Miss Talulah's has hit one out of the park. After almost five years in the Ballpark neighborhood, the dainty shop filled with all things ladylike and out of the ordinary headed to a new home in the just-built Stapleton Town Center. You'll still find the thoughtful mix of beautiful jewelry, artisan handbags, brocade slippers, Mariebelle chocolate products, soaps and lotions, but the bigger, more modern space also means more stuff. For the new shop, owner Robin Lohre forayed into patio furniture decorated in funky stripes and polka-dots, and she's taking a cue from the Uptown Talulah Jones by stocking children's toys, books and adorable baby clothes. Welcome home.
Ten Thousand Villages
All the goods inside Ten Thousand Villages bear the "Fair Trade" stamp, which means the artisans who created them -- women, mostly, from Third World countries -- were justly compensated for their labor. So you can feel very, very good about dropping a little coin in this globally minded boutique. You'll certainly want to. The store is a wondrous place to find unique items for the home, from hand-woven floor mats and crockery from Southeast Asia to colorful bedspreads from India. At Ten Thousand Villages, you'll have the whole world in your hands.
The Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau outpost on 16th Street was located a few blocks down the mall until three months ago, when it moved into new digs on California Street. While the inside is all new, the services are the same: Tourists can come in, get free coffee, look at maps and buy Denver-related trinkets. For natives -- or native wannabes -- there's a Ticketmaster and RTD outlet as well as little-known factoids about the Mile High City.
Where The Buffalo Roam
Most stores on the 16th Street Mall are souvenir stores, which is why any visiting businessman who suddenly needs a shirt to wear to an important meeting may wind up wearing a T-shirt displaying a well-endowed woman and the saying "Get a load of these peaks." Sure, Where the Buffalo Roam has some of the same stupid trinkets, but it also has a stash of University of Colorado memorabilia that includes soon-to-be collector's items. There's no Ward Churchill doll, but will a teddy bear wearing a pink sweatshirt with the football team's logo and the word "Mom" do? Go, Buffs!

Best Store on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall

Atmosphere

The Pearl Street Mall may be close to wholesale commercialization, but in the trendy West End neighborhood adjacent to the shopping mecca, there's still an independent flavor in the air. That holds true for nearby Atmosphere, a loft-looking "lifestyle" store that combines furniture, fashion accessories and baby clothes. The swank amalgam includes Mueller refrigerators from Germany (available in 200 colors), retro diaper bags, playful Offi birch furnishings for children, furniture upholstered in '50s-era fabrics, and tons more stuff that might be right at home in these stainless-steel modern times.
When David Bolduc, owner of the Boulder Book Store on the Pearl Street Mall, decided last year that he wanted to promote local shopping, he imported a slogan from Austin, Texas, which has had a successful "Weird" campaign going for years. But that's really no competition: Can Austin be one-tenth as weird as Boulder? Bolduc printed up 10,000 bumperstickers that say "Keep Boulder Weird: Support Local Businesses," which he hands out gratis. He also sells hats, T-shirts and mugs with the message.

Best New Store on Broadway (Since March 2004)

Chielle

Wendy Marlow, Alisa Dowell and Sara Thurston -- better know as DJ Sara T -- made big alterations to Denver's fashion scene this year by giving South Broadway staple Sugar an extreme makeover. The result: Chielle. The name is a combination of Thurston's and Dowell's dogs' names, but it also adds up to the very clever "girl energy": "Chi" means "energy" in Chinese, and "elle" translates to "she" in French. The new shop features designs by locals along with national brands, and the prices are a steal, with bright-colored leather cuffs for spring at just $15, rings galore at $10 and shoes for under $50. If only all makeovers were this good.
Indigena Gallery has really come into its own since moving to a charming little house on Tennyson Street last year. Once constrained in a smaller, darker, harder-to-find space, Sandra Renteria's Haiti-centric, Fair-Trade marketplace and gallery has stretched out physically and psychically to fill the sunny, brightly painted rooms. The merchandise is always changing, but regular staples are whimsical Haitian folk-art paintings, sequined vodou flags and metal sculptures hammered out of drum lids. In April, Renteria will load up on beads and handmade textiles from all over the globe, as well as functional Moroccan cookware known as tagines. Later this year, she'll refocus with a show of paintings by respected Haitian artist Turgo Bastien.
The original Five Green Boxes was a wonder, the store you wanted to move into and

never leave. At least, never leave without an overloaded shopping bag. But then proprietors Charlotte Elich and Carrie Vadas closed up shop and relocated down the street to a smaller location that could only fit smaller merchandise. Deep down, though, they knew it wasn't enough. They missed their original, home-oriented concept. This year they brought back the spacious old store, dubbing it Five Green BoxesŠUnpacked. The little store is still there, with its goofy plastic shoes and silken scarves in watercolor hues, but now the big store is there for the big stuff: daffodil lamps, summer patio lanterns, butter-yellow garden furniture and a floor full of rescued chairs and ottomans that have been reupholstered in hand-dyed, boiled-wool artisan designs. It's the best of both worlds.

Best New Store on Colfax Avenue (Since March 2004)

ArmAzem Bookstore & Cafe

Owners Mauricio Vieira and Blair Dunn started waving the Brazilian flag proudly from their Colfax Avenue outpost, ArmAzem Bookstore and & Cafe, last March. Since then, the shop has developed a loyal following of book enthusiasts and Colfax-lovers, thanks to its well-culled selection of novels and nonfiction, free wi-fi, Portuguese discussion groups (armazem is Portuguese for "general store") and a sidewalk patio that offers prime people-watching. Fiercely local and eclectic, ArmAzem is the epitome of the New Colfax.

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