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Melissa Friday, Xan Creative

Denver, CO


Xanifesto At Xan, we like to think of ourselves as the antidote to bland, as adversaries of ordinary and enemies of sameness. We believe that every brand has a soul and that it’s our job to bring that soul to life. So when someone walks through your doors, they don’t just know what you sell—they know what you stand for. And that takes a lot more than identifying color palates and selecting finishes. It takes invoking emotion. It takes provoking engagement. It takes creating a powerful, immersive experience that stays with someone like a post-vacation glow. So in our office, we don’t sweat the details, we revel in them.


I’m Melissa Friday. My company is Xan Creative. We’re located here in Denver, Colorado, and we are commercial interior designers. We focus for the most part on the food and beverage industry, restaurants, wineries, breweries, such.

Creative resources to get inspired. Well, I think that I happen to be a lucky creative and I live in the state of Colorado. And nature is a very important source for me to refuel. It’s hard when you’re in an urban environment. And, you know, we’re all busy in our day to day and things are going on. And you’re moving fast from point A to point B. Work-related. Life-related. And there’s something about getting up in the mountains for a simple hike or a getaway, which is so easy for us to do. That really just clears my mind and allows me to just find the space to be creative again and not be so busy and just be able to breathe a little deeper and take the time to really look at what matters and what we draw inspiration from. And that space alone is creative energy for me.

What career advice would you give your younger self? I think one of the things that I’ve really learned over time is, pick your projects based on people, not necessarily what the project has to offer. In our business, in interior design, we spend a lot of time with our clients from the start of a project to the end of a project. And I think you gotta like them. And if you really can appreciate those people, and who they are, and the passion for what they’re doing, it really makes your work better. So don’t be distracted by the glitz and the glamor that a particular project might provide or not provide. But really look for the people that you’re going to be dealing with, and who they are, and why they’re doing what they’re doing. And really draw inspiration from that. Because in the end, the project ends up so much better, even if you don’t think it’s going to be a great project to start or it’s not a great opportunity. Focus on people, build those relationships. 

A project that we’re super proud of. Grow and Gather, most definitely. In Englewood, Colorado. We were really given the opportunity to do what I think Xan does best. And that’s, be involved from the ground floor of a project, really get to help build a creative team to put that project together. It’s always best when we can get our arms around all of that, create an overall cohesive project in the end. So that’s always a fantastic opportunity. The project offers a lot, it’s a vertical garden, it’s an events space and workshops for education around urban gardening. It’s a full-service restaurant and café as well as a retail space that offers coffee, smoothies, and places for the community to gather, and I that it’s a place that’s successfully created a heartbeat to a neighborhood. I think it keeps our heart and soul being able to be involved in the project for a man with probably the biggest heart of anybody I’ve ever met.