Doing It Their Own Way

Small Business Leaders

Article by Monty Montgomery

Photography by Sean McNeil, Aspen Art Co

Originally published in Arvada Lifestyle

Nick Huddle, NH Services

Some people know what career lies ahead early on, and they follow that track without a hitch. For most, those plans morph into something unrecognizable but perhaps a better fit.

Although Nick started out in automotive, he signed up for HVAC schooling on a whim of sorts. After seeing a set of HVAC tools in a display case, he felt a sudden urge to change direction. Plus, it was a fast track to work. “It’s half as much schooling, half as much price…next thing I know, I’m learning about something I was never previously interested in doing.”

After some tenure in the HVAC industry, Nick launched NH services in 2010. He says still loves it after 27 years in the business. “I’m passionate about my work and enjoy what I do. Residential business, especially, brings a new challenge everyday. I never know what I’ll get, and I’m always moving around. It’s great if you’d rather not be in an office all day.”


Nicc Mares, Makin Moves Moving & Labor

If there was a local award for consistent charitable donors, Nicc Mares would be a top nominee. Nicc and his company, Makin Moves Moving & Labor, donate blankets to the homeless during the cold winters and offer free Goodwill donations on a regular basis.

He often works with the Colorado Angels (Denver) Facebook page, which has nearly 3,000 members, to transport loads of clothes, shoes, and other hand-me-downs to those who can’t afford them. Nicc and his company carry out their work within Denver and the surrounding communities, such as Arvada. He’s also focused on donating unused or unwanted furniture to those who can’t shell out the cash for a perfectly fine desk.

Nicc delivers most of his items to the Jefferson County Action Center. That means his donations are going to multiple nonprofits, including Goodwill, Colorado Angels (Denver), the Jefferson Action Center, and even Habitat for Humanity.

Nicc and his wife, Destiny, operate the moving and labor business together. At the end of the day, Nicc comes home to a happy and busy house filled with the sounds of love and multiple kids. The family members are fans of weekend travel and can be found at church on Sundays. Nicc’s children, no doubt, are a huge influence on his daily routine. “They’re the reason I wake up, the reason I’m motivated, and they keep me young.”


Sean McNeil, Aspen Art Co

The work-life juggling act, a common skill among working parents, is a tough one to perfect. It can be difficult to manage the schedules of you, your spouse, and your child, as well as all the little fires that arise here and there. Though given some practice, a super parent is born.

Take Sean McNeil, as an example. He hustles as a weekend photographer after raising his child throughout the week as a “full-time, stay-at-home dad,” in his words. After years of building his photography side business, Aspen Art Co, and having a child, the freelance photographer has recently been able to more seriously focus his energy on his photography work. “I get to spend the daytime raising my son and then moonlight as a photographer on the weekends.”

Sean’s feet have been firmly sunken into professional photography since 2014. He first picked up a camera in 2014 and has been obsessed with creating beautiful portraits ever since then. He had spent quite a bit of time working in the woodworking industry, but his passion for photography led him to develop a business with a flexible schedule, to make it work with his family.

Once his son was born in June of 2021, Sean hit the pause button on woodworking and revisited his love for photography. Soon enough, Aspen Art Co was reborn as a freelance service that would encompass all of his artistic abilities rather than just wood art. Sean even won the 2022 Best Photographer in Golden award this past year for his thoughtful work.

When asked about the demands of fatherhood and his passion-driven business, Sean said he enjoys the juggle. “It’s a great trade-off. We can do family stuff when my wife isn’t working, like going on hikes, camping--really anything outdoorsy. I enjoy it.”

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