1. Pandora on the Hill
1227 East 17th Avenue
Stephanie Shearer’s Pandora weathered a move from its longtime Capitol Hill location to the Uptown EZE-Mop enclave on East 17th Avenue without losing an ounce of its humor or retail spunk. Shop there now for the holidays, and look for Shearer’s newest concern, Trunk Nouveau, to spread the cute and the funky eastward at the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora in January. Shearer's picks:
Euphoric Junket Candles, $24
Because Denver loves its beer, Denver candle company Euphoric Junket took a chance on the idea that Denver would also love its beer candles: These 100 percent soy scented candles recall the bouquet of craft stouts, ales, IPAs and saisons, and burn from within repurposed beer-bottle casings.
Essential Oils from SoulKu, $12
SoulKu’s roll-on, small-batch essential oils enhanced by precious stones come dressed up in a pretty package that slips nicely into a stocking.
Patty Cat Key Chain, $6
Says Shearer: “Every single gal at Pandora on the Hill has one of these on her keychain. This is a hard plastic keychain that we prefer over other self-defense alternatives because it is already in your hand, there is nothing to turn on, and it is truly offensive: Who would approach you if you are walking down the street with one of these kittens in your hand?”
Tokyo Milk Dark Bulletproof Parfume, $45
Made in Colorado, Tokyo Milk Dark parfums blend scents from the arcane side; Pandora’s favorite is Bulletproof, an earthy concoction of crushed cedar, smoked tea and ebony. Other blends include Excess and Everything & Nothing.
Sarah DeAngelo Turquoise Teardrop Chandelier Earrings, $36
Local maker Sarah DeAngelo works wonders with a few turquoise stones dangling from a hand-wired oxidized silver framework.
2. 5 Green Boxes
Old South Pearl Street
1570 and 1596 South Pearl Street
1701 Wynkoop Street
Charlotte Elich runs her 5 Green Boxes empire on South Pearl Street with a flourish of whimsy and an impeccable eye for giftable items that will delight anyone on your list. In a hurry? The small store in Union Station is the perfect place to shop when you’re on the run downtown.
Men’s Socks, Mr. Bean and Bob Ross, $14 pair
Surely there’s someone you know who would die for a pair of happy socks for happy toes, celebrating television painting pro Bob Ross. And if not, 5 Green Boxes stocks a jackpot of patterned socks for both men and women, including styles from Ozone and Sock It to Me, priced between $13 and $38.
Collapsible Bucket, $10; Ultimate Hammer Tool, $20; Mitten Flask, $24
Got a surreptitious picnicking drinker on your list? Surprise them with some convenient tools of the trade.
Voluspa Candles, holiday and everyday scents, $11.50 to $44
The best candles don’t smell: They smell good. Spread the aromatherapy — with love — with an all-soy Voluspa candle.
Assorted Wooden Spoons, $9 to $13
You can never have enough wooden spoons, which tend to disappear when you most need them. These are just too pretty to lose.
Inflatable Pug or Cat, $25
Apartment-dwellers you love might not have room for a live pet, but perhaps an inflatable one would suffice. 5 Green Boxes aims to please dog-lovers and cat-lovers alike.
Whiskey River Soap, $8.50 each
Whiskey River soaps are not only completely handmade and smell great, but they’re also personalized for real-life people you know and love. For instance, the Soap for Stoners (“Smells like Colorado!”) or the Soap for Gray Areas (“Scented with ambiguity”).
18 South Broadway
Kirsten Coplans operates SEWN on a grassroots level, trading store space with local designers and artists, and only selling items that define the lexicon of “handmade” and “recycled.”
CeColors & Co., Hand-Cut Artisan soaps, $12
These colorful Denver-made blocks of olive-oil soap might smell like cloves, anise, mangos, cilantro and lime — or beer — as well as a dizzying variety of other scents.
Verveine Designs, Origami Earrings, $17 to $25
Made from repurposed aluminum cans and scrap metal, and covered with gorgeous Japanese screen-printed papers, Verveine’s jewelry makes a statement without emptying your pocketbook.
Pigeonhead Pop-Ups, Christmas Critters laser-cut wood figures, $14
Denver artist Scott Lyons’s wooden embellishments and decorations are papered with vintage images, making the holidays bright — and old-fashioned.
Giddyup Katie, Holiday Hair Crown, $16 to $20; Holiday Vintage Ball Earring, $12 to $16
Ornaments aren’t just for trees. Make Christmas more Christmasy by giving the gift of self-decoration. Handmade by Denver designer Katie Wells, who thinks fun is an important part of any outfit.
Baby JackByrd, Holiday Felt Flower Clip, $12.50; Ivory Petit Rose Crown, $16
You don’t have to be a baby to look cute wearing one of these floral felt hair decorations, but if you are a baby, you’ll be made in the shade with a gift from Baby JackByrd. So sweet.
Continue reading for stocking-stuffer suggestions for everyone, from three more boutiques.