#71: Kate Bailey
A former journalist and magazine editor on the interior design, architecture and lifestyle beats, Kate Bailey now helms her own Denver public-relations firm, Annabel Media. But since 2014, she’s also turned her entrepreneurial expertise toward giving back through TARRA, Bailey’s own nurturing platform for the promotion of women makers and creative thinkers, from architects and engineers to blacksmiths and jewelry makers. Get to know Bailey, who delivers the skinny on TARRA and its aims, via the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Kate Bailey: The women of TARRA are my creative muse. When I founded the organization three years ago, it was in honor of the hundreds of women I have met in my lifetime who are creating, innovating, breaking barriers, pushing boundaries and transforming art, culture and design. These women are defining what the future looks, sounds, feels and tastes like, and our goal is to make sure they can live their dream and be successful, whatever success means to them.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
The late Zaha Hadid, who is one of the most famous architects of our time. She was a force to be reckoned with and a creative genius.
Florence Knoll, the grandmother of modern design. She was an innovator and way ahead of her time. Her legacy is legendary.
Marilyn Minter is one of the most exciting artists of our time. She is a little wild, extremely outspoken and a rebel after my own heart.
What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?
My background as a design journalist and editor has been bolstered by the exceptional architecture and interior design community in Colorado. Needless to say, Denver’s style quotient has become much more cosmopolitan and “grown up” during the last two decades since I started working in the magazine industry. This change has been fueled by the growth of our city, but also by the strength of our design community. We are a fearless bunch in Denver, and we stick together through thick and thin.
How about globally?
Design has been democratized due to the Internet, which has allowed formerly isolated places like Denver to become trendsetters instead of trend followers. The global design community is exploding, and I love the creativity and innovation that is happening, particularly with regard to new technology.
Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?
As a rebel at heart, I tend to follow trends that are a little more outside the box. Right now, I love the proliferation of color and pattern for interiors. It’s so much more lively than the stark minimalism of the last decade. The trend I hate the most? Uninspired architecture and buildings that are constructed of poor materials. We are going to feel the burden of these structures fifty years from now when they start to crumble.
You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?
At forty, I feel like I’m just getting started, so there are miles of to-do’s on my bucket list. Most of that list is travel: Morocco is high on the list, as are Argentina, Vietnam, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Norway, Russia, Iran and Greece. My mission is to hunt down iconic design, fashion and architecture. I love to immerse myself in the culture for two or three weeks and really get to know a place, versus trying to take everything in at once. Travel inspires me more than anything else.
What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as a creative?
My biggest accomplishment to date is the creation of TARRA. It has been three years of working late nights, weekends and holidays to get the foundation started. But our work has only just begun. Our goal is to touch the lives of thousands of women around the globe who are innovating, creating and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. We have a long way to go toward leveling the playing field for women in terms of accomplishment and wages. My hope is that someday TARRA won’t need to exist.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I love Denver. I’ve tried to leave with a few years in London and Boston and seven years in Aspen, but something always calls me back here. The transformation of this city over the last five years is extraordinary. We have truly turned into a world-class city, and our arts and culture scene only continues to grow as people move here from other parts of the country. I live at Union Station, and every day I walk out my door, there is something new to see. This kind of energy is thrilling to me.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
It’s impossible for me to name only one. The women of TARRA, collectively, are my favorites.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
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We spent 2017 talking to the TARRA community about what they are looking for, what tools and resources they need to have successful businesses and careers. The collective consensus is: 1. Meaningful and creative networking opportunities with women from a wide variety of backgrounds and careers; 2. Education programming to help women creatives learn about business, innovation and increase their creative skill set; 3. Mentoring opportunities with women who have been successful in their fields. In 2018 we will be offering a membership option that will encompass these three key platforms. Stay tuned for more details coming in December.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local creative community in the coming year?
I think more and more women are going to be in the spotlight. The tide is finally turning for women to be recognized, awarded and valued in the creative industry, and I’m excited to see a more balanced approach from the media, from organizations and through awards programs. It’s 2017, which means it’s time to level the playing field.
Attend TARRA2017, a two-day symposium and celebration, on October 20 and 21, including a mixer at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, a pop-up market at the Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard, and a panel discussion at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street. Tickets for evening events range from $25 to $35 at the TARRA website. Learn more about Kate Bailey and TARRA online.