We had the good fortune of connecting with Blaise Danio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blaise, what is the most important factor behind your success?
My brand would not exist without a strong community supporting me. I got my start through a local boutique called Gather in downtown Phoenix. With their encouragement, I started a line of scarves that grew into the brand that I run today. Every connection I have made with another business owner, entrepreneur and creative has expanded my network for collaborations. Most of the work that I get comes through recommendation or being a friendly face in the local small business scene. I could not ask for a greater community and they have been the biggest asset in my success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I had always considered myself an artist with a capital A. It was a description that defined every aspect of my life. However, there was a very long time where, while I considered myself an artist, I did not have the confidence to display my work publicly. It took until I was nearly 30 to stand up one day and say “My work is good enough. And if it’s not, who cares, it makes me happy anyway”. The self-critical nature of the artist can be debilitating and destructive not only to themselves, but to the unwitting patron who lacks the experience to transmute their emotions into the verbal. The greatest gift that artists bring into this world is the ability to translate undefinable thought and feeling into something concrete. There are moments when we have experiences that feel indescribable and in that space where words might be difficult to grasp, a song, dance or painting may give us deeper access to those emotions, transmuting the intangible into a cognitively digestible form. Overcoming this stage fright has been my greatest challenge. It is imperative as a creator to find the will to exhibit your work because you never know whose emotional wellbeing you might impact through symbiosis.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love taking people around the city because it is the biggest little town. Although everything is spread out, every neighborhood has a gem worth visiting. For morning coffee: La Bohemia, Futuro, Lola Coffee, Kream Coffee I would grab a dinner at: Restaraunt Progress, Ocotillo, Verdura, Valentine, The Farish House For a drink I would head to: Thunderbird Lounge, Undertow, MercBar, Char’s Has the Blues, Woody’s I would pick up gifts for my friends at: The Merchantile of Scottsdale, Phoenix General, Local Nomad, Noons and Gather Phx. When dancing and music are available to us again I’ll be at: The Van Buren, Valley Bar, Crescent Ballroom, Rebel Lounge, Stardust Pinbar I would hike at: Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain, North Mountain path, the lookout at Papago Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this to Hannah Alley and Lauren Hillery of Gather Phx. Without their loving encouragement and support, I would not be the badass business owner that I am today.