Where else can you get great local goods this holiday season? A good place to start would be a hop, skip and a jump away from Talulah Jones at the EZE Mop block on the 1200 block of East 17th Avenue, where husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Stephanie Shearer and Chris Bacorn run the girly boutique Peppermint and the manly man store Soul Haus side-by-side (which is a lovely metaphor when you think about it).
Shearer and Bacorn, after all, are fierce supporters of selling wares by local folks. "When you buy a local product from a local business who lives locally and lives, works, eats and plays in the same fifteen-block radius, your money gets spent six times in right in your own neighborhood," is how Shearer puts it, and she's right. Another plus when you're shopping EZE Mop: You can sink in with a nice cuppa coconut green tea while you're there, at Shearer's adjacent Grind Haus, a tea and coffee joint that's as comfy as your own kitchen table.
Here are her local picks for this holiday season:
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At Soul Haus, slick steampunk cufflinks by The Gold Bug are well-priced and one-of-a-kind, fashioned one at a time from genuine Citizen watchfaces by jewelry artist Melissa Tomerlin, who lives, Shearer likes to note, only a few clocks from the store. Shearer also carries Tomerlin's stunning watchwork pendants and pins for women at Peppermint, as well as at the stalwart Pandora Jewelry, the first cog in her little retail empire. Look for exclusive designs available only at each store. At Peppermint, Shearer is gaga for local designer Lauren Lindeman and her Moon Calf jewelry. "She really represents the new look coming out of Denver," Shearer says. "We have cowpunk for music, and we're getting that from artists, now: We have a kind of a look that's like a mashup of the old and the new. Her stuff has a great vintage contemporary look." We couldn't agree more.
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And a few blocks away at Pandora, 220 East 13th Avenue, Shearer touts laser-cut wooden earrings by Willow, which are made from sustainable woods in Celtic- or Asian-inspired designs. "They plant a tree for every one they use," she adds, "and they're just gorgeous."