We often drive past nondescript buildings without knowing the magic that’s going on behind the walls, without knowing the stories of the spaces and of the people responsible for bringing them to life. Often these stories don’t see the light of day. Or perhaps, the light is just beginning to shine. As is the case with The Vault, a formal industrial building turned arts and cultural compound. There’s a good chance you’ve driven right past the Vault if you’ve ever cut through LoHi via Osage or visited the Ace Hardware on 38th.

To uncover this hidden gem, we recently sat down with our friend Josh Perez of Pardon, a “modern family office and venture studio” based between Denver and Newport Beach, to discuss some of the exciting projects he and his team are working on. They recently opened The Vault, an impressive space in LoHi that serves as headquarters for their Denver operations, including Likemind and the New Collection. This art-based organization provides artists the support they need to do something fundamentally different and new.

Jorgen Jensen (JJ): Josh, we’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your team over the past couple of years, and we appreciate the boundless energy that you all have been putting into these projects and our creative community in Denver. To set the stage, can you give us some background on yourself, Pardon, and Likemind?

Josh Perez (JP): Likewise. It’s been a pleasure. So, from my days with Topo Designs to now, it’s been… quite the journey. Ha. I guess you can say that I’m a marketer at heart. I love building brands and forming communities. I worked a couple of jobs in the outdoor space before I did my own thing and co-founded Sett, a creative agency, and Pedro and Tailor, a lifestyle brand. It was a blast growing those businesses. Eventually, a group out of Alabama acquired Pedro and Tailor this past June and Pardon acquired Sett, where I work full-time now. 


Pardon is a family office that exists to support all of the businesses and creative endeavors of Nicholas Pardon. My role specifically looks different day to day, which I love. On any given day I can work on angel investments, developing his real estate portfolio in the afternoon, support the staff at New Collection with creative projects, or organize experiences to host the community. Hospitality is at the core of everything we do, and hosting is a natural expression of our team. 


So that’s me. And Pardon, to answer your question about Likemind, it is a digital learning company that builds brands with interactive experiences, straight to inboxes — including trivia games, short-to-long form reads, and some audio elements.


JJ: And what led to the establishment of the New Collection?


JP: Nicholas has been a long-time curator, supporter, and collector of contemporary art. After donating a significant portion of his collection in 2017, which was primarily focused on Latin American abstraction, he knew he wanted to do something new — and thus, the New Collection was born. With a focus on providing resources and support to artists to expand their creative practice, the New Collection pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a collection. Alongside Nicholas’ private collection of artworks, aptly named the Pardon Collection, the New Collection focuses on empowering artists and advancing new ideas through project-based collaborations and artist grants. The objects, artifacts, and archives from these projects and initiatives are what embody New’s collection.


JJ: I feel that The Vault is the materialization of the ultimate home base for these creative endeavors. What can you tell our audience about this remarkable space and some of the people involved there?


JP: We’re insanely fortunate to develop unique spaces like The Vault here in Denver or Wave House in Newport Beach. Both spaces are private creative studios that allow our team to find the spark needed for big ideas. 


The Vault and Wave House were built to cultivate creativity and vitality and blend all our passions for lifestyle, culture, and entrepreneurship. These creative spaces harbor all of the possibilities for artistic endeavors and business ventures to take off. While there are desks, I wouldn’t call them offices. They’re creative playgrounds. 


Everything from the books, to the playlists for the day, to the candles and the artifacts curated was chosen intentionally with tons of care. When we’re not traveling, you’ll find Pardon and New Collection team members at The Vault.


New Collection’s exhibitions are also housed at The Vault. They are currently hosting the “9-5” project by Michael De Sutter and the “Infinite Love” project by Max-o-matic. 


JJ: What’s the best way for people in the community to stay in the know when it comes to future events and exhibitions at The Vault?


JP: Private tours can be requested by emailing hello@newcollection.com, and I’d encourage people to sign up for New Collection’s newsletter for updates on events. 


JJ: In closing, what are you most focused on in the coming year? Any exciting new projects on the horizon?


JP: Personally, I’m focused on designing a residence at McGregor Square, Likemind will be launching new digital brands, and we’re hoping to gather the community soon with another social event at The Vault.


JJ: Exciting stuff, Josh! Thanks for taking the time, and a sincere thanks to you and your crew for doing what you do. Denver is all the better because of it.


The Vault