to find like the sober activities Brian has,

Curt:

you know, Brian has an amazing story of, I mean, we basically detailed a slow dissent into alcoholism. Was that in his, of his own podcast episode? Yeah. Of his own alcoholism. Yeah. That it really interesting. It was fascinating. And listen too, uh, you know, knock would've been able to stay away from that, but Right. But it was everybody's story unique. Hear his story and just the hiding and the choices that you make when you, yeah. Anyway, it was, yeah, he was working on power lines. Like as a functional alcoholic that had to have a drink in the morning before he was steady enough to work on power lines. Yikes. Trees, cutting trees around power lines. Oh wow. It's all good stuff like that episode is fascinating. Exploration of addiction generally. Wow. Because we talk a lot about what actually helps you get out of that place too. Right. So, um, that's Brian Bauer and then, oh, number five, and he'll be shocked for this, but Daniel treat, uh, my wedding photographer, the guy that took that picture right up there.

Alisha:

Yeah. Cool. That's a good picture. Yeah, I did listen to some of that episode. Yeah. It was interesting, like the cross-cultural experiences that he talked about.

Curt:

Yeah. We talked all about Georgia. Mm-hmm. uh, the Republic of Georgia and, uh, yeah. Yeah, that was a good one. We've, uh, like, uh, Daniel and I didn't see each other for like 12 years or something. We've reconnected recently. And what,

Alisha:

what reconnected

Curt:

you again? Um, just wanting to stay connected at least enough, just right. We'd have texts occasionally or things like that. Mm-hmm. and whatever. And I guess, I guess during Covid, uh, my wife and I found out they were back from New Zealand and so we had them over for dinner. Mm. And, uh, spent some time together and, uh, really just enjoyed their company. And So He's a real traveler, huh? Oh, he's amazing. Yeah. He became a rockstar in Georgia. like a rapper style or something like that. A dj. He was DJ Daniel. Yeah, that's right. It was, what was it? I forget. It was, JC DJ or something because it was like Jesus Christ, DJ because he was like a Christian minister ministry, basically Yeah. So anyway, it's a fascinating, I could spend four more hours talking with Daniel. It'd be good. Yeah. Um, and the number four for 2022 was Kim O'Neal. You guys have met Kim? Yes. Mm-hmm.

Alisha:

Yes. And she's sharp

Curt:

She is sharp. She's like, yeah. Mm-hmm. and gentle. Mm-hmm. I think. Mm-hmm. And capable. Very relatable too. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. So Kim and I, uh, here's a good question. Should I get that to you? I will. A good story of kind of how we do things behind the scenes at local think tank, but I was introduced to Kim about being on the podcast by Mark Weaver, who was introduced by Val Miles. And we met and she had just left a, uh, the COO role of encompassed technologies after a couple of private equity things. She was kind of a free agent, um, didn't wanna really work. Didn't wanna not, and all the things, right. All the right in qualities. And during that coffee even, I said, you know, you would ha be a great candidate to be a next level facilitator for local think tank. Like you're just in the right place in life. Mm-hmm. but I've. Somebody that I've been planning on starting a next level three chapter with, uh, and that's Peter Bostwick was, was my candidate for that. And Peter and Beth are here in town. Yeah. And, and part of the challenge with that is that they're, they're qualified. Peter is either of 'em are frankly, uh, for be facilitators, and I hope they both are someday, but they're building a company called Maine, m a i n n.com. And as they got more and more traction with that, I really became aware of the challenge that it might be for Peter to give significant time and attention to something while he's got an infant startup business on the side. Mm-hmm. and I, I couldn't feel right about either him sacrificing that baby or doing a bad job at local think tank. And so long story short is Kim came on the podcast, I thought she was awesome. There's, uh, and like after processing this whole thing, I've got a handshake with Peter. I've processed it with my local think tank chapter. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. and, uh, you know, felt really good about the decision, which was basically, if you're feeling uncertain about Peter, you owe to him to break up with him now. And then you can ask Kim the question. If she wants to be that. But you can't, you know, you can't have your burden in hand really. Like, integrity almost requires that you like do the right thing with Peter first.

Alisha:

Right. Couple of things about that. Um, now do I understand correctly that Peter is going to, um, have another, I hope he'll

Curt:

be a thinker, chapter facilitator.

Alisha:

Thinker level. Yeah. Yeah. So that's a great way to keep him on and then

Curt:

Yeah. It just doesn't require as much commitment and intention as does being a next level. You know, you really Right. Kind of, you know, it's three times as much money so you know, you gotta expect a little bit more out of your commitment facilitator. Yeah,

Alisha:

exactly. For sure. That's true. And then you mentioned that you process with your chapter. Yeah. So you, what I didn't even realize until this morning that, you know, you're the local think tank founder and you're also a member you know, because, because you are a member of, of the, the next level. Yeah. Yeah. Um, one of the next level chapters. And I, I think that's really cool that you're able to, you know, be involved in that way and it benefits how you're growing local

Curt:

Yeah. As well. You know, and then I was like three years away and then became a founding member of this group, I guess, when did we launch three years away from, I, I hadn't been a member for like two or three years of my own. But

Alisha:

you had told me this, Mor, you started as a member. I did, and then I moved to the next. Right.

Curt:

That was kind of like, it was for me, I built all these for me as local

Alisha:

when, when sometimes was gonna be a restaurant tour, right? Yeah, yeah. Like the, the need was there and I was solving my own problem. Yeah. You were solving your own problems and then it expanded into realizing this thing and solve a lot of other people's problems as well. Yeah, totally. But, but you did take a break from, from being a member yourself

Curt:

and then Yeah. I considered joining other organizations, even Uhhuh. and this and that. Yeah. And so anyway, long story short, that's how we navigated that. And you know, thankfully Kim said yes on the. uh, next level three facilitator and mm-hmm. I've, you know, I've got a kind of, I got a charm on her. She might be somebody that could help us take local think tank to the next level when we get to the right place in time. Mm-hmm. I don't know, maybe she'll get something else to do.

Alisha:

Well, love when I wanna work hard. I don't know. All of these steps along the way and like how these things kind of morph and work out. Yeah. It's just your, hold it loosely an example of like, yeah, going with the flow and Alma has this philosophy too of like going with the flow and like, you know, being flexible and just seeing how things expand and evolve, don't force it. Inspiring to open doors, you know, you know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's cool. And, and you, the thing you said, like when I first interviewed with you that I really liked is that you're always looking for the win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win. And well, I can't settle for the win, win win said three wins. But lately I've heard you saying four. Okay. It's all good. Like, I love how that philosophy is like expanding because like that's just a, I never wanna win

Curt:

somebody

Alisha:

else's, right? Yeah. Sacrifice. And I'm all about collaboration over competition. Like I picked up on that in Seattle and I've carried that with me. Like, it's all about collaboration, you know, win, win, win. So I think we can have

Curt:

a strong word on this week that, yeah. Well, good. uh, Kim and then, ooh, Mandy Mullen number three for 2022. Big dark horse.

Alisha:

She raced ahead, didn't she? That's appropriate, right? Cause she's all about racing. She, yeah, she's organized the Windsor race. Right.

Curt:

So Kim is working on being a facilitator. Mandy is a new member. Mm-hmm. Brian is a member too. Oh, she's, I didn't mention that. Oh, this group is Mandy and now, uh, Mandy's of the new group, Hunter's second group. Oh, nice.

Alisha:

Yes. Yeah. Builders.

Curt:

Right. But I did invite her. It's always no quid pro quo. I invited Mandy to be, when we first connected, John Shaw referred me to Mandy forever. Go, cuz he lives in, or his business is in Windsor and he is like, this gal's, she's building a great business and blah, blah, blah. I missed connection with her a few times and then as we started this new group, I was like, Hey, it's time we connected for a phone call at least or something. Mm-hmm. And right from the start she was like, oh yeah, love what you're doing. Yeah. I'd love

Alisha:

to be a part of it. I loved her like the, in the podcast it was kind of, she talked about like the intersection of community and fitness, you know, and how she's building community around fitness and, and being healthy and getting out there together, you know? Yeah. Like, that

Curt:

was really cool. Alma, do you, have you met Mandy? I think you were here only

Alisha:

when she was on the podcast.

Curt:

When she came to record. Yeah. So, so you haven't listened to Mandy's podcast yet

Alma:

either? I think, yeah. Not, I didn't, I think I much tried, but, and then I got busy in the next, I didn't finish yet.

Curt:

We're starting to shift enough things. One of the things that, so when Mandy came on the podcast, she had just finished like a couple weeks before. Mm-hmm. the Leadville 100. Do you know what that is? Oh,

Alisha:

I missed that. Mm-hmm. what

Curt:

was that? It's a hundred mile race. Yeah. Wait, is it a relay? It starts in

Alisha:

Leadville. It's a relay, right? No. Like

Curt:

what? No, it's a You have to run a hundred miles, bitches. Yeah.

Alisha:

In what amount of

Curt:

time? It's, well you have to do it in less than 36 hours I think. Oh my gosh. She did it in like 34. Uh, cuz you have checklists get on, you made on it. Oh, that's incredible. And 800 people registered. 700 people started. 300 people finished. Oh wow. And you were a hundred miles All over 10,000 feet elevation. Oh my gosh.

Alisha:

right? Wow. I couldn't do it.

Curt:

Well that's part of the point of that podcast though, is that Yes you can. Okay. Like if you just start had a feeling, you'd say that and like my first big race was a the horse tooths half marathon, which is a pretty half horse. That's

Alisha:

marathon. That's for the hills. It's a tough half monster hill. It's a tough half for sure. That's

Curt:

what makes that one, I'm pretty sure it's almost as hard as like the Colorado marathon, which I plan to do that year after next. Cuz it'll be my fifth. I'll be 50 so I can like place well within the 50 to 68th bracket. Yeah. There you go. I'm all about the cred. Um, but uh, it's like, well once you can run five miles, then you can probably figure out how to run 10. And once you can run 10 miles, then you can probably figure out how to run 20. If you're run 20 miles, you can run 40 miles. Really? It's basically the same thing.

Alisha:

Depends on how much time you

Curt:

have, I guess. Yeah, well a lot of it is that like taking the time, time to intentionally. W up for the challenge and I've

Alisha:

learned you gotta build your muscles up slowly. Yeah. Because I always start back in too fast with jogging and then I hurt myself and I'm like, I gotta take a long break and then I'm back to square one. Fair. Fair

Curt:

enough. So that's Mandy. Yeah. Uh, Bob Flynn, number two. Number

Alisha:

two, green Ride, green Road. Yeah. Which is now Groom Transportation

Curt:

Groom. Correct. Yes. They sold it. Uhhuh. It was my, uh, my biggest SBA loan client for my banking years. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Uh, you were here, uh, when Bob was here too, Alma, right? Mm-hmm. did, were you here for the ping pong afterwards? I was. He beat me the first game. I beat him the next two, just for the

Alisha:

record. But, and the interesting thing about that was like, how heated the end of your episode got. I'm like, my ears were perking up and I'm like, oh, they're getting into it. Yeah. And then you proceed to just play ping pong together afterwards

Curt:

talking Bob, the loyal Canadian, he thinks Trudeau did things just right with the whole caravan and lockdowns and things. And I'm like, Uhhuh, I'm born in the world, libertarian, and we love each other. Yeah. You ended

Alisha:

up agreeing to disagree. Yeah. Which is beautiful to witness because we don't see enough of that Yeah. These days. So

Curt:

our Facebook pages lit up with, uh, conversation around that. Oh, really? And just about how respectful or disagree. Was, yeah.

Alisha:

Generally, yeah. We need more demonstration of that and Yeah. To remember and learn how to

Curt:

do that. Yeah. And well, and, and we're, you know, sincerely and we've known for years that we disagree at and that's okay at some levels on that. That's okay. And, and I think that we're, I know he's on my top 10 or 20 list of favorite people, you know, and I suspected it's likewise. Yeah. That's really cool. I'm proud for that. Yeah. And then number one, you tip the hat already, but, uh mm-hmm. ginger Graham. Yep. So that's cool. Uh, founder of Ginger and Baker and everybody thinks Ginger is Jack's wife and Injects the famous CSU star football quarterback and athletic director. And in the meantime, his wife is a Harvard mba. That's, she seems to

Alisha:

be quite the powerhouse herself. Oh

Curt:

my, my gosh. Yeah. Right. Her story is magnificent. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And my rotary club's been meeting at the Ginger and Baker for the last, uh, year and a half, and it's just the best we were there. I'm excited to listen into that one. Yeah. Definitely worth your, worth your time. Yeah.

Alisha:

Now I'm curious, did she share a lo experience in

Curt:

that episode? Her LO experience? You know, I wonder if it was just kind of the experience of being a small business in Covid Nation and keeping the cohesion of the staff together and stuff. You know, they're such an overhead, heavy. Location

Alisha:

of snow. Yeah. Ginger and Baker is huge. And then when Covid hit, how long had they been operating in that renovated Millhouse? They

Curt:

a while, honestly, I think probably 2018 or 17. They must have opened maybe even earlier. Relatively, not very. Yeah. They hadn't built it up yet. And they took a while, frankly, to catch traction. Mm-hmm. Yeah. With the community. Like it was a little bit,

Alisha:

well, and that whole area is just developing more, right? Yeah. Getting more built up, I guess. There's a spa across the street, which is new, which is Uhhuh. Interesting. You know, like it's getting kind of fancy over there. But when they first came in, it wasn't right.

Curt:

Well, yeah, the burrito was across the spot side. The tra the other side, the El Burrito is like the cafe style, cheapest Mexican restaurant in town.

Alisha:

I still need to go there. I haven't yet, but it looks like a good El Burrito. Good place. Like traditional, like have you been there, Alma? Like mm-hmm. they've been around for so long. Right. They've gotta be doing something right. You know? But maybe we'll have to go to lunch there. Sometimes

Curt:

it's, it's really a lot more like your high school cafeteria than it is like, oh really Mexican

Alisha:

restaurant. As far as ambiance or food quality. Yes. Okay, well we'll take it outta lunch sometime. At least.

Curt:

Sorry, I love your burrito, but it's

Alisha:

all good.

Alma:

Well, I mean, you know, with Ginger's episode, I remember Kurt asked her, um, cuz you know Ginger has red hair. I'm like, her name Ginger. But Kurt asked her like, is that your natural hair color? Or like, were, you know, is that your natural hair color? Actually, I think she said that they, that it was cool because they named her Ginger, but she was born a bald baby. So they didn't actually know that she was a ginger, like had colored hair until

Alisha:

later. And then now you went there. Huh? I went there with

Curt:

her. I think that's the hallmark of the local experience podcast. Or Kurt will ask questions, Kurt will go. And other people don't imagine that a person should properly ask I bet everybody's

Alisha:

probably thought of that, but that's what's her name about its Ginger.

Alma:

You know what I what I mean. So like

Alisha:

for me it's like so perfect that I didn't even think to ask about it. Cause it's like,

Curt:

well, and we talked about the value of a name and just the memorability and you know, she became a 39 year old ceo Wow. Of a company that she took public. Wow. You know,

Alma:

that's a pretty name technically, you know, it helped.

Curt:

Yeah, right. Just ginger remembering her and just, you know, and you gotta be whip smart. Mm-hmm. you know, she's an tenacious, she's definitely that. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. Um, should we do some. like, is there, I guess we should advertise for Kim's chapter of the next level three chapter. Mm-hmm. Um, we've got a few weeks left by the time this episode comes out before we launch that. So if you're the owner or the friend of an owner of a five to 50 million-ish enterprise here in Northern Colorado, you know, check me out. Uh, and check us out on the website. You can find it on the events page or,

Alisha:

and the event is kind of an opportunity to check out who, um, the, the currently interested members are gonna be. Yeah.

Curt:

You get to know Kim and you can't just come Right. Like you have to, like, register your interest and then we will meet. You gotta show us you really interested. Well, yeah. And that you're qualified. Like, we don't, I'm not gonna just like, bring everybody to this event. This is where I like to say it's a seven way arranged marriage when we launch a new chapter mm-hmm. Yep. Because we really desire to have seven members to start. Sometimes we start with less five or whatever. Mm-hmm. but they all have to say yes. Mm-hmm. And that's my job is to make sure to each other, like most my job is to make sure I've, I've got seven people in a circle and a facilitator that can add value mm-hmm. for whom they all say

Alisha:

yes. And that's, that kind of intentionality I think is one of the things that makes Loco unique. Right? Is that, that's, you know, that's an important commitment and it's, yeah. And because it's an important commitment, it's gonna lend a lot of value, uh, for the members.

Curt:

I hope so. You know, and there's probably still, gosh, I bet we've got out of our a hundred and a little bit members, I bet we've got 20 or 30 or 40 even maybe founding members that were there at the beginning of their chapter. That's

Alisha:

very cool. And the beginning was what, 2014, right?

Curt:

Uh, yeah, the first chapters. But like of their specific chapters, the chapter, they've stuck with it. Yeah. A lot of times the people that are there at the beginning say there the longest, you know, and cuz they, that's cool. They were looking for this thing. Yeah. So, um, I guess let's just, we don't need to talk too much about what's coming in 2023. We're gonna launch some new chapters. We're gonna let God direct our steps a little bit. mm-hmm. and, uh, you know, try hard. It's worked out well so far. Yeah. And, uh, but we do plan to expand further in Northern Colorado. So whether you're a under five employee, five to 25 ish, 25 plus for the next level, or a key employee of really any of those locally owned small businesses that. Wants to work better, find more peace, make more profit. Well, and

Alisha:

I might mention too, and a thing that's coming in 2023 is to really, like, I wanna hear from the members and also we wanna really feature them, you know, and be sharing like the cool things that they're doing in the community. Yeah. You know, so, and on the podcast, in the podcast and like, we do webinars and we have, you know, we're gonna start introducing guest blogging. Yeah. And so we're really wanting to elevate our, our members of our community that way. Yeah. You know, so that's something to look

Curt:

forward to. One of my favorite lines from 2022 in a facilitator forum, kind of a strategic planning that I have with all the facilitators. And this person didn't even end up being a facilitator, but he, he said one of the things that your community needs to know is that being in local think tank is different and better than not being in local think tank. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And I think together we're cultivating that path to, to that awareness. So Yeah,

Alisha:

definitely. And thank you, that's a cool thing happening here. Yeah. I'm

Curt:

excited. I love it. I love my job, And, uh, we'll have more announcements on the local experience podcast, I imagine, but mostly we're just, uh, having great guests. I think we've got our hundredth episode locked in. Got a locked in today with, uh, with Alicia is not a huge fan, but, uh, a better America with more guns or something like that with Dudley Brown, the founder of the. uh, naer, national Association for Gun Rights here based in Windsor, Colorado.

Alisha:

I told Kurt I'm more of the bear hugs, not arms kind person.

Curt:

I'm like, they, if the government disarms you, they'll fuck you over for the rest of your life. Yeah.

Alisha:

I mean, I guess he has a point there.

Curt:

So anyway, we're gonna hear that perspective and we're gonna look for the civil discourse continues, other perspectives as we continue. And a couple, one of my members, Jacob Leese, is gonna join who really helped Dudley grow from about a three person organization to a 43 person organization. Wow. Back in the day. Yeah. And then Ben Gates, a former banker buddy of mine that went to work in the oil fields, uh, and has a, a gun business on the side, And so also let it be known that I beat Jacob in our trap shoot. Uh, that we were both in this Really? I got 75 at a hundred. He got 71. Just a little bit compact. So talk a little, I noticed he's way better at just a little bit, I think. But I was, I was owned that day. uh, Alma Sue. Um, you've sat here patiently, uh, you've chipped in here and there. What do you got in mind for the local experience podcast? Like, you're the, you're the freaking producer. Um,

Alisha:

what do you think about We should be on your business card, the freaking producer. I mean, for

Alma:

me, for the podcast, I think, you know, cuz. or it's the podcast, but also like a think tank and they, you know, are together, but at the same time, separate, you know, they're, they're their own things, but, um, with the members, I kind of can see how we can, you know, make those two more, more joined, but in a separate way. Yeah. Does that make sense? Um, and also, I mean, we have, you know, other plans with kind of getting specific guests or, or things like that. But I mean, I think it's, I'm even more starting to see now, like with like the listenership and everything, how, like even if, okay, even if I don't even like market an episode or like am marketing the last few releases, like we always. Like around the same amount of listeners every

Curt:

single time. At least for a base. Yeah. And we've got some steady fan. Mm-hmm. Oh, Darren Atterbury. Did I tell you about that? I don't know who that is. The city manager for eight years. Manager for Fort Collins. Oh yes. Yeah. And he came to me at lunch county base at breakfast yesterday morning and he was like, Hey, why don't let you know. It took me a while to, to catch on and listen cuz they're kind of long. Yeah. But I love your podcast, like your conversation with Ty was great. Mm-hmm. and some of your other conversations I've heard lately have been just really outstanding. Yeah. Nice. So keep it up to good work.

Alisha:

Oh, he listened to Ty, the Thai falter episode. Yeah, that

Curt:

was a good one too. So we got up to him on the list too, because he served the city of Fort Collins for a long time. I was wondering Yeah, maybe he'll share some Juy bits. Maybe he bit sometime. Yeah. No, he's on the, he's he's a yes. Anytime.

Alisha:

That would be, that'd be

Curt:

interesting for sure. Yeah. So I got, I need to email him with some open dates, so, yeah. Cool. Anyway, some, sorry to cut you

Alisha:

off all No, you're good. Again. But

Alma:

basically my, you know, goals is kind of hitting more, getting us out there is specifically to the community and digitally like, you know, social media and stuff because I think that's like a big, those video clips and different things. Yeah. And I mean, I see it in like, like all of my friends follow these specific social media things so that we get informed about, you know, where we live and stuff. But also just Fort Collins, you know, slash you know, then Colorado is really. Community like that. Mm-hmm. And I've never experienced anything like this before. Yeah. And I think, you know, I really wanna kind of let that happen, let that happen. And I mean, I see it already even naturally happen, you know, right now with, you know, that base listenership all the time. Yeah. Yeah. So I think if I just

Curt:

pull some different levels, just

Alisha:

keep, just keep

Alma:

working stronger, go stronger on it, that, you know, can be something that can, can be really big. But in general, like, I think it's amazing and therefore it's like not really, I don't think it'll be too hard to achieve that if I just really

Alisha:

try

Curt:

We got a good product, I think. Yeah.

Alisha:

I'm excited about, um, you know, functioning as kind of a hub of the local business community and providing that platform and that connection. You know? I think that's exciting.

Curt:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Any final thoughts? Do you wanna share your local experience? Alicia

Alisha:

You can. I was wondering, you, you still gonna ask, but you know, this is, this has been quite a, this place for conversation, you know, in the, in the last year since I was laid off from the county. It's kind of been my, my e Pray Love year. I don't know if y'all are familiar with that. I've heard of that book Memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert and I actually did, I think I was reading that book during that time. And, you know, it's all about like going on journeys and discovering yourself and like, you know, opening to new experiences. And so one of my things that I did in my Eat Pray Love year last year was to, um, travel to, I went on a solo road trip, okay. From here to, um, Oregon. Where there is a, a zen monastery called Great Val. Okay. And they had, um, you know, they had meditation retreats there. And so when I got laid off from the county, I got, um, not only my job disappeared, but my coworkers, my, my colleague, um, on my team from that department, her job disappeared and we left together and we both made the, the decision not to reapply together. Yeah. And so we were both kind of on a journey of self-discovery and she kinda led the way to this monastery because she found out about it from a book that she picked up and she looked into like, oh, where are they based? Oh, Oregon. Oh, I'm gonna go there. Yeah. I mean, good on her for being such an adventurer. Right. You, you're like an eager follower. I totally am. I've done it numerous times. Like, oh, you're gonna go, I'll join you. Like, that's a great idea, I mean, sometimes it's me coming up with the idea and like, let's go do this, but like, I'm game, you know? So she actually went out for like the full summer residency, which was like seven weeks at this monastery. Wow. So she lived there for seven weeks and then I joined her for the last week. And at the time I didn't have a car yet cuz my husband had crashed my last car, and so, so ghost. And so, and that, and that's a sad story for another time. But, um, he's okay now, but, um, anyway, I, I needed a car to go out and meet her there. I said Okay. I'm gonna buy a car and I'm gonna come out and meet you by this date and I'm gonna join in on this, on this thing. And sure enough, I did, you know, and I met her. But when I got there, I didn't realize that it was gonna be silent the whole week. Like this is not just when you're meditating, this is silence the whole time. So that's like the

Curt:

beginning of the page. How many questions did you ask before you

Alisha:

Not enough. Apparently And so I get there, I'm like, okay, oh yeah, I'm e pray love right now. I'm gonna be all in and I'm gonna do the thing of like turning in my cell phone at the front counter in the little basket. Like, okay, I'm turning in my cell phone for the week. I'm like fully into this. And it was like a nature retreat. So they're on the grounds of like an old elementary school that backs up to a forest. So this particular re retreat was to be camping on the ground, somewhere on the ground. So they're like, just go pick a spot, you know, And so I turn in my phone and I about it with anybody. Yeah. I'm like, okay. And I'm like exploring the grounds. And I find like this, these blackberry bushes, like bramble bushes in like a plum tree that creates this perfect little alcove and. Climb in there and it's like this little green cave. I'm like, yes, this is where I'm gonna set up my tent for the week. And, and I did. And I was like, okay, this is great. And so then meditation the next day starts at like 4:30 AM

Curt:

Do they have an announcement or something or is there a program? There's just

Alisha:

like, well, there's a, there's a general agenda. Like every day you wake up at four 30, you meditate for like three hours and then you like do some work and you have a meal and then you meditate another three hours and then you have a little break and you meditate Another three. Like there was a lot of sitting meditation time. Yeah. This

Curt:

was hardcore. It was a guy, it wasn't night meditation, I guess, right? Like you're

Alisha:

just, um, we were in a circle, you know, there was like, you know, there was, but there's no instructions. What if we just sleep in or something? Well, not a lot of instruction. I mean, most of the people there were familiar with meditation. Yeah. Yeah. And I was somewhat familiar, but I'd never done anything like that. And

Curt:

so, but how did you notice it in a circle? Did they just assemble that way? Yeah.

Alisha:

Yeah. They kind of gave a little bit of an intro grab and nudges, passing them. You weren't supposed to talk, you should only pass notes. like what? So yeah. So then I'm like, okay, I'm good. I'm settled in and then I go to sleep and, and then here's how they, here's how they wake you up at four 30 in the morning. They blow a conch shell. Wow. Like in the middle of the grounds. They just go, I'm

Curt:

not talking,

Alisha:

I'm not talking. Shell like totally natural like, and I'm sleeping in the bramble bushes and I did not hear that. And I'm not used to waken up that like punch So I was late to the first meditation and my friend Deb, bless her heart, she like found a scrap of paper to pass the music. She said, don't be late next time. And she's like, maybe you should retrieve your cell phone So you have an alarm Oh. So like, well, so much for that, you know, all in kind of experience. I had to go And So did you go get your cell phone when I went and got my cell phone, like no one was in the office and I looked for the basket. Where Stolen. You stolen? No, I had to like steal it back cuz no one was there. But then, you know what's funny? I found out is that like my phone was the only one in the basket. Right? Wow. I tried

Curt:

So everybody else's silent retreat was. Combined with Facebook posts and I Instagram

Alisha:

apparently. Yeah. On this slide, check out this cool on the slide.

Curt:

Silent meditation, which I'm

Alma:

in

Alisha:

Yeah, Check

Curt:

it out. Super zen.

Alisha:

No, really like I, you know, I'm a writer and a painter and like you were the whole week, you were also supposed to not write anything or like journal and I'm like, this is the perfect opportunity for me to be journaling. So I literally had to like smuggle my journaling and then I was like, I got into this whole thing of like painting on rocks and so I was breaking all the rules cuz in my little bramble bush cave, I was like painting these rocks and like, you know, doing my artwork and they're in between the meditation time. But with like actual paint You were, I brought was ok.

Alma:

Some

Alisha:

berries? No, I wasn't using berries. Like I'm accustomed to like traveling with all my little like travel materials of, I had some secret, I had my journals. I was like my, yeah, I smuggled in my art supplies

Curt:

is drew that bed except with art supplies around his belt or

Alisha:

something now kind of, yeah. Oh, with, with his fanny pack. Right. the new LO branded fanny pack. Love it is great for both of us. Yeah. We love it. So I, yeah, that's my local experience. I like it. One of many.

Curt:

I like it. Well if you're. Still with us. Uh, you could find local. Thank good on if you hung up this song, local com. Thank you, uh, appreciate all of our listeners and Merry Christmas. Sincerely. Happy Hanukkah. That's your thing, everybody.

Alisha:

Have a

Curt:

blessed season. Yeah, have a blessed season. That's I, whoever you are. Bye everybody.

Alisha:

Bye. See you next time. Thank you. Thank you.