#34: Fallene Wells
When we named Fallene Wells a Westword MasterMind in 2010, it was for her work in the local fashion industry, as a designer and producer of her Forever Darling fashion shows for five years. During that time, in which she also auditioned for and competed in the ninth season of Project Runway, Wells always had a day job, as a hair stylist and colorist, a career that outlasted her designer era and eventually led her to open her own salon, Let Em Have It, in the Uptown neighborhood. As the boss, Wells, with her husband and partner, Kyle Wells, has put community first as an entrepreneur. Let Em Have It is Green Circle- and B Corp-certified, diverts and recycles salon waste, depends on wind and solar power, and gives time and donations to favorite causes. Learn more from her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Fallene Wells: I have a few people I'm inspired by. Eileen Fisher — I’m inspired by her spirit. She seems like such a kind-hearted person for whom I would love to work. She cares about more than just her fashions, and she is also a fellow certified B Corp!
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
Wes Anderson: He’s such a creative genius, has impeccable style and is very detail-oriented. He would appreciate a well-plated dish. Although I do have four cats, and that might be a problem.
Iris Apfel: I don't think you need a reason. Just look at her. She's awesome!
Kristen Wiig: She's hilarious and would be super-entertaining.
What drew you into the world of fashion and style in the first place?
It's a creative outlet, and a well-put-together outfit empowers you and makes you want to conquer the world.
What inspired you to turn your salon into a more sustainable workplace?
I enjoy using products derived by nature, and I think returning the favor to Mother Nature is our responsibility. My husband and I live a more sustainable, simple lifestyle, so when we opened the salon, it just made sense to do it on a larger scale. I think it's fulfilling to see clients bringing in their items to recycle and to see our employees integrating it into their lifestyle. It's our way of paying it forward, and it feels like the right thing to do.
Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?
Create your own trends. I believe in being original. At our salon, we embrace individuality. I enjoy helping our clients find their own voice and create their own trends that work for them. Probably the worst trend is jeans that give you a pooch and a long butt. Nobody looks good in that. And also, stretch pants worn as pants.
What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as a creative?
Producing my annual fashion shows Forever Darling and winning the Westword MasterMind award in 2010. Producing my own solo show, raising $20,000 from Kickstarter to produce my own collection locally. Opening Let Em Have It Salon, the third salon in the world to become a certified B Corporation, with my husband. Being a contestant on Project Runway Season 9 and producing our own Forever Darling at the Denver Art Museum for the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit, featuring my designer friends from Project Runway.
You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?
I would love for us to have multiple businesses that encourage a healthier and sustainable lifestyle and that we can use to make a positive impact on the world around us. I would also love to volunteer at the Wild Animal Sanctuary and see more of Europe, get over my fears of public speaking and be a TED Talks speaker.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
We love Colorado and the Park Hill community where we reside. We have family here, Let Em Have It Salon, our kitties, and we’ll be opening up Torpedo Coffee in Park Hill this summer.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
At Let Em Have It Salon, we showcase artists every two months. I think Kaitlin Ziesmer is an incredible artist and a smart businesswoman. Otherwise, I've been in my business bubble and need to get out in the scene more!
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What's on your agenda in the coming year?
We're celebrating our fifth year of being open in November, and we're continuing to grow our team and hiring additional interns and new stylists. We're opening our coffee shop, Torpedo Coffee, this summer in Park Hill at 22nd Avenue and Oneida Street. I think that might be it for now!
Learn more about Fallene Wells and Let Em Have It salon online.