Sometimes you want a gift that’s just a little different—something you won’t find at any ol’ store. We’ve got you covered with these (mostly) locally made gifts, perfect for the creative folks on your holiday list.

Artist-Designed Goodies

Brad Smithling’s six-month-old LoDo shop Cooper & Dash is filled with eclectic wares that are the perfect fit for that one person you always find it difficult to shop for. To wit: Smithling is currently featuring local artist Kaitlin Ziesmer‘s bold, conceptual work on pillows, cutting boards, trays, coasters, and make-up bags (pictured, above); prices range from $16 to $48. Our favorite is the Wonder Trooper make-up bag (bottom right in the photo).

$24, available at Cooper & Dash, 1441 Wazee St., 303-534-0382,

Custom Prints

Breckenridge artist Julia Taylor is just as obsessed with the outdoors as you are. Which is why she launched Wild Blue Dream earlier this year to showcase her art prints and customizable graphic designs. The latter are available in myriad colors and can even include your family’s favorite pooch(es); motifs span the seasons and outdoor pursuits, from stand-up paddleboarding to riding a chairlift on the ski hill. The Camping Couple (pictured) is brand-new to the collection and can be customized with the words and dates of your choosing. Note: Orders must be placed by December 18 if you want to receive this personalized gift by Christmas Eve.

Starting at $30 for custom prints, available at

Night on the Town

You could just buy your sweetheart tickets to the theater. Or you could up the ante by making it dinner and a show. Curious Theatre Company’s Curious with a Twist evenings include a three-course, prix-fixe meal at Charcoal Restaurant and a cocktail reception followed by the latest production. (You can also opt to do just the latter two for a lower price.) Upcoming events include a showing of Hand To God (pictured) on December 10 and The Happiest Song Plays Last on February 18.

$50 to $100, available at

A Giggle-Inducing T-Shirt

Colorado native Jennifer Dillon’s self-proclaimed “quirky doodles” adorn everything from greeting cards to gift wrap (check out her holiday line here). But we’re partial to Rum Bird Studio‘s adorable “I Believe in You” women’s short-sleeve T-shirt, which features a simple, hand-drawn unicorn illustration and is printed locally using water-based inks. What can we say? It makes us laugh every time.

$16, available at

Photo courtesy of Why So Ever

Game Night Addition

So this isn’t made locally, but we couldn’t resist including this perfect-for-your-favorite-bookworm game. Created earlier this year by Why So Ever, Bards Dispense Profanity is played the same way as Cards Against Humanity, except that it sources direct quotes from Shakespearean works. Sample prompt: “What new trend has parents of teenagers worried?” Possible winning answers: “Men-children” or “More than one husband.”

$20, available at BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St., 303-284-0194; and


Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at