Best Frida Wear 2015 | Bella Frida | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Laura Lambrecht named her Louisville boutique for Frida Kahlo, the iconic Mexican painter and cult heroine, who loved traditional garb like handcrafted embroidered huipils and woven rebozos made by village artisans schooled by their mothers and grandmothers. Lambrecht treasures the same colorful textiles and crafts, and so has filled her Bella Frida shop with handmade Mexican imports, including apparel, Talavera pottery, oilcloth and folk-art works of all kinds. Stopping in here is the next best thing to shopping at a Mexican street bazaar.

Bag designer Kerrin Pogozelski found her calling in a leatherwork class, but it took time and a few deep breaths before she felt ready to make her first handbag. Her novice creation sold even before she'd finished the last stitch, and Buxiejo Bags — a one-woman business based on old-world techniques — was born. Pogozelski works with a patchwork of beautiful and decorative leathers and fabrics to create bags with funky personality and style. Each one is unique, just like you. Shop for Buxiejo bags online or look for Pogozelski at local craft markets.

Inspired by the elaborate lamps she saw during her travels in Europe, and after completing an apprenticeship, Linda Grove revived the fine art of creating custom lampshades. That was almost three decades ago, and since then, Grove's Lili Marlene workshop has popped up in different locations around Denver. But now she's settled into a South Inca Street spot with a perfect neighbor: Table M Lamp Restoration, making this the place to go when you want to revive one of those beautiful old lamps from Grandma's attic. Go ahead: Light up your life!

An impressive small business with an international presence, Rosy Rings sprang from humble roots when Shannon Cumberland began manufacturing hand-poured botanical candles with an old Crock-Pot, dented molds, essential oils and beeswax in her Denver kitchen. Today, Rosy Rings operates out of a 30,000-square-foot facility here, and Cumberland buys her wax by the ton; she's also expanded to potpourri, sachets, diffusers and home fragrance sprays. While a lot about candles has changed since the '90s, the laborious process hasn't. A single botanical candle takes two days to make, contains natural products like beeswax and soy wax, and requires glassware with 40 percent recycled content. That's one of the reasons you won't find Rosy Rings in Target anytime soon — but you can buy the handmade candles online or at 150 local retailers, including the Artisan Center, the Perfect Petal, and Artemisia and Rue.

Really, Peppermint never quite went away, in spite of its integration a few years ago into its sibling store, the male-oriented SoulHaus, in the splendid EZE Mop complex. But owner Stephanie Shearer, who also runs Pandora on the Hill over on 13th Avenue, brought the little-girly store back in 2014, after a little primping. Peppermint is once again a sweet spot for browsing through all the hip jewelry and trinkets, novelty gifts, clever accessories, toiletries and housewares that made people love the shop in the first place.

For many years, Ninfa Laughlin's Alchemist, a toiletry shop and perfumery with an old-world feel, held forth alongside the Artisan Center on Third Avenue in Cherry Creek North. It was a place where you could spend bundles on elegant European soaps and Kneipp herbal remedies and luscious botanical creams and pure scents — or just splurge on a lovely French tortoiseshell comb. Laughlin left the business several years ago when the rent got too high, and the subsequent owner failed to keep the store going. But now Laughlin, a customer-service-savvy shopkeep, is back in a new space not far from the old one — at just the perfect time to reintroduce Denver to Europe's best natural skin products and perfumes.

Run by BFFs Lynn Till and Robin King, R.L. Linden got its start as a kitchen-based beauty business focused on providing friends and family with skin care made from only the good stuff. As the two partners began sharing their plant-based products with consumers, R.L. Linden's sales skyrocketed, so they opened a store in northwest Denver. But even though business is booming, the operation is still small and hands-on. The duo's facial cleansers, perfumes, teas and balms are all made with 100 percent natural ingredients, come in eco-conscious packaging, smell delicious and work wonders. This business is a beauty.

The vintage truck stops here: When Tara Dover couldn't cram one more beautiful item into her La Lovely Vintage Boutique on wheels, she grew her little rolling empire of commerce by adding a brick-and-mortar home, Vintage Cottage, to the trail she'd already blazed in her 1957 Shasta canned-ham trailer, Lucy. Located in a downtown Littleton home near Main Street, Vintage Cottage has a little more of everything, from handpicked vintage clothing to cute doodads and furniture, thanks to its increased — and stationary — square footage. Currently, the shop is on a twice-monthly market schedule and open Thursdays through Sundays on the first and third weekends of each month; call or check out for store information or to find out where Lucy will be rolling next.

Little Horse got its start in Boulder but is now settled into three separate buildings in Louisville, where owners Mike Price and Adriane Hirsch reside. Each space has the feel of a collector's eclectic living room or attic, furnished with mid-century classics, vintage stereo equipment, antiques, curiosities and shelves of old books and vinyl records. Price and Hirsch, who also host vinyl nights at the nearby Por Wine House, have multiple enthusiasms to share with their customers. Drop by sometime and pull up a Bertoia chair.

Your taste isn't West Elm or Crate & Barrel, nor does it lean exactly toward South Broadway's antique chic. Mid-mod is cool but hard to do right, and American Furniture Warehouse just doesn't turn your head. If you're looking for something funky and ethnic and eclectic, head to Stapleton's Rare Finds Warehouse, which offers a global perspective on furniture that's refreshing and down-home all at once. The selection includes architectural salvage and both new and antique pieces from around the world, some repurposed for contemporary use, making this just the place to find furniture that's anything but run-of-the-mill.

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