Colorado Springs business owner didn’t follow straight line to success

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Kimberly Moore built her business of providing offices to entrepreneurs and small businesses from a few desks in the First Bank Building to locations in both downtown Colorado Springs and Chapel Hills Mall with plans to add a third next year a building she is developing. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

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Kimberly Moore’s career path wasn’t a straight line to success; it often involved turning setbacks into triumphs and a few detours that nearly forced her into bankruptcy.

She has spent almost all of her nearly 30-year career creating and managing suites of offices that are designed for small businesses or satellite offices of major corporations in blocks of space she leased in a variety of Colorado Springs buildings. Moore is planning this fall to break ground on an $8 million building near Chapel Hills Mall that she plans as a hub where small businesses can open offices and also have access to on-site restaurants, a spa and many other services, including apartments they can rent.

Office suite centers are a collection of small offices, sometimes little more than a desk, that small businesses can rent by the month and add services such as internet access, reception, administrative support and meeting rooms. She has since added a coffee bar, spa operation and other services for her customers and other workers in the office buildings her centers occupy. For more information, go to her company, eSuite 360, or call 757-1111.

Moore grew up in rural northeast Kentucky in a home without running water for the first seven years of her life, mostly because her parents’ home was at the top of hill that was too far away from water lines. Her parents were a brick mason and hospital controller who married when they were 17 and 15, respectively, and eventually gave her a middle-class life and encouraged her to develop musical talents she displayed while still in elementary school.

She used her musical talents to win scholarships in beauty pageants and eventually enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University as a vocal music major but soon realized she had gone from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in an ocean. After a semester, she returned home because of a medical issue and by the time she recovered, her father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Moore instead enrolled in classes at a nearby community college in computer science, mostly because her brother was studying the same subject at the time, and earned an associate degree. She returned to Eastern Kentucky for another year, but decided to drop her vocal performance plans and instead commute to Ohio University and earn a degree in business administration while doing payroll and other office duties for her grandfather’s construction business. That helped Moore develop a love for construction.

Instead, Moore opened a convenience store in her hometown for her grandfather, who also owned car washes and other businesses. She managed the store for five years, which she called a "massive learning experience about everything retail, from inventory and buying to operating a deli, packaging and pricing. I had to learn it all." Moore might have stayed in Kentucky if her father hadn’t died, but instead she married an aspiring preacher in Kentucky and they moved to Colorado Springs so he could attend Nazarene Bible College.

She instead lined up an investor to help her take over the operation, but soon discovered that the investor was operating a Ponzi scheme and she had to scramble to find other funding. Moore instead went to her boss and proposed a unique financing plan in which she would pay him half of the operation’s revenue plus another $2,000 a month for a year that he would repay with interest as long as she didn’t miss any payments.

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