4xForth: Shannon Downey of Pivotal and Badass Cross Stitch / by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Chicago-Shannon-Downey Each Friday we highlight one of the rad women in our community through a short, fun interview series - 4xForth. Today we're talking to Shannon Downey, marketing strategist and founder of Pivotal. Shannon also runs the Badass Cross Stitch Etsy shop (check out all her badass cross stich creations on instagram). Shannon's also a host on the web-based talk show The Gay Agenda Live, is an adjunct professor at DePaul University, and an advisor for soon-to-open Geek Bar Chicago. Amidst her busy schedule, she sat down and shared a bit on where she frequents in Chicago + what she does when out of town guests come to visit, where she's dreaming of traveling to next, and what she's most looking forward to this fall.

Places I frequent in Chicago:

I've been finding myself at Reno quite a bit this summer. I love sitting outside (under their awning) and people watching while sipping on a Kentucky Mule and eating an absurd amount of burrata topped pizza.

I try to go to the movies as much as possible and the Showplace ICON on Roosevelt is my favorite. I love their VIP experience. It's one of the few places that I go that I will pay for an upgrade. Who doesn't want to sit in a giant cushy chair with a whiskey and popcorn while watching their favorite superheros. Am I right?!

You can find me at just about any comic convention or geek gathering happening in and around Chicago on any given weekend.

Basically, if there is whiskey, pizza or geekery...you can find me there.

Places I'll go someday:

I travel a lot. It's my favorite thing.

I'm headed to Montana next week so that one is top of mind right now. I plan to hike, kayak, star gaze and relax at Glacier National Park.

Despite having been to 32 countries and always having lived within driving distance to Canada, I have never actually crossed that border. It's just silly that I have never been to Canada. I'm going to save that one for summer time though. I hate the cold.

I would like to go back to Switzerland but only if it comes with an invitation to visit the Supercollider at CERN.

And space. I feel pretty sure that I'll get to go to space someday.

Favorite things to do in Chicago when out of town guests come to visit

I always take people on the architectural boat tour. I love it. I love Chicago and being on the water and taking in the architecture and the history and the sun. Secret Tip: Take a boat tour during the Air and Water Show in August! You will have the best seat in the house.

The Art Institute is always a staple, especially the modern wing. Then take the bridge over to Millennium Park and enjoy whatever art is there at the time, meander over to the bean and then dip your toes in the creek at the Lurie Garden.

Eating. Eating is very important when guests are in town. I like to take people to all the best local joints I possibly can to show off the goods. We seriously might have the best food of any city in the world.

4 things you're looking forward to this Fall

1) The opening of Geek Bar Chicago. Once we open, that is where I will be.

2) Wearing scarfs again

3) The Andersonville Art Weekend

4) Halloween

Thanks for sharing Shannon! We can't wait to hear about your trip to Glacier National Park! The showplace VIP treatement sounds awesome, and we love the idea of Geek Bar Chicago. Looking forward to checking it out once you open up shop!

Find Shannon on Twitter, Instagram, and follow along with Badass Cross Stitch on Pinterest, Instagram, and her Etsy shop!