Pawprint Chats is a series where we chat with our friends, clients, and peers in our local Colorado community. It’s a chance to check in and see how everyone’s doing, in business and in life.
Today we’re talking to Taylor Barkin, CEO and Co-founder of Moore Collection. Together with her artist husband Tanner, she crafts gift items, home goods, and apparel featuring Tanner’s distinctive outdoor travel-themed illustrations.
YellowDog is lucky to have Taylor and Tanner as both a neighbor and a client. We help print their paper goods, which works out well, as their workshop is in the same warehouse complex as ours. Walk over and pay them a visit the next time you’re picking up an order at YellowDog.
YellowDog: Hello! Give us the “elevator pitch” version of what your business does.
Taylor Barkin: Moore is an outdoor-inspired clothing and lifestyle brand. Every product starts with a hand-drawn sketch and most products are carefully handcrafted in our Denver workshop.
YD: What has been your biggest win in the past year?
TB: We not only survived the pandemic but were able to grow through the chapter as well. We went from fearing like everything we’ve ever worked for could be gone to growing significantly enough to be able to offer four people full-time job opportunities.
YD: This year+ has been a learning experience for everyone. Anything you’ve learned about your business in a pandemic?
TB: We learned a lot in the past year. We learned that the foundation we built is strong enough to weather just about anything and we learned that doing our production in-house is one of the best decisions we’ve made. Producing most of our own products, or partnering with people local to us has allowed us to navigate the worst of the supply chain issues we might ever see.
YD: What has been one of your proudest moments as a local business owner?
TB: Some days as a small business owner are tough but when you really start reflecting on what you’ve been through, there’s so much to be proud of — both big and small. I’m proud of how my husband Tanner and I, who are co-owners in this business, have been able to work through some of the biggest challenges we might ever walk through. When we shut down, we had to find a strategic way to pivot. When we got hit with supply problems, we had to find ways to change many parts of our business to adapt. When we were exhausted but had to keep fighting, we did it together. I’m proud of that teamwork.
YD: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about your business, what would it be?
TB: I get asked this question often and while I could come up with some obvious answers like “I wish we could grow faster,” the real answer is that I wouldn’t change anything. Every single thing that I might want to change is a part of my story and growth as a human and as a business owner. Every failure had a silver lining, every moment of defeat was followed by motivation to change something and everything that I maybe didn’t want to experience, made me who I am.
YD: Describe your brand in three words.
TB: Authentic, handcrafted, and genuine
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Early bird now
Favorite local beer?
Way too hard to choose. There are so many that are good for so many reasons. I’ll say Cohesion because I frequent them often (easy when you share a wall) and because the beer is really good and the owners are very passionate about what they do and I respect that.
What’s your best party trick?
I love a good party trick but performing them is not quite my strong suit.
What show are you currently binging?
The real housewives of Beverly Hills (but nobody really needs to know that)
Any book you’re currently reading?
Been really horrible with books lately. Always love a good business/motivational book when I can find time to escape.
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
I miss the makers market scene in Denver. Pre-pandemic, we had an incredible group of makers that we would see at local events all the time. This is also when we could connect with our customers face-to-face the most and while I don’t particularly miss the hustle and the long hours of working events, I do miss talking to people and connecting in-person with so many. While the way we operate is so much more seamless than it was pre-pandemic, the nature of how we operate now just doesn’t compare to the way we lived before the pandemic hit. So much of why we love what we do is because of how we can be a part of the community, so not having that in the same way has been hard.
YD: Thanks Taylor! It’s been so much fun getting to know Moore Collection and popping in to smell the candles you’re making down the street. We love working with you on your paper products and can’t wait to see what designs you have in store for 2022!
We’re always looking for business peers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!
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