We had the good fortune of connecting with Danilda Polanco and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Danilda, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
At my previous job, I was already managing residential projects from contract to commissioning. Starting my own practice is the next step in my ultimate goal of becoming a residential developer. I want to make a significant impact to the future of my family and personal development with my remaining youth.

What should our readers know about your business?
DOPE Architecture Inc., is a woman owned Colorado based design/build company. My professional practice is designed to be different by providing high quality work which improves lives through better and more beautiful spaces. My business slogan “Live in Beauty” is what I would like to provide for my clients. In the process, I like to educate and involve them in design and construction decisions. By taking them to showrooms, shops, stone yards and fabricators, they can understand the intricacies of putting a beautiful space together.

Since I am also a General Contractor as well as a licensed architect, I am able to achieve the best quality construction, even if it means that my profit is less on a project. With this business structure, If I need to replace an entire installation because the quality is not to my standards, then I have the capability of doing so. The average general contractor only thinks about the bottom line, but my projects are my business card and I get 100% of my work by referrals. I’m a quality perfectionist at hearth.

On another note, most people don’t know that DOPE are my initials (Danilda Olivia Polanco Estrella). It’s a daily reminder where I come from and who I represent. I was born and raised in a small town called Nagua in the northeast of the Dominican Republic. I moved to NYC when I was 19 after finishing my undergrad in Architecture (I graduated high school at age 15). The representation of my work has many layers, I’m a female/Hispanic BOSS of a construction crew that gets the work DONE! None of these adjectives have ever stopped me nor have minimized my ambition and the respect I get from my crew.

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?
I love hosting and showing friends and family the beauties and wonders of Colroado.

Day in Morrison CO:
-I start everyone with a visit to Red Rocks Amphitheater and a hike through the Trading Post Trail
-grab some chicken wings at Willy’s Wings in Morrison and go have a picnic at Lair o’ the Bear Park. Sit next to the river and enjoy nature. There is also an easy hike for visitors who haven’t yet adapted to Colorado’s altitude.

Day in Golden CO:
– Tube the Golden river and have lunch at the Golden Mill (beer garden and many restaurants to chose from right next to the river) happy heaven for kids and dogs
-hike to the mesa of Table Mountain in Golden to see the sunset
– diner at Sherpa House

Day in Estes Park:
I love the quaint town and proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park
Spend the day visiting natural wonders: alluvial fan and Chasm Falls
Go for a cocktail and diner at The Stanley Hotel (gorgeous landmark)

Day in Gand Lake CO
-Stay at Grand Lake Lodge and hike to Adams Falls for a picnic lunch
-Rent a boat or paddle boat and spend a couple of ours in Grand Lake
-Morning fishing and take the kayaks to Monarch Lake
-You can also camp in any of these areas if that’s the mood
-Ice cream at Grand Lake Chocolates

Day in Manitou Springs:
Go early morning to see the sunrise at Garden of the Gods. This is magical! Enjoy a hike through the garden and head to challenge your spirit by doing the Manitou Incline
– stay at The Broadmoor
– diner at Briarhurst Manor Estate

Days in Denver:
– I always take my visitors for a “car hike” over Lookout Mountain, magical views of Golden and Denver
– go for morning walks at Crown Hill Park and Clear Creek Park in Wheat Ridge
– beer time! at New Terrain Brewery Company (beautiful setting at the base of Golden Bike Park
– do a concert at The Mission Ballroom
– cocktails at Lady Jane
– diner at Safta in The Source Hotel – great compound of restaurants

Day in Denver:
– morning fishing at Evergreen Lake
– brunch at Willow Creek restaurant
– tour to a Marijuana Dispensary
– early evening visit to Meow Wolf Denver
– cocktails at Death & Co
– diner at Bruto

Final day: I’ll host a party at my house with all of our friends in honor of your visit. We’ll cook a gigantic Paella and dance some merengue while we sample the goodies from our tour!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My former boss, Margaret Salamone Architect, has been a mentor, friend and second mother in my life and professional career. Her designs are clean and her client interactions are graceful. She emphasized focusing on details and the construction process. With every drawing I developed as a young architect she would respond to me with the same phrase “you have to think about construction”. Her mentorship helped me understand that architecture is a tight process with those who are going to bring your designs to life.

Further more, seeing how Margaret successfully ran a design / build company in a male dominant field gave me the confidence and courage to open my own practice. Margaret’s work ethic and professionalism created a blue print for me to establish a successful company on my own

Instagram: https://instagram.com/dope.arch?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Image Credits
Sierra Ann Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.