Meet the Maker: Chris Gerardi of Mellivora
Mellivora creates lifestyle products for all, inspired by life and fueled by passion for adventure! All leggings are made in Colorado out of 100% recycled material milled in the USA. Each pair are printed, hand-cut, and sewn in Denver to ensuring a high level of quality through an ethical process you can be proud to wear!
Let's start at the beginning. When did you discover you wanted to design and make outdoor apparel?
I realized I wanted to make leggings and outdoor apparel when I thought I could tell my stories about my adventures in mother nature through leggings. When I was working in the corporate world, I felt like I was dying inside every day. Once I left that job I began to hike more frequently, I started taking pictures on my hikes. I started to feel alive again and inspired to take on any challenge that come my way. I found that I couldn't inspire others by just my photos and stories, so I had an idea to put my photos on leggings in hopes to inspire others to get outside more and feel the same feeling I get when I am on an adventure. (That's where our "Stop Dying Start Living" slogan came from.) Each legging comes from a real photo I took and each has an inspirational story and name that came from that adventure.
Your work highlights your love of Colorado. Where do you find your inspiration for designs?
I find my inspiration through the natural beauty of Colorado's vast landscape and all it has to offer in terms of finding that next adventure. I will continually strive to come out with new designs from photos I take while enjoying mother nature so others can too!
What is your top selling piece? If we had to make a guess, it would be the Red Rocks leggings...
Actually, Maroon Bells ("Resilient") is one of our top sellers. We believe it's because it is a black and white photo. Many people who are unsure of wearing certain designs on leggings gravitate towards it. Red Rocks ("Fearless") comes in next and was the first pair I made so it has a very special place in my heart. "Elevate" is also a very popular one which is a photo I took while snowboarding in Jackson Hole, Wy. The photo of "Elevate" seems to connect with many people who have a love for the mountains.
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
My favorite thing about my workspace is that it allows me to be creative every day. While working in the corporate world, it seemed to me like they were "killing" creativity. We are all creative and we should all have a way to express it. Everyone that is apart of our team has the space to express their creativity.
What characteristic do you admire most in other makers?
The day I decided to go on this endeavor I knew I wanted to create a company that is ethical, sustainable, and local. That's why we source all of our materials here in the United States and we don't import anything. We do all of our printing, cutting and sewing in Colorado.
I admire other companies that also make their products in the United States and Colorado. Sadly, there aren't many companies that do this. A lot of the other large apparel companies all outsource their production to other countries. They pay the people that produce their goods at very low wages. Also, they mass produce many of their products. Doing production and manufacturing at a local level means reinvesting in our local economy and our local community.
Say hello to Chris at our Firefly Handmade Fall Market, Sept. 14, 15, & 16 at the the 31st Annual Downtown Boulder Fall Fest on the world famous Pearl Street Mall!
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