Most mothers of small children know the score: They shyly finger the racks at Oilily or April Cornell, purposely ignoring the price tags and, well, dreaming. Because unless they've got hundreds of bucks to throw away on a gorgeous ensemble their kid will outgrow next month, they know they've got to turn around and walk right out.
Local entrepreneur Bridget Dornbirer -- a business-minded mother of three girls all under the age of five -- noted their desire, and without a drop of retail experience took over Petite Patoot a little more than a year ago. Reshaped in her vision, the Boulder-based children's clothing store relocated to Denver and has become a better machine with an upscale image. Which means that mothers no longer have to dream: They can buy used and new clothing in sizes 1 to 8, rising in exclusivity from nicer Gap and Gymboree outfits to top-of-the-line Oilily kiddie couture -- at half the original price or less.
"Not many resale places sell exclusively upscale clothes," Dornbirer says. "I love the niche. We have great stuff at a great price, and here you get the deals at the top of the season."
To make it happen, Dornbirer buys samples and after-season togs new from several boutiques, including four in San Francisco. Then she opens the doors of the Petite warehouse at 1665 South Acoma Street each season for a kickoff sale, keeping limited hours afterward only while the pickings are still good. Such a steal.
Beginning March 18, Petite Patoot will be open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturday hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) will be added in April. For more information, call 303-665-8161 or visit www.petitepatoot.com. -- Susan Froyd
It feels like spring at Andenken Gallery. That's because more than thirty designers are descending on the space with their flirty warm-weather frocks as part of Brandi Shigley's new fashion market, Bloom. They'll be in residence today from noon to 8 p.m., hawking everything from skirts and shirts to beats and baubles. "My last show was a fun little market," Shigley says of last December's Snow. "Now I'm realizing that it's more about putting designers out there in different ways to help their businesses grow." But that serious goal won't put a damper on this party: Besides the designers and giveaways and runway shows, Shigley's added the Future Jazz Project and DJs Segue and Uplifter to the after-party lineup. Five bucks gets you in the door, plus another five for the FJP and post-show revelry. All proceeds go to the Denver Rescue Mission. For information, visit www.fashiondenver.com or call 303-292-3281. -- Amy Haimerl<
If watching tall men toss balls into baskets isn't your thing, maybe teaching your rabbit to "pass the rock" is more your style. If so, stop by the Denver Dumb Friends League, 2080 South Quebec Street, today between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. for March Mammal Madness. Bring your own li'l critter and take part in guinea-pig races, rat relays or rabbit dribble-and-pass, then visit the X and Y Booth to find out if your "Princess" is actually a "Prince." And if you do happen to find the Earl Boykins of the bunny world, you can take it home with you: Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and other small pets will be available for adoption during this free event. For more information, call 303-696-4941, ext. 1378, or visit www.ddfl.org. -- Crystal Preston-Watson
Let's Get Ready to Revel!
Have a wine-soaked, chocolate-covered, goat-smelling weekend.
Oh, those crazy cats in Boulder. They don't need any excuse to throw a party. Football games, Flag Day, a full moon or even just a Tuesday is more than enough reason for them all to come out, get loaded and whoop it up, hippie style. But with A Boulder Revel slated to go today from noon to 5 p.m. at the Dairy Center for the Arts (yeah, we said Dairy Center for the Arts, what of it?), it seems that the People's Republic has found more of a reason than usual. The party celebrates all the gourmet goodness that the Boulder area has to offer, paying particular attention to the wines (all five local wineries will be pouring), the goat cheese (courtesy of Haystack Mountain Dairy), the chocolate and the mead (that's honey wine to those of you who are curious). So the Revel is basically a chance to get all of the local producers together under one roof for a few hours of wine-drenched, chocolate-covered, goat-smelling fun. Activities include drinking; three half-hour seminars on (what else?) Colorado wine, mead-making and goat cheese; more drinking; shopping; drinking; and drinking.
Feel the buzz at Beequinox!
The word tufani means "storm" in Swahili, and Denver artist Tufani Mayfield is definitely a squall of metaphysical gale and gusto. Describing his work as "prayer crystallized," Tufani believes that he is an instrument of the divine. And like all good oracles, there is something curiously hypnotic about him and his work. Gaze for yourself tonight at Wild Flowers, 1201 Madison Street, when the funky floral boutique hosts Beequinox!: A celebration of art on the eve of spring, featuring Tufani's newest collection, Goddess of the Bees. The encaustic-painting series uses layers of colored beeswax to communicate the mystical essence and spiritual significance of bees. As is his custom, Tufani uses the transcendental tools of meditation, chants and ceremonial rites to transmit prayers of world peace and abundance for all -- even the skeptical -- from his work.
Beequinox! will buzz from 5 to 8 p.m. and includes a wine-and-cheese reception with the artist, whose paintings will be on display through the end of April. For more information, call 303-333-4050 or visit www.wildflowersdenver.com. -- Kity Ironton