We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher La Fleur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
As an artist, my work strives to address challenging topics and provoke thoughtful discussion. My hope is that people relate to my work in some way. We all need to be having hard conversations, especially at this period of time in history.
As a community advocate and event planner, my job is much more specific-to make and hold space in the marketplace for queer and allied vendors. I host about 40 events per year and the entire goal of my events program is to uplift and activate the Denver LGBTQIAA+ community. We deserve opportunities to sell in the marketplace. We deserve the recognition for our hard work and entrepreneurial efforts. I believe if we all work together we can shift the way people think about diversity, equity and inclusion.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Getting to this point in my career has been both difficult and rewarding. For the first couple years in business I fought tooth and nail to get my work out into the world. I host my own shows. I do my own marketing. I create my own work and everything is original. From accounting to graphic design, I do it all. It is not easy and any aspiring queertrepreneur needs to understand this reality. Nothing will be handed to you if you choose this path. Nothing is easy–frankly, it shouldn’t be. You will struggle with finding balance between work life and personal life. You will be forced to grow and learn about yourself. You will feel alone and you will also feel unexpected support. This is what you’re signing up for.
All that aside, the rewards are worth it. I show up in my life with purpose. Every morning I’m thankful to feel like I have a place in this world that is all mine, no matter the hardship. I run my business like I run my life-with my values. Integrity. Honesty. Respect. Doing the right thing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, we’d start our day with a workout or yoga. If the weather’s nice, we’d be outside at Cheesman Park getting our fitness on. We’d visit the local museums and galleries. BitFactory Gallery is a favorite of mine. I love some of the spaces downtown too–Robischon and Millers and Rossi almost always have great work on display. We’d go to the new immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit and then visit the Selfie Museum. We’d go to dinner at Perdida, LoHi Steakbar and the Clayton Club. Finally, we’d probably take a drive to the mountains to see the beautiful nature of Colorado.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my Shoutout to all the people in our community who are working tirelessly and without recognition. The life of a queertrepreneur can be lonely, difficult and isolated. I would also like to recognize the hard-working staff at Out Front Magazine, who continue to trust me with their events program and platform. They believe as I do–that we are stronger together. Finally, I must thank my fiancee who allows me to do what I do. He uplifts me when I feel hurt. He keeps me going when the road is tough. He sees me and supports me. In doing so, he supports the community and all the work I have to do for it.