Young entrepreneur makes her way with old-time photos
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To learn more about Krystine Lewis’ old time photo business, visit www.silkssaloon.com.
Glenwood Springs native Krystine Lewis, 27, owes her success as a photographer and business owner to a combination of hard work, good luck and some creativity.
Lewis started her own business, Silk’s Saloon Olde Tyme Photos, when she was just 19. She operates out of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, taking photos of patrons dressed up in frontier attire.
While Lewis graduated from the photography program at Colorado Mountain College in Spring Valley with her associate of science degree in 2010, she hadn’t even entered the program when she started her business. But knowing the right people can get you a long way in life.
“It was kind of a stroke of good luck,” she said. “I was about to start the photo program, and we have a really good family friend who was the business adviser for the Glenwood Caverns. And just one night offhand I said, ‘I’m done with school; I should start old-time photos up there,’ just kind of joking. And he was like, ‘Actually, we’re looking for somebody. Would you be interested in that right now?’”
Lewis’ father is a business owner, so the two of them worked together to devise a plan to see if she could really be successful. They also built the “saloon” where the photos are taken, which was one of the biggest challenges for getting her business off the ground.
“They wanted it built as soon as possible, so there were a lot of late nights spent painting and doing stuff like that,” she said with a laugh.
But after eight years, Silk’s Saloon Olde Tyme Photos is still going strong, especially among the tourist market. She operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but as the adventure park works toward becoming a year-round draw, she hopes her business will, too.
Lewis became interested in photography as a high school student in the Garden School.
“It’s such a small school; there were only about 70 people there at the time,” she said. “A friend and I decided to start a yearbook for them together, so we took all the pictures and everything for it and put it together for a few years before I graduated.”
She said what drew her to photography is “finding beauty in things,” and she’s still happy going to work every summer.
“I love creating a really upbeat, fun environment,” she said. “It’s really fun to walk into work and know you’re going to play dress-up all day.”
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