We had the good fortune of connecting with Steven Kinsley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steven, how do you think about risk?
First off, thanks for having me be apart of this. It’s crazy for me to think that I would be given the opportunity to tell my story and hopefully help a few people on the way to taking their leap to becoming their own boss and stepping into the world of entrepreneurship.
Risk in business is a crazy topic. It’s one that not a lot of people like to talk about. The idea of taking risks makes most people uncomfortable, but if there was no risk there would literally be no reward. As much as I hate tacky cliche sayings that’s as true as it gets.
When I first started The Den I had everything figured out and the risk felt super low. We had a great plan, statistics to back that plan, funding, a clear business model and I was ready to take over the Prescott area in February 2020 and have a smooth build out and opening!
A month later this thing called Covid-19 hit. We never thought or planned that a month after signing a lease that a world wide pandemic would attack our two main income streams, food and beverage (our coffee house) and entertainment (our all ages music venue). We felt the risk begin to skyrocket. We just signed a very long lease and out of no where something no one predicted hit us straight in the face.
Right after that the city stopped our build out with no end in sight. So there we were with our plans on hold and our funding going to just staying afloat instead of building out.
However, Covid and the city did not stop us from finding other means of moving forward. We completed a successful Kickstarter and Vans (yes, THE Vans) partnered with us for one of their special projects and made us a shoe and shirt to sell during the pandemic! It was a time that taught us to be more resourceful, creative, and actually put ourselves out there before we really felt totally ready.
Two years and two months later we are officially approved by the city to start building out our coffee bar and we are currently working off a workers permit to have our shows and events! If you would have told me when we started that two years into this we still wouldn’t be fully open I would have laughed at you. That’s the way it goes though! In business you will always come across roadblocks and resistance. But like I said at the beginning, there is no reward without risk because risk directly follows action and action requires moving forward when you can’t see the whole road ahead.
We have hit every road block possible and haven’t stopped. We have to confront the risks of continuing to pursue what we’re doing every day. There’s always something on the line that might or might not work out, but I believe that when you’re passionate about something you push forward. You can look for ways to mitigate the risk and reduce it, that’s the responsible thing to do, but in the end you just have to take the plunge, put in the effort, and keep moving forward, especially when you really believe in what you’re doing.
We are currently looking for silent investors to help us the rest of the way to build out our coffee bar, back patio, half pipe and merch store/skate shop which means we have entered our next up hill battle and high risk situation. However, at this point in our business I’ve come to believe that there will always be risk and it’s something that won’t ever go away. I believe we will find that perfect person to invest in our vision for The Den and bring something new to our amazing small town because we are bold enough to keep pushing forward.
A lot of people shy away from risky things because they’re afraid of what they’ll have to give up. They’re unsure what the other side will look like and would rather just bury their dreams. So I believe that being in a position of risk is where people show their true work ethic, how much their dream/business means to them and how invested they actually are in seeing it through.
It feels like a lot to say all of that when we’re right in the middle of our own season of really digging in and putting ourselves to the test, but any type or major reward is on the other side of all of this. So what do we do in the meantime? We keep throwing some of the best All Ages shows in all of Northern Arizona.
Here’s to dreaming big, taking risks, and pushing through to the rewards!
Steven Kinsley Owner of The Den
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Den will be a coffee house, all ages music venue with a big ole half pipe in the back yard, and a skate/merch shop all in one. We’re focused on bringing something safe that will stay open late and be accessible to the younger crowed in our amazing town of Prescott, AZ.
Our Tag and what we live by is
COFFEE – MUSIC – SKATE – CREATE
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely hit up Merchant Coffee in the Founding Father Collective to start out the day talk to some great people. Head to The Local fro their amazing Gluten Free Pancakes then off to the pines to chill and our hike. Would come back into town and hit up La Planchata for some tacos then off to the Hidden Arcade with the fam. Then would defiantly end up at Rosa’s for those Gluten free raviolis!! These are just a few amazing places in our amazing town Prescott, Az!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Sounds corny…but my wife!
We are a team and she is the back bone of everything I do. We are 100% on the same page and is the only reason The Den exists. She is always the one that pushes me and tells me to live my dreams and to not be afraid to provide for our family through those dreams. If it wasn’t for her I never would have taken the leap into starting my audio recording business and then years later in to starting The Den. Very blessed to have her in my life and to call her my wife!
Brianna Kinsley, Daniel Mathews