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Community Highlights: Meet Jack Stewart of The Brass Beetle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Stewart.

Hi Jack, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My happiest place as a child was in my grandparents’ garden. When I think of my childhood, I picture a living kaleidoscope of color surrounding me. I like to think it was insects that first introduced me to beauty. At that age, there was nothing I considered more radiant than a butterfly’s wings or more memorable than the polished lacquer shells on beetles. To this day, I still think they look like walking gemstones. I don’t believe that age of intrigue ever really left me.

The first time I noticed interior design was when I was 16. I had a friend whose mom was an interior designer, and I’ll never forget the first time I walked into their home. Her mom had a design style unlike one I had ever seen. It was artistic and eclectic, though still refined. Her design style was for her- it was personal. Although my friend’s mom was an incredibly intimidating woman, there was no denying she had great taste, which was something I admired.

My friend worked for her mother’s home decor store in Boulder, a place I frequented, considering it was an excellent place for my friend and me to hang out unbothered. The store was slow, so we lounged on the furniture, usually talking about boys until a customer came by.

Around my 17th birthday, an item came in that I immediately fell in love with; a black box adorned with black fur and a brass beetle handle at the top. I felt the box resonated with me because it combined my first appreciation of beauty with my developing one – art. It was special because it encapsulated an evolution of my identity. It was too expensive to justify purchasing, but luckily my friend was fighting with her mom and sold it to me for next to nothing as an act of revenge. Soon after, I left for college and took my box with me.

My new roommates thought I was crazy for paneling my wall with mirrors and setting up blue ginger jars on my desk. However, that quickly turned to appreciation when people knocked on our door asking if they could see the space. It was a great way to make friends. When I garnered the reputation of ‘guy with the nice dorm,’ I began to think of how I could make other spaces unexpectedly beautiful. Although I felt passionate about this realization, I remained miserable as a communications major while in school and grew unhappy with my life.

It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I realized I could change my trajectory and take a more fulfilling path. Since taking the artistic risk, I have become an internationally certified interior decorator (C.I.D.), graduated from the Interior Design Institute, and designed homes for clients across Denver. I have found that infusing identity into a home resonates more than any trend ever could. It is in this passion for uniqueness and originality that The Brass Beetle was born.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’m a people person, but I often felt like an outsider and occasionally still do. Having a solid sense of self is something I value, but growing up, it set me apart from many people. This led to many feelings of ostracization and a lack of feeling understood.

I felt a lot of this during my first years of college. During this point, I realized the fulfilling artistic life I wanted would never be attained through the life I was working towards. A ‘good job/degree’ was what I was told to value, but not what I actually did.

I ignored this reality – hoping it would go away. Hoping that I would wake up one day desiring an office job, though that day never came. Looking back, it’s sad how I wanted to wish away my dreams.

The more I tried convincing myself a ‘reasonable’ path was the right one, the more depressed I became. Eventually, I didn’t want my life anymore, and I didn’t want to continue living. It wasn’t until I assigned zero value to my life that I permitted myself to start a new one. As painful as that chapter was, it was through my unhappiness that I found hope. My depression felt like an erasure of who I was. Still, in that darkness, I found the beauty of blank canvas- in the possibility of a fresh start. I don’t say that to glamorize my sadness but to give it purpose.

Since then, I would say the most complicated struggle is people whose ideas are too big or crazy. I take pride in proving them wrong. I wake up excited about the life I get to live as an artist. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I am happier than ever, and I owe that to living bravely and for me.

As you know, we’re big fans of The Brass Beetle. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We believe that the most notable thing about your home is that it is yours. We are known for creating home designs with your identity in mind. Our projects tend to be modern, art deco, and even eclectic. Though most importantly, we work closely with you to invent a personal style that speaks to you.

We provide personalized room designs/concepts, personal shopping, and to-scale floorplans to all our clients. We are based in Denver, Colorado, though we also offer remote services.

We are most proud of bringing about your inner beauty in a home. I like to remind my clients that a home with an identity never goes out of style. Designs are by Jack Stewart C.I.D.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
The scariest first step of following your dreams is admitting they are important to you. Once you recognize they are important, you have no option but to make them come true.

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