How to Always Think Positive: Thoughts on Creating Your Own Sunshine

When things in life are not going the way I want, I stop and ask myself, “what action can I take right now to have things go better?” Or I ask myself “what positive action(s) could I take to get me to living the life I want to live?”

We all have goals. We all have dreams. When you know EXACTLY what you want (short-term goal), and you are focused on that specific goal, you will find ways to get there much quicker rather than just having some vague idea.

Not every day is clear skies and happy days, and starting with step-one could be the hardest! But the good part is that we all have a choice! Did you know that its estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions a day!? Sounds insane right?! Well, in a big way, our lives are a direct reflection of these countless decisions!

So… Are you going to wake up and go to work? Are you going to wake up and go to the gym? Are you going to start your day slow and enjoy that latte? I don’t know about you guys, but I like to brush my teeth before I do any of these things.

Point is, YOU have the power to choose and the power to create! So what’s holding you back?

Some of us however may say that we do not have the freedom or luxury to make all of our decisions because they are dependent on others (family, finances, bosses, etc.). Well, if that’s the case, then sit down and think of ways you can free yourself, and no I am not talking about leaving your family or job, lol.

To me this has always been about using my passions to create my own sunshine. What does that mean to you? It means start working on that passion project you’ve been saving for “later.” The time is now, and the sooner you realize that you need to be proactive towards creating your own happiness, the sooner you can enjoy the sunshine!

5 Ways To Create Your Own Sunshine

An Attitude of Gratitude

This is a mindset and a lifestyle choice that can change your whole life! Some keep a journal and for others it’s counting the blessings of each day before bed or in the morning. You’ll start to see things differently. Instead of complaining about situations, you will see solutions better. Plus, when you are grateful you tend to share that positive energy! There’s so much happiness to be had, that spending time being sad or negative is just not worth the time!

Love & Kindness

Show others what its like to love. Show yourself what it’s like to love. Give yourself more credit. Give someone the gift of your presence and really listen to them talk. Be kind to yourself and give yourself the gift of peace. Let go of what you can’t control. Tell someone they’re awesome and tell them why. Trust me, it feels so good! 

Finding Fulfillment

It could be your job, it could be your kids or a pet, it could a passion project. Ask yourself, what fulfills you everyday and how passionate are you about it. These days I feel fulfilled with my writing. Waking up knowing that what I create is all on me, is one of my favorite feelings ever! Believe in your goals, believe in yourself.

Supporting Others

Help someone in need. It really helps to get out of your own head by focusing on others. Have empathy toward others and their journey. Don’t judge or criticize. Show your compassion and willingness to help.

Staying Fit & Eating Healthy

If your mind and your emotions are weak, you probably aren’t walking on sunshine. I’ve been there myself. One thing that has helped me was changing my diet and getting into the routine of working out. I don’t believe in “diets.” I believe in eating healthy. To me that means about 85% non-packaged or pre-made foods. I’m talking about fruits, veggies, lean grass-fed meats, wild fish, nuts, and a few grains. I love to cook from scratch! If you know me on a personal level, you know I don’t need caffeine to stay awake! Despite that, I still really love my cappuccino’s! 

Illustration by @iamlubi

Advice I Wish I Had In My 20s

We’ve all made mistakes in our 20s but we live and learn – and hopefully share! I wanted to share some of the things that I’ve learned over the last few years.

Here are some important advice I wish I had in my 20s:

It doesn’t matter what you major in. Hard work and ambition can get you the world. Without that work ethic, a degree in any field is just something on your resume. Hard work and dedication to your passions is really what gets you places.

Take care of your skin! A tan lasts for moments but your skin is with you forever. Use SPF especially on your face and opt for healthier options like sunless tanning. Also start your skin care regimen in your early 20’s before you have wrinkles. I wish I would have started earlier.

Hair ages too. Between being on a budget with your hair styling tools and experimenting with hair colors, your hair will go through the ringer in your 20’s. Start taking care of your hair now. One of the easiest and more important ways is with a heat protectant. 

Less is more. Whether it’s makeup, perfume, or accessories, less is always more. Obviously we have the days it’s fun to get glammed up but overall simplify. I remember I used to pile on bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc., but I feel like the older I get one statement piece or a couple delicate pieces do the trick.

Floss. Your dentist knows what’s up.

Set goals! Ambition without goals doesn’t get you anywhere so set both short and long term goals for yourself. And don’t forget to include a timeline to hold yourself accountable.

Try new things. Whether its a trend you are nervous to try and think you can’t pull off or an adventure you think is extreme don’t let your second guessing hold you back, be adventurous and try new things.

Keep a journal. It took me until college to realize how important writing in a journal is. There are so many details that will fade over time so just take a moment now to jot them down and you will get to keep them forever. Even if it’s just once a month, start writing down your favorite moments.

Choose your friends wisely. One of my favorite quotes is “You will only be as good as the people you surround yourself with.” Surround yourself with good people who reciprocate your friendship. Nobody likes a one-sided friendship or relationship!

Family is everything. When you are young you think you would rather hang out with friends, but as you grow up you realize family are the people who usually always stay by your side. Start young and don’t miss out on those opportunities. Spend time with your parents!

Be good to others. Whether you can give through time or money, just give to others. None of us can make it alone, so lift others wherever you stand. Always make it a priority to give back!

Illustration: Alessandra De Cristofaro

For The Love Of Fashion: Brandi Shigley’s Motivation to Success

Dreamer and doer Brandi Shigley has been motivating and transforming the Denver fashion community since 2004, when she founded Fashion Denver, a local organization that supports aspiring designers to grow their businesses. Shigley is a strong believer in “Do What You Love, Love What You Do,” which has been her number one motto throughout her creative life.

 “I think my biggest aspiration is to be a light in dark places,” – Brandi Shigley. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili]
“I think my biggest aspiration is to be a light in dark places,” – Brandi Shigley. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili]

Adopted from the Philippines, Shigley grew up in Colorado in an entrepreneurial family. After graduating from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in communications, she started her first business at the age 23, designing custom handbags under her label “b.shigley design,” which led to her success both locally and internationally. Shigley has been featured in 5280 Magazine, HERLIFE Magazine, Denver Business Journal, CNN Money and Lucky Magazine.

Irma Laliashvili: You are the founder of Fashion Denver – a local fashion community that helps young designers to pursue their dreams. Could you tell me more about what services you offer at your company?

Brandi Shigley: I feel like Fashion Denver’s role over the past 11 years that I’ve been in business has really been about connecting designers and giving them a platform to shine. As a semi-retired handbag designer, I really understand the importance of the ins and outs of being an independent designer and I want to be able to provide those services to local designers. Those services include one on one business consulting and connecting them with resources within our community to help them grow their businesses. I also do a lot of business development as well like: logo, brand development, web development, public relations and marketing. But really, Fashion Denver is about connecting and providing that platform for designers to shine.

IL: What motivated you to start Fashion Denver?

BS: I was motivated to start Fashion Denver after I moved back here from Southern California. In California I was going up to LA and San Francisco, doing different fashion markets. I didn’t see anything like that here in Denver, and this was back in 2004. There was fashion industry happening, but I wanted to bring it together even more to take those experiences from LA and San Francisco and apply them here in Denver. That’s really what motivated me to create Fashion Denver.

IL: Fashion wise, would you say Denver is the next New York, Milan or Paris?

BS: I would like to say that Denver is not the next New York, Milan or Paris. Denver is Denver. For me, being from Denver, I think it’s important that we keep our culture, and don’t try to be something that we’re not. As far as the fashion industry in New York and Milan, those places are growing. Yes, we are growing, but I want Denver to stay Denver.

IL: In 2012 you gave a TED Talk about starting your first business of designing custom handbags under the label “b. shigley designs” right out of college, which led to your success both locally and internationally. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a businesswoman?

BS: I’ve never labeled myself a businesswoman. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. At a very early age, all I knew was entrepreneurship. I only knew family owned and operated businesses. I think it’s just been instilled in me on how to be a business person. I never really was like, “I want to be a businesswoman!” It was more about doing what I needed to do, which from an outside prospective, it is a business woman, but from the inside prospective, I’m just doing what needs to be done.

IL: What is the most challenging thing about your job?

BS: I think the most challenging can be balancing life with business, because so much of what I do is who I am. For example, this year has been kind of a crazy year for me. I traveled back to my birth country. I visited the orphanage where I came from. That was pretty heavy. I’ve just reconnected with my foster sister, who met her biological sister this weekend. A friend that I traveled to the Philippines with died of a tragic motor cycle accident last month.

I think that because I’m an entrepreneur, I create my own hours. If I don’t feel like working, because I’m depressed and sad, I don’t work, which is often not a good thing, because I need to keep income coming in. I think that that’s the hardest part, making sure that I’m working enough and that I am living life enough. Oftentimes those two things cross over and sometimes it’s hard to balance that.

IL: When you went back to the Philippines, how did that experience inspire you?

BS: That experience inspired me to really understand where I come from. I grew up American. My parents are white. I’m a total white girl in a Filipino body. When I went back to the Philippines, specifically when we flew into the island of Tacloban, which is where 10,000 people were killed in a typhoon a couple of years ago – as soon as I landed and got off the airplane, I physically and soulfully felt very connected. I was like “I’m home! This is where I’m from.” That experience has really led me to want to get in touch more with my roots. Now I’m kind of on a journey to find my biological parents. With my foster sister meeting her biological sister this weekend here in Denver, and seeing those two connect, there was nothing like it. That’s one thing. As an adoptee, it might be hard for other people to understand. But I want to physically belong to somebody. I want to know “Wow! This is my blood. We share the same chromosomes.” I don’t have that. It used to not bother me, I used to be like, “Oh, you know, it’s okay, I’m my own chromosome. I’m creating my roots.” But now I want to find my chromosomes. I want to connect with my biological family. That’s been a huge life changing thing for me. Huge. I just need to make sure I stay connected to my roots and keep remembering and thinking about it and putting energy into finding them.

IL: What is your greatest aspiration?

BS: I’ve been teaching my workshop, “Do What You Love, Love What You Do,” for years. But after going back to the Philippines and going back to these villages that have nothing but seeing how rich they are in family and culture and in so many other things that we aren’t as rich, I’ve realized now that life is about doing what you love and loving what you do. Even more so, it’s about understanding what your gift is and giving it back into the world. I think my aspiration in life is in the bigger scheme of things, to be able to affect more people in a positive way to spread their light. Whether that’s through Fashion Denver, teaching “Do What You Love, Love What You Do workshop,” or traveling and volunteering. I just want to be able to keep spreading hope, encouragement and happiness.

Last Tuesday my band, I have band, called “Piper Club” and we played a concert for the homeless community and it was amazing. Just seeing, you don’t have to travel the world and go on these big missions to be able to spread your light. We can do it just through having compassion with people we pass every day. I think that often times, we as a society look away and we don’t engage, because we’re like “Ugh!” “What do you think when you see a homeless person?” “What do you think when you see something that doesn’t feel good?” “Do you have compassion or do you just turn away?” I’m really learning how not to turn away and how to have more compassion and have conversation. I think my biggest aspiration is to be a light in dark places. In whatever way that is, if it’s just striking up a conversation with a homeless person and telling him “Life is good. There is good out there,” then that’s good.

IL: What piece of advice would you give to someone considering a career in the fashion industry?

BS: I would say to find people that are doing what you love. Talking to them and interviewing them and seeing what the ins and outs are of their business. Volunteering is a huge way to get involved and to see if the industry that you want to be part of is something that you really do want to be a part of. Also, think locally. You don’t have to fly away to LA or New York. We have fashion going on here. I’m a big proponent of “If you don’t see something happening, make something happen.” I’m very big on the idea of don’t wait for an opportunity, create the opportunity. I would say, for the most part, Denver is very supportive and we have an amazing fashion community. I love talking to people when I can. I love being able to inspire people to just see like, yeah, we have fashion here, “Stay here! Let’s build it here!” Also, researching all the different parts of the fashion industry. There are many different things, from actual design to fashion show production, to marketing, to business, to journalism and really just getting involved.

This article originally appeared on theodysseyonline

And re-appeared on medium

For more information on Brandi Shigley’s work, visit http://brandishigley.com, http://fashiondenver.com and http://dowhatyoulove.us.

Featured photo by brandishigley.com

The Future of Journalism in the 21st Century

Suzanne Popovich Chandler is a broadcast and photojournalist who has been in journalism business for 35 years. She freelanced extensively for the ABC, NBC, and CBS networks including, 60 Minutes, America’s Most Wanted, Dateline and ESPN, and has been awarded numerous awards as a professional photographer.

As traditional newsrooms and editorial controls slowly vanish, the enforcers of journalistic standards are the audience. Today, colleges and universities offer variety of degree programs in print journalism, yet the question remains, if colleges should continue teaching programs in print concentration, since online journalism it taking over the world.

  VIEW FROM ABOVE:   “You can’t have as powerful reports without pictures or visual media.”    —    Suzanne Chandler   [Photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler]
VIEW FROM ABOVE: “You can’t have as powerful reports without pictures or visual media.” — Suzanne Chandler [Photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler]

With the growing popularity of the Internet, gone are the days of print-only or TV-only newsrooms. Media companies no longer have to wait for the evening broadcast or tomorrow’s edition to report the news.

Irma Laliashvili: You’ve been in broadcast journalism and photojournalism for 35 years, freelanced extensively for ABC, NBC CBS networks including, 60 Minutes, America’s Most Wanted, Dateline and ESPN, and have been awarded numerous awards as a professional photographer. In your opinion, what does the future of journalism in the digital age hold for aspiring journalists today?

Suzanne Chandler: The future of journalism is exciting in the 21st Century! Aspiring journalists today have abundant opportunities to communicate and interact with mass audiences – much more than what I had when I was first starting out in the business in 1981. Back then in broadcasting for example, there were three main networks. To get to work on one of the “ BIG 3” was extremely competitive.  Today we have hundreds of channels and an Internet full of online journalism. There are numerous opportunities and platforms for journalists to communicate with mass audiences

The interactivity of today’s digital world is extremely useful to today’s journalist. For example, we can hear right away from those we communicate with, and the public – at one time our “ audience” can now contribute to the reporting of news. Reporting is no longer linear. It is interactive. Today we can serve the public even more by having instant feedback. We can find out how we are doing, and if we are getting the story right.  21st century Journalists can find out immediately if we are covering the issues that matter the most to the public.

IL: Plenty of people say newspapers will never die because people love the feel of newsprint. So if touch is so powerful, why are newspapers closin

SC: Cost is the biggest reason newspapers are closing. Craig’s list took away classified ad revenue as you know and recently the Chicago sun fired all their photojournalists. My opinion is you cant have as powerful reports without pictures or visual media so those newspapers who don’t embrace the importance of visuals will find their audiences diminishing Perhaps local; small papers will stay in print so readers can keep the feel of he newsprint but in general people are beginning to feel better about reading entire books online. Why not news stories as well? KIDS are growing u with Ipads in front of them not news print so I see less and less newsprint and more online reports.

I however DO believe specialty magazines and tabletop books   with gorgeous print photos will always be around.

IL: What skills do big print publications such as Coned Nast and Hearst look for in ambitious aspiring reporters today?

SC: I can’t say for sure with these two publications you mention, but I believe most publications are looking for and needing journalists with multiple skills. They want journalists to know how to write, shoot still and video images and use social media. One of my friends was a writer for Islands magazine. When I met him he was taking Photo classes because they wanted the same person to take the photos of the location as well as write the story. This way the reporter could make the additional money they photographer made AND the magazine did not have to pay for additional travel costs for 2 people.

In the past there often was a writer AND a photographer. 2 travel costs. In this circumstance for islands magazine the writer needed to write and shoot. I think we are seeing more journalists getting jobs when they have a variety of skills to offer their employers. Budgets are down and there are so MANY outlets for stories. This means journalists need a variety of skills and need to adapt to be successful.

IL: Should bloggers adhere to journalistic standards when they publish information, even if they’re not trained journalists? 

SC: I believe if bloggers are transparent about the purpose of their blog, then following an SPJ Code of Ethics is NOT always what they HAVE to do. Editorials and opinion have always had their place in communication. As long as they represent their work as what it is then fine. What I DON”T like is when bloggers or any reporters present themselves as unbiased and then don’t cover the other viewpoint, or check for accuracy. When they have an agenda they are hiding that really bothers me.

If the audience does not know the difference between trained journalists and everyday contributors, one concern of mine is that the non-professionals are taking away the job of trained professionals.

In the end, this is really up to the public. The public has he power to keep journalists in business by simply watching or reading their work. Journalists have the power of keeping jobs by earning the public’s trust through a variety of multimedia skills and being adaptable and versatile. Of course I DO believe accuracy is important in blogs and checking sources for accuracy is very important.  Knowing media law and the difference between making up stories and presenting it as news is wrong. But not all bloggers have to be accurate as long as they honest that they are writing fiction or stating opinion. I believe the audience will learn how to distinguish between those who have integrity and those who don’t.  Learning visual literacy and Being critical of HOW the news is gathered and reported is precisely what I teach in my classes.

IL: Who will emerge as the enforcer(s) of journalistic standards as traditional newsrooms and editorial controls vanish?

SC: The audience – the public – has the power to make journalists earn their trust with accurate reporting. period. I don’t believe ALL traditional newsrooms and editors are vanishing. They aren’t. My last class took a tour to the TV station I used to work at -KMGH TV- and they noticed that there are editor’s producer’s newsrooms alive and well -just as there always have been.

Print journalism IS different. They have to adapt.  Newsprint is expensive to provide on a daily basis and is outdated as soon as it is printed. I am certain New York Times Washington Post – the big papers- DO have newsrooms, editors etc. Their success?? They have embraced their websites and multimedia. That is the key. Yes papers have suffered. We lost a 100-year-old paper in Denver and recently the Chicago tribune fired all their photographers. But guess what? Many of the paper reporters have landed jobs in TV. And there are plenty of jobs in corporate communications and PR.

Good reporting is good reporting. Newspapers need to adapt and use the versatility of the Internet and social media and adhere to SPJ code of ethics and earn he public’s trust in a new medium. Good storytelling is what is important. With out ad revenue, papers need to jump with all they have to multimedia.  Accurate online reporting.  The profession of journalism will survive as we Report across platforms including the use of all social media technologies.

IL: If newspapers are struggling to generate print ad revenue, will they have any more luck generating online ad revenue?

SC: They are doing it already. As much as readers hate the pop up ads for example the ads are paying for the coverage of the news. Print papers are expanding and asking for subscriptions. The big papers with the big reputations – such as New York times, Washington post – They ARE getting the subscription revenue too and have some pretty competitive online websites.

What I believe newspapers need to do is invest in reinventing themselves. Be flexible. Embrace online journalism.  Hire the best multimedia journalists, commit to telling really good investigative stories and add some good news stories in the mix too. Listen to the public. If they don’t trust the media, do everything in your power to earn that trust and MARKET yourself as the media you can trust.

It is also ok in my opinion to be transparent and to do “agenda journalism” from a particular viewpoint.  When I don’t agree is when they aren’t honest about their agenda. They should NOT represent themselves as unbiased news. I love having the variety of viewpoints as long as journalists are honest with where they are coming from – with their agenda.

IL: Should colleges and universities still offer degree programs in print journalism?

SC: This is a very good question. They need to offer degrees and teach the importance of CONVERGING journalism. They need to have print be a part of the program but if print is all they are teaching I believe they are doing a disservice to the students. Students will always need to know how to write well. They will always need to know how to interview objectively. They will always need to know how to research a subject and look for a variety of viewpoints and if there is an agenda in the interview. But we can’t stop with only teaching print standards. For students to actually get jobs they have to know a variety of skills. MULTIMEDIA skills. They need to know how to write for print and online, AND they need to know how to make videos for the web. They need to know how to shoot good pictures for the web and if there is a print publication, they need to know how to write accurate reports that are interesting.

IL: Will TV news programs one day suffer the same fate as newspapers?

SC: No I do not believe TV programs will go away. Yes, TV budgets have been cut. And yes there are more TV programs to compete with. The big 3 networks just don’t have the market all to themselves as they once did but TV is already well versed in multimedia reporting so TV needs to continue to embrace an online presence.

As you learned in my class all the TV programs had websites. So I believe TV is at a great advantage because their people already have multimedia skills.

Newspapers don’t have to continue suffering their fate if they continue to adapt to multimedia and online reporting too.  They have some outstanding reporters and skills. They need to be flexible and know that the cost of newsprint is prohibitive and  – as much as we like it in our hands – reading a paper in your hands will never be at the heights it once was.

The key for aspiring journalists is to be versatile and have a variety of multimedia reporting skills whether you work at at newspaper, magazine radio or a TV station.

IL: Is there something I didn’t ask you or something you’d like to add?

SC: Yes, I’d like to add that Hopefully more students WILL take courses like the one I offered (Intro to Journalism), so students can learn to distinguish between good reporting and bad.

People need to demand that their reporters check sources for accuracy and then support their journalists by watching their programs or reading their websites, or publications. Students need to learn how to be that kind of journalist that has earned the public trust.

Unfortunately not as many students are taking “ journalism” classes. I think they think of it as only Print journalism and they might not have a job if newspapers are going out of business around the country.

The reality is that there is a bombardment of mass communication and information. Learning how media influences us is as important as it has ever been. There are Plenty of jobs in the media too Check sites like Andrew Hudson’s job site if you don’t believe me. The difference is that the jobs have changed away from print. That does not mean that people don’t need to be informed about their government or affairs or world around them.

People simply need to know where to go to get that information. And students therefore need to know how to gather accurate news with a variety if tools and then where to go to get the job.

I love the interactivity with the public. This helps journalists know what the public wants. Since we serve the public good it is great to get feedback as fast as we do in today’s digital age.

I believe we can keep the jobs in communication for aspiring journalists as the public learns the value of trained unbiased journalists from those who want to share opinion  -which may not be based in any fact at all.

This article originally appeared on Metro Post-Telegraph

And later re-appeared on Medium

For more information on Suzanne Popovich Chandler’s work, visit http://www.suzannechandlermedia.com.

Featured image: photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler

My Childhood Adventures in Odessa, Ukraine

A Travel Story

It was a hot sunny summer day in the afternoon in June 1995. My mother and I patiently waited for our train at Yaroslavsky Railway Station in Moscow. We were off to our annual summer vacation to Odessa, Ukraine, a beautiful seaport city located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. Odessa, major transportation hub and tourist destination, is known for its historical and exquisite architecture, as well as, it’s famous and largest sandy beach called Arkadia.

As we waited anxiously for our train, I remember feeling happy and overwhelmed with excitement. The blue train came shortly after we had a quick lunch at a café inside the train station named Solnechniy den’ (sunny day in Russian). We got on the train with our two small bags and headed to our compartment. There were a lot of people on the train, mostly families with small children who were also going on a vacation to Odessa. The kupe compartment was a separate tiny room with four seating/sleeping areas, two on one side and two on the other, and a small table alongside a window in the middle. I remember sleeping on a top bench of the kupe. It was my favorite spot.

It took 24 hours to get from Moscow to Odessa by train. A whole exhausting day, which sometimes felt so long that I kept asking my mother, “Are we there yet?” every half an hour. The train stopped at several cities, small villages and towns. The window view from our kupe was magnificent. We usually left the half of window open. The light breeze felt warm and gentle as the air passed softly from across the room.

I remember looking out the window and seeing grain fields, farms, cows, houses, and small colored houses. The landscape looked absolutely breathtaking with lots of greenery and beautiful Russian trees called bereza, tall skinny white birch trees with light green leaves and sharp edges. When the train stopped, the local farmers used get on train and sell fruits, vegetables, roasted chicken, bread, milk, and kwas, which is a Russian and Ukrainian refreshing iced cold beverage made from black or regular rye bread.

When we got off the train, our family friends, Olga and her husband Grisha, were waiting for us the train station. My mother and Olga had been best friends since high school. Right after high school, Olga got married and moved with her husband to the Ukraine were her husband’s family lived. Olga was Russian, Grisha was Ukrainian Gypsy. They were a very lovely couple. They used to always get along and laugh at each others jokes, which I thought was very sweet. I never once saw Olga and Grisha fighting. I did not noticed anything unusual or different between them.

They were one of the most friendly, warm, kind, and funny people I’ve ever met in my life. Every morning we used to have breakfast in their backyard, which was a big open landscape with tall green trees and pretty roses everywhere. Olga planted red roses throughout the backyard and next to the front porch. They smelled wonderful.

My mother and I used to stay at their house. They had a big gated house. Their house was dark green, with lots of windows, four bedrooms, and tiny farm right outside their backyard. They used to grow fruits, and vegetables such as peaches, apples, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, lettuce, rodish, carrots, and cucumbers. They also grew barriers, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currant, gooseberries and loganberries.

They also had lots of animals, three dogs, about six cats, and lots of chickens. I made friends with their oldest dog, Graf. Graf was a German shepherd. The kindest and friendliest dog I’ve ever known. We became friends from the first time I petted him at the age of five. Every summer when we went to Olga’s house, the first thing I did was play with Graf. When I was a child, I used to be scared of big dogs, who were my size, but not Graf. Graf was my best friend.

One life changing afternoon, Graf literately saved my life. I was playing in the backyard. Olga had a huge wide pool in the backyard. It was quite deep and scary looking for me at the time. I was seven years old back then, and did not learned how to swim yet. While playing ball by myself by the pool, I slipped and feel in the pool while try to catch the ball. I don’t quite remember the exact details, but from what I can remember now, is that I fell in the water and started crying and screaming extremely loudly. I was nearly drowning. I didn’t understand what was happening or what was going on. The next thing you know, Graf jumps in the pool, starts swimming towards me to my safety.

Then, I remember my mom screaming extremely loud. It was as if she was about to have a panic attack. She ran as fast as she possibly could towards me, jumped in the pool pulled me from the water. I still remember how scared and terrified she was. She hugged me tightly, yelled at me few times for not being careful, then started crying. In that moment of being scared and shocked, I looked at my mom and I didn’t understand what was going on. I couldn’t speak for a few minutes. It almost felt like I was losing consciousness. As this was happening, I looked to my right and noticed Graf was standing right next to me the whole time. From that day on, I knew that Graf was a special dog, a brilliant dog. I was seven years old, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. If it wasn’t for Graf for saving me that day, who knows what would have happened.

Once in Odessa, in the morning, we went to the beach. Oh, those filthy Odessa beaches! Never clean, always yucky and unpleasant. I remember Arkadia beach, the most popular of all the beaches in Odessa. It was very dirty and usually overcrowded with first time tourists, lots of families with small children. On the other hand, I remember bunch of drunken college students who had no manners whatsoever, and used to leave their trash and empty beer bottles on the sand and in the water. I remember being afraid to go in the water. I did not know how to swim. I was afraid that if I go a tiny bit deeper, above my waist, I was going to drown, thus every time I went in the water, I swam with my blue inflatable armbands that had little pink ducks all over them.

In the daytime, we walked around the city and enjoyed the warm sunny weather and the pleasant summertime daylight. The architecture and sculptures in the downtown area called Deribasovskaya, was absolutely charming beyond words. Deribasovskaya had numerous of historic beautiful old buildings, cute little cafés and coffee houses with cozy outdoor furniture. The atmosphere of the city felt like you were transported to somewhere in Europe, with its narrow street sidewalks, cute little cafes and restaurants, street vendors, and a lot of tourists. It had a very European-like feel to it. Exquisite parks and museums, enchanting little boutiques, people were always very welcoming and polite. I heard few different languages when walking by the main streets and at the restaurants, from Russian and Ukrainian, to German and English. I did hear American-English couple of times in the downtown area and on the beach. I suppose they were tourists from the United States who were visiting Odessa.

The last time I was in Odessa, was when I was ten years old. My mother and I never went back sense then. I still remember my carefree childhood days, where everyone used to be so kind, loving, understanding, cheerful and generous about one another. Life was straightforward an uncomplicated in the 1990s. Neighbors helped out neighbors in times of need. People weren’t as harsh or selfish; hasten to run after money and success, as they are today. Life had tremendous meaning to it. And that meaning was simply, humanity.

When it was time to go back to Moscow, I always felt a little sad, because leaving Odessa I felt kind of joyless and unhappy. Going back meant saying goodbye to the hot summer Odessa days, and hello to the chilly and gloomy Moscow autumn. When we were leaving, Olga, Grisha and Graf, they used to take Graf with them, drove us to the Railway Station. Once we got there and were about to board the train, Olga used to pack for mom and me a bag full of yummy goodies, such as fruits, variables, fried chicken and potatoes, fresh made bread, Ukrainian pastries, and cold iced kwas, which she used to brew by herself from scratch.

In the train, I remember looking out the window and waving goodbye to Olga, Grisha and Graf in hopes of someday coming back to Odessa again. Remembering Odessa is always a pleasant and nostalgic experience for me. I think about how life has changed since then. Will I ever go back to Odessa? I don’t really know. I suppose, if life gave me another chance to go back and experience those lovely summers all over again, I certainly would. It would be very compelling to see how everything changed since the time that I was there.

I was super excited and looking forward to our summer vacation in Odessa each year. The nostalgic memories are still on my mind to this day. Hot summer air, beautiful kind people, enchanting architecture, fascinating and captivating city, which draws you in with its Paris-like atmosphere of the city center Deribasovskaya. I remember like yesterday, that sunny summer day in the afternoon in June 1995, where my mother and I patiently waited for our train at Yaroslavsky Railway Station in Moscow. It was so long ago, so far way ago, yet it feels just like yesterday getting on-board of that light blue train, with no worries, no stress but carefree childhood moments that would last a lifetime.

Odessa will stay in my heart forever.

This article originally appeared on theodysseyonline

And later re-appeared on Medium

Featured photo by Oleksii Hlembotskyi on Unsplash

The Phenomenon Of Denver Fashion Bloggers

How Blogging has changed the Way We Search for Fashion Inspiration

For the past five years, a fashion blogging phenomenon has been taking Denver’s growing fashion community by surprise. Fashion and personal style bloggers, such as Alena Gidenko from ModaPrints.com and Karissa Marie from KarrisaMarieBlog.com are becoming the next local fashion sensations. Over the past decade, influential international fashion bloggers such as Bryan Grey Yambao, also known as Bryanboy from Bryanboy.com and Chiara Ferragni, Italian personal style blogger from TheBlondeSalad.com, have been changing the way we seek fashion inspirations for our daily wardrobe. 

   Image credit: ModaPrints Facebook
Image credit: ModaPrints Facebook

With 23,000 followers and growing on Instagram, Alena Gidenko from ModaPrints.com is becoming a well-known self-made brand in local fashion scene. With her contagious quirky personality and colorful unique style, Gidenko is on her way to a promising career in fashion.

People no longer look for style inspirations in Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. They seek online for original individuals with a unique taste in fashion. The blogging community has allowed an easy access to get noticed on the internet for fashion hopefuls who want to succeed in this highly competitive industry. It’s easy to start a fashion blog on Blogger or WordPress, the two popular blogger platforms. All you need is a computer, smartphone, social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, and a decent quality digital camera and a photographer by your side to take those perfect shots.

Brands love collaborating with bloggers and some even send free samples for bloggers to review and promote on their blog posts. This way the blogger not only gains exposure in the world of blogosphere but also, the brand, which becomes win-win collaboration for both the brand and for the blogger.

The well known and loved photography app, Instagram, also plays a major role in a fashion bloggers success. Perhaps, the winner of the biggest Instagram following is Italian fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad. With 6 million followers and counting, Ferragni is Instagram’s most stylish “it” girl. 

   Image credit: KarissaMarie Facebook
Image credit: KarissaMarie Facebook

Karissa Marie is a Denver based personal style blogger, who is originally from New Mexico, now living in Colorado. Being just 5 feet 1 inch tall, Marie’s bigger than life personality and an exquisite eye for style, makes her an ideal fashion icon in Denver’s growing fashion community. Marie’s blog KarissaMarieBlog.com has 1,742 loyal readers. She has 13,000 plus followers on Instagram, which includes content ranging from look of the day, lifestyle and food photography.

To start a blog, you have to have a unique point of view, a unique personality. You have to have your own thing. There are so many bloggers out there. They’re all doing similar things. You have to find something in you that’s different from what everybody else is doing. What can you give to your readers? Can you make them smile? Can you make them laugh? That’s what’s important.

Recent rising trend in the fashion industry shows that blogging has influenced plus-size fashion enthusiasts to run their style blogs by posting daily outfit photos and points of view on the latest fashion trends on their blogs. It’s a new and inspiring approach for plus-size women who are looking for outfit inspirations online.

As fashion blogosphere grows even more in Colorado, local media are already beginning to feel its influence. Whether you are a petite-size blogger or a plus-size blogger, there are many new voices out there ready to be heard. It is just a matter of time before the Denver fashion industry starts to recognize these young stylish individuals who are waiting to get their foot in the door with their personal and unique approach to style.

 Cover Image Credit: ModaPrints

Piece originally published in The Odyssey, theodysseyonline.com

How Online Dating effects the Way College Students meet on Campus

It’s difficult to meet people on campus organically, because everyone is too sewn to their phones and thinking of what their next move is going to be on Instagram or Snapchat. A lot of 20-somethings may just look for a hookup, however, there are college students who look-or-are looking for something a little more serious and mature.

Online networking is incredibly easy to meet people, but to meet potential lovers is tough. You can’t tell if someone is interested, not interested or just being a creep. If it doesn’t work out romantically, there is no shame in befriending an ex-potential date. You may still be compatible, just not the way you had originally intended to be.

Emily Friedman, a sophomore English major at the Metropolitan State University of Denver said:

“I have only used online dating sites and apps such as Tinder very infrequently, but I have gone on a couple of dates thanks to these sites, and I can say that a date with someone you met online and a date with someone you met, let’s say, at the grocery store have a very different feel. The basic human skills you get from having a conversation with a stranger, such as eye movement, posture, vocal inflection, etc. is completely lost when meeting an individual via internet,” Friedman said.

According to Friedman, text on a screen can tell you people’s opinions, their favorite kinds of things, what their hopes and dreams are, but it cannot let you know if you will talk over each other in conversation, what they will sound like, or if you all will have any kind of chemistry.

“This leads to a lot of disappointing dates. I have yet to have a date be fulfilling both emotionally and physically. Sometimes one, usually neither. You may say that this could be me being too picky, but from my experience, the dates always feel like trying to put on a glove that is just too small. You can pretend the glove is fitting, and you could probably get away with it for a little bit, but your hand will become uncomfortable after a little while,” Friedman added.

Despite the risk of online dating, Friedman still holds hope and faith within her that someday she will find the perfect match.

“With that being said, I really enjoy the idea of meeting people who match what you want on paper. I do think online dating has its place, and apparently it works for a lot of people, and it opens you up to a sea of available people looking for the same thing you are, but something is lost when meeting people online. Maybe whatever it is can be gained back through something long term, but I have never made it that far. I guess you just have to keep trying,” Friedman said.

Nowadays it’s considered strange meeting someone at a bar more romantic than finding them online. Users of dating apps are actually being proactive about finding someone. Online dating shouldn’t feel “artificial” because it is just an alternative way to meet people.

According to Zachery Simms, senior English major at the Metropolitan State University of Denver:

“Online dating, in my opinion, is a great concept, and might actually work for many people, but the thing is – attraction, especially for women, isn’t just about looks. A man can be very handsome but still ‘the one’ for her because his behavior is off putting (arrogant, not manly, whatever reason). And since online dating, is at first based on looks, it’s an imperfect system but hey, I guess it filters out a lot of people for you and it might actually cause you to end up with someone great.”

People feel super nervous meeting someone online for the first time because you never know if you’re just going to be friends or something more. Eye contact is one of the first ways to tell if someone likes you, and that can be a tricky gesture to understand clearly. If you don’t like them or they don’t like you, it’s not a big deal at all. If you do like each other, you’re connected immediately. Once it’s settled that you both like each other, why wouldn’t you say hello?

“Just don’t think that setting up a list of wishes and demands for you partner and putting it through the dating website will deliver you the perfect partner. That’s just not how attraction/love works. It’s still a decent way to meet people though, but people are too obsessed with meeting someone perfect that they don’t really pay attention to what’s out there,” Simms said.

Online dating is clearly a positive thing that has brought millions of people together who otherwise may never have had the opportunity to meet. Studies have shown that couples who meet online get married sooner and have more satisfying relationships. This shows that for those who are clear with their intentions and about they look for in a partner, online dating helps people do just that.

But there are obviously numerous problems that lead to many people being very frustrated with the medium, and abandoning it entirely.

Jessica Pearson, a senior philosophy student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver said:

“I was on Tinder for a couple of days earlier this year and then quickly unsubscribed when I realized my ‘swipe-right rules’ were pretty exclusive and defeated the whole purpose anyway. You’re basing preferences on photos alone so I quickly started saying “no” if any of the following were in (or prominent in) their photos: guns, cars, trucks, excessive drinking, smoking, tattoos, nudity, boobs (yep, in guys profiles, their “friends” boobs were quite common). So many photos had all of these at once it was almost laughable. It made me a very content single. I was happily not associating with any of these douchebags, and would happily continue this way.”

Online dating needs serious help from behavioral psychologists to address a lot of the frustrations people have with it. The fact that the online dating companies have an incentive for its members to stay single and active on their platforms is also a tricky hurtle to overcome.

 “It sounds judgmental but the whole concept is judgmental, photos alone can never describe someone. And people become more or less attractive to me based on their personality.

In theory I agree that online dating is a good way to overcome being stuck in a rut of your friends, and friends of friends, but take up a new hobby or two and you’re guaranteed to meet new people you’ll at least somewhat get along with. And worst-case you end up with a new skill. Or suggest a beer with a workmate that you think you might have a spark. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned,” Pearson said.

Those students who have tried online dating offer mixed opinions about the experience. Most have a positive outlook, even if they recognize certain downsides.

Users of online dating are generally positive but far from universally so about the pros and cons of dating digitally. On one hand, a majority of online dating users agree that dating digitally has distinct advantages over other ways of meeting romantic partners:

80 percent of students who have used online dating agree that online dating is a good way to meet people.

On the other hand, a substantial minority of these users agree that meeting people online can have potential negative consequences:

25 percent of students agree that online dating is more dangerous than other ways of meeting people. And that online dating keeps people from settling down, because they always have other options for people to date.

Overall, students who have used online dating tend to have similar views of the pros and cons with one major exception relating to personal safety. 45 percent of women who have used online dating, however, agree that it is more dangerous than other ways of meeting people.

Perhaps, the tricky part of meeting people online is that it only broadens the pool of people to choose from but does not help too much with the actual choosing phase, or any other phase of building a relationship. Not to say that the offline world cannot be deceiving, but wouldn’t you rather be certain that it will never be as deceiving as the online one is? What bothers people sometimes is the superficiality of our lives and online dating tends to encourage illusions.

Nothing tears a heart apart worse than illusions.

This article was written for an investigative reporting class at MSU Denver.

The Advantages of Living Off-Campus Housing

Living off-campus has its own benefits

Auraria Campus is one of the largest college campuses in Denver and is located right in the heart of Downtown Denver. Auraria is a commuter campus, which includes three higher education institutions, such as the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Community College of Denver. Approximately 42,000 students are enrolled annually at the three institutions.

While each institution on campus does not have its own dormitory hall. There are several off-campus housing options for students to consider choosing from.

For incoming freshman or a returning senior, one of the biggest decisions students have to make in their college career is whether to live on or off campus. Living on your own for the first time is a big deal. And while it’s exciting and overwhelming, there is a lot to consider in terms of food options, independency, cost and living space.

According to students, living off-campus has its own benefits. Here are the four main reasons why living off-campus might best for you:

Food

If you are one of those lucky students who lives in a campus dorm, where kitchens are available, good for you. However, is it everything you really hoped for? Do you often have to wait for the person in front of you who is baking cupcakes for her club?

Monica Bassett, a freshman biology student at MSU Denver and resident of Auraria Student Lofts, notes the benefit of knowing you’re eating good food.

“I guess one advantage of living in off-campus housing is that you get to eat whatever you want and you don’t have to eat weird food like mystery meat or vegetables,” Bassett said.

“The food is a lot cheaper, sometimes even if you get food delivered every day, it is cheaper than the meal plan, and you don’t have to worry about expiring meal coupons either.”

As a commuter, you will always have access to your own kitchen. You won’t have to worry about going to your local dining hall or waiting to use the oven in an on-campus kitchen. Instead, you can bring out your inner-Martha Stewart and cook yourself a delicious meal.

Independence/Responsibility

Living off-campus provides students with the opportunity to become an adult. They have more responsibilities than most on-campus students; besides the work they have for school, off-campus students are usually responsible for paying their monthly rent, cleaning, cooking and taking care of other financial matters regarding their living space.

This truly gives students a chance to be ready for any real world obstacles that they might face. With this new experience they will be prepared to rely on no one but themselves.

Kristin Thompson is a junior business major at University of Colorado Denver and resident of The Regency Student Housing.

“Generally, you get more bang for your buck when you live off-campus. It has nicer space for less money. It’s also generally more quiet, though this depends on your roommates and neighbors. You can usually hear through the walls,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, having your own apartment comes with increased responsibility.

“The legalities of living off-campus can be stressful. You’ll need to ask yourself, are you jointly or separately signing leases? Is the landlord good and quick with repairs? I live in a group house situation, probably the most stressful of all living arrangements, and it’s definitely a bit nerve wracking every month to collect all the money for rent and utilities, and also nerve wracking when something breaks and the landlord doesn’t think something is as important as you do,” Thompson said.

“You just have to cross your fingers that everyone comes through, roommates with rent, landlords with repairs,” she added.

Freedom

If you want to watch a movie, no need to worry about your roommates who have six friends over tonight. If you want to go to bed early, you don’t have to worry about your roommate, who comes home at 2 a.m. as the wind from an open window slams your door shut.

Living off-campus can truly be liberating. There is basically no one to tell you how you can act or what time you should be home.

Jasmin Hernandez, junior business major at University of Colorado Denver and resident of The Regency Student Housing said:

“It doesn’t feel like you’re in public housing, there aren’t as many immature kids that you have to deal with, generally cheaper, more freedom and flexibility. The general rule of thumb is that you don’t room with friends. Trust me, I made this mistake with my best friends and it turned into a disaster!” Hernandez said.

Cost/Living Space

Auraria campus offers three housing options: Auraria Student Lofts, The Regency Housing and Campus Village. Sharing rent with several roommates can cost less than dormitory board hall. And you are guaranteed to get twice times the amount of space.

The Regency Housing is located at 3900 Elati street. Floor plans range from a single unit $675, double unit $520, triple unit $475, studio $750, to a three bedroom $1, 453 a month, which is convenient to share the renting cost if you are thinking about moving in with a roommate or two.

Campus Village is located at 318 Walnut street, and offers studio to four bedroom floor plan apartments ranging from $500 to $1085 a month.

Auraria Student Lofts is located at 1051 14th street. Floor plans range from a studio $781 to a four bedrooms $805 a month, which is another affordable option to share the renting cost with a roommate.

“Sometimes spending so much time with a person becomes difficult. It can ruin a lot of people’s friendships, but others might have better luck with it. I actually experienced that, was best friends with someone and she needed a place to stay,” Hernandez said.

“Needless to say,” she explained, “best friends doesn’t always mean best roommate.”

Ultimately, something which is an advantage for one student may be a disadvantage for another student. It all comes down to your personal preferences and affordability. After all, you will be spending the next four years of your life going to college, studying hard and building your portfolio. Might as well, make it pain-free, stress-free and most importantly, enjoy your college life experience while you’re at it.

Piece originally published in The Odyssey, theodysseyonline.com

Matisse and Friends: Denver Art Museum’s Latest Exhibit

DENVER – Looking at the pleasing colors and understandable subject matter of the paintings in the Denver Art Museum’s latest exhibit, “Matisse and Friends: Selected Masterworks from the National Gallery of Art,” on display through Feb. 8, 2015, it’s hard to imagine that the artists were called “wild beasts” “les fauves” by Parisian art critics. Their bold use of colors and loose brush strokes were startling to the art world in the early 1900s. In their own bold fashion, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) has chosen to design “Matisse and Friends” in creative ways that make the most of the size and tone of the exhibition.

 “Regatta at Cowes” is by Raoul Dufy, a contemporary of Matisse’s and one  of the artists featured in the exhibit. It is seen in detail, below,  and in an exhibit room. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili’]
“Regatta at Cowes” is by Raoul Dufy, a contemporary of Matisse’s and one of the artists featured in the exhibit. It is seen in detail, below, and in an exhibit room. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili’]

Fourteen paintings by Matisse and some of his contemporaries tell of a time when Impressionism “was becoming pedestrian, losing its power,” because everyone was doing it, according to Dr. Christoph Heinrich, who holds the position of Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum, “A new generation took it on, believing in the power of color and the immediacy of the scene.” He describes the paintings as ranking among the most important works in museums today, urging visitors to, “Have an encounter with these exquisite paintings that you can have a dialogue with.”

The exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., while they remodel. At the Gallery, the paintings are displayed on white walls but Danielle St. Peter, master teacher for modern and contemporary art at the DAM and the exhibit’s designer placed them on walls colored purple, green and other colors found in each of the paintings. The effect accentuates the paintings and creates differentiated “rooms” the viewer can visit.

Multiple seating areas on ornate rugs provided by Shaver-Ramsey and props borrowed from the Denver Center Theatre Company invite museum-goers to linger at each painting. This design was inspired by a quote from Matisse painted on the entry wall of the exhibit:

“What I want is an art of purity and tranquility… so that all those who work with their brains… will look on it as something soothing, a kind of cerebral sedative, as relaxing in its way as a comfortable armchair.”

On the tables next to each seating area is a book of photographs, sketches and brief text about the artist whose painting is in that area.

In addition to bold-colored walls and opportunities to sit in front of each painting, St. Peter also created a different kind of audio tour experience. Usually, the tours offer historical references and explanations about the artist and that particular work. But St. Peter wanted to create more of a sensory experience. The viewer is encouraged to breathe deeply and relax; visually explore the painting with eyes open and then eyes closed, from memory; to imagine being in the scene, taking note of what is heard, smelled, felt and seen.

Although “Matisse and Friends” doesn’t have activities specifically geared toward children, the smaller size of the exhibit, bright colors, understandable subject matter and opportunities to curl up to view each work of art makes the exhibit more family-friendly.

“Matisse and Friends” is on view in the Gallagher Family Gallery on level one of the Hamilton Building and is included in Denver Art Museum admission. http://www.denverartmuseum.org.

Piece originally published in Metro-Post Telepgraph, post-telegraph.com

The Premier Fashion Event of the Year

DENVER – Four years of Colorado Fashion Week and it only gets better. Denver hails CFW as the Primer Fashion Event of the Year.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 Colorado Fashion Week presented the collections of the most promising emerging and established fashion designers and brands as part of the international fashion business calendar.

CFW 2014 Runway Show Night 1, sponsored by Shane Co., took place at The Four Seasons Denver Hotel. Among the designers and retailers were Arturo Rios, Lotti by Amy Cabrera, Stitch Boutique, Sarah Ake, Sully & Co., KatyBelle and Hillary MacMilan.

 Colorado Fashion Week runs Oct. 3-7 at various locations in Denver.  [Photo by Irma Laliashvili]
Colorado Fashion Week runs Oct. 3-7 at various locations in Denver. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili]

In its four-year history, CFW has been self-funded by Justice Kwesi Kwarteng as well as through relationships built with generous strategic partners; the event has showcased top local, national and international designers and earned a dedicated day on the State of Colorado calendar.

“The vision and purpose of Colorado Fashion Week is to build Colorado’s international fashion industry presence,” said CFW Founder, Justice Kwesi Kwarteng. “Colorado Fashion Week was created to elevate Denver’s brand as a City, on both the local and national level.”

Colorado Fashion Week is dedicated to building an economically sustainable and highly respected professional fashion industry in Colorado.

 Colorado Fashion Week is dedicated to building an economically sustainable and highly respected professional fashion industry in Colorado.  [Photo by Irma Laliashvili]
Colorado Fashion Week is dedicated to building an economically sustainable and highly respected professional fashion industry in Colorado. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili]

According to Tom Shane, the owner and the headlining designer of Shane Co., there were approximately 300 hundred people at the event.

“It was an outstanding show,” said Charistina Armbruster, a Denver model who walked the 1st runway presentation of Los Angeles designer Arturo Rios. “Our fashion industry professionals have what it takes for making Denver the next New York, Paris, or Milan.”

In 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper officially declared Oct. 1 – 7 as Colorado Fashion Week, each year.

For more details and ticket information for all CFW events visit coloradofashionweek.co

Piece originally published in Metro-Post Telepgraph, post-telegraph.com