Q and A with Kris, Durango, Colorado
“If you don’t fail at some point, you don’t really appreciate how great the great is.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: There are so many things I’m passionate about: family, nature, chocolate, my dog, how colors work together, patterns. The list goes on; I draw on nature for almost all of my inspiration. I’m often out on a bike ride or run and see things—little stories unfold—and that becomes a seed for my next design. Or I may take a photo of a plant, maybe just one little baby leaf because it has chartreuse, hunter, and eggplant with a tiny splash of fuchsia and that completely winds me up. I can see an entire storyline unfold, a complete collection based on that one little leaf. I’ve always been this way. My mother used to tell me how impossible I was to shop for because I would design something in my head and tell her that’s what I wanted! Currently, I’m developing concepts for a boutique in Telluride that has asked for an exclusive line of wool/silk scarves. Then I will be jumping on ideas for our summer line of scarves and linens.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I grew up in New Orleans; my mother’s family is all from South Louisiana. So, as you can expect, I was surrounded by amazing culture: food and music and dancing and the smells of New Orleans like jasmine, camellias, magnolias, the swamps, seafood. All of this combined was a tremendous source of where my love for design started.
We moved to Telluride, CO, when I was 11. That’s where I really embraced the outdoors and nature. Then there were the women in my family, strong women. My mother and my grandmother, both a force to be reckoned with. They were and are both the epitome of good taste. My grandmother was of the opinion that a crisp white blouse, a good shade of red lipstick, and perfume was pretty much all you needed to get dressed! It was her collection of scarves that inspired me to design my own. My mother, her eye for color, has always been the most on point. I still discuss all my designs with her. She was the reason I took risks in my life; anything I did that could have been viewed as risky, she was behind it. She encouraged me to go abroad when I was 15 on exchange, and she is still my ski buddy. She gave me my love of travel and not being afraid to put myself out there. She encourages me to push my design further with little suggestions or ideas.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: Failure is a part of life. If you don’t fail at some point, you don’t really appreciate how great the great is. I know people that feel failure is a bad thing. Yes, it’s scary as hell, but it’s usually something you can handle and learn from. Embrace it and dig in.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: To me, feminism is being true to your female self. It’s a powerful force. I’ve seen that in my mother and grandmother, and now in myself and in my two daughters. We’re each incredibly strong in our own way, and we’re not alike. But we’re true to our feminine selves because of the strength that entails.
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