Best Woman-Friendly Boutique 2017 | Lore | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

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.

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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.

Jewelry maker Christy Lea Payne's reputation precedes her. Payne's rustic, hand-stamped, impeccably styled — and often imitated — work has long flourished in established Denver boutiques like Kismet, Talulah Jones and Decade. Each and every piece is unique, which can rarely be said even of handmade jewelry in an assembly-line world. Now Payne has added her own South Broadway store to the list of local outlets, where you can go directly to the source to search for pieces that fit the wearer like a favorite old T-shirt. Hot right now at CLP: "What's Your Word?" bangles engraved with the words "resist" or "nasty," necklaces dangling precious stones and shamanic charms, personalized bracelets and CLP dog tags — the real kind, for your dog.

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After years of building up her line of organic, chemical-free botanicals and sweet-smelling beauty products and gaining a national reputation, Brandy Monique finally opened her own Fig+Yarrow storefront in Highland. Even though some of her products are now available at Target stores, this is a sweet spot where you can check out the merchandise on a more human level. Choose from all-natural body scrubs, masks, complexion waters, moisturizers, mists and balms in this tidy shop.

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Ironwood left a hole on South Broadway — and in our hearts — when the boutique's owner, Alyson Two Eagles, shut the shop's doors on New Year's Eve. But before she did, she made sure the space would live on with suitable replacement: the different yet vaguely similar Rosehouse, a plant store, gift emporium and apothecary conceived and run by Lynn Flanagan-Till, an herbalist and co-founder of the R.L. Linden line of natural beauty products. If you ever wanted to really know the secret lives of plants, Rosehouse is the place to learn: Flanagan-Till and her educated staff will sell you ready-made botanicals or give you tips on how to use plants to mix your own lotions, oils and remedies. Look for the shop to spill out onto the street with greenery when planting season begins in earnest, and don't forget to wander indoors to look at changing art exhibits, gifts, garden supplies, teas and potions.

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All is not lost for metro-area model railroaders: Caboose Hobbies, which closed its doors last year, has been resurrected under new ownership as simply Caboose and relocated to Lakewood, near the Federal Center. Retooled to be more inviting to enthusiasts old and new, with a bigger presence online and on social media, the new Caboose strives to keep an old-fashioned hobby alive, up to date and vital in the age of bullet trains, jet airplanes and rockets to Mars. Whether you're three years old and ready for your first Thomas the Tank Engine toy or an old hand with a cool setup in the basement, Caboose is still the local go-to.

Sew as you go: Sewing teacher Tish Gance created Sewbago, a mobile version of her HISS Studio (a previous Best of Denver winner), and now she's taken her show entirely on the road, bringing sewing classes directly to private parties or parking lots and street corners all over the metro area. Gance's classic '72 Winnebago Chieftain is outfitted with sewing machines (you can also bring your own) and space to accommodate three students at a time; classes include such basics as Introduction to Sewing and the Doomsday Class, where you'll learn to sew on a button, fix a hem and other skills needed to make it through the zombie apocalypse. Course registration closes 24 hours ahead of each class; visit the website for more information.

Hygge fits the crafty hipster crowd like a colorful, hand-knit glove, and that's what this site is all about: the handmade, the cozy, the palpable evidence of human comfort in a loving household. A Danish import as soft as a sheepskin rug, the homey design philosophy plays up cocoa and candles, fresh flowers and a relaxed lifestyle. Denver-based online emporium Hygge Life has it down, thanks to careful research by founders Alexandra Gove and Koen van Renswoude, who've rounded up European handwoven blankets and pillows, fringed kilim-print Turkish towels, adorable baby mocs, candles galore, sheepskins and other Hygge-esque merch, all in one place for your slow, happy approval. Don't worry — we won't bother trying to tell you how the name is pronounced. Skaal!

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