To call Brandi Shigley a jack-of-all-trades would be a severe understatement.
As founder and owner of the business development company Fashion Denver, Shigley has adopted many roles over the years: She’s been a consultant, web developer, boutique owner, designer, musician, competitive snowboarder and, most recently, an aspiring magician who goes by the stage name The Great Brandini. But her overall mission in life, she says, is to turn dreamers into doers.
“I don’t know what it is, but it just makes me really happy and excited to see people do what they love,” Shigley says. “I started Fashion Denver as a platform to connect and to help out local entrepreneurs, which is really a big passion of mine. I love inspiring people, working with them one-on-one and giving them the tools they need in order for them to really do what they love. It’s something that keeps me going.”
This summer marks the 10th anniversary of Fashion Denver as well as 15 years of Shigley being an entrepreneur. Going from a handbag designer with a nationwide customer base to a consultant who specializes in the fashion market, this self-proclaimed “passion instigator” is not showing any signs of abandoning her mission to inspire.
Armed with infectious positivity and more than a decade of business experience, Shigley has been assisting clients in the areas of promotion and public relations for the past 10 years. And although the bulk of her clientele consists of fashion designers in the Metro Area, she also provides her services to general mom-and-pop shops as well as retirees who want to finally take the steps of opening their own businesses.
“From the start, my goal with Fashion Denver was to really allow our local designers to have a platform to showcase themselves, to give them an opportunity to shine,” she says. “Fashion Denver is a spotlight. It’s not me, it’s all of us: the business owners, the designers, the stylists, photographers, models, and just people who love fashion. This business brings all of those people together and creates this community that a lot of people don’t know about.”
Taking inspiration from her time working as a designer in Southern California, Shigley decided to promote unity within the fashion realm by introducing the Mile High City to fashion markets — intimate, pop-up events in which local designers set up booths to display and sell their merchandise.
“The first fashion market in Denver was such an amazing success,” Shigley says. “It was cool, it was fun, stylish and unique. Pretty soon people were asking when the next one was coming, so I started to organize markets several times a year.”
On July 20, the 2014 summer fashion market — titled SPLASH! — will take place at the Rooster & Moon Cafe parking lot, located off Bannock and Speer. Featuring 20 local designers, the free event will also consist of games, giveaways, live music and a fashion parade. Shigley encourages the community to check out the market, and insists there will be something for everyone to enjoy and discover.
“I think the Denver fashion scene is off the hook. It’s definitely growing, very much thanks to organizations like 303 Magazine, Denver Design Incubator and the Fashion Design Center,” Shigley says. “There are so many organizations that are all about creating those opportunities and growing the industry. A lot of people don’t realize it at first, but once they get into the Denver fashion door, there’s always a fashion show going on, always something new going on.”
Engaged in an industry that is consistently evolving, Shigley knows that in order for Fashion Denver to last another 10 years, she needs to keep the business fresh. Which is why she’s always looking for inspiration between her music, consulting, event planning and public speaking engagements.
“Just now, fresh off a speaking tour, I find myself asking ‘What’s next? What’s next for the world of Fashion Denver?’” she says. “And that’s always the really exciting part — coming up with ideas on how to make it new for myself and everybody else.”
To learn more about Fashion Denver, the SPLASH! summer fashion market and workshops hosted by Shigley, go to www.fashiondenver.com.