Incoming Crafts

One thing that draws customers back again and again to Boulder’s Common Era boutique (which also has a Best of Denver-winning sister store on Denver’s Platte Street) is owner Debra Mazur’s one-of-a-kind, repurposed whimsies — jewelry and embellished sweaters and practical purse-fitting card cases — that she sells alongside new and trendy merchandise in the store. Developed through her years of dabbling in the vintage clothing trade, her own handmades can help bring an outfit to life. “We love to make things,” Mazur says of herself and her staff. “Since the very beginning, I've always made things. Necklaces, earrings — my own restyled vintage pieces, combining parts of one thing with parts of another. We collage, we create, and it gives us a joy. The joy is necessary when you’re in the retail biz and the days are slow and there’s nothing to do.”

So, after a recent remodel at Common Era, Mazur finally was able to add something new to the shop — a roomy workspace, filled with “drawers and drawers of vintage laces and buttons,” things she’d been collecting for thirty years. And with a great place to stretch out, she began offering weekly Open Studio Community Workshops, open to anyone who feels like dropping in and learning to make something fantastic. For the equivalent price of buying a similar item new, Mazur and staff will supply the materials and the know-how to make a handmade gift or personal treasure to take home, all in the space of a few hours. “I’m making them look good, and in turn, they’re more loyal to me and my store,” says of her DIY clientele. “While I’m trying to survive in these harsh economic times, it’s just win, win, win.”

Visit Common Era, 1500 D Pearl Street in Boulder, between 1 and 4 p.m. Sundays or 3 and 5 p.m. Mondays and learn to do it yourself. For more information, go to www.mycommonera.com/openstudio.html or call 303-444-1799.
Mondays, Sundays, 1-4 p.m.; Mondays, 3-5 p.m., 2010

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd