We had the good fortune of connecting with Badi Tolo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Badi, what do you want people to remember about you?
I hope people remember me as always authentic. I’ve never done any of the things I’ve done or worked any of the ways I worked because I wanted some sort of personal recognition or praise for it. If that comes organically with it, then I’m doing something right, but that’s never been the end game for me. I would want people to remember me for who I believe I am and strive to be at my core. Someone who was ready and willing to explore ways that he could help those in need. Someone who did his best to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Someone who recognized that none of us are perfect, but we can all try to Do More, Be More and Give More of ourselves when the opportunity presents itself because it makes a difference. If we’re not here to try to make an impact in some way or another, why are we here? I believe if you can inspire one individual in life, that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For the last 10 years, I’ve worked for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, first hired on as Graphic Designer and now serving as the Art Director for the past 6+ years. Additionally, I launched my own online clothing brand (@6thclothingco) as a creative outlet and a means of service to my community outside of my 9-5, that allowed me to build on the experience and knowledge I developed working in the professional sports and entertainment industry. My proudest moment at KSE, was probably being a part of the creative team that rebranded my childhood favorite basketball team, the Denver Nuggets. That’s probably a pinnacle achievement as an Art Director in sports to be part of a team rebrand so that, in addition to my portfolio of work that I did for our other teams, the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth and Colorado Rapids is in part what gave me the confidence to build my own brand. Which in turn, is probably one the hardest and most fulfilling professional achievements I’ve had.
No part of either of those journeys was easy. I was unemployed for nearly 2 years before I got an opportunity at Kroenke Sports. My drive and some great connections back to my Alma Mater and through my first job outside of college at Snowy Range Graphics, gave me the opportunity to do my first bit of sports graphics for the University of Wyoming Athletics Department. That job, and then the freelance contract work that followed and kept me somewhat afloat while I was just trying to find just a job interview during the first economic collapse is what allowed me to build the portfolio that got me in the door for an interview. Once I got hired on, I never looked back.
What I want the world to know about my brand, The 6th Clothing Co, is that the brand is my story. The 6th represents the mentality of The 6th Man/Woman in the game of basketball. You have high confidence in your ability, and work hard with humility because you know sometimes it’s not your time yet, but when you get that opportunity to take your shot you seize it. If I didn’t have that 6th Mentality, I wouldn’t have had the strength to fight through childhood cancer, get through college and revisit my lost high school sports career by playing every sport and chance that I could, struggling my way through a period of unemployment, working my way up in a company and an industry that isn’t easy to get into, and then ultimately doing that job with that same determination every day but deciding I wanted more of a challenge so I built my own brand on the side.
Long story short, I want the world to know that no matter where you came from, what you look like, what you’ve been through, or the ways people, processes or opportunities have overlooked you or been missed, you can still do more than you ever dreamed of if you just never stop working. That’s my 6th Mentality and my personal mantra is that no matter where I am in life, I’m just getting started.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well assuming a pandemic doesn’t get in the way and I can draw up the perfect week, I’d definitely say we’d have to catch a show at Red Rocks first and foremost. Nothing like it. I’d of course have to check the work schedule and see if I could squeeze someone for tickets to a Nuggets game (or Avs or Mammoth or Rapids) at Ball Arena and show them what I been up to the past almost 10 years. During the week, probably hit up some breweries and spots in Rhino for a happy hour. Can’t remember all the names of the smaller spots off the top because it’s usually a bit of a hopping situation, more obscure spots but there are definitely some hidden gems. Improper City is a pretty dope spot. Stanley Marketplace is always chill. When does Meow Wolf open here haha? Can I take them there in a hypothetical? Itching to see that. I’d definitely get my crew together and see if we could catch a Rockies game or something. Depending on the season, we could just hit Wash Park or cruise up to the mountains for a hike or to ride if they want to. Union Station for sure and just walk 16th street mall. I think that would be a solid week of activities if they were all possible to squeeze in. Denver has it all so, a week probably wouldn’t be enough, but I’d show them a good time.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So many to shoutout but before I shout any one out, I always have to default to the most important people that always come to mind first, my Mom and Dad. Their hard work and sacrifice are the reason I’m here, and the reason I work as hard as I do and the way that I do.
As far as a group outside of my family that impacted me goes, I’d probably say the Laramie High School Multicultural Group, lead at the time by Judy Coburn, Connie Hull and Paul Street. They were counselors/teachers at our high school that assembled a small number of students they felt would be good contributing members to this group and I’m humbled and grateful I was one of them. In this group, we stayed connected through high school and welcomed new members coming up, and our mission was just to support each other, promote diversity and acceptance in our school and our community and just learn and volunteer and try to make a positive impact in the community. That was a great support structure for me personally as a teenager and one of the few minorities in my grade or class or school at the time.
Instagram: @badimarcel or @6thclothingco