Natalie Schumacher
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I created an on-line presence so I can share and build the ideas I'm working on, and because I occasionally need to have a portfolio to present. (Okay, glad we got that straight. Please excuse my copy.) 

I have lived in Colorado since I was 5 years old. I was 17 when my daughter was born. I have a cat and a dog

The course I took in life was not a conventional one. Rather than focus on getting into a stable career, I went after work that would teach me something and give me the chance to be creative. This path took me to lots of interesting places. We were broke for a long time.... I went to college when I was 25 to study business, but my real life is where the learning I appreciate the most has happened. I have been lucky to always work for small, creative businesses and I intend to continue doing this. 

I worked at Le Bakery Sensual from 2002 to 2006. This is Denver's erotic bakery, but it's a lot more than just penis cakes. You can walk in there with a photo of your friend and request a sculpture of your friend in a hot tub, or something like that, and we would build it out of cake and marzipan. The people at your party would be amazed! This place taught me about producing art as a day job; regardless of how you are feeling you still have to do your work and find that creativity inside you. I learned how to brainstorm and communicate with clients during the design process which often included some shocking requests. I enjoyed the satisfaction of working with my hands and being stained with food coloring all the time. We made it to page 83 of the Treasures of Colorado book! John, the owner, is the middle guy in the picture.

In 2004 I discovered Burning Man and dove into it. The enthusiasm led me to the Borg 2 experiment of 2005 where a group of deserters attempted to influence the way Burning Man curated and funded art. The intention was to make the process more democratic. I sat on the art council for this as a national representative. We raised some money and had an award election. Several cool projects made it out to the 2005 event because of Borg 2. This experience was a real eye opener about what goes on behind the scenes of creative organizations and how the logistics work when lots of people are involved. Here we are visiting with Danger Ranger at the Burning Man office in SF.
In 1007 I met Kerry Kice and began leaning how to paint professionally. The company was called Blue Table Studios and she handled high-end decorative work. I was fortunate enough to be on her team participating in the 2008 Parade of Homes. I enjoy painting very much and was delighted to learn about what makes quality work; taking pride in the preparation, being thoroughly organized, planning and communicating carefully, fussing over it until it's correct. It's not rocket surgery, it's just good old fashioned professionalism.  

From painting I went into my first entrepreneurial adventure when I helped my friends open a bar. That is Brooke in the picture above left. They called this establishment The White Owl and we opened it in November of 2008. I painted the place top to bottom, and was the manager there for two and a half years. This was one of those experiences that was so powerful for me that my memories of it are still fresh. The learning we did there ran the gamut from painful interpersonal challenges, to the brass tacks of running a business. Being an entrepreneur is a lot harder than it looks. It was such a beautiful bar, still is actually. I had the great pleasure of painting it for a second time, as it became Fort Greene in April of 2015. 

Me at my birthday party. 

The freedom to pursue creative work is very important to me. Fortunately it is written into the cultural values of the business I now manage called EcoClean, an environmentally friendly house cleaning company started by Eliza in 2002. In the last few years we have built up to a 10 person crew and I am very proud to say that this company is genuinely good to the core. We take care of each other and offer a quality service. We're organized. 

I consider running a business to be an art form and that is where we land in the present. I am working on business projects and art projects, and Life is Good!

This is Eliza. Here we are working on EcoClean.

Chang Shih