Slo Curio is a boutique and gallery that opened in the RiNo Art District July of 2018. “Slo” stands for “slow, luxurious and organic,” which are the three fundamentals G and Ry Roslie — the creative pair behind this space — strive to incorporate into what they make and sell — everything from apparel, modscapes and house essentials, or rare, unusual and intriguing “curio” objects. Inspired by natural materials like leather and organic linen, G creates everything from wool clothing to bags for the boutique. Ry is the artist of the duo, creating original work for the gallery inspired by elements of nature and the use of natural materials.
This unique concept began from the G and Ry’s love of life, each other and the genuine curiosity their customers have for the art and clothing the two create. When the couple made the move to Denver early last year, it opened up the doors for them to share their creative explorations — as well as that of local and international artists and craftspeople — as their dream of having a storefront became a reality. We recently sat down with G and Ry to learn about their process and find out why they feel Denver is a great city to be inspired by different forms of art.
303 Magazine: First, tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? Where did you both grow up?
G Roslie: I grew up in California and Ry is originally from Washington state. We met, fell in love and got married in Kauai where we lived on and off for several years. I went to school to study fashion design as well as merchandise-marketing at FIDM and continued my education at various trade schools and community colleges. I consider myself more of a clothing maker and textile artist as I am not particularly drawn to “high fashion.” Ry grew up with a father who built everything from their family homes to cars and was taught to be engaged in all aspects of the building and making process. We both created and built the interior space of Slo Curio and used mostly re-purposed and found materials.
303: How did both of your backgrounds and pursuits lead you to develop a passion to open a boutique and gallery?
GR: I sell my handmade clothing and accessories mostly online and through seasonal markets. I also did wholesale to a handful of small boutiques until our recent move to Denver. The part-time gallery and studio serves as a space for communicating and sharing a creative vision with neighbors and visitors. The focus is an eco-conscious living and loving atmosphere. We wanted a space to invite people from all walks of life — where they can enter a zen-like space to relax and linger from the hustle and bustle of a busy city. While one can make a quick buy and be out the door, we strive to create a different kind of retail economy and boutique and gallery setting. The kind of setting where one can come to truly understand the making process of a piece of art or garment.
303: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
GR: Our main inspiration always comes from the beauty of nature and quality time in nature, as well as modern and abstract art. In addition, the boundless talent that we see everywhere both locally and internationally has been a major source of inspiration as well. The kindness of people in this city has been mind-blowing and all these wonderful connections we have made thus far have us striving extra hard to do our best. We want to bring an inviting shared space of contemplation and exploration.
303: G, tell us about your process to create slow made clothing and textile art.
GR: My aim for the clothing and textile art that I make is to create a timeless appeal. I call my clothing “baby clothes for adults” because I feel the essential element I want to convey in my garment is comfort, as well as the use of ethically and eco-consciously sourced materials. Depending on the piece of garment, I either start with the textile and make the garment after the dyeing process or it will be garment dyed. The “modscape” textile art begins with an inspiring landscape photo, then sketched to an abstract interpretation of the landscape and finally the choice of the desired color combination for the piece. The dyeing process then begins in order to create the color palette on linen. Once I have the dyed linens, I’m ready to bring the modscape to life.
303: Ry, tell me about the functional installation art you work with and how this is unique.
GR: Ry’s “highlight” installation began as a way of beautifying Slo Curio’s space as we tried to visually maximize use of the 15 plus ceiling space. Ry’s art usually starts with finding interesting material and playing and experimenting with the material to realize its artistic potential. They are very biomorphic in design and there’s a fluidity and grace to them with a definite clean, modern aesthetic that feels very fitting.
303: Tell me a little about your commitment to living an eco-conscious lifestyle
GR: Having worked with a social anthropology professor with a strong penchant for sustainability for many years, I learned a lot about the importance of living an eco-friendly life, whether it’s eating organic or being a discerning shopper, avoiding disposable goods whenever possible, reducing waste and leaving the smallest footprint possible on our fragile planet. Ry grew up tending a small farm and raising animals and not only growing what they ate but also building a lot of what the family used. While we are nowhere near where we personally want to be as consumers and still have ways to go in breaking bad habits on our path to become ultra-eco-friendly, we always strive to do better.
303: What motivated you both to move to Denver early last year?
GR: We came to Colorado to visit some friends over the holidays and fell in love with the people and environment so we decided to give city living a try in Denver. We were awe-struck by the encouragement of the arts in this city and felt it was a great place for inspiration to start a fresh chapter.
303: How do you find local and international artists and craftspeople to represent? What unique qualities do you look for?
GR: I do the sourcing for the shop and honestly, it’s been challenging trying to balance the time of creating my work, running the shop and looking for ethically and environmentally friendly items that are unique and interesting to offer our customers. I feel there are so many talented, creative people out there and with the help of social media platforms like Instagram, it’s probably much easier these days to find that special piece. However, my time is limited as a one-woman business so I always try to find the time needed to travel and explore new sources. I also scour for unique vintage pieces and curios every time I head out the door or online. We definitely can’t get enough of the lovely plants filling our space.
303: What can we expect from Slo Curio in the near future? Any exciting projects in the works?
GR: I hope to do more installations at Slo Curio featuring local and international artists on First Fridays and sharing their art. Ry and I have dreamt of doing a collaborative installation in the summer featuring an underwater theme as the ocean is a place we miss the most since our move. My greatest hope is that we can continue on a path to inspire our visitors with a good sense of smell, touch, taste and seeing each time they step foot into Slo Curio.
All photography by Danielle Webster.