Meet the Makers 5

Introducing Some of Colorado’s Most Artistic Creatives

JAMIE LAUREN (JAMIE LAUREN DESIGNS) JamieLaurenDesigns.com

Owner of one-woman-shop Jamie Lauren Designs, she does it all: Social media, website development, product design, textile and leather sourcing, shipping and accounting. (Plus, she’s a mother of two!) About four years ago while working in corporate America as a project manager, Lauren decided to take a weekly upholstery class after work and found that being creative and working with her hands was something she loved. She was also being drawn to color and nontraditional textiles. She made the leap and expanded her skill set from upholstery to pillows and handbags. Still very much inspired by color and textiles, in addition to leather, most of her fabric stems from Thailand, India and Peru.

“My artistic style is a mix of contemporary combined with ethnic textiles and a boho vibe,” Lauren says.

BRIAN LAAK (LAAK WOODWORKS) LaakWoodworks.com

Owner and operator of Laak Woodworks, which does custom woodwork and cabinetry, Brian Laak describes himself as a wood purveyor, janitor and designer.

“It’s a small shop, so I do it all to keep the ship on course,” Laak says.

His interest sparked after he ran away to the Caribbean post high school to be a sailor and encountered so many other misfits, artistic types and creators all building, shaping, hustling and creating to get it all out. During his seven years in St. John, his newfound lifestyle intrigued him and he wanted in for good. He draws inspiration from sharp hand tools, walnut slabs, beeswax finishes, depth, time and free reign.

“My artistic style is mineshaft modern. Danish/edo/shaker. Form/balance/function,” says Laak.

CATE LEUENBERGER (ROYAL STAG HATS) RoyalStagHats.com

Hat maker and owner of Royal Stag Hats, Cate Leuenberger makes high quality, handcrafted custom hats. Hats are rooted in classic men’s dress wear with a modern spin. The styles are classically oriented shapes like the fedora, homburg or the derby. Always a hat person and a maker, it was just a matter of time until Leuenberger put the ideas together. The initial moment was when she stopped a woman on the street with a “super dope” hat on and asked her where she got it. Her response was, “I made it myself!” And that was that. A lot of her current inspiration comes from actual hats you see in movies, old magazines or that vintage fedora you find at the thrift store.

“I make hip hats with a classic, clean and timeless style,” says Leuenberger.

LAURA MERCER (MERCER & JAYNE) ShopMercerAndJayne.com

Owner/Designer on mercer & jayne, Laura Mercer designs, sources materials, handles the marketing, sales, book keeping and then some. She’s always had an interest and love for gems and minerals. When Mercer worked in a New York City boutique that carried lots of trend jewelry, she learned how to wear and layer it. A few years later, she launched mercer & jayne. She’s mostly self-taught when it comes to jewelry making, utilizing YouTube resource tutorials along the way. A lover of fashion and travel, Mercer’s constantly inspired by “street style” in her favorite spots: New York, Aspen and London. Over the years she’s refined her techniques and taken metalsmithing classes, while always trying new things.

“My artistic style can be described as simple and delicate, yet has a natural edge. Perfect for layering and every day wear,” says Mercer.

PETER DAVISON (POET OF MOTION) PoetOfMotion.com

Peter Davison kick-started his career street performing in Los Angeles. After a move to Boulder in the early 80s, he became a founding member of the juggling and movement company, Airjazz. Davison’s performed as a dancer at The Boulder Ballet and also served as their co-artistic director. Early influencers that led to his training in dance, juggling and visual art include Alexander Calder and Batman. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, Davison’s appeared across the US and internationally as a solo performer, and his choreography’s been performed by the crème de la crème at Boulder Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others. Davison is also an active educator and has taught several workshops in public schools.

“My style is varied, depending on what I’m inspired by at the time. It’s ranged from vaudevillian to starkly contemporary. And the technique is eclectic – mixing dance, juggling, and physical theater,” Davison says.

ALEXA ALLEN (NELLAkids)  AlexaAllenIs.com

Artist, designer and maker Alexa Allen divides her time between her own small leather and wood objects designs and doing leatherwork for Todd Reed’s (world-renowned jeweler and superstar) line of men’s jewelry. Allen moved back to her hometown of Boulder after originally completing prototypes for a line of eco-modern children’s furniture. While her love for furniture and woodworking has always remained, she was interested in branching out and found a leather class by a talented local leather artisan. The combination of wood and leather goods was a natural fit. Inspiration comes to her from an understanding and intimacy of the material (often leather itself)—what it smells like, how it will be used, how it feels in your hands, how it will cut or how it will wear and age over time.

“I aspire to create objects that are useful, functional and beautiful in everyday life,” Allen says.