Best Store on the 16th Street Mall - 2013
I Heart Denver
I Heart Denver (and its predecessor, the city-backed pop-up, YesPleaseMore) is simply the smartest Colorado curio shop in all of the state, with the slickest design, the cleverest merchandising and the best-quality memorabilia that any tourist — or local — could purchase to remember Denver by. The shop even has one of the most lovable store mascots to roam the Denver retail world: the charming corgi Denver Picard Schimek, who's been immortalized for I Heart Denver in locally made felting kits, stuffed animals, cards and buttons. And Denver's dad, Samuel Schimek, is the man behind it all. A designer himself, Schimek scouts the city for the hippest creatives, stocking the store with their imaginative jewelry and handmades, Denver-centric tees, reasonably priced artworks and prints, hand-printed stationery, beetle-kill furniture, keychains and mugs. No wonder Schimek received the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts Create Award, given to "an outstanding, for-profit creative business that has made a significant impact on Colorado's creative economy," earlier this month. Thanks, I Heart Denver, for rising above the lowest common denominator of downtown shopping and challenging shoppers with new ideas and merchandise.