We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Backus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started Human Nature Designs as a way to both live out my creative dreams and honor the force that continually gives me a place of rest within myself – nature. It is in our DNA to derive peace from singing birds and inspiration from sunsets. We are naturally drawn to love, appreciate, and preserve our planet because our survival depends on it. This is how deep the human-nature connection is, and why the memories you make outdoors are visceral and wildly colorful. The “Human Nature Designs” name and logo attempts to capture this connection, and each design is inspired by my most colorful moments in nature. As a Colorado native, I grew up using the outdoors as a place to ski, run, hike, bike, and be. Yet in the last few years, it has taken on a much larger role in my life. Nature has become the “larger than I” system I can look to when I lose sight of myself in the daily details. My hope is that Human Nature Designs can serve as more than just a design collection or an apparel brand. I hope my products, designs, writing, and community can serve as a constant reminder of your own special connection to nature, and inspire you to adventure forever.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My professional journey has spanned multiple industries and trades. I have been a filmmaker and video editor, creative marketing specialist, photographer, writer, and graphic designer. For so many years I considered myself a jill-of-all-trades and master of none. I felt creatively inadequate as I stood next to senior designers and filmmaking peers who spawned from long lines of directorial fame. I neither felt “creatively good-enough” nor “unimaginative enough” for the office positions I was assuming. Nothing came together for me until Human Nature Designs. When I started this business, I found that all my disparate talents came together to create something of which I am so proud. The office jobs I had taught me the diligence, professionalism, and follow-through which I consider my biggest strengths. When I found Human Nature, I found my “thing.” If you’re doubting yourself and wondering what your “thing” is too, here is my advice. Just do the next thing that feels good to you. Then the next thing, and the next thing – no matter how disparate and unexplainable things seem. I have found that the thousand-mile journey to Human Nature Designs was just a series of next right steps.
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?
To anyone visiting Colorado, would suggest not to miss out on the following! Get late-night drinks at Green Russell, Eat cinnamon Rolls at Echo Lake Lodge, Play games at Lowry Beer Garden, Hike the Gore Valley Trail, Camp at Brainard Lake, and dance to funky music at Mishawaka Amphitheatre.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Thank you to my partner, Hayden for keeping my head on straight when things feel futile. Thank you to my sister, mother, father, family, and friends for design and product feedback, draft-after-draft of writing edits, and all the love and encouragement in the world. Thank you to Taylor Barkin of Moore Collection for being the best business coach out there. Thank you to my community for allowing me to create for a living. And thank you to nature for the absolute best design inspiration.
Mac Elliot Media, False Peak Photography, Rachel & Clark of Seeking Our Someday