What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Damon Redd started Kind Design back in 2008, but last year Mother Nature threatened to end his clothing line. "I never in a million years expected to wake up and find my business under five feet of water and mud in Boulder, Colorado. All of my family and friends rallied behind me to help clean up the mess. It was a truly humbling experience," says Redd. Now he's partnering with The Cotery to release a line of Colorado-themed leggings for ladies that both celebrate and help the environment that almost did in his business.
Redd was working as a ski patroller in Vail during the winters and a whitewater raft guide for Lakota Guides in the summer when he decided to start Kind Design. "I was feeling very creatively inspired by my lifestyle, living my dream every day," he explains. "I wanted to inspire others to live their dreams through my clothing and art."
Colorado provides much of the inspiration for Kind Design. The mountains, rivers, forests, sports, recreation, music and community are what attracted Redd to Colorado. "I manipulated the Colorado flag in many ways over the years to express different things that I love," he says. "Using the Colorado flag has become very common for many brands, as there is a lot of pride here, but it can get played out. The key is to be unique and original. The second part of that is to use high quality, comfortable, American-made garments. Life is too short to be uncomfortable."
In the summer of 2012, Redd moved his company from Vail to Boulder -- in time for the devastating floods of 2013. "I had designed some great-looking hats before the flood, and they turned out to be the best flood relief product I could imagine. We decided to launch the hats as a pre-order, essentially crowd-funding them, which allowed us to keep the business alive," Redd remembers. "We sold enough hats to save Kind Design, and ever since then, customer service has been our number one priority because our customers saved our company."
He was thinking about his customers when he decided to collaborate with the Cotery on the new line of leggings. Redd is friends with that company's CEO, and "I made it very clear to her that I would be a part of it: small runs, American made, very high end, crowd-funded. It all sounded wonderful," says Redd. "We had to do something amazing for all of the lovely ladies out there. The first product I created with the Cotery was a Denver Road Map Tee -- and while it was great, it did not appeal to the ladies so much. Leggings are big in Colorado, between yoga, hiking, going to concerts, lounging and anything else you can think of. Red Rocks has a special place in my heart, and I always see ladies wearing leggings at shows, so it just made sense."
The new leggings cost between $65 and $80, depending on when you place your order. The longer you wait, the more expensive they will be, as supplies are limited. And 5 percent of all sales will go to Preserve the Rocks, which helps maintain Red Rocks and the surrounding area.
"I just want to thank everyone out there who has been a part of helping Kind Design stay alive," Redd explains. "It is one of my biggest passions and I wake up excited for each new day. I encourage everyone else out there follow their dreams. It is possible to love what you do."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.