We had the good fortune of connecting with Madison Shoemaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madison, why did you pursue a creative career?
I grew up in a very uniquely creative family, where Halloween costumes were hand-sewn and we were allowed to re-design our bedrooms however we liked, as long as we did the work ourselves. I didn’t realize that this was unusual until later in my life, when I met friends who were taught that arts and crafts were reserved for play time, which I think may have attached a more frivolous attitude to them. For me, creative expression is the most important part of human existence. Design can be found in every single thing you touch, and is so often overlooked.
I was still encouraged to study something more practical in school, but I started out with creative writing, then women’s studies, and then advertising. It wasn’t until later that I pursued interior design, and something started to click. During a class on human sexuality, we explored the importance of space to marginalized groups (and to all people) and I began to understand the deep effects that our environment can have on our productivity, happiness, comfort, safety, and so many other fundamental elements of life. Aside from a roof over your head, your home is a sanctuary and hub where you can fully express yourself and surround yourself with memories and inspiration. Allowing your child to repaint their walls can help teach them to feel comfortable and accepted in their own personal space.
On an even deeper level, a space can determine whether you feel safe and accepted depending on how it’s designed. Throughout history, rooms have been designated to different genders, races, and ability levels. There has been progress in the design world to make places more inclusive, but there’s still a long way to go and a lot of subtle factors that can hold meaning for some groups and not others. The location of bathrooms, width of chairs, height of mirrors, and distinction between paint colors will effect people differently, and every last detail needs to be taken into consideration.
So to answer the question: I chose a creative career because it holds a lot more importance than just coordinating colors and picking out floral arrangements. Of course, I love that part of my job and that’s where I have the most room to play. More than anything, I chose a creative career because it keeps a spark lit within so many of my passions. Creativity engages your brain in an infinite number of ways, and connects people from widely varying backgrounds. Good design translates in every language.
What should our readers know about your business?
At its core, Madly Designs provides interior design and event planning services both virtually and in-person. Beyond that, we curate experiences and offer creative solutions to life’s events. Essentially, we’re a one-stop shop for anything creative!
I noticed that interior design firms often followed a step-by-step procedure that ran the risk of removing the personal from the process. Design is all about who you’re designing for, and one size doesn’t fit all. We wanted to offer a service that molded to my clients’ lives, and gave me a chance to understand them more deeply to offer more life solutions. We don’t just want to design your living room and move on; We’d love to become your family designer and create themes for your next Halloween party, and date nights for special events. Invite Madly Designs into your home, and the ideas will start coming.
Our designs take your lifestyle and family fully into consideration, without sacrificing the expression. Sometimes, impracticality is more practical, if it’s what makes your heart sing. Madly Designs is about bold expression inspired by your travels, beliefs, experiences, and this specific moment in your life.
My journey here has been a lot of wild guessing, if I’m being honest. For a long time, I knew I wanted to do something creative, and I had no idea exactly what that was. I tried a lot of different things. I worked a lot of different jobs. I travelled as much as I could, and I talked to everyone that I met. Through all of this, there were a couple of threads that stayed pretty consistent: I loved working with people, I was drawn to physical design, and I had a bold, colorful style that I didn’t find very often in the design world. From there, interiors were the most logical transition, and I’ve since expanded into events and experiences.
I’ve learned that you don’t need to have a specific “calling.” There are some who immediately know what they want to do with their careers and pursue it without hesitation, but there are others of us need to explore and try different things on to see what fits. Sometimes it’s painful, most of the time it’s uncomfortable, but then there are these moments of dazzling inspiration that make sense of it all.
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?
Denver is full of amazing food, people, and experiences. We would spend a day touring around RiNo and seeing all of the murals, another day brewery hopping, and shopping around South Broadway. We would also need to visit Red Rocks and Boulder, dinner at Dushanbe tea house.
The best trips, though, are unplanned and happen spur of the moment! There are so many pop-up events throughout Denver, we would look up comedy shows, art exhibits, classes, concerts, or whatever else is happening when they’re there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, I have a world of credit to give to my beautiful mother. She has always encouraged me to be creative, to think outside the box, and to improvise when needed. She has patiently taught me to sew a hundred times, and is always there to straighten out my seams. She’s a gorgeously creative person, herself, and her approach to learning something new provides me with endless inspiration.
I also have two sisters that have constantly set the bar, and hoisted me up when I worry that I’m not reaching it. Lou curates vintage pieces for her Etsy store, and could make literally anything if she set her mind to it. She’s a constant amazement, and I trust her creative vision entirely; she’s helped me with so much! Caley has a unique mind that solves problems like a boss. She’s one of the most capable people I know, which reminds me that we can literally do anything that we set our minds to.
Above all, the two pillars that I have to credit are my grandma and grandpa on my mom’s side. My grandma was also an interior designer, and saw the world in its full spectrum of color. Her husband, my grandpa, was an engineer, and provided a stable structure over which we could all decorate. He taught me to always plan first and to choose the best tool for the project. The two of them together created this unstoppable team of stability, resilience, and artistic expression. My grandpa was an artist in his own right- he could take apart and rebuild an entire car and build a piece of furniture from scratch. They both helped me to understand what creation can be.
I was also shaped by the Colorado Children’s Chorale, Heritage School of Interior Design, and so many amazing teachers, directors, instructors, fellow creatives, and professors throughout my life. Special shoutouts to my designer girls at Heritage and creative mentors Austin Black and Kendra Kimball, who both inspire me endlessly!
Kelly Calvillo Havenly