Style Local: Samuel Schimek
Samuel Schimek is one of the enterprising Denver designers behind YesPleaseMore, a Create Denver-sponsored temporary retail store that boosts local products. From those wicked-cute Horndribbles plushies to Rick Griffin's Matterial letterpress stationery, the reasonably priced merchandise in the recurring shop is 100 percent created by Colorado artists and designers. There's a lot going on within the walls of this store: It's a little bit underground, it's hip yet accessible, the artists who sell there get a seventy percent return and the store operates as a testing ground, classroom and incubator for startup entrepreneurs.
Schimek and his YesPleaseMore co-director Brian Corrigan also reserve ten percent of the profits for mini starter grants that they give away according to an online public vote. Schimek and Corrigan are currently readying their third pop-up venture, a holiday store scheduled to open in October at the Denver Pavilions, and we dropped by to watch the progress -- and to talk style with Schimek. YesPleaseMore's last store was also in the pavilions, although in a different storefront, and Schimek says they decided to stay there for a variety of reasons: It's downtown and they like the urban feel there, their business relationship with the mall has been great and the foot traffic steady. "Sixty percent of our sales are to people not living in Colorado," Schimek muses. "But that's great: It's kind of like we're exporting Colorado culture." This is their first holiday-oriented effort, and therefore the ultimate retail test -- but he's confident: "It's going to be a good store. We're ready for the holidays." Instore, the next YesPleaseMore will feature lots of new vendors and new lines from old ones; expect great gifty items, from plushies and felting kits to a ton of stationery and paper goods.
Schimek himself is a walking advertisement for the store, and I have to say, he looks good. He's wearing a smokin' pair of nice new DVLP jeans with screen printer Adam Sikorski's hot "Coloradical" T-shirt. He has rings on his fingers and a subtle pair of polished wood ear plugs by Omerica Organic. All of these items are made by local designers and carried by YesPleaseMore, but the pièce de résistance is on his feet: a rad pair of shiny silver sci-fi sneakers that are only just beginning to fall apart (Samuel has a gold pair, as well. He says those are rather more ragged).
Schimek keeps up with design trends on the Internet and thinks that the old adage about Colorado being two years behind the coasts in terms of style is a thing of the past: "With the Internet and a more global culture, it's easier to keep up with it here," he says. And because Schimek's design work involves product shoots, he naturally looks at a lot of fashion shoots online to get ideas. Where does he shop? At the pop-up store, of course. Or online, at sites like American Apparel. "There's a lot of drama there," he notes. "But I like their core value of promoting American-made products. And I dress local as much as I can. I pretty much wear DVLP 24/7, and Adam's T-shirts almost every day."
Maybe you should follow suit: The YesPleaseMore holiday pop-up store, located on the second level of the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, directly opposite the Gap, opens with a party on Friday, October 8, from 6 to 10 p.m. In addition to a new-product kickoff, there will be a performance by Ballet Nouveau Colorado; tunes by Beauty Bar DJs; an interactive installation, Spread the Love, by Christopher Branson of KernTheWord; and an award ceremony for the winners of YesPleaseMore's first startup grant cycle, as well as the launch of another. Be there or be square.
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