We had the good fortune of connecting with Koren Worley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Koren, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Honestly, I’ve never thought of myself as an entrepreneur; in fact, I always pride myself on being an amazing employee! But, after having our first son, I made the decision to quit my job to stay home and parent full time. It was pretty soon after that that I had a bit of an identity crisis. Nothing major but I was definitely questioning my decision to leave full time work; frankly, I was feeling a bit unfulfilled at home. Did I love spending time with this little human? Of course. But, did I have a creative itch that needed to be scratched? Yes, yes I did. Then, rather quickly, we got pregnant with our second son! So, just as I was mustering the energy to launch into something for myself, I got a bit derailed by pregnancy hormones and fatigue. Luckily my momentum wasn’t all lost; soon after having my second son, I felt more determined to launch into the unknown! I wasn’t quite sure what it would all look like but I knew I needed to pursue things that satisfied my soul. And, more than that, I wanted my sons to see me, know me; I wanted them to grow up and be able to say, “My mom loves to make stuff. I remember seeing her do all sorts of things; create art, build furniture, even remodel homes! She’s a baller.” So, why did I start my own business? Well, mostly for my own sanity, but also, to inspire the people around me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Let’s just say my business is called Wellrounded for a reason; I have so many varying skills that are all thanks to the experiences I’ve had up to this point. Let’s start at the beginning: I’ve always loved art, specifically architecture. Have you ever seen a 7 year old sketching houses and landscapes? That was me. I’m not saying they were any good, but they were a window into my soul. Fast forward: I went to college for architecture. Big surprise, right? What I discovered there was that I was passionate about architecture for one reason: people. I realized that my interest was in the psychology of spaces; the impact they have on people. That said, I valued the artistry that went into buildings. I wanted to give people rest and joy and inspiration through their architectural experience. That’s when architecture got separated into two categories for me: art and logic. I was also interested in the logic side of things so I found myself working at Habitat for Humanity the year after graduation; I was a construction supervisor. Now, what most people don’t know is you don’t learn a lick about construction when you are in school for architecture. Does that make any sense? Most kids leave school knowing how to draw plans but having no idea how it all actually comes together! Needless to say, there was a big learning curve but thankfully, I’m a fast learner. After working at HFH, I realized two very important things: 1 – I love working with my hands! 2- art and logic are both necessary in the creativity. Fast forward again: I go back to graduate school but dip out after a year for various reasons. Fast forward again: I take a job at Anthropolgie as Display Artist which involved the perfect combination of design and construction aka art and logic. It’s there that I discover how fun it is to create large scale installations; architecture doesn’t just look like designing an entire building… sometimes architecture is creating an experience within a built environment via art, installation, color, light, etc. Part of that job description is a mantra that has been written onto my creative soul: “Your job is to create an unimagined experience that inspires others.” Long story short, that’s my goal today; and it’s kind of come full circle! My experiences in design, construction, and customer service have led me right here. I’m an artist, builder, designer, and most of all, a curator of inspiration and joy! Wellrounded is where my talent meets purpose; it’s a way I can be creative while also, hopefully, positively impacting the world – one design, one installation, one person at a time.
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.
I live in Colorado Springs and my go-to foodie spots include: coffee at Story Coffee Co (you’ll find them in a little tiny house at Acacia park); tasty pastries from Nightingale bakery; lunch and/or dinner at Shugas, Odyssey Pub, or Stellina Pizza; and drinks/night out at the Bar at Almagre. As for my favorite activities about town: Red Rock Open Space for a hike; Ladyfingers Letterpress and Local Honey Co for some shopping; a drive to the top of Pikes Peak for some epic mountain views; or a dip in the mineral pools at Sunwater Spa in Manitou for some relaxation! After indulging all that local goodness, if we felt like venturing a bit further, I would go to the Surf Hotel in Buena Vista; their in hotel restaurant is amazing plus some stunning scenery and hiking is right down the road!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Maybe its a cliche, but, my parents have always been my biggest fans. My mom was a classic proud mom: shouting from the bleachers, bragging on any achievement. And my dad, well, he was just the best. I remember coming to him with ideas and we would be like,”You know, I wouldn’t try that, but, you should go for it.” That’s how much he believed in me. I didn’t realize until adulthood just how powerful that was; it totally transformed me. I always felt like I could do absolutely anything; the world felt limitless. I did so many things most people never dream of, mostly because I never thought I couldn’t. I traveled and studied in several different countries and states; the people I met and experiences I had influenced me in abstruse ways; I can’t point to just one person or place but I know that my core being is shaped by this melting pot of moments and I’m so thankful for each and every one.
Ashlee Kay Photography, Elan Photographie, Elizabeth Ann Photography, Yellow Umbrella Imaging