Deb Henriksen is the creator and driving force behind the fashion lifestyle apparel brand Equillibrium. By following her passions, a hybrid of sorts was born. One where there is a balance with lifestyle, fashion/art, science/environment, and business through out. What is unique about Equillibrium over “other” brands is the roots, formal education, professional experience, and award winning talent Deb has brought to the runway..
Growing up around Chicago, Deb worked retail since 1987 at a Benetton, then Talbots (1988-1991) – while being surrounded with Moto-X, skiing, and sweet sounds from “The Highway Men”-Johnny, Willie, Waylon, and Chris. She started sewing in 7th Grade Home Economics classs- a patch work pillow. From there she excelled in fashion retail sales, teaching skiing, science, art, and sewing. With completion of a college chemistry class senior year and an intense love for science, Deb graduated from Naperville Central High School in 1990 and set out for ColoRADo! That next fall she was officially a RAM in Ft. FUN, CO!
Since she grew up in a family run business (Anchor Bolt and Screw Company), Deb started with a Business Marketing Major- thinking marketing to educate consumers about our world could be a niche. After boring accounting classes and being looked at “cross-eyed” for conscious marketing strategies- Environmental Health was discovered. CSU is one of the top 2 Universities in the Nation for this Major. Because of the challenging curriculum Deb was GRILLED, screened, and interviewed to be accepted into the program by Dr. Yang, Dr. Blehm, and Dr. Tessari. In the end, she was one of 500 in a school of over 26,0000 to have a major in Environmental Health. Her graduating class in 1995 was under 250, but a packed room since all Majors under CSU’s Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Programs held ceremonies together.
Almost immediately in college, a lifestyle was latched onto that fed her soul… skateboarding! “It was LOVE, love at FIRST sight! Like Equillibrium and other passions I have, IT chose ME! When you share a vibration with something that strong, there isn’t much choice in the matter… the deal is done. ” recalls Deb. “Then skating led to snowboarding, which led to surfing (when my little Sis moved to Huntington Beach in 1997). That was almost 20 years ago now!”
Upon graduation, Deb moved up to Breckenridge (where she pretty much lived part time through college) and worked out of Clear Creek County’s Health Department in Georgetown for a paid internship. After that obligation was done, the retail kicked in and Deb worked in local board shops for the rest of Season 1996 (one of Summit County’s best on record!). Deb moved to Denver to find work in Environmental Health the following October.
Deb lived in Capitol Hill, worked at the Board Room in Lakewood and Pasquini’s on S. Broadway while looking to land work that used her degree. In 1997, work in Hazardous Waste Management began. After 6 years of working her way up to Registered Environmental Technician & Health Safety Officer, Deb’s desire to minimize waste & prevent pollution became overwhelming. 1998 started the private brainstorming to create Equillibrium. In 2000 the trademark(s) were filed, in 2001 Equillibrium launched as did Denver’s Skate Park and the beginning of a new market place from how it used to be before 9/11/01. Summer 2002 Deb committed to make Equillibrium her main focus and left Hazardous Waste Management when doing that line of work was too depressing to bare.
Denver took note of Equillibrium after the first Equillibrium fashion show was hosted in 2004, on a runway behind the OLD Equillibrium & Super Screenprint ware house on Blake Street (what is now called the RINO Arts District). Officially a Fashion Designer, Deb’s professional protfolio began: 2005 West Word’s Best of Denver voted Equillibrium “BEST FASHION FOR THE CORE!”, 2006 Deb won West Word’s coveted Master Mind Award, 2007 FGI Awarded Equillibrium Rising Star in Women’s Ready to Wear and selected as a designer for Tamarac Square’s Fashion Project – competing against Denver’s finest (including Mondo who won), 2008 Deb married the love of her life (Ben Owens) and made her first and only couture wedding look-her own, 2009 (see below), 2010 FGI Awarded Deb OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL IN STREET WEAR for EQUILLIBRIUM at the FGI FACE Business Symposium, 2011- taking the world by storm!
More committed than ever, Deb STILL has a healthy fire in her belly to spread consumer consciousness. Since the”old” Environmental Industry, a new Environmental Industry has been born with a focus on Sustainability, most tangibly seen in the Green Built environments. Deb has been an Accredited Professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED AP) by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) since 2009. She also earned her Green Building Certification from CSU that year. Her vision is to promote healthy retail environments and continue to bridge gaps in science, business, and art to empower consumers with informed choices and a healthier life!
The past 10 years have been tricky, but we survived and soon to thrive! 2011 is Equillibrium’s RIVAL!
First blog done, stay tuned for more 🙂