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Best Of 2020

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Best Of :: Goods & Services

Best Shop Classes for Adults

The DIY maker crowd got all excited just weeks ago when Made Wkshop opened for business, offering classes for groups and individuals in a fully supplied industrial-arts shop outfitted for working with everything from welders and plasma cutters to textiles and wood, and much more. But while on hiatus, Made Wkshop has joined several other local businesses in offering FLIPSIDE Shop Local Gift Cards, specifically to buy memberships and various maker experiences available "on the flipside," when life becomes a little more normal for us all. Learn more on the Made Wkshop Facebook page.

facebook.com/madewkshop
Best Ways to Help Your Local Small-Business Owners

Denver loves its small-business owners, and it's natural to want to lend a hand to all of your favorites, who are really just like good neighbors. The most-shared stopgap is to buy gift cards for later use, and many stores are offering curbside pick-up for items purchased online and/or free shipping for items ordered remotely, along with shopping by appointment and other perks. But veteran boutique entrepreneur Stephanie Shearer of such beloved shops as Soulhaus (soulhaus.com), Trunk Nouveau (trunknouveau.com) and SquadronCo (squadronco.com), says we can go even further: Keep in touch with shop owners through social media and share what perks they're offering with your friends. Small-business owners and their former employees alike are on the street right now: Voice support for possible public programs that might offer relief without the crushing onus of having to pay back a loan. Pledge part of your tax refund (or stimulus check?) to buying from small businesses that pay sales taxes instead of ordering a big-brand vacuum cleaner online. It doesn't have to be a big sale, even just a greeting card or two, or leave a glowing review on social-media platforms. Every little bit helps.

Best Way to Enjoy Colorado History While Cooped Up at Home
History Colorado
David+Tryba%27s+History+Colorado+Center%2C+Broadway+and+12th+Avenue.

As we spend our days scrolling into oblivion, one thing's for sure: There will be a time when it feels like we've reached the end of the Internet. Luckily, History Colorado is here with its extensive digital learning section, offering free looks at interactive exhibits, documentaries and thousands of digitized photographs and artifacts to surprise and delight. Get lost in Colorado's past staring at the Gibson Girls of twentieth-century brewery posters, listen to recordings of Ute elders tell their tribe's story of creation, or zoom in on the weaving of a woolen tapestry crafted in the 1880s in the San Luis Valley. Documenting life from Mesa Verde to Camp Hale, Colfax Avenue to Keota, History Colorado has a little piece of yesteryear in its virtual vaults that will impress any Coloradan.

historycolorado.org
1200 Broadway, Denver, 80203
MAP
303-447-8679
Best Influencer

Meghan Fisher is the woman behind @chroniclesofasassquatch, one of the year's most influential Colorado Instagram accounts. Over the past twelve months, this self-described "half goddess, half monster" has gained over 7,000 followers with her inspirational and humorous Sassquatch content. Now, followers are urging the woman behind the mask to join the party. If you want to take part in the great unveiling, follow @chroniclesofasassquatch: Once the account hits 10,000 followers, Fisher has vowed to remove the mask. At least temporarily.

Best New Local Clothing Line

Toss out that touristy Denver- and Colorado-themed merchandise and make some room in your closet for the slick style of Rich Mob Tendencies. This local streetwear brand brings clean, bold design to those wanting to represent the Mile High City in sophisticated sweatshirts, stylish tees and shiny satin jackets. Rich Mob Tendencies' signature pieces feature embroidered lettering, stitching a bold palate of red, yellow and blue that pops against black and white fabrics. Blending haute couture and activewear, this Rocky Mountain fashion house also serves up limited runs of beanies, jean jackets and track suits. Whether you're a born-and-raised Denverite or a proud newcomer to the city, Rich Mob Tendencies invites you to "live rich" while looking damn good in their clothes. Besides, what's more Colorado than stepping out in dapper athleisure evening wear that proclaims your love for the place where you live?

@rmt4evaclothing
Best Street Boutique

To define what's "street" in today's fashion vernacular, look no further than Novl, a Baker neighborhood emporium that works with graffitists, street artists and collaborating brands to create graphic clothing that travels well, looks good on the pavement or from a skateboard, and is suitable to wear while painting a mural on a painter's lift — or whatever else pleases you. These are the threads you can wear when you want to dress down and still make a statement, and while the shop is closed, you can peruse (and order) Novl's wares online.

novldenver.com
66 S. Broadway, Denver, 80209
MAP
Best Boutique for BFFs

If you're looking for a hole-in-the-wall with a neighborhood feel, where you and your bestie can peruse the racks with a giggle and a smile, Tulaire is a great place to start...once it reopens. But the website gives a good feel for the place: It's elegant without being uppity, a little bit funky and a whole lot of fun, stocked chock-full of affordable rags with a European flair; go-to jewelry for cruising the city incognito, from dangling nude-body earrings to roaring panther rings; graphic tea towels, baby togs and mugs; cute greeting cards and even more serendipitous stuff you never expected to find anywhere. Grab (virtually) your BFF and shop together: Tulaire is taking orders online, with free shipping.

tulaire.com
6195 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 80033
MAP
Best Boutique Empire
Kismet/True/Luna and Jasper

Shana Colbin Dunn's boutique empire began with one Kismet store in Highland in 2006, and since then she's added and subtracted more locations in the metro area. More recently, she introduced the wellness-oriented boutique True at Stanley Marketplace and a second store in LoHi that just moved to RiNo. And in between all these new and continuing developments, Dunn re-evaluated her very first Kismet last summer and added a little sister to the others: Luna and Jasper, named after her own kids' middle names, which is appropriately a mixture of favorite Kismet brands, affordable gifts, baby gear and more. While the whole kingdom is currently shut down for visitors, gift cards are available online, and Dunn is working on adding one-on-one styling sessions and online shopping to her medley of customer services.

kismetaccessories.com/locations
3640 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, 80211
MAP
303-477-3378
Best Designer Boutique

Mona Lucero is a bit of a legend around these parts, because she's the full package: an independent designer, artist, entrepreneur and retailer, besides simply being a wonderful person. Her beautiful Shop Mona Lucero is shut for now, but many items, including new merchandise, can be ordered online. And because a sense of IRL community is so important to her, Lucero has launched a Friday-evening Downtown Live Stream at Mona's online get-together, with special guests, virtual shopping and general shop talk while the brick-and-mortar is down. Keep up with news at the Shop Mona Lucero Facebook page.

monalucero.com
Best Festival Wear

Behind its East Colfax Avenue facade, Midnight Rambler occupies three open, sunlit floors in an old repurposed home. But the integrated collective of freewheeling lifestyle shops, which specializes in the kinds of rags you can proudly wear to summer music festivals, won't sit idle while coronavirus has closed its doors and shut down summer concerts. Buy online or make an appointment for a solo visit — then get ready to rock your new fest-wear while streaming concerts at home; you can also select from a constellation of clothing and accessories for all ages, handmade jewelry and hip pet supplies. Keep up with Midnight Rambler on Facebook for special promotions.

midnightramblerboutique.com
2220 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 80206
MAP
Best Horror Wear

When horror-film fans sheltering in place have nowhere to go, they binge at home. And Cult Legacy, the shared brainstorm of Bryan Flanagan, Feni Hagman, Theresa Mercado and Tristram Nelson, a group of friends who bond over creep shows — Mercado is the curator of the Sie FilmCenter's Scream Screen series, which is on hiatus — is ready and waiting online to supply you with custom-made tokens of the films you love, including T-shirts and cool enamel pins. Need guidance on what to watch at home? Tune in to Cult Legacy's Facebook page for suggestions from the Scream Screen program archives.

cultlegacy.com
Best Vintage T-Shirts
The Ten Penny Store
Courtesy The Ten Penny Store Facebook page

In 2017, the Ten Penny Store joined the lineup of tried-and-true retailers along South Broadway, finding its own fashion niche. It offers carefully curated goods from the 1990s, with vintage Levi's, home goods, hats, baby clothing and jewelry, along with vinyl that includes records from local bands. But it's best known for its radical selection of vintage T-shirts, which you can now buy online at @tenpennystore on Instagram.

tenpennystore.com
39 E. Florida Ave, Denver, 80210
MAP
720-432-4274
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Best Shop Classes for Adults: Made Wkshop

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