Modern Nomad - A Design Collective in Denver
“We’re living in an age where seemingly everything is being mass produced by big brand names, and the spirit of individuality and originality seems to be fading away. Fortunately, there are still plenty of hard-working and talented creators like artists and designers making amazing and unique products, but finding audiences and platforms from which to sell and share their creations is proving increasingly difficult for many of these creators. These days, more and more people are choosing to shop online, eschewing classic brick and mortar stores in favor of the convenience and comfort that internet shopping can provide. This means that small businesses and independent creators often can’t afford the risk and financial commitment of running their own stores in city locations like Denver. Fortunately, places like Modern Nomad are giving them a new way to share their goods with the world.”
From the Inspiring Stories Series on www.voyagedenver.com
Today we’d like to introduce you to Becky Miller.
Becky, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Modern Nomad – the space and store came to be in 2017 when I had the opportunity to build and create a vision for a 5,500 SF warehouse in the heart of RiNo. It is a place where people can go to roam, shop, mingle, and be inspired. They say retail is dead, but it’s all about the experience and meaningful collaborations with exceptional people.
The concept of Modern Nomad is a multi-tenant retail space with the absence of demising walls. The tenants have created their store & experience within a store. We are all different yet distinctly complimentary.
Within Modern Nomad is my store, Modern Nomad Home. Many of the products at Modern Nomad Home are sourced from small artisans. We are increasingly seeing mass-produced trends that lose their authenticity, so it’s important to source from the source. I have purposefully sought out artisans with small businesses which support their families and local communities.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Is there every smooth road? Ha! For the most part, the process of opening was smooth, but we certainly faced issues with updating the building and subcontractors. Otherwise, the vision came together as I had hoped.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Modern Nomad Home – what should we know?
Modern Nomad has provided the RiNo community with an experiential shopping experience with a rotating roster of local artisans, photographers, and retail vendors. We are a store with eight permanent retailers which were carefully selected to provide a unique aesthetic that speaks to our beliefs and values. Because we have an open-air setting housed in a 5,500 SF warehouse, people come in to wander, gain inspiration and shop in a beautiful, dynamic and friendly environment. I am proud of what we have built in such a short time, and the response from the community has been amazing. We have a new project on the horizon which I’m so excited to unveil.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had the idea of Modern Nomad for the last eight years but it would not have come to fruition had we not been able to secure the real estate in RiNo. It provided the perfect backdrop and location for this idea. I’ve certainly had my share of detractors stating the insanity and hardship involved in opening a brick and mortal retail location, but life is short and the timing was right. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from the women I work with on a daily basis. Women empowering women is exactly what happened and continues to happen at Modern Nomad.
5280 Editor’s Favorite Locally Owned Home Decor Shops
From tried-and-true South Broadway antiques stores to sleek RiNo newcomers, here's where to find those perfect finishing touches for your home—one spree at a time.
Denver’s decorating scene is better than ever, especially when it comes to locally owned boutiques: There’s one for every design style, whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, midcentury-modern enthusiast, or someone whose aesthetic defies definition.
#11 - MODERN NOMAD
Among the many storefronts luring people to RiNo right now, this one—a barrel-roofed warehouse and former auto-body shop—sparkles especially brightly. Owner Becky Miller founded Modern Nomad in November 2017 as the home-goods answer to food halls: Nine tenants occupy the 5,500-square-foot space. At the collective’s namesake boutique, you’ll find everything from cashmere-wrapped pendant lights from Ay Illuminate to vintage Congolese Kuba masks to an exquisite—and international—textile collection: Expect African mud cloth, vintage Peruvian frazadas, and Oaxacan pillows.
What’s New: Vintage rattan furniture and jewelry by Navajo and Zuni artisans in silver, coral, and turquoise via Santa Fe-based Trade Roots Collection.
2936 Larimer St.
HOW BECKY MILLER’S DESIGN COLLECTIVE IS CHANGING THE WAY DENVER SHOPS.
Article Kelli Ruhl | Photography Ladd Forde
Over the past few years, Denver’s RiNo District has been on fire, and from the blaze, a unique new culture has begun to take shape. Taking its place within this creative revival, nestled among RiNo’s bevy of distinctive new eateries, galleries and hot spots, is Becky Miller’s Design Collective, Modern Nomad. Modern Nomad is redefining the shopping experience, bringing together a carefully curated collection of unique shops that function, “like a three-dimensional living magazine with retailers displaying their product cohesively in an open-air market.”
The term “modern nomad,” Miller explains, comes from the intersection between her lust for traveling and her love of coming home. Miller’s fiery passion of exploring was stoked as a child going on trips with her family, but alongside this passion grew an affinity for home, which Miller translated into a successful decades-long real estate career, and then, more recently, a thriving interior design business: Modern Nomad Design. Even as her businesses flourished, Miller harbored a dream to expand the brand in an entirely new direction; to create a design mecca where people could come to feel inspired and to discover one-of-a-kind pieces from around the globe.
Imagine what it would be like to shop in a local market in a small, off-grid European city. Becky Miller brought that experience to life here in Denver with Modern Nomad. Miller travels the world to bring a cultural shopping experience to the city through new and vintage furniture, eco-friendly home goods, apothecary products, clothing, jewelry, plants and more. In addition to brands from all over the globe, Modern Nomad is stocked with trendy apparel and sustainable goods from treasured local brands. “Supporting local business is everything,” said Miller. “I’ve always envisioned the possibility that Modern Nomad would be a collective of women-owned businesses and it is. Being able to collaborate with different talent on an everyday basis is super inspiring.”
Now, there is no need to book a ticket across the world to find the most eclectic, unique and inspiring furniture or clothing to make a lasting impression. Miller has created a space perfect for those who want to add multicultural inspiration to their closets and homes.
Shops We Love: Modern Nomad
At RiNo's newest home-decor store, a local interior designer with Danish design roots has curated the perfect collection of effortlessly cool pieces.
Becky Miller had a problem. The Denver native, interior designer, and real estate agent was obsessed with New York City’s ABC Carpet & Home, the legendary six-story home-decor mecca in the Flatiron District—but it’s more than 1,700 miles away. “I could get lost in that store for hours, and I thought, Why doesn’t Denver have anything like that?” she says. Now, thanks to Miller, it does. In November, she opened Modern Nomad in a 5,500-square-foot, barrel-roofed former auto body shop in RiNo. Seven skylights illuminate the space, where, just as at ABC, multiple vendors are assembled—including LaLovely Vintage, Homefill, and Colfax favorite Mod Livin’s new outpost.
WESTWORD BEST OF DENVER® 2018 : SHOPPING & SERVICES
SHOPPING & SERVICES
Best Designer Mall : Modern Nomad
Here in Denver, we're all up to date on food halls — but what about a design hall? The design warehouse Modern Nomad redefines the design-mall model for the 21st century, first by operating as an open-air collective of related businesses with a modern outlook on style, and second, by hosting pop-ups for savvy design merchants and makers from Denver and around the world. Modern Nomad has so far partnered on a permanent basis with the longtime Denver mid-century showroom Mod Livin', La Lovely Vintage and the newcomer Homefill, a retailer of eco-friendly home goods. Everything blends together in the space, much as it would in your own home, making every visit a revelatory lesson in creative, up-to-the-minute home design.
5280 Top of the Town 2018: Shopping
BY SPENCER CAMPBELL | JUNE 29, 2018
Editors’ Choice: Modern Nomad
Should you only frequent furniture stores after moving, remodeling, or redecorating, you’ll welcome the convenience of Modern Nomad. Inside a RiNo warehouse, the eight-month-old design collective is anchored by Modern Nomad Home, an artisan-centric home goods store from the building’s owner, Becky Miller, and features an outpost of midcentury modern bazaar Mod Livin’. The variety—bohemian throw pillows, hammocks, felt coasters, leather arm chairs—offered between them will match any aesthetic. Even if you aren’t in need of a new sofa, there’s always a reason to visit: Permanent vendors Home Fill (a bulk refill station for natural soaps and detergents) and La Lovely Vintage (curated vintage clothing and decor) sell everyday items, while pop-up vendors (such as Young in the Mountains jewelry) keep the curious coming back for another look.
FLORA | | FAUNA - SPRING 2018
"The Design Lover’s Guide To RiNo"
The River North Art District is Denver's field of dreams, calling creatives, foodies, and everyone else to its bustling scene. Here, we round up all you need to know to find the area's best design ideas--and discover what's next for Denver's hippest 'hood.
"What We Love: The month-old design collective (housed in a former auto-body shop and NSFW theater) includes the second location of modern showroom Mod Livin’ and a group of tenants who showcase their wares together (so you’re sure to get the look you want). While you’re there, stop to admire the original red “Empire” marquee sign out front."
RADAR/SCENE : "OPEN HOUSE"
"And in an open-air marketplace in RiNo, design collective Modern Nomad (2936 Larimer St.), which opened in November, offers vintage and new furniture, rugs, lighting, textiles and home accessories from popup shops and permanent tenants, including Mod Livin’s second Denver location and Modern Nomad Home’s first. Once home to the 1951 Empire movie theater, the 5,500-square-foot space still sports the venue’s original marquee while showing off modern-industrial details like concrete floors, a barrel roof supported by steel trusses and two 16-foot-tall drive-in doors."
WRITTEN BY CHRISTINE DEORIO AND JENNIFER PFAFF SMITH