We had the good fortune of connecting with Clare Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clare, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I love this question so much because taking risks is something that I think about a lot in my life and always have. I grew up in Baltimore, MD in a pretty traditional setting. Private school, every single team sport imaginable, and family dinners every night. While I did grow up in a privileged environment for the most part, I have incredibly interesting and progressive parents. My dad has spent the better part of his life in academia and my mom was in book publishing. Both of them are wildly independent people and that is something they passed on to me. My mom always told me “you’ll never know until you try.” Which is why they pushed me to travel and do hard things all my life. I was never a very good student (or so I was told); always needing Ritalin for my ADHD and before and after school help to have better grades. The threat of being kicked out of such a great school was always on the horizon so I was constantly pushing myself to be better and to achieve more. I definitely taught myself to be driven and to constantly see what else I was capable and made of. I have always been an athlete as well. I rowed crew through high school and part of college, but it wasn’t until I found rock climbing in 2009 that everything changed for me. In regards to taking risks, this sport has pushed me outside of my comfort zone time and time again and has been such a mental game that is has translated directed into my personal life. I have learned that without taking risks we never know our true potential and we will never really see what we are made of until we try. For some risk taking is scary because of the fear of failure. Or simply feeling defeated or burnt out. But in those moments of defeat (which I have felt countless times in my design career) they are only markers in life. You can give up or reset and keep going to see what can come. I have always chosen to keep going and that is what I continue to do and what I will teach my daughter as well. When it comes to taking risks it’s also about being limitless. We are still told to this day that we should be a certain way or fit into a certain mold, but it’s simply not true and we have to take the time to explore and discover the depths of who we are.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I would say I am still very much in the beginning of my career. I spent 10 years in the health and wellness industry teaching yoga, health coaching and being a Thai massage therapist. That career ran its course for me and I was craving something completely different. I decided on interior design for many reasons. But the one reason I knew it was something I wanted to do was because the creative aspect as well as working with people. I love one on one interactions, and for me personally I release stress by painting the walls of my own, taking on projects, and moving furniture around. We have spent the last 8 years remodeling our house that was built in 1900 in Sloan’s Lake. I take a lot of creative inspiration from my mom who has incredible taste. I grew up in a farmhouse in Maryland that was built in 1776 so I am always finding the best way to keep the charm of a home and keep it authentic. I love mixing the old with the new and you can often find me in an antique store. The transition from one career to the next has been pretty seamless to say the least. But that does not mean it hasn’t come without its challenges. There are challenges in client relationships as well as the pressure to deliver. There are so many designers and it is a very saturated career that you have to remember to follow what inspires you and block out the negative competition that does not serve you. Easier said than done of course. This year is a big year because I am learning a lot of new software and reformatting the way I do business so that it is more fluid and has stronger systems in place. I’ve learned that I have absolutely no control over people and that in the end people will always make their own decisions no matter what you do to sway them. I just want the world to know that I am constantly seeking a unique design with natural elements, beautiful colors, and like I said before blending the old with the new. For me it’s important to to listen to my clients and then search for a unique piece or element that sets them apart from everybody else.
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.
There are so many great places in Denver that I would love to take a friend! I love to cook for my friends so I would definitely throw in the majority of our meals as home cooked ones… lots of entertaining on our big porch in the Highlands. But then I would take them to eat at some of the classics of Denver. For breakfast and coffee I always start by taking my friends to my partner’s coffee shop in Denver, Middle State Coffee (the best coffee and waffles in my personal opnion). Lola, The Kitchen, Duo, Postino, and then definitely drinks at Truffle Table, my favorite wine bar. I would take them on some of my favorite hikes as well. Specifically White Ranch Open Space in Golden, Three Sisters in Evergreen, Rocky Mountain National Park and a more intense hike up Mt. Evans if they felt up for it. I’m always up for an outdoor adventure so I prefer to stay outside when weather is permitting. As for indoor activities go I love taking people to my climbing gym, Movement Climbing + Fitness or a jaunt over to the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate this Shoutout series to the people in my life who have challenged me and encouraged me to seek my potential. Specifically my partner in life, Jay, our daughter, Radley, my parents, Judd + Evy, and my sister, Christina who are always my cheerleaders, but never my enablers.
family black and white photo: Adam Bove yoga studio photo: Sara Ford living room design photo: Sara Ford wall abstract mural: Kristen Fogarty design branding + Logo: Kristen Fogarty