Colby was raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He earned a 5 year-Professional Bachelor's Degree from the University of Kentucky, College of Architecture, in 1997. During his studies, he participated in a study abroad program with architect Daniel Libeskind in Berlin- Germany, and worked for Studio Daniel Libeskind on "Stonebreath"- a memorial in Berlin commemorating the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Colby moved to Southern California to work for Frank O. Gehry and Associates (FOGA) |from 1998-2004. During Colby's tenure at FOGA as Associate Designer, he participated in many of the firm's most innovative and award-winning projects both nationally and internationally. Most notably was Mayes's design and technical contributions to the Marques de Riscal Hotel in Elciego, Spain, which has become Frank Gehry's most recognized international hotel to date. Other national and international projects Mayes was involved in during his tenure at Frank O. Gehry's include: the New Guggenheim Museum, New York City; Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO); Canada; Astor Place Hotel, New York City; Maggie's Cancer Center in Scotland; and The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City.
In 2005, he started MAYES OFFICE | MO in Santa Monica, CA, which focuses on various small to large scale contemporary projects and urban design. Based in Mayes Office, MO Development | MOD was established in 2016 to provide a home for the development projects of Colby Mayes. MOD is a development firm counterpart to the design studio of Mayes Office. Currently, the firm is developing the Lowertown Courtyard Homes in Paducah, Kentucky; Prefab Lofts in Los Angeles; and Old Hickory Homes in Brentwood, Tennessee.