Here is why:
And this too:
There were MANY great dresses at the Golden Globes this year, so the worst dressed list was very easy to come up with. I have 8 ladies who unfortunately missed, and one who…well who the hell knows what she does. Let’s get this party started.
NOT WORTH MENTIONING ON ANY LIST: Helena Bonham Carter.
8. January Jones
7. Christina Aguilera
6. Sandra Bullock
5. Scarlett Johansson
4. Leighton Meester
3. Julianne Moore
2. Michelle Williams
1. Heidi Klum
Because, that is our friend Marisha (in the middle), and she designed it. She also designed a lot of other really cool stuff. Check out this article HERE.
What one might not realize is that each of those spaces is a product of the team at Xan Creative. This small firm has been quietly adding its touch to the evolving face of LoDo (and beyond) for 10 years. Longer than that, actually. Xan owner/designer Melissa Friday and designer Marisha Farbotko met while working at a LoDo design/build firm in the mid-90s, where the duo worked on Vesta Dipping Grill. A couple of jobs and a leap of faith got the two started on their own in 2000.
Xan Creative has stayed busy since. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, don’t be surprised – the firm focuses its energy on promoting its clients’ efforts more than its own. Xan may have flown under your radar, but the upbeat, retro-mod atmosphere at Snooze most likely has not.
When you walk into the Xan office (appropriately situated in the heart of LoDo) be prepared to want to stay and hang out a while. Jaz, Xan’s resident dog, will greet you at the door with an enthusiastic welcome. Equally enthusiastic is the welcome one receives from Friday, Farbotko and Xan’s newest designer, Moe Elio. The small but electric space seems equally suited to marathon brainstorming sessions as it does to unwinding with a beer afterward. The relaxed yet productive vibe in the Xan office is a reflection of the firm’s motto: Have fun, get it done.
“Fun: It has everything to do with who I am, what I do, why I do it, how I do it – whether with my kids, my business, my clients – everything. It’s the core,” says Friday. “But I think that fun can be misinterpreted as ‘not serious.’ We definitely have the ability to get serious because we have the ability to get the job done. Having fun and getting it done – they can both happen simultaneously, believe it or not.”
So, take note. Just because they’re having fun doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly, nor does it mean that they don’t know how to get things built. “We’re not interior decorators,” points out Friday. “We spend every day dealing with plumbers and electricians and contractors of all sorts. It takes them a little while, but eventually they realize, ‘These girls know what they’re talking about.’ ”
“It’s been rewarding (working with Xan),” says Tom Cella of Spectrum General Contractors. “They’re a departure from the normal design groups that I deal with – architects and interior designers. They are very much hands-on and experienced in the world of real constructability, which is most helpful from a contractor’s point of view. They not only know what can be built, they also know how to build it.”
The company specializes in “space branding,” with the objective of creating an environment that unmistakably represents a client’s personal vision. The customization goes beyond a color palette or use of a particular material. Friday’s background in industrial design has played a huge role. Whereas other design firms might assemble spaces out of items from a catalog, Xan Creative often starts from scratch. “The custom elements give us the ability to create a space that’s truly unique to a business. If you’re going to spend money, do something that sets yourself apart,” says Friday.
All of Xan’s projects include custom-made pieces – furniture and fixtures – that can’t be found anywhere else, including other Xan projects. “With Snooze,” says Farbotko, “it was by no means a massive budget, but they love it because it’s unique to them. It’s something that nobody can go out and duplicate. Every couple months, we get phone calls from somebody who wants the ‘Snooze’ round booths and we tell them, ‘Nope. You can’t have it because it’s theirs. You can have something similar but not THAT booth.’ ”
“I researched them a while back when I kept going into Vesta and thinking how cool this place looks and how cool it looks now – fifteen years later,” says John Schlegel, owner of Snooze. “They were able to create that element of timeless … eye candy, almost.”
Xan’s creative involvement doesn’t end with the completion of a space. Clients seek advice on everything from menu design, glassware selections, t-shirt colors for the staff, even what color car to buy for themselves.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with them on the design of my personal residence and my office space,” says Dee Chirafisi of Kentwood City Properties. “Both experiences were very positive. The process of working with them is always delightful.”
“Anytime there’s anything even slightly creative related to the space, they call us,” says Friday. “It doesn’t mean it’s our responsibility, nor does it mean we get paid for it, but typically they run just about everything they can think of by us. We’re always good for an opinion.”
“Sometimes whether you want it or not!” jokes Farbotko.
“They’re really good project managers through the whole process, Schlegel says. “I’ve been fortunate enough to drag them around space to space when I had no money and no idea where Snooze was originally going to go. They just kept working with me and working with me and working with me – and we were finally able to find both the financial means and the space to make it happen, and they were the first people that we wanted to work with.”
In addition to having creative opinions, they have the knowledge and resources that come with experience. They can tell first-time restaurateurs how to go about obtaining a liquor license; they refer first-time business owners to the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.
“A lot of our clients are small, first-time entrepreneurs,” says Farbotko. “They go into it completely blind: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m taking my life savings and throwing it out there and I’m trusting you with it.’” Adds Friday, “It’s important that they know that we’ve listened, we get it. Now go do the million things you have to do and let us do this. Not in a ‘stay out of it’ way, but in a ‘don’t worry’ way. We’ve got this.”
The Xan team takes pride in the role it plays in helping its clients achieve their hopes and dreams. “We always end up playing a much bigger role than what new clients might think, because we’ve been through it with so many others before,” says Friday. “Ultimately we’re just as invested in our clients’ projects as they are. If you like somebody, you care and you want to see them succeed.”
Xan Creative’s ‘above-and-beyond’ dedication to its clients’ successes has led to the creation of a Xan “extended family”’ of sorts. “If there’s something I’m most proud of after 10 years, it’s that none of our clients would think about going anywhere else,” says Friday.
“We do what we do because we love it. There’s nothing cooler than getting into these old buildings and tearing them apart, transforming the space and then standing there opening night of a restaurant and getting to see people experience the space. It’s totally why we do what we do.”
“They have a fun time with what they’re doing,” says Cella. “Restaurants have been some of our best projects because of the creative nature that goes into the environment of restaurants and such.”
The fact that they’re having a fabulous time along the way? That’s the icing on the cake. Or, rather, the syrup on the pancake.
I just realized I haven’t done a post on the sex of these two little kicking babes in my tummy.
So, I will be the one girl in the family with 3 little boys and a husband!
Girl time will be a must.
One of my Mom’s good friends, who has three older boys herself, told me that I am lucky because they will love me so much and spoil the heck out of me. Here’s hoping!
Here are some of the comments I have heard since returning from Christmas Break:
“OMG Mrs. Kearney! That looks like it hurts!”
“You really got big over break.”
“You might want to ask your doctor to check you for twins!” Ummm…read your Memo lady.
I was going to write a long post on my love of Brad the Bachelor and how he is back. However, I read an AWESOME BLOG, “If You Ask Me“, that depicts the episode and my love of Brad in a much better way than I ever could.
So, thank you Audreya for putting in to words what I would have tried to do. My favorite part of the entire post is when she uses her “psychic prowess” to describe what Brad was thinking during the Rose Ceremony.
Check out her post HERE.
P.S. Don’t kid yourselves. I read the spoilers about 20 minutes before the show started from Reality Steve. I still enjoyed every single minute of this episode.