Kate Feinsod's South Gaylord Street boutique Pome is at once the product of her whim and of her sense of community-building and public service: She hand-picks every item in the store, according to her own unique tastes, and is such a fierce proponent of the buy local movement that she'll occasionally drop a vendor who becomes too big or point another in the direction of a retailer who might offer the artist a better match. "I like to carry the smaller people, to help them get going," she says. "What I do is more of a social connection thing: I try to carry local people as much as possible, and then I'll help them get into other places. It keeps my style fresh." Along with working with the South Gaylord Merchants Association in an effort to "reinvent the block," Kate works to preserve to preserve the "general store" folksiness of Pome, which is both contemporary in feel and the closest thing to a corner store left in the Washington Park neighborhood, with its fresh preserved foods and vintage cabinet of penny candy. "Kids will come here after school, and I'll give them little jobs to do," Kate says. "I give them a comfortable place to be, and they learn about working in the world."
She's also made a conscious effort to carry more items that offer comfort for chemotherapy patients, including soothing lotions and soaps.
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Right now, you'll find blended herbal teas by Zanitea, tasty spice mixtures from Beyond the Grain, and, coming soon, this season's newly canned Colorado tomatoes and peaches by MM Local on her shelves; also lots of children's clothing and baby gifts you won't see anywhere else; in-house "Denver Girl" t-shirts by Karla Trapp and women's clothing by local designers Garden Girl, Jil Cappuccio, Lele and Suzanne Blaylock. Closer to holidays, look for beeswax candles from Telluride, a ton of felted goodies and children's sweaters and hats by Julie Scott, a load of "cute" stuff from Japan and KidRobot toys. Kate's sense of style is right in line with her merchandising flair: eclectic, personal, comfortable. Today, she's sporting a black thrift store slip under a lightweight black loose-weave cardigan, a favorite pair of cuffed capri jeans for bend-over comfort ("comfort is always first," she declares) and chunky red Danish clogs. "And," she adds, drawing attention to the beads dangling at her throat, "I'm always stealing jewelry from the store." She also likes to wear clothing lines she carries -- Debi Belk's folkloric Lele knits and dresses by Laura Woodward -- and often chooses them for their day-to-night versatility. "My clothes rarely match. My style is like my store: No rhyme or reason, but it always ends well."