Craig Nielson, Principle/Owner

Craig is a US Green Building Council LEED certified professional and a Certified Permaculture Designer from High Altitude Permaculture.  He studied architecture and Planning at the University of Utah and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and holds a degree in Urban Planning and an advanced degree in Regional Planning.  

Craig has studied and practiced green building and permaculture since the early 1990's in Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.  He is an experienced carpenter and has studied and practiced natural building with some of the best natural builders and teachers in North America.  He is also a lifelong gardener and has worked professionally as an organic market farmer.

When he's not designing, building or gardening, Craig likes to pursue his other two primary passions, mountaineering and poetry.  


Brian DeBenedetti, Design/Build

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, freelance carpenter and former remodel contractor in Seattle, WA, Brian has over 30 years of experience building and managing construction projects ranging from simple remodels to complex remodel/additions. 

His passion for design, aesthetics and details result in the artful execution of client plans into built reality.   These days, Brian takes his myriad talents and tools on the road, managing interesting projects throughout Colorado, New Mexico and most recently on the Island of Kauai.

When not designing, building or dreaming about building, Brian can be found in his Santa Fe garden or traversing a remote mountain ridge-top deep in the Sangre De Cristo Range.  


(206) 714.7530


Jae Sanders, Design Collaborator, Graphic Design/Marketing

Jae Sanders has been working as a graphic designer and website developer since 1999. She received a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design with a minor in Web Design from the Art Institute of Portland.

She’s studied Permaculture, worked with multiple small farms, lived in intentional communities, facilitated events and believes in functioning on the local levels. She has been studying architecture, green building, eco-villages, intentional communities, resilient food systems, and how to shift the way we build, live and eat in order to be not just sustainable, but regenerative – creating better soil and water than what we started with, growing more food than we need and building homes that generate resources.

Jae most values her relationships with nature, herself, family, friends and clients. She loves hiking and spending time amongst trees. She currently calls the San Luis Valley home. 



jaesanders.com   |   sanders-creative.com   |   design work on flickr

Karin Millette, Interior Design

Karin grew up camping and skiing and appreciating the natural harmony of the great outdoors, the changing of the seasons, the eternal kaleidoscope of color. This love of nature spawned her love of art.  After studying photography and the fine arts, she went abroad to see great masterpieces and architecture - both classic and modern – firsthand. 

Following graduation from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she worked with her business partner, Charles Callaway, to develop and design the historic Oxford Hotel in Denver’s Lodo neighborhood. They went to art auctions and estate sales in France, selectively choosing the finest furniture and art pieces to enhance the boutique hotel’s historical character.

She moved to Vail in 1997 where she continued working in residential interior design. Then she procured her real estate broker's license in order to assist with pre-construction management of the exclusive Sebastian Resort, which included design elements and floor plans for 78 private club residences. Currently, Karin specializes in mountain property remodels - integrating your haven into an exquisitely furnished home with harmonious design.

Karin currently shares her time between Vail and Buena Vista, Colorado

“The home is a haven. I just love to take a space and manifest it into a beautiful, peaceful environment. So much of interior design is about what feels comfortable, where it feels like the energy is stuck and how to make things simply flow”




Monica McCarthy, Real Estate

Monica has been a licensed real estate agent for a decade and has extensive real estate marketing and transaction experience. She has worked with several top producing real estate teams in Austin, Texas and the Denver Metro Area. She brings high-level marketing, customer service and professionalism from these experiences to her clients in this area.

After living in Denver for nearly 10 years, she made the big move from Denver to Salida in January 2017. Since then, Monica has become an active member of the Arkansas Valley community who contributes to many non-profit and local civic organizations. She is grateful to live in Salida and values the warm community that make Salida and Chaffee County such a wonderful place to live.

In addition to her extensive real estate experience, Monica ran a digital marketing company with an emphasis on Facebook and digital advertising. Her extensive knowledge of online marketing, social media, and digital advertising provide her real estate clients a unique advantage in marketing and advertising their properties.

In her personal life, Monica loves taking advantage of the many great outdoor activities Salida has to offer. Her favorite activities include trail running, hiking, SUP’ing, and skiing. She’s also a yogi, travel enthusiast, amateur photographer, and animal lover.

Monica is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Collegiate Peaks Realty in Salida, Colorado.