Best Bohemian Mini-Mall 2019 | The Collective at Midnight Rambler | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Nonconformist? Vintage boutique Midnight Rambler has opened up its East Colfax space to other like-minded businesses, resulting in an entrepreneurial shack-up with a lot to offer to folks like you living the boho lifestyle. The Collective within includes home decor by Bungalow Design, clothes for kids by Lilly & Rae, jewelry by Hiouchi and, for fresh ambience, bouquet design by Rooted Floral, making it the perfect place to shop when you want to add items to your free-spirited closet and living space.

Handmade limited-edition bags, from coin purses and wristlets to oversized vacation totes, are the staple at Gypsy Souls, a travel-themed boutique for people on the go, but warm hats, easy jewelry and casual tees with nomadic messages are also in the mix, urging the kick-back crowd to take to the road. Local is also a theme at the shop, which prefers to peddle sweatshop-free, eco-conscious goods from Colorado makers.

G. Roslie
"Great Sand Dunes"

Like all slow movements, slow fashion focuses on mindfulness about where products come from and how they are made, an idea not lost on Ry and G. Roslie, the husband-and-wife maker/proprietors of Slo Curio, a RiNo boutique that invites you to better appreciate craftsmanship, design and eco-conscious materials. G. makes relaxed clothing from hand-dyed natural fabrics, while Ry is a handyman and artist with a sense of style, creating design-forward hanging lamps and other functional artworks. Together they stock their own shop, with help from friends and makers of their ilk. Walking into Slo Curio is like drinking a tall, cool cocktail on a summer day — made with local ingredients, of course.

Where do contemporary swing dancers find their old-fashioned, twentieth-century finery? You can spend your life searching vintage shops and websites for a perfect 1940s fashion statement in your size and color, or you can order up freshly sewn, hand-finished dresses, skirts and trousers from Swingbird Fashions, the creation of a Finnish seamstress (and a swing dancer herself) now living and working in Colorado. Get ready to swing your partner.


Best Place to Shop in a New City Without Leaving Denver

Zeppelin Station

Danielle Lirette

The Eyes Open Project's Made in a City, a cultural and retail pop-up series, provides a morphing showcase for cities around the globe by bringing a selection of merchandise, cuisine and programming reflecting the character of a different metropolis every few months to Zeppelin Station. Montreal, Portland and Reykjavik have all been touted so far, but 2019 is still young and ready for new armchair-travel experiences. Enjoy the best of each city, without the baggage.

La Lovely Vintage has been wandering from place to place, brick-and-mortar and otherwise, since its beginnings as a boutique in a canned-ham trailer named Lucy. The latest storefront, located on Broadway in the Baker neighborhood, is not only traffic-friendly, but large enough to house a branch of Homefill, a bring-your-own-container bulk-product emporium for ecologically mindful households. Both businesses encourage reuse and recycling practices, making for a happy partnership. For your convenience, both also share space with other small businesses at Modern Nomad, 2936 Larimer Street in RiNo.

It seems like every home-improvement project requires its own special single-use tool, be it a tile saw, a soldering gun or a drywall sander. If you're taking on a DIY renovation project, you could buy all these things, slowly amassing a garage full of tools you're likely to use only once (a costly proposition, especially if you have to eventually call in professional reinforcements). Or you could pay your $100 annual fee to the Denver Tool Library and borrow from its comprehensive collection of 4,000 items, which range from the relatively simple — screwdrivers and safety goggles — to more specialized saws, circuit testers and aerators. Novices will find helpful advice and classes here to get them started, and gardeners will want to inspect the wide array of landscaping tools available.

Ace-Kauffman has made its mark on the Mile High City. Founded in 1872 as the Denver Novelty Works Company, it's had various addresses and names through the decades (a new owner in the '40s added the "Ace" to the name of a previous owner in order to appear first in the phone book), but its basic mission is unchanged. Ace-Kauffman sells notary supplies as well as engraved nameplates, rubber and pre-inked stamps, and just about any kind of corporate award you might need. Although these days you can do your ordering online, it's worth a trip to the company headquarters on Welton Street to see what this strip was like before behemoth apartment buildings started replacing the mom-and-pop businesses.

It's one thing to need merchandise for your brand, but it's another thing entirely to create branded merchandise that people actually want. At Stephen Till's A Small Print Shop, it's easy to make your mark. Since relocating from the RiNo Art District a few years ago, ASPS has continued to grow, pumping out merch for local acts and businesses such as Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Tennis, Marquis Pizza and even Red Rocks. Since the shop's clientele includes local brewers, too, including TRVE Brewing and Our Mutual Friend, you can usually sip on a craft beer while Till explains why that design that you thought looked so good might need a little work. Fortunately, ASPS can help with that, too.

The concept of throwing a holiday market or craft fair in a brewery or bar is catching on, no doubt because it's so easy for the organizers...and more fun for the customers than buying at home, alone and online. Crafted Art Emporium, a local makers' collective peddling an array of offbeat and cheeky merch, has taken to manning vendor tables at local breweries, offering imbibers a chance to spend their money on more than another round. And as it turns out, quaffing and acquiring can combine for a darn good time.

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