Sonja Horn of Fabula believes that excellent customer service is as important as an exciting array of products. Horn believes in re-evaluating her business each year and looking for ways to improve. Photo by Clay Greathouse.

Sonja Horn of Fabula believes that excellent customer service is as important as an exciting array of products. Horn believes in re-evaluating her business each year and looking for ways to improve. Photo by Clay Greathouse.

By Liesl Greathouse

MONTROSE–(December 17, 2013)  With a New Year just around the corner, it is time to set up resolutions and goals.  Three local business owners have done just that, with different ideas of where they want to be in 2014.

Local Diana Atha works as a real estate broker at Keller Williams Realty and has been an agent for eight years.  She is one of the Top three Realtors in Montrose for 2013 in terms of volume.  Her focus is on creative Internet marketing and home staging techniques.

Looking at 2014, she has one crucial goal in mind.  “I want to continue to take good care of my clients, friends and family,” she said.  “Referrals are valuable, so I want to up my service to them.  Doing that sort of thing eventually comes back to you.”

Diana has a couple specific plans for meeting that goal.  “I am going to host a Past Client Appreciation Party, something I have never done before,” she explained.  “I also want to focus on regular communication with buyers and sellers.  Most complaints about other real estate agents have to do with them not being communicative.  I want to set up regular times to get feedback from my clients.”

Diana has a few favorite parts of her business.  “I like staging and decorating a house to sell it for as high as possible,” she said.  “I love finding great deals for buyers and I love sitting at a closing with first time home buyers and feeling their excitement.”

Diana’s advice to others is to focus on their strengths and hire out their weaknesses, and to build relationships, which is the best and most fun way to get business.  “I love Montrose, Ridgway and Ouray,” she said.  “They are incredible places to live, and it is fun to buy, sell and help people live their dream here.”

Her office is located at 2350 S. Townsend Avenue in Montrose.  For more information, call 970-252‑8528.

Sonja Horn is the owner of Fabula, which focuses on home decor, kitchen accessories, specialty toys and gifts for any occasion.

Sonja has big plans for the New Year with her store.  “I want to have my website finished and running by the end of January,” she said.  “We are also moving our location across the street, so there will be increased space.  We want to make it a really neat experience and be able to display things nicely.  We want it to be a good move, so we are able to make a really nice, beautiful store, and create even more of a shopping experience.”

An ongoing goal in her business is to continue to find fun, unique items that people are looking for.  “I always try to ask myself when shopping for my store ‘is it different enough?’” Sonja said.  In addition, she will continue to focus on finding products that are made in the USA.

Sonja’s favorite part of her business has been the contact with her customers, something that has carried on from her former job as a nurse working with her patients.  “I am a social person,” She explained.  “I appreciate all my customers and I love to sit in my office and hear people, who don’t know that I’m sitting there, say how much they like my store.”

As Fabula has only been open for a little over a year, Sonja still feels like she is learning all the time.  But she does have this advice for business owners: “Be sure that you are passionate about your business,” she said.  “It is also really important to have your customer service be top notch and to reevaluate your business every year and see what you can do to improve it.”

Fabula is located at 306 East Main St. in Montrose.  For more information, call 970-765‑2274.

Megan Daly works as an independent hair stylist, renting a booth at K. frizz salon.  She has worked as a hair stylist for seven years.  This past year has been her first time as a small business owner working for herself, so it has been a new experience.

While continuing to grow her business is an important resolution, Megan also has a few specific goals she wants to pursue.  “I want to get more into natural options in hair colors and products, choosing things that will not compromise a person’s health,” she explained.  “I want to offer things that are in the alternative and natural area, while still being salon quality.”

Megan also wants to put her skills to work to help those in need.  “I want to help women who have suffered from domestic abuse by giving them a life makeover with hair and makeup, to help boost their confidence,” she said.

As part of K. frizz salon, Megan wants to help it grow as well and gain a good reputation in Montrose.  “We want to be where people can go to relax and feel at peace,” she said.  “We want to be known for our integrity.”

Megan’s favorite part of her business is two-fold.  “I love when people come in and are fed up, thinking that they have the worst hair ever, and I am able to help transform it and make the client feel like a new person,” she explained.  “Also, I love doing hair colors.  With mixing it, I love to feel like a mad scientist and be able to change someone’s hair drastically or create just a subtle difference.”

Megan’s experience leads to some specific advice for new business owners in her field.  “Definitely for people looking into a salon-type setting, you have a ton of choices so take advantage of education and things provided by vendors,” she said.  “Also, a good business plan is extremely helpful.”

Megan can be found at K. frizz salon, located at 1425 Hawk Parkway suite 3 in Montrose.  For more information, call 970-249‑0131.

Whether you work in real estate, own a store, or are a hair stylist, hopefully 2014 looks bright and will be a good year to fulfill your New Years resolutions.