Entrepreneur Spotlight: Megan Timlin of Whorl
|| Video by Brandon Dougherty || Interviewed by Samantha Brewers | ig: sj_breww
Denver Style Magazine: Can you tell us how you brought Whorl to life, from dream to reality?
Megan Timlin: “Whorl became an idea when I really wanted to find a place in the Denver fashion scene. It’s still growing so much, and I was able to say, you know, I want to create a fashion house. So, this my fashion house. I was able to not only find local designers who were willing to support my concept, but also come be in my store, and find brands that went with my mission. Which is to carry cause worthy and local fashion, and bring something unique to the community.”
DSM: Can you touch a little on your background in fashion?
MT: “So, I graduated from CSU in apparel merchandising two Mays ago. I started my first year of college in New York. I was majoring in merchandising out there. When I came back to CSU, I immersed myself in the Denver fashion community. My first internship was with Brandi Shigley at Fashion Denver. That gave me the opportunity to meet hundreds of people in the fashion industry who were doing their own thing and making fashion viable to live by. For three summers in a row I did internships in New York. I experienced everything from planning fashion shows, social media marketing and now I tie it into selling clothing.”
DSM: What is your style philosophy, and how do you carry that out through Whorl?
MT: “Simple, classis: two words, that’s what it is. New York style – you’ll see a lot of black and whites here at Whorl. We love burgundy, we love gray, we love tan; which are also unfortunately neutrals! But, by keeping it that way, it is a piece in your wardrobe that is never going to go out of style. It’s something that can be worn year after year.”
DSM: What was your dream job as a kid, and how did that evolve into what you do today?
MT: “I wanted to be a teacher. Up until about my junior year of high school, I was going to be a teacher. Then, I actually quit basketball – I was a big basketball player. After that, I had all of this time on my hands. I got to dress up, got to look nice and didn’t have to wear basketball shorts every day. That’s how I got into fashion. Its super bizarre – I wasn’t the kid that wanted to be a fashion designer and own a boutique my whole life. I wanted to either be in the NWBA, or be a teacher… at 5’2”. When I had time to dress up and realize that fashion was more than something that you read about in magazines, I decided to prove through a career in it.”
DSM: In what ways are you the same as you were when you were a kid?
“I still love teaching. As an owner of a boutique, I have all of these employees come in here, and it’s my opportunity to teach them all of the skills that I’ve learned. I’m still learning everyday, but I get to share those lessons with my employees. It makes it worth it, because I truly believe we learn something everyday – whether it’s from a good situation or bad, we are all growing.”
DSM: What was your most memorable experience at Whorl, and how did that impact you personally?
MT: “I would say when we re-launched. We were under a different name, but we were always Whorl at heart. We re-launched with our new name, and it was almost an opportunity for us to start over. That was memorable because we were able to really figure out what we wanted as a store. Our style came out even more with that. We knew who we were, what we wanted to give people – which is that refined, classic style. It was memorable because we had over 150 people come through, and everyone was excited. They were all here supporting us and wanting to grow with us. That was a moment I knew we could do this. We’re a boutique, but we’re more than just a boutique.”
DSM: What decade best represents your style?
MT: “I love the 1920s. In my mind, us selling and wearing so much black is a little bit of a rebellion. Here we are in the ‘20s with black, classic styles. It was a fabulous time, so, we’re just a fabulous time.”
DSM: If you could choose any three people to have dinner with [dead or alive], who would you choose?
MT: “Sophia from Nasty Gal…#GirlBoss. That’s my first, because she started the girl boss, and that’s what we all are. Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen because they are both amazing designers, and it would be a pleasure to meet and talk to them.”
DSM: What is the one item in your closet that you could not part with?
MT: “My cheetah fur coat. It was a vintage gift from my great grandmother, and its real cheetah. I can’t really wear it because it’s so delicate, but I would never part with it because it’s a piece of history. It’s a momentum to those times where it was okay to walk outside with a cheetah coat on, and people weren’t going to throw paint on you.”
DSM: If you could choose to wear one designer for the rest of your life, whom would you choose?
MT: “Oh man…I would have said Oscar de la Renta or Alexander McQueen, but both of them are dead… you know I’m still going to go with Oscar de la Renta. I think the new creative director is really following in his footsteps. It’s those simple, refined classic pieces. There’s just something about it. It’s beautiful; it’s elegant. The thought of me wearing it makes me feel I’ve been taken to a whole new level. So wearing it for the rest of my life would take me to that next level!”
DSM: Whom do you admire the most, and why?
MT: “My inspiration comes from big cities. It comes from New York, London and Paris because all of those places have this classic style to them. Those are three fashion hubs, and I’ve been to two of them. I see it, I feel it; it’s in the air, it’s the people. It’s the way they wear what they wear, and their attitudes when they wear it, and I’m bringing that to Denver.”
DSM: If you could choose one day of your life to experience again, which would you choose?
MT: “My first day of college. I was one of three kids from Colorado. The rest were all east coast kids, and it blew their minds that I was from here. I was so taken aback that it blew their minds, and I didn’t know how to act. I think if I could do it over again, I would represent Colorado better. I would really show that I was proud to be from here, because I am – I was born and raised here. I would be like – ‘BAM, this is Colorado, we’re legit, here’s why...etc.’ That sounds silly, but that’s what I would do! People in New York don’t get us, and I feel like I really missed my opportunity to say that Colorado is the best place in the world.”
DSM: What is the best advice you could give?
MT: “Don’t let anything hold you back. Opening a business is hard. There are so many little things that go into it, and there are a million obstacles. Whether rent is too high, or you can’t get a bank loan…there is always a way to work around it. Go for it. My mom told me that, my grandma told me that – someone told me that and I decided to keep it. Like you know what, I’m doing this and I’m not letting anyone stop me.
DSM: What would you say to a young aspiring entrepreneur that hasn’t found the courage to take the leap?
MT: “Find someone that you look up to, reach out to them and follow their advice. You went to them for a reason, and remember why you did. And then go for it!”