Introducing Bailey Gander, current senior at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) and founder of BG Dirt Emporium!
Bailey grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where she spent her childhood exploring nature through snowboarding and horseback riding. Upon graduating high school, Bailey enrolled at CU Boulder to major in anthropology with a double minor in studio art and cinema studies.
Bailey caught the entrepreneurship bug at an early age after her parents opened a restaurant in Steamboat Springs. As she explored her artistic capabilities through floral and feminine aura paintings in college, she connected back to her parents’ work running the restaurant. In 2020, Bailey took a leap. She channeled her skills to fulfill her dream of becoming a fashion designer and created her clothing brand: BG Dirt Emporium.
About BG Dirt Emporium
In early 2020, Bailey created an Instagram account to showcase and sell her artwork. She created a number of commissioned pieces for fans and saw an opportunity to take her art to the next level. As her page gained popularity, she shifted her focus toward creating a unique clothing brand that featured her artwork, now known as BG Dirt Emporium. Bailey comments,
“I wanted to make something people could take with them and share because art makes people feel good” she adds, “I also wanted to figure out a way to make my art more accessible for people to support”
With the help of photographer Emme Hardy, photoshopper Sophia Meffe, and videographer Dora Ryan, Bailey was able to bring BG Dirt Emporium to life. When asked where the inspiration for her brand’s name came from, Bailey commented,
“I wanted to have a cool name for my company, and I once saw a junkyard named Greg’s Dirt Emporium. I thought ‘wow if I ever had a band, I would name it Dirt Emporium’. However, considering my terrible music abilities… I don't have a band.”
She went on to add that her nickname through high school, and now, is her initials BG. Pairing the two created a wonderfully unique name, BG Dirt Emporium, that embodies Bailey, her passion for artwork, and her love of all things that come from dirt.
Current Projects and Events
BG Dirt Emporium recently attended a backyard art show in Boulder that features other student artists and musicians. Bailey is looking forward to the opportunity to attend another art show in the near future and will provide updates on social media for those interested in attending.
Additionally, Bailey is experimenting with creating her own fabric that she can use to make clothing from scratch. This development will add a new dimension to BG Dirt Emporium as it will allow her to design more unique and intricate pieces.
Want to keep up with Bailey and BG Dirt Emporium? Follow along on Instagram to catch the latest artwork and shows!
Navigating the business operations side of BG Dirt Emporium has been incredibly challenging for Bailey. Having never taken a business course, she sought out advice from friends and family members. Fortunately, she learned many useful lessons and continues researching to further fuel her business knowledge.
Bailey had a difficult time finding an appropriate work-life balance. She felt her passion for art decrease as the pressure of building a business set in. She comments,
“It was hard for me to keep my passion going sometimes and remind myself that this is a major part of who I am and that I need to stay true to myself and my creativity. As an artist, it is hard to see something that I am excited about not doing as well as I thought. This definitely caused me to have doubts and has pushed me in a creative direction that was not true to who I am.”
To combat this struggle, Bailey made time to paint for herself and set aside BG Dirt Emporium’s business demands. Eliminating the stress of creating content for BG Dirt Emporium allows her to freely create new artwork and avoid losing her passion.
Bailey provides the following advice,
“Do lots of research and make sure to find a healthy balance because burnout is real within the factors of being an entrepreneur. Do not doubt your investment within your venture. You will have things that fail and make you want to give up, but that is just part of what being an entrepreneur is.”
“I know it sounds cheesy, but passion does really drive work ethic! When you are passionate about your job you really do never work, and being an entrepreneur is an amazing way to keep and flourish your passions!"