There’s a lot of new creativity coming out of the Rocky Mountain West right now — specifically the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area.
Bag makers Winter Session and sandwich all-star Tifamade come to mind, as do hep-cat Colorado outfitters Topo Designs and Oyo Mountain. (Who I’ve written about before, I might add.) I’ve been super-digging on the work of A Small Print Shop, a screenprinting operation whose time in the national limelight came last fall when Levi’s peeped their cycle-vibes for some stellar content marketing. (Video here.) Artifact Uprising, a Denver-based newly-acquired arm of VSCO allows photographers of all types the ability to turn their phone snaps into tangible objects of remembrance.
In Boulder, there’s Julie Fuller of Lawn Party, an effervescent and oh-so-addictive personal style blog that is refreshing in it’s honesty and good humor. Expertly-curated Cedar and Hyde, stocks small-batch, super-special pieces from independent designers — a refreshing change of pace in what’s otherwise a predominately outdoor-retailer sort of merch landscape. If you’re a freelancer looking for a desk space and the community of other perpetual gig-finders, look no further than Workshop Boulder, a community space for creatives of all types. Looking outside of the Denver/Boulder area one certainly cannot forget about Dram Apothecary and Bread Bar, located in always snowy and picture-perfect Silver Plume and the amazing southern weekend diversion that is Zapata Ranch. Add to this the photographers I dig like Stephen Smith, Ben and Amy Tremper, as well as Denver’s history of churning out iconic western wear, and the town’s proximity to National Parks in Utah and sand dunes to the south and well…. it’s almost enough to make a gal pack up and move.
If I was lucky enough to be in and/or around Denver next week, I would most certainly be attending Winter Session’s latest event — a Ladies Coffee and Leather Workshop. Madison Chandler of Blue Door Coffee will be walking you through the ins and outs of bespoke coffee roasting, and afterwards Tanya Fleisher of Winter Session will be offering instruction on how to make your very own leather amulet necklace, as well as how to customize said amulet with healing herbs and gemstones. There will be mason jars filled with hand-roasted coffee, and hand-made leather coffee sleeves, and adult beverages. Before you mock it for sounding like something out of Portlandia; I offer up this question — have you ever been healed by the transformative power of wild-crafted rocky mountain herbs and southwestern gemstones? No? Well, find me once you have been because it’s a very real thing and definitely not something to turn your nose up at.
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++ photo creds top to bottom: 1. winter session 2. topo designs 3. oyo mountain 4. artifact uprising 5, 6, and 7. cedar and hyde 8. amy and ben tremper at zapata ranch 9. dram apothecary ++