Photos: Luca Venter
The next time you’re in Denver, carve out some time to visit Steadbrook with your travel companions. That’s because it’s the kind of shop that will make you feel at home no matter who you are or what you’re into. Planted in a beautiful space flooded with natural light and an open, airy design, Steadbrook boasts a community-first approach that begins with their in-house cafe and ends with the #steadbox, a large natural wood frame that’s been mounted to the wall where visitors are encouraged to snap photos (which are, of course, perfectly framed for Instagram). Founding partner Mackey Saturday, an accomplished designer in his own right, took some time to chat with us about his own background and how it informs the direction of the shop.
What are some special things about your hometown of Denver, and in particular, the Baker neighborhood where your shop is located?
We love Denver because of its unique blend of the city and the outdoors, its balance of midwestern work ethic with relaxed west coast vibes, and how progression, the arts, and human rights guide our leaders. It’s a place with a lifestyle first mentality where work and responsibilities are still valued but not given precedence. Baker as a neighborhood is close to our hearts because it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and its architecture and layout reflect that while allowing for modern interpretations and experiences.
For anyone who’s visited, coffee is a central component of the Steadbrook experience. Why did you decide to include a full-service cafe within the shop?
We’re all skateboarders, and we grew up spending our days hanging out at our local shops, and always knowing we could catch up with friends there to hang or head out and hit the streets. We wanted to create the next evolution of that train of thought, a place where even as we matured we could get the same feelings from our youth. Coffee allows us to provide a great excuse for people to come spend time on the daily. It also allows us to maintain a very clean aesthetic with our retail offering, one that some may consider cold, and warm that experience back up by offering customers a drink and that personalized service. We want Steadbrook to be a part of our friends lifestyle, and that means being there regularly, not just when you need some new products, coffee really allows us to keep that ideal at the forefront of our operations. Furthermore, Dustin has a long history in the coffee industry and this allows him to continue to expand his knowledge and craft in conjunction with our other offerings.
Alongside the shop, you run a full-service design firm - no doubt the primary reason why the shop’s branding is so strong, in our opinion. What are some fun projects you’ve worked on in the past, and how were you able to apply what you learned to help shape Steadbrook’s identity?
That’s a very nice and humbling compliment. Design is a core value to the shop, we care about every detail, much more than makes logical business sense. We see it as our duty to both curate and create the most appropriate and inspiring pieces in line with our beliefs about design and its influence on the world. At my design studio we’ve had the chance to work with a lot of great clients, from my skateboard roots with brands like Venture and Spitfire through some of the leading tech companies like Instagram, sportswear brands like Nike, and entertainment leaders like Disney. It’s been a real honor to be able to work alongside so many talented and inspiring individuals and companies. All of that applies to how we handle Steadbrook every day. I find the balance of understanding the world well, strategically creating identities for such a vast offering of businesses, and constantly working with a variety both business and creative leaders is what allows for me to position Steadbrook where we really believe it can be a unique and valued offering.
We’ve always found it interesting to discover how many creatives have been involved in skateboarding prior to their careers in fashion or design. What role has skateboarding played in your own life, and how does it inform both your aesthetic and the shop’s?
Skateboarding teaches you things you can’t learn in many other places. It’s a pursuit where you know you’ll fail repeatedly and it teaches you the value of getting back up over and over again in very tangible ways. Maybe even more directly tied to creativity, skateboarding teaches you to see the world differently. You notice things people take for granted and think of how you can use them to skate, and that type of observation and inventive thought bleeds into the rest of life. People who see the world differently, and who are ready to work repeatedly towards their goals regardless of the failures that will surely come along the way, are the kind of people who lead industries and make waves worth riding.
Can you share with us some of your favorite local small businesses that you like to support?
There are a lot of people in denver doing things both for the local community and for the rest of the world. Winter Session is making amazing things, Topo is becoming a kind of local hero as they continue to push into markets Denver has never influenced before, Svper Ordinary is run by a few of my close friends and I love supporting both them and the artists they showcase, and of course our neighbors on the block, Ironwood, they’re always providing great offerings both old and new. As expected I frequent a lot of local coffee spots besides just sipping Middle State at Steadbrook. A few I’m at more often than other would be Little Owl, Huckleberry, Novo, or Amethyst but like I said, there are many more. Denver is booming, ask me again in a month and it will probably be a whole new list.
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