We had the good fortune of connecting with Maggie Yesko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maggie, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m from Central PA, Lewistown to be exact. It’s a small town outside of other small towns in a very agricultural area. I grew up riding horses and eventually my parents even both a farm to live on when I was in 8th grade. So I spent a good part of my adolescences living and working on a farm. I think that the work ethic that a farm – or any plot of land with animals on it – requires has had a significant impact on me in general, but most importantly how I handle business and my livelihood. I didn’t grow up on a large production farm, it is just a small farmette of 14 acres with a small number of equine and livestock. Although it isn’t a big job, it still took a lot of cold early mornings for feeding and turn outs and just as many hot summer afternoons making hay. It was work that had to be done because the animals and the land required it, you could complain and try to get your way out of it but the animals need to be fed. I think the necessity in the chores and every day tasks shaped how I function every day and the discipline of recognizing that there was work that needed to be done is something that has helped me to in my career as a small business owner and as a manager who has other employees looking to them to keep the ship afloat.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s hard to even think that anything I do creatively sets me apart these days, social media has made it possible to reveal everyone talents. It’s a blessing and a curse somedays – one could be spending years or a lifetime dedicating yourself to learning a craft and finding you think is yours only to find someone who is doing the same thing, as a hobby, is blowing you out of the water. But on the other hand, how amazing is it that everyone can share their passions and what the are so good at with the whole world? If I had to choose one thing that sets me apart, its my love of analog photograph and older processes. I fell in love with photography in high school when I took a Visual Communications elective that had a darkroom course. I learned how to roll, develop, and print my own 35mm film and it feels like the rest is history. I eventually started to get into digital photography, because thats where the world was/is going, but in college I continued to learn other alternative photographic processes. My true love is Tin Types or Wet Plate Collodion. It’s become a little more mainstream these days, so it’s hard to say that it sets me apart anymore but at the time of learning the process, I was one of two people at my university that new how to do it .. which felt like a big deal to me. I love being able to digitally alter images to look like film or have the unique mishaps that come with processing film on your own. It’s also great to be able to replicate images, such as polaroids, with new technology. But to me the beauty is in the unpredictable, one-shot of it all. I think that I’ve gotten where I am professionally due to my work ethic. I’ve always worked hard and would do what I have to to get where I needed to be. Whether that was working on a farm or in a diaper factory or juggling three part-time gigs at one time. I can’t say that I work or hustle any less now, but as time goes on the benefits become greater and more rewarding with the hard work. Looking back on the past decade, I guess none of it has been easy but I came from a supportive family and was given a lot of opportunities over the years that definitely helped facilitate where I am today. Any challenges that I had were minor on the grand scheme of things, I guess the biggest challenge is even just wondering if all the work and effort is worth it. Somedays it still doesn’t feel like it is, somedays I wonder if a corporate job with everything figured out for me would be a better choice. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change anything about where I’ve come from, how I’ve gotten here, and where I’m going. I’m not even sure that I can recount the lessons I’ve learned, life and work is so interconnected it feels that all of my life and professional lessons are one and the same. I’ve learned that life comes at ya fast and it doesn’t matter who you are, don’t take things too seriously and never take it personally, separating business and pleasure is possible and necessary but it’s not the easiest, and just be kind as often as you. I guess I would like the world to know that success is not what you think it is when you start out but that what it ends up being is better than what you could have imagined.
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 absolutely love this question. There is soooo much life in Denver and I can’t get enough of it. We would start out week of fun by hitting up The Farmhouse Restaurant at Breckinridge Brewery for dinner and drinks, sitting outside at a picnic table – hopefully its summer and live music is a thing again. The next day we would get up early and take a walk about Confluence Park, maybe up to the Broncos Stadium along the Cherry Creek Trail/Platte Trail and of course take in the sights of Elitchs on the skyline. We get some Santiagos Burritos for brekky and mosey out to Red Rocks too take a look around and see the natural beauty. After Red Rocks, we would go into Golden’s charming little down town area making a stop at the Miners Saloon for a Huckleberry Lemonade drink because they are to die for. After our cocktails, we would go to Tocabe for lunch – an amazing Native American restaurant that everyone should check out – then we would go to the Botanical Gardens. We would find a nice spot to eat on the lawn and then spend some time walking around the different gardens within the place. I could spend hours there. For dinner I would take them to Linger or the Buckhorn Exchange – but make sure you sit at the bar upstairs, it’s the best seat in the house and order the steak tips if they are on the menu. If it’s a warm and the season is right, we would go to Movies at the Rocks and do a drive-in style movie night at Red Rocks and get fried chicken from Chicken Rebel to munch on. The next day we would go to Estes Park, hitting up the Colorado Cherry Company in Lyons on the way. Make sure you check out the back room and don’t leave without a hand pie. After the Cherry Co, we would make our way into Estes Park – if it’s the right time of year (maybe mid October) you might see some elk migrating and it’s absolutely incredible. Make a quick pit stop at the Stanley Hotel if you’re a fan of The Shining.. or if you like good cocktails. The Fire on the Mountain drink is a good call if you like tequila. Then on the Rocky Mountain National Park, you definitely want to go when you can drive all the way through the park from Estes to Gran Lake – but anytime you go is going to be a breathtaking experience. Expect to spend a few hours taking in all the sights and keep you eyes peeled for wild life! A camera and binoculars are key. Don’t forget to look out for the Continental Divide. When you come out into Grand Lake, be sure to stop at White Buffalo Pizza and order The Stampede. It’s easily the best pizza I’ve ever had. Make you’re way home after that and maybe make a detour to Nuggs Ice Cream on Colfax for a sweet treat. The next morning, up and at’em early. First hitting the Mile High Flea Market, 9 am is a good time to go and make your rounds. Get a michelada and see what there is to offer. If it’s Fall time, you can hit up Maize in the City after the flea. If it’s NOT, take yourself to the Denver Art Museum to walk around for a few hours then have lunch at Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey. After lunch, you can mosey down to Santa Fe to the Art District and walk around, making sure to check out the Room of Lost Things. You can also hop over to S. Broadway.. and I mean..soooouth Broadway where all the best antique and vintages stores are at. Dinner will be at Mister Oso, order all the ceviche, and then if it’s a Thursday or Friday night (and we are not in a pandemic still), make your way down to Tracks for ROLL for their monthly themed roller skate night! If your best friend didn’t enjoy themselves, they’re probably boring. Ha. Just kidding. But maybe not.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my mom and dad, who have always supported me without question. To Joe, who has always seen something that I don’t. To every friend who has been my personal hype-person. And to every client that chose to support a small, naive business owner trying to find a place in the world.
Other: My website is under major construction, here is a portfolio page that can be used in lieu of a website: https://maggieyesko.passgallery.com/client