I design because I love it

Originally from Denver and a part of a big noisy Greek family, I began my studies at CSU in Fort Collins in the Art Department. I was going to major either in Commercial Art or Interior Design. 

Interior Design seemed to be the best fit. It was interesting, required research, one of my favorite things to do and  utilized a many of my skills. Best of all it involved Fabric, Yards and Yards of the stuff. I was then and am to this day a Fabric Junkie!

A summer job working in Boulder Colorado as the Wig Mistress for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival introduced me the the man who was to become my Mentor, David Busse. He was Chair of the Theater Department.  He offered me an Undergraduate Assistantship if  wanted to transfer to Boulder  & change my major to Costume Design. I'd been involved in Theater all my life  and was already doing costumes for plays I was involved with so it was a pretty natural fit. I got my BA in Costume Design then turned away from school, eager to begin designing.  

Denver had a robust small Theater scene, a professional Ballet company,  Equity Theater and a growing Film and Commercial industry.  Within about 5 years I'd worked for just about everyone in Denver's small but active world of live Theater.  I was hired to became the costumer for the Colorado Ballet for a season and had a great time designing costumes for 2 new ballets and resurrecting an aging set of Nutcracker costumes.  Unfortunately that was the era of the oil and gas bubble. Much of our funding came from that world. When the bubble popped our funding dried up. Never one to sit around I opened my own shop doing custom work.

Within 5 years my awesome Crew and I had  designed over 150 plays, costumes for a period PBS series, a couple more Ballets. We'd done Opera, Gilbert & Sullivan, Mascots and Sexy Football Cheerleader Outfits.  We even cranked out a human sized Hamburger Bun to carry the San Diego Chicken into the Nuggets arena as a part of a Wendy's promotion. We were busy and having a great time! 

I'd was also working on Commercials & Styling for a few Photographers. One of them asked me to bring in a few pieces of furniture for an ad. The next thing I knew I was scouting locations, designing & dressing sets for his shoots.

I'd been recommended to an L.A. Set Dec who was in Denver prepping for a Hallmark project. She called to ask if I'd do a project for her. We met, clicked and ended up working together for several years on increasingly bigger projects .  The Brilliant Decorator Cricket Rowland was a friend of hers and had taken on the Stone film The Doors. she needed 3 Buyers. My Decorator was between projects so loaned me to her". A week later I was on my way to L.A stopping at every Head shop I could find to buy Hookas, rolling papers and Indian bedspreads. 

I love what I do and give it the best I have. No matter what it is, low budget, high budget, Feature, Pilot, Series, Commercial. It all gets the best I have to offer, my hard work, resourcefulness and good old fashioned Greek Wheeling and Dealing!  Each day is new and different and requires something different from me.  Best of all Set Decoration also requires Yards and Yards of Fabric! It's a total Win/ Win!

Cheers, Penny