Best Flea Market 2017 | Sweet William Market | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

The small but definitely sweet Sweet William Market in Stapleton is a triumph of quality over quantity, with a weird and wonderful mix of vintage, antique, retro and hip new merchandise, and just three dates planned for 2017: June 3, September 2 and a holiday market December 2-3, when it will be held at Northfield's new indoor events center. Laid-back and welcoming, the market has a true community feel, something that founders Kim Kouba and Lizzie Kienast — Kouba still runs it — were shooting for when they started the humble flea eleven years ago. Wander among the handpicked vendors to find one-of-a-kind items, from funky jewelry and interesting clothes to found-object art and upcycled furniture. Food stalls and live music make it even easier to stick around; fortunately, there's plenty of parking in surrounding lots and on the street.

Readers' Choice: Denver Flea

Since it materialized less than a year ago, Witch Collective has popped up everywhere from the Mercury Cafe to the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, bringing with it handmade goods, hand-stitched art, organic snacks, spells, tinctures and herbal potions. The Witch Collective sees its mini-economy as a community connector, a way for artisans to get low-fee booth rentals, for patrons to find high-quality merchandise at affordable prices, and for both groups to work together. It's also a socially conscious operation: Each edition of the pop-up market gives 10 percent of the proceeds to such causes as the OneOrlando Fund, Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter.

If you're a Colorado hipster, then it's high time you ponied up for some Wild West wear for your offspring. Founded in 1989, Cry Baby Ranch is still the best place in town to score Western-style boot(ie)s, rancher onesies and bibs with Texas stars. The colorful cow-kid clothes are mostly handmade, and you'll even find leather-on-suede jackets, along with themed gifts for your buckaroo: sippy cups and cutlery, blankets, books, stick-on mustaches, and some seriously cuddly rancher-themed stuffed animals. Make sure to spend a few minutes moseying through the store's adult section; we wouldn't blame you if you ended up lassoing a pair of boots for yourself, too.

Best Kids' Clothes Not Made by Kids in Sweatshops

Park Hill Design

Parents looking to clothe their offspring in something more durable, conscientiously sourced and distinctive than what the big-box stores have to offer might want to check out Park Hill Design's online store. The company's sweaters, outerwear, dresses, leggings and hats are handmade right here in Denver, using quality textiles to produce one-of-a-kind pieces. It's all factory-free, guilt-free and stylish.

artSPARK Creative Studio Facebook

You won't find any copycat projects here! Drawing on elements of Montessori education and TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior), the founders of artSPARK concocted a community-based lab where burgeoning artists of all skill levels can receive top-notch training that's taught in context. Each of the program's weekly classes begins with a lesson on technique; from there, students are challenged to create a unique project with their own ideas. From 45-minute parent/tot classes to longer drop-off sessions, an after-school club and tween and teen evenings, there's something for everyone in your family. Classes work like a yoga studio's: Purchase a package, and come in when it's convenient for you.

Mother/daughter duo Sydney and Cornelia Peterson brought the wild spirit of the garden with them when they opened Sacred Thistle, a florist shop and cabinet of curiosities in the Golden Triangle. Their artistic, asymmetrical arrangements of overripe blossoms and elegantly curved stems and strands of greenery look like Dutch Master paintings in the round, while the rest of the shop unlocks precious secrets right and left, in the form of housemade sage bundles, syrups and bitters hand-bottled by Colorado-based Dram Apothecary, along with magnificent geodes, beeswax candles and fine silver jewelry. Because the next step after purchasing flowers is often selecting a gift. Go in beauty.

Women friends have a way of sharing stories intuitively and with love — trading lore, so to speak, while enriching one another's lives. And Lore, which began as a craft-market vendor before moving into a Five Points brick-and-mortar in the fall of 2016, follows suit. The boutique emphasizes the same give-and-take philosophy of sharing, whether it's over a curated cup of tea; in a class, while you're making anything from sourdough loaves to linoleum prints; or by way of the handmade, thoughtful and restorative wares on its shelves. Lore invites you to come visit for a while and share your story, too.

Yore Facebook

At Yore, quality is definitely more important than quantity. Created by Longmont couple Ryan and Savannah Johnson, Yore makes the most of minimalism, offering home goods that are simple, functional and ethically well made. In other words, you can expect less plastic and more real materials, such as wood, stainless steel and natural fibers. You can also expect these items to be slightly pricey, but also long-lasting — and very pleasing to the eye.

Whether you're embarking on a one-night camp-out with your family, hiking a Fourteener or touring the backcountry on your skis, you'll need reliable and quality outdoor gear. Enter Topo Designs, a local line putting out a wide range of trendy, simple products made with Coloradans in mind. Bags, activewear and accessories reflect the sleek aesthetic inherent in the company's flagship RiNo store, which is constructed entirely of reclaimed shipping containers. Once you've shopped Topo's bags — choose from dozens of duffels, totes, messengers, daypacks, briefcases and more — stuff your selection with gear: tech Ts, popovers, flannels, puffer jackets and fleeces, along with belts, hats, footwear and accessories like tumblers, camera straps and snap wallets. Check out Topo's blog, In the Wild, for inspiration.

The success in Colorado of such Swedish imports as IKEA and H&M boded well for Fjällräven, a respected outdoor outfitter known for its functional, durable and dependable products that opened a flagship store last fall just off the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. Not only does the store have a cool name — fjällräven means "arctic fox" in Swedish — but it also has a concept that's easy to get behind. Since founder Ake Nordin began to market his old-fashioned innovation back in 1960 in northern Sweden, Fjällräven has spread around the globe, bringing with it good-looking garments made from recycled and sustainable materials, not to mention the company's signature wood-frame backpacks, which are crafted to fit comfortably and distribute weight effectively.

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