Spring for community connection by frequenting alumni-owned businesses

Shopping at nearby businesses is a great way to engage in your community, help sustain the local economy and try unique products or services. It’s even better when you can support fellow Mountain Lions! Check out the following local organizations owned by UCCS alumni.

3rd Day Karate

Run by 2022 Mechanical Engineering alum Sean Coughenour, 3rd Day Karate offers multi-level classes for a variety of ages. They also periodically host seminars and workshops, with some coming up this summer including a Ninja Battle Camp, Bo Staff Summer Seminar and Self Defense Techniques Summer Seminar.

“At 3rd Day Karate, through the instruction of Japanese Shotokan Karate with influences from other styles and Filipino Arnis, we encourage a family friendly, faith environment where students can learn to defend themselves, develop skills and an enjoyment of martial arts, as well as, grow in their confidence, focus, and fitness.”

Learn more on their website and social media.

Altitude Ninja

Founded in 2019 by UCCS alum Michelle Freddolino, Altitude Ninja Gym is a gym with a twist. Offering an obstacle-based training regimen and parkour classes, Altitude has lessons for all ages. With obstacles and challenges constantly changing, members are kept on their toes in a “safe space for kids and adults to take risks, to push themselves outside of their comfort zones, and, most importantly, to be willing to fail.”

In addition to the scheduled classes, Altitude Ninja Gym holds youth camps, fundraising opportunities, party packages and space to rent for private events. They also host ninja warrior and parkour competitions throughout the year, sometimes featuring competitors from American Ninja Warrior.

Find a class for yourself or check out a Ninja Warrior competition on Altitude’s social media and website.

American Seoul Food

Owned by LAS economics graduate James Park, American Seoul Food is a local food truck featuring Korean cuisine. With delicious options like Korean pot stickers, Bulgogi tacos and Korean fried chicken (just to name a few), Park offers “Korean food for the soul” at changing locations throughout the city. Park recently teamed up with Theatreworks and the Ent Center for the Arts by featuring his wares alongside the performance “Aubergine.”

Visit American Seoul Food’s site or their social media below for menu, reviews, schedule and more!

Atrevida Beer Co.

Latino-, women- and Veteran-owned, local brewery Atrevida is run by couple Jess and Rich Fierro. After several years in the military, Rich returned to school to pursue his MBA at UCCS to further his education and build his business knowledge. He and Jess started Atrevida in 2018 and continue to be pillars in the community, taking part in and donating beer sales proceeds to local charities and causes.

Atrevida and the Fierros live up to the brewery’s motto, “Diversity, it’s on tap!” with their constant efforts to celebrate diversity through their specially brewed beers, like their “Juneteenth” ale, involvement in the Pink Boots society and “embracing Americanism with Diversity in our glass and bringing discussion to our brewery to engage our customers in a time when dialogue is needed.”

Learn more about Atrevida through their social media and website.

BullsEye Plumbing Heating & Air

Established in 2005 by LAS alum Shauna Braley, BullsEye Plumbing Heating & Air offers plumbing, HVAC, gas line installation and more in the Colorado Springs, Monument and some surrounding areas. Their many services are “combined with fair pricing, easy scheduling opportunities, and careful attention to every detail,” along with emergency services as needed.

BullsEye has blog resources to help you determine why your air conditioner stopped working, signs of a clogged air filter, common ways your pipes are being ruined and much more. They also have discounts available, along with an FAQ page and customer reviews to learn more their services.

Check out BullsEye’s Facebook and YouTube channel for more information and resources.

Deb’s Gardening

Alongside her close-knit team of experienced gardeners, Communications alum Debbie Stavish spruces up landscapes and lawns through gardening maintenance, design, installation and consultation. Deb’s Gardening incorporates Italian influences into their designs – often featuring handmade Italian pottery – and has flourished since it took root in 2001, winning several Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado commendations. Stavish also keeps sustainability in mind as Deb’s Gardening designs aim to enhance and benefit the ecosystems and plants they work with.

“Our mission is to honor, enhance and cultivate existing habitat realizing that when we do so, we contribute to a healthy ecosystem which in turn keeps ourselves, community, and earth healthy.”

Learn more about Stavish and her team, and view their portfolio of designs and landscapes, on their webpage.

Dream Accounting Solutions

Alicia Klausmeier, UCCS College of Education grad, spent several years working in education before switching gears and founding Dream Accounting Solutions. With an emphasis on education, helping small businesses thrive and supporting women and women-owned businesses, Dream is a great way to get help with bookkeeping while staying local.

Klausmeier founded Dream after helping her husband, Dan, with bookkeeping at his business and realizing she had a knack for it. In her own words, “Dream Accounting Solutions got its name not only because it enables my family and me to go after our dreams of flexibility, family and travel, but as an acronym for our family’s first names and our horse. Dan, Ryker, Everett (Evy), Alicia, Magik.”

Find more about Dream on their Instagram and website.

Elm Barbershop and Flashback Barbershop

Marcus Amos, a 2018 Organizational and Strategic Communications alum, was juggling being a full-time student and part-time security guard when he started Elm Barbershop with Luke Will, his friend and co-founder, in 2015. Eight years later, Amos owns three shops, with Elm Barbershop and Flashback Barbershop both located in Colorado Springs, making his dream of owning a barbershop since 2009 a reality.

Elm Barbershop, which stands for “Everything Will and Marcus” emphasizes its traditional style and neighborhood-friendly atmosphere, while Flashback Barbershop is styled in the retro design with vintage pictures and checkered floor, though both have a focus on remaining customer-oriented and being places locals are happy to return to.

Find more information about Elm and Flashback on their social media pages.

HOPE Physical Therapy & Wellness

HOPE Physical Therapy & Wellness is a women-led wellness center owned by veteran and UCCS alum Adrian Hope and his wife, Dr. Chera Howard Hope. They offer a wide variety of services and treatments, such as trigger point dry needling, post-surgical rehabilitation, pilates, nutritional coaching and more.

Adrian and Chera decided to open HOPE after traveling to many different countries and seeing the range of available, or lack thereof, medical care. After Adrian retired from the army, they fulfilled their goal of “combining personalized physical therapy with specialized wellness services.” Additionally, every purchase of products or services from the center donates a portion of the money to Colorado Springs-based children’s charities such as Hope and Home, and Casa de Luz orphanage for disabled children in the Dominican Republic.

Learn more about HOPE Physical Therapy & Wellness and its team at their website and social media.

Kinship Landing

College of Business graduate Bobby Mikulas launched Kinship Landing alongside two friends after their own travel adventures and experiences. This downtown boutique hotel offers authentic, down-to-earth hospitality with a local’s perspective and different recommendations based on your interests. With options curated for specific activities, like an outdoors focus broken up by seasonal offerings or a “four-legged itinerary” that highlights dog-friendly businesses, Kinship aims to give visitors a local experience by helping you find the hidden gems in the Springs while giving you a comfortable place to stay between travels.

“Seriously, our favorite thing to do is helping people have an amazing time, and we’ll gladly point you in the right direction. Hey, we may even come along with you for the ride!”

Check out Kinship Landing’s website and Instagram for more details!

Polar Bear Mechanical

“At Polar Bear, we care!”

Keep Polar Bear Mechanical, owned by two-time alum John Martinez, in mind for your HVAC needs. With services ranging from air conditioning, furnaces, air quality, commercial work and more, Martinez and his team offer efficiency and care to customers in Colorado Springs and many surrounding areas.

Along with those services, Polar Bear’s website offers other resources through their HVAC blog, like how to know how often your HVAC system should be serviced or what qualities to look for in an HVAC company. With a focus on customer service and satisfaction, their mission is “to build a culture of caring to provide the best value heating and cooling services on the Front Range.”

To learn more, read their customer testimonials, visit their Facebook page and check out their YouTube channel.


UCCS alum Drew Johnson is putting his Science, Business and Sustainable Development degree to good use with his clothing and accessory business TechWears. Using ewaste and recycled materials, TechWears makes a variety of products from used circuit boards that includes something for everyone, from ties to clocks to cut-outs from your favorite franchise.

TechWears started when Johnson, working at the time for an electronics recycler, scoured the internet for a circuit board-themed tie for himself. Unable to find one, he took matters – and the physical production – into his own hands and created one. Seven years later, that first tie has grown to a full-fledged company upholding their mission to “advance conscious consumption through beautiful upcycled tech.” The company has won several local business and sustainability awards since.

Find your own circuit board accessory on the TechWears site, Etsy and social media!

Know of other alumni-owned local businesses? Let us know here!