Top of the Town 2019: Shopping

The creatives have taken over Colorado. Reap the rewards of this artisan invasion by turning their talent and imagination into your best look yet.

By Staff | June 28, 2019

Table of ContentsDining Services Culture Sports, Fitness Outdoors


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Fine Jewelry

Editors’ Choice
Signet Jewelry Boutique
“Sustainably sourced” isn’t a typical jewelry descriptor. Cherry Creek North’s Signet, open since March 2018, defies industry standards, then, with its carefully curated selection of responsibly made pieces (think: conflict-free diamonds, fair-trade gold, repurposed vintage gems) from 30-ish rotating artisans. On a recent visit, we fell for New York goldsmith Pat Flynn’s hand-forged bracelets (pictured, from $1,800) and co-owner Carol Ferguson’s exclusive collection of metallic pendants, cuffs, and earrings. Doing the right thing never looked so grand. 300 Fillmore St., 720-484-5195

Readers’ Choice
Abby Sparks Jewelry
1320 27th St., Suite G, 303-957-6502

Baby/Kids’ Boutique
Little Wolf Boutique. Photo courtesy of From the Hip Photo

Editors’ Choice
Little Wolf Boutique
Nestled inside Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace is three-year-old Little Wolf, where every item feels as unique as your own tiny animal. Owners Craig and Molly Hakes opened their shop after noticing that many Stapleton children’s retailers carried similar products and that the stores’ aesthetics were as uninspired as their collections. So the Hakeses commissioned a mural of four wolf pups by Colorado artists Pat Milbery and Remington Robinson for Little Wolf, which sticks to clothes, toys, and accessories for kids up to five years old and only stocks locally handmade wares. Those include Broncos-themed onesies by Parker’s Sewn With Love and Denver’s Dear Zoo’s clever shirts, like the “Ol Dirty Badger” tee—which is so darn cute it’s almost reason enough to have another kid. Almost. Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-579-3272

Readers’ ChoiceWish Gifts

750 S. University Blvd., 303-722-2900

Home Accessories/Furniture

Editors’ ChoiceHomebody

Even the most worldly of travelers knows that nothing beats the comforts of home—though it’s nice if those comforts remind you of your worldly travels. Dory Pratt, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in both Bolivia and Ecuador, opened Homebody in 2017 as a way to combine her love of wandering with her eye for design. The welcoming Cherry Creek shop is bursting with a mix of decor, furniture, and more from international brands rarely found in the Mile High City, including soft mohair throws from Spain and a variety of linen sheets and duvets from France. So even if you don’t have the time (or the funds) to circle the globe, your home will look like you do. 2920 E. Sixth Ave., 720-739-0860

Readers’ ChoiceThe Brass Bed Fine Linens Furnishings

3113 E. Third Ave., 303-322-1712; 2460 Canyon Blvd., 303-440-3473


Editors’ ChoiceWooly Wax Candles

Scented candles have long been considered the gift you turn to when you can’t think of anything else. Rachel Woolcott and her finely tuned nose are out to redeem them. The ex-chef now cooks up a rotating series of hand-poured soy wax creations that radiate delectable aromas. Wooly’s San Francisco Fog ($16 for a four-ounce candle, $24 for an eight-ounce version), for example, blends eucalyptus and salt to capture the essence of driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. More impressively, Woolcott can take personal experiences—say, Grandma’s kitchen or a trip to New Zealand—and blend the exact mix of essential oils and herbs needed to recreate your memory. (A custom consult costs $145, plus a required purchase of six eight-ounce candles at $20 apiece.) Woolcott also recently released a line of all-natural hair wax, beard oil, and leather salve, just in case you want to get a jump on filling those holiday stockings. 303-931-6702

Readers’ ChoiceWish Gifts

750 S. University Blvd., 303-722-2900

Wedding Gowns

Editors’ ChoiceThe Bridal Collection

Auditioning wedding gowns should feel more momentous than trying on turtlenecks at HM. That’s why this nearly 20-year-old Centennial boutique is home to a dozen thoughtfully designed suites—and not the tiny ones you often find at trendy urban stores. The smallest one has room to fit six of your besties, while the largest can accommodate 12—basically an entire wedding party. All of them have a glamorous, feminine vibe (gilded mirrors, cozy throws). In addition to these stylish compartments, the mom-and-daughter-run shop is home to myriad dresses, including moderately priced designs from Justin Alexander ($1,600 to $2,800) and an in-house brand for Colorado brides called Catherine Elizabeth ($1,000 to $2,500) as well as selections from high-end couture labels such as Martina Liana ($2,900 to $4,500) and Lazaro (from $3,000 to $8,000). Once you decide on a gown, the Bridal Collection handles alterations on-site—it employs 12 seamstresses— and even delivery so you don’t lose time schlepping your silk or chiffon all over town. That leaves you free to focus on the important stuff, like perfecting your vows. 4151 E. County Line Road, Centennial, 720-493-9454

Readers’ ChoiceLovely Bride Denver

2636 Walnut St., Suite 100, 720-452-1192

Local Women’s Boutique
Fifth Hudson. Photo credit: Jordan Louis/Courtesy of Fifth Hudson

Editors’ ChoiceFifth and Hudson

Sisters and Denver natives Alexandra Kyle and Daron Pflug opened their Jefferson Park store in 2017 to fill the middle ground between high-end and fast fashion. The result is a collection of quality contemporary pieces—like sleek dresses from ASTR the Label or expertly distressed Flying Monkey jeans—none of which costs more than $200. The siblings follow the latest trends on social media and revitalize their styles at least twice a month, ensuring their offerings feel fresh. Bonus: Kyle and Pflug recently launched an e-commerce site, so you can find a unique look without leaving your desk. 2912 W. 25th Ave., 720-476-3484

Readers’ Choice
W Boutique
1071 S. Gaylord St., 303-977-8719

Local Men’s Boutique

Editors’ ChoiceTimber Trade Company

From the tattered U.S. flag hanging from the ceiling to the Allen Ginsberg quote on the back wall, it’s clear you’re stepping into an American throwback when you enter Timber Trade Company. The nearly two-year-old tenant of RiNo’s Backyard on Blake is inspired by our country’s industrial history, so it’s no surprise it specializes in high-quality, raw denim. Josh Greenlee, the founder and owner, primarily sells products stitched and woven in the United States, from brands such as Stovall and Young, Kato, and Imogene and Willie—and if you spring for a pair of jeans, he’ll hem them on the spot with his Singer sewing machine. Even if you’re not into denim, it’s still worth stopping by Timber Trade to scope out leather wallets from Silver Hand Co., a small selection of custom woodwork, and Topo Designs travel bags. 3070 Blake St., Suite 170, 720-608-0735

Readers’ ChoiceBespoke Edge



Editors’ ChoiceArtisan Center

Amidst Cherry Creek’s near-constant retail turnover, Artisan Center has stood steady at the corner of Third Avenue and Detroit Street for more than 40 years because, well, it’s not afraid of turnover. This women-owned store enlists buyers who scour gift shows across the country to find handmade goods, enabling Artisan Center to reinvent its inventory every three months. About a third of the goods are made in Colorado (we like the beaded stone bracelets from Denver’s CLP Jewelry), though the shop doesn’t let geographic boundaries limit its selection of quality scarves, purses, watches, and wallets. 2757 E. Third Ave., 303-333-1201

Readers’ Choice
Hailee Grace Boutique
1421 Larimer St., 303-698-2323

Photo courtesy of Element Knife Company

Editors’ ChoiceElement Knife Company

Every chef ne a high-quality saber to conquer the kitchen. Elan Wenzel would know. A chef at LoHi’s Sushi Sasa, Wenzel has been selling knives since 2010. He initially focused on marketing the Yoshihiro Cutlery blades he imports from Osaka (Japan’s knife-crafting capital) to other chefs but quickly realized home cooks wanted ease, speed, and accuracy when chopping ingredients, too. Wenzel doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar shop, but his website makes navigating the finer points of knife buying—Western versus Japanese handles, say, or the difference between stainless and carbon steel blades—accessible even for the most clueless food prepper. Even better, Wenzel makes house calls and will even arrange at-home Tupperware-style parties so your friends can fawn over his cutlery, which runs from $65 to around $1,000. If you really want to play professional chef, Wenzel will also sell you the same plating tweezers and aprons he swears by at Sushi Sasa. 303-460-4628

Readers’ ChoiceCarbon Knife Co.

3264 Larimer St., 720-292-4277

Place to Go Shopping

Editors’ ChoiceFree Market

On its first day of business in May, 11,000-square-foot Free Market hosted a range of attractions, including a DIY bath salts bar from Jenni Kayne, a Los Angeles women’s clothing and home goods brand (and also a tenant). Such diversions aren’t just part of the mini mall’s grand-opening hoopla. The owners of the retail and dining bazaar, located in LoDo’s Dairy Block, will hold alluring events every month—including vinyl and jazz brunches and Italian-inspired aperitivo happy hours in July—because they have incentive to. Instead of a predetermined rental amount, every Free Market tenant pays 10 percent of its monthly overall sales. So between browsing the wares (sleek, outdoorsy apparel from Westerlind; vintage jewelry from Alchemy Works) of the eight curated occupants and ordering fare (such as baked goods and coffee from BØH) made by the two on-site food-and-beverage outfits, shoppers will almost always be treated to pop-up culinary events, art installations through a partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, or a number of other temporary treats. 1801 Blake St., 720-325-2082

Readers’ ChoiceStanley Marketplace

2501 Dallas St., Aurora

Antiques Etc. Photo courtesy of Terry Wagner

Editors’ ChoiceAntiques Etc

Shopping for bygone treasures can tear relationships apart: Your retro-loving friends might all like antiquing, but one person is only interested in Victorian ephemera while another wants 1940s costume jewelry and yet another is mid-mod obsessed. How to keep your post-brunch festivities from turning into an argument over antiquities? Check out this 10,000-square-foot emporium of all the things, which has been open for more than three decades. The East Colfax Avenue store hosts a variety of vendors, including purveyors of “fix me” options for DIYers. At other booths, sellers have done the work for you by reupholstering midcentury dining sets or finishing vintage scrap quilts for use as wall hangings. You’ll find globes, typewriters, records, and old Broncos memorabilia. Oh, and fondue sets—lots of fondue sets—perfect for bringing friends together. 5736 E. Colfax Ave., 303-329-8208

Readers’ ChoiceSalvage Design Center

1200 W. Evans Ave., 720-432-8893

Local Jewelry Designer
Nikki Nation Jewelry. photo credit: Jen Lobo Photography/Courtesy of Nikki Nation Jewelry

Editors’ Choice
Nikki Nation Jewelry

Hammered metal isn’t a particularly new jewelry trend, but few pull it off as well as Nikki Nation. An art-school-trained metalsmith who entered the commercial realm by taking a job at a jewelry store, Nation opened her studio in 2016 and made a name for herself by banging on gold and silver with hammers sporting hacked-up heads. Nation’s percussion sessions leave funky, unpredictable textures and patterns, lending an industrial edge rarely seen in delicate jewelry. But she is perhaps best known for the tiny, Braille-like dots she adds to earrings, bangles, and more (Nation’s pieces range from $35 to $1,500), engendering a distinctive touch while exhibiting a graceful, simple elegance.

Readers’ Choice
Abby Sparks Jewelry
1320 27th St., Suite G, 303-957-6502

Person of Note: Julie Underdahl
Julie Underdahl. Photo courtesy of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District

In 2010, Underdahl led the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District through an $18.5 million streetscape project. The resulting pedestrian-friendly pathways cast the foundation for Cherry Creek North’s recent residential and hotel boom. Although Underdahl stepped down as the BID’s president and CEO in March after 12 years, her foresight will keep Cherry Creek a vital epicenter for shoppers (and tourists and homeowners and workers) long into the future.