Colorado Creative Series: Cassie Constanzo

Colorado Creatives Series

In support of #AIGAatHome, we have launched the Colorado Creatives Series, an opportunity to celebrate and showcase local creatives in our area. Our Colorado Creatives will share a little about their creative process, some of their most worthwhile investments, current reading lists and more. Enjoy!


Cassie Constanzo


She, Her, Hers

Where can we find you?

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

Right before the quarantine began, I had a side hustle that grew into being its own company doing photo booth rentals for weddings and events. The company, Mugshot Photo Booth, was entering its third year of service and had grown to include two locations in Denver & Durango, Colorado and had shown profit year over year with a steady increase. It had become my main source of income while design had moved to the back burner. It was perfect for me – I was able to combine my love of design and photography into one weird niche where I got to hang out with awesome people at awesome events!

The event industry is a very seasonal industry with dependable highs and lows throughout the year. This year, we were on track to continue our growth and I made the decision to invest our low season savings into growing the company and purchasing additional units to grow our second location and third year revenue. This was a risky move and it would be really tight the first half of the year but it would pay off substantially in Q3-Q4. Then COVID hit. Within a week – both locations revenue for the next 2-3 months were gone in a flash.  This company has been my baby for the last couple of years watching it grow was so incredibly exciting to experience. Seeing all the late nights, hard work and growth almost crumble to nothing within a few weeks was heartbreaking. 

While the company will be surviving this (just barely haha) – I have learned of the volatile nature of running a small business and as my parents have told me for years and years – be prepared for anything to happen. Save for that rainy day and DO NOT SPEND IT! 

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

1950’s Sign Painting – I am absolutely obsessed with the art of sign painting in the 50s! It is astounding to me the level of detail and skills that were put into painting store signs in the mid century before the time of the internet. I can watch the videos of sign painters for hours on hours. 

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

This happens a lot to me – my mind is typically similar to 4 browsers open with at least 37 tabs each with one of them playing music that I can’t figure out from where.  I get distracted quite often so when I hit a wall and can’t seem to focus on my current task, I have a couple of things that will help me get back on track. 

Water, Sunshine & Good Music: These seem pretty basic but they can make all the difference for me some days. A glass of water, soak in the sun and listen to Teskey Brothers for 5-10 mins will get me better focused and ready to work again. Soaking the sun will lower my frustration, drinking water will give me new energy, and the music lets me forget the small distractions and focus on the task on hand. 

Put the phone away – far away: One of my favorite books was gifted to me from when I worked in Real Estate; the one thing by Gary Keller. It really breaks down productivity into a science and how our minds work and how to work past the moments when we struggle to focus and be productive. One thing that stuck with me was that every glance at our phones – it takes our brains at least 15 mins to get back into the productive mindset on the current project that we were in prior to that 2 second glance. So when I’m working – the phone is in the other room and set to DO NOT DISTURB. That quick glance isn’t worth the amount of time that it will take for me to get back into the project so I try to eliminate it from being an option.

What are you currently working on?

I LOVE LOCAL DENVER: With everything that is going on globally, I personally went through an eye opening experience on the negative impact that this pandemic is causing on our service industry. I, like many creatives, work part time at a winery in town to get me out of the house and also be my safety net when I have a slow month. The COVID outbreak took out two sources of my income in one fell swoop and myself like many others in the service industry had no idea what to do. So I felt motivated to create a design initiative to bring together local Denver based designers  in creating shirt designs to help raise funds for our own favorite local bars, small businesses, and restaurants that have been negatively impacted  by the COVID outbreak. It has been so amazing to see this creative community come together to help our own throughout this scary difficult time. 

By AIGA Colorado
Published May 11, 2020
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