Ellen Bruss of EBD
Ellen Bruss, Creative Director and CEO of Ellen Bruss Design, describes her role at the company as “creative conduit.” Deftly navigating between disparate but interconnected responsibilities, she guides the helm of a “graphic design and marketing” firm continually expanding the breadth of their field.
Ellen spent much of her childhood elbow deep in creative exploration: pottery, macrame, knitting, jewelry. At sixteen, following a class in commercial art, she announced that she wanted to become a graphic designer. Drawn to the interplay of design, engineering, and math—graphic design allowed for the partnering of her more practical self with her already vivid creative self.
The next chapter was a focused but curvilinear series of openings, shifts and endeavors. Guided by a deep reverence for art, an insatiable curiosity for all things creative, and a multi-faceted approach to design, Ellen navigated her way from “I want to be a graphic designer” to launching her own company.
“Being a creative has helped me channel this extraordinary insight into madness, or genius- let the audience decide.” —Bex Simon
Most commonly, people refer to their career as if it were a “path”. For Bex Simon, it has been a winding, never-ending journey into the realm of creativity and design.
There is no one word to describe Bex: She is an artist, a mother to two, and a dedicated student. Most importantly, however, she is a born explorer. Bex’s artistic endeavors have always been an intricate dance between design, texture, and form. She has always sought to innovate and break barriers wherever her art would allow. An insatiable thirst for exploration led her to a forging/welding demonstration at her college, where her eagerness to learn quickly turned into a fascination for blacksmithing. She knew at that moment that it was something she “needed to explore further”.
Andrea Beecher of M3LD
When asked to describe the moment she decided to become a designer, Andrea Beecher of M3LD responded with a knowing nod to a ubiquitous theme: “It’s always been in me.”
Armed with keen ambition and playful boldness, Beecher has crafted a multi-faceted design career characterized by both curiosity and focus. Her aesthetic is fearless and dynamic, often pulling from brutalist modern motifs and employing varied elements in intriguing and unexpected combinations. Across numerous creative industries, she has rolled up her (likely pattern-laden) sleeves and plunged in.
This process of discovery is complimented by a dual emphasis on collaboration and accessibility, overlapping themes reflective of Andrea’s belief that “everyone deserves good design whether you are wealthy or not.”
Architecture. Construction Management. Jewelry. Furniture. Lighting. Elish Warlop is a make-her-own-rules kind of woman.
Elish Warlop’s design career has been one of exploration—the pull to create forever nudging her towards new materials, scales, industries, and technologies. Having started out as a licensed architect, Warlop was trained to examine the interaction between people and their surroundings.
Her want to understand the whole of project development (from concept to completion) soon shifted her architectural career to include construction management, propelling her into new roles: LEED consultant, site supervisor, interior designer, etc. In late 2007, equipped with a trailer and a pink hardhat, Elish launched EFW construction.
The nuanced spaces and objects created by designer and architect Jenny Wu command attention…and then softly lure you closer. Working across various scales, materials, and fabrication methods, Wu creates sinuous geometries that dart and then fold back in on themselves in seemingly unpredictable rhythm.
Often cited as avant-garde, Wu’s work serves as a harbinger of what is possible when design, technology, curiosity, and craftsmanship operate together.
Jenny Wu and partner Dwayne Oyler founded Oyler Wu Collaborative architecture and design office in 2004. Together, they’ve pioneered an approach to architecture that is playful, complex, informed by technology, and touched by hand.
Laura Kishimoto Design
Laura Kishimoto is a Denver-based designer and furniture maker who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013. At a very young age, she has established a reputation for innovative and visually arresting work that straddles the fine line between art and functionality. Kishimoto’s pieces are ethereal and delicate with a strong, organic quality.
More than just her work, Laura is a testament to the fact that you don’t need years of industry experience, or a decade as an apprentice to create a successful, thriving business. Still in her early 20s, she has already made a name for herself nationally, and as her list of clients and commissions grows, she is poised to make big waves in the industry.
Renée del Gaudio Architecture
There is not a single day Renée del Gaudio can pinpoint for the exact ‘grand opening’ of her firm. Why? Perhaps because architecture is something that happens slowly over time. It is a goal you work toward with an end in mind, but that ending takes a million different twists and turns and never finishes exactly the way you originally planned.
Renée is a dedicated, passionate, place-based architect. While she may have a design in mind, her journey often finds her camping on the grounds of her next big creation, allowing the site to tell her what it needs and wants. Her field adventures let her feel the sun on her face as it rises and sets, and listen to the way the wind blows in the trees, just as her clients would.
Rowland & Broughton Architecture
Sarah Broughton and John Rowland are partners in both life and work. After working at separate firms, they finally had the opportunity to make their dream a reality by combining their talent and love for architecture (and each other) into their own firm, Rowland & Broughton Architecture. Fast forward 12 years, and many sleepless nights, and you now find them successfully juggling their Aspen and Denver firms with 34 staff members whose focus is equally divided between residential and hospitality designs.
They describe themselves as “two regular people” who (for the most part) share the same tastes, the same love of design and a reverence for a past-meets-present paradigm. Meet Britt Madden and Ava Goldberg: longtime friends, artists, designers, and the collaborators behind Denver’s Banshee Press.
Founded in 2011, this design, letterpress, silkscreen and etching studio is an iconic space nestled in the heart of RiNo. It’s a light-filled space, with a distinctly industrial vibe.
From designing custom ephemera for clients, printing limited edition artwork, offering lino-block workshops and hosting local art shows, Banshee Press aims to make one-of-a-kind artwork accessible to everyone.
Royal Stag Custom Hats
If you are a creative person, then you will understand that soul-twitching tug; that need that bubbles up within your bones and froths with force until you finally put your hands to work, creating something. You may not even know what you are creating at the start, but in the end you discover your path and purpose through the movement of your hands, through the creation of something tangible from an intangible tug.
Alexa Allen Designs
Alexa Allen is an artist, a designer, a maker and a mother. Though not necessarily in that order. It’s more of a constant mash up of all of them, all at once, every minute of the day. Her story is familiar in the world of design. She started one place, took a few turns, took a few more turns, and today straddles a beautiful line between working for a renowned creative house (i.e. superstar and jeweler to the stars Todd Reed), and launching her latest venture crafting small leather goods and wood objects.
Allen doesn’t turn towards the age-old cliches of “work hard,” “do what you love,” and “follow your dream,” when describing her journey. However, there is no doubt that this woman has put her heart and soul and blood, sweat and tears into creating a thriving business, that right now, after 20 years digging in, is on the cusp of something big.
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This one is for the smart girls, design geeks, the artists and the right brainers who have a fire in their belly to do something more.
TARRA is about “Women Who Create”—architects, furniture makers, woodworkers, blacksmiths, weavers, printmakers, artisans and crafts(wo)men who are innovating and elevating their craft.