Spotlight COlorado  

Have You Met?

A new arrival to Denver, having moved here last December third from New York City, Carolyn Strauss did not waste one moment. She jumped into the Denver non-profit scene feet first. “I brought nothing with me. I didn’t want that New York energy coming with me, especially after 9/11. I lived three miles north of the Trade Center and was home that day. The next day, my whole life just felt wrong and I knew I was done with New York City. I looked all around the country and decided on Denver. There’s something about Denver and I knew moving here was right. I love it and I’m not going back to New York. I love this state; I love the mountains, the wonderful weather and the fabulous people. And I always have a good hair day here because it’s so dry!” Carolyn tells how easy it was to acclimate in Denver. “The one friend I knew here before I moved introduced me to four of her friends; they introduced me to their friends and so on. In eight months I have a closer circle of friends in Denver than I did after twenty years in New York City. I am happier here. I’m an outdoor person and I love the hiking and biking, walking and having lunch outside. It’s amazing! Everybody I’ve met in Denver has something they’re into. I can pick and choose the things I want to do.

One of the chief decisions Carolyn made when she moved to Denver was to shift lifestyle gears. “For twenty years, my life has supported my work. Work was the primary focus. Now, my work supports my life. I came here to have a life.”

When asked what she really enjoys in life, Carolyn replied, “chocolate, really good chocolate.” Her other enjoyments include board games, good music (anything except rap.) “I look at my life, it’s all for my entertainment. My biggest fear is to be bored or boring. I love to travel and have friends to travel with.”

Carolyn hopes that her future will include a nice relationship. She wants all the Denver men to know that she’s available and she’s low maintenance. She’s looking for the guy that gets the meaning of “funny.” She says, “He has to be physically and emotionally healthy, passionate about something and financially viable. He has to be willing to have an adventure or two and be entertained by what comes. Physically it doesn’t matter; age wise thirty eight to fifty; but the guy has to have a good heart.”

Do you have a favorite childhood story? What is it? My dad worked in a leather factory as the manager. He would leave around 6:15 in the morning. I’d hear his alarm and I’d go down to the kitchen to join him. He’d take a quarter of a cup of his coffee and pour it into a glass and fill the rest with milk and I’d have coffee milk with my dad. It was our special time to talk and be together.

Tell me a little about your career. I started modeling while I was in college and built enough of a portfolio that when I got to New York I was able to hook up with an agency. My first company was a personal shopping business called Best Dressed Limited. Next, I partnered with a petite model and together we wrote a book called Specialty Modeling which was published by Dutton in 1988 when I was only 25 years old. At the same time, we began commentating fashion shows. When our partnership broke up, I started my own company called The Perfect Image. In 1995, I slipped a disc in my back, and while recuperating I discovered there were no good exercise videos for plus size women , so I produced and directed my own exercise video with a partner and then I designed the leotards for the video cover. I went to Florida to sell the video and the exercise clothes and the company informed me they didn’t buy either, but they were interested in a line of sportswear and that’s how the Carolyn Strauss collection was born. It’s been sold on the Home Shopping Network for eight years. I began my motivational speaking career when I was commentating a fashion show in Chicago. Some girls that were present asked me if I spoke anywhere else and they booked me for their conference. Now, I’m doing a lot more speaking for corporations at their national conferences… and I’m writing another book.

What’s important in your life? My friends, my family and not to sound like a Miss America contestant, but world wellness and world peace.

What’s in your future? Fun, Love, Adventure and Big Projects

What are your volunteer activities? Since I’ve only been in Denver for eight months there’s not a whole lot. I’m working with Huntington, (HDSA), on the board of the Red Oaks Center for troubled teens and on the dinner committee for the Celebration of Hope. I’ve never been involved with organized charity events before. I’ve always supported causes; breast cancer is my charity of choice. I do a lot of work for teenagers and the organizations that support teen needs.

Which social event is your favorite Celebration of Hope HDSA

Favorite restaurant? In Denver or NYC? In NY, : March, in Denver, so far Adega.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Dick Clark

If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part?

Do you have any pets?.No, I travel too much, but I love dogs

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? The energy in the space is full of positivity and hope

What word describes you best? Effervescent

How would you like others to describe you? As being fun and genuine

What was your first job? Babysitting, I’ve always worked for myself

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?My tendency to overcommit my time and my energy

What trait do you most deplore in others?Dishonesty What is your greatest indulgence? Really good chocolate

What type of clothes do you like? I should say my own line on Home Shopping Network, but I don’t make jeans and sweaters, so I love my own line and jeans and sweaters

What is the best gift you have ever given? I threw my mom a 50 surprise birthday party at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and she still talks about it. I flew my sister in and she was so happy and surprised.

What is the best gift you’ve received? Unconditional love

What is your current state of mind? Peaceful and full of possibility

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I haven’t done it yet

What is your most treasured possession? A glass blown fish my grandmother left to me

What is the quality you most like in a man? Completeness

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Compassion

Favorite books/writers? Steven King, Wayne Dyer, Danielle Steele

Do you have a motto? The time for covert operations is over!

If you could come back in another lifetime, what/who would you like to be? And why? I’d like to do this life again… This is fun.

What are your hobbies? Other interests? Writing, dancing, yoga, travel

What would you most like to be remembered for? Creating positive energy and positive change wherever I went.

What do you like about the town you live in? Denver?? The people, the energy, the space, the mountains, and mostly after 20 years in NYC… the change from that!