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The right color can sway your mood, change a room, and even transform a gift from “Thanks” to “Wow, I love it!” So as we put together our annual lineup of Colorado-made presents, we sought advice from local color experts to learn the theory behind the rainbow’s range—and how to use it to impress every recipient on your list.
“Green calls to mind the natural world. It could be the perfect pick for a contemplative friend.” —Donté Janae, Denver artist
Colorado Springs’ Wine Punts recycles vino bottles—often from local hotels and restaurants—by the tens of thousands into sturdy drinking glasses and these funky cork-top cannisters. $44 for three, Wine Punts. It’s a shelf! It’s a mail holder! It’s a coat hanger! Actually, the Buffalo Rack, designed by Denver-based DoubleButter, is all of those things, which is why we call it the Superman of organization. $375, DoubleButter, 29 Galapago St., 303-246-5759 Osprey’s Daylite waist pack is sleek enough for a music festival yet sporty enough for a hike through Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, the company’s home. $30, Osprey. After tiny store-bought versions failed to protect her baby’s clothing, Wheat Ridge mom Jesi Josten began sewing giant machine-washable bibs. Hip Violet has since sold more than 20,000 in dozens of adorable prints. $14, Hip Violet. Orange
“An earthy orange hue feels cozy, while a brighter version tends to elicit surprise in the recipient.” —Jeffrey Keith, oil painter and professor at the University of Denver School of Art & Art History
This Denver-made bow tie offers two reasons to smile: The Earth-friendly polyester twill fabric in Knotty Tie Co.’s wearables is milled from recycled plastic bottles, and this one’s pup print is just so doggone fun. $40, Knotty Tie Co. Palisade peach jam made at Jack’s Bar & Grill in
Arvada adds a touch of summer to the coldest day. $8, A Different Kind Of Jam, 8565 Five Parks Drive, Suite 100, Arvada, 303-456-7624. Between skin-softening shea butter and a bouquet of nose-pleasing ingredients—ginger, mandarin, nutmeg, even saffron—Zents’ bars of soap (out of Denver) are magnificently luxurious. $15, Zents. Denver artist Heather Mullins transforms scraps from well-loved skis and boards into funky accessories, like the aptly named Cornice necklace, via her Après Ski Jewelry brand. $30, Après Ski Jewelry. Yellow
“Yellow is warm and light! Perfect for the people in your life who are sunny and happy.” —Suchitra Mattai, Denver artist
Amundsen Sports—based in Norway but with a U.S. headquarters in Boulder—gave its new ski pants, the Fjordcord Skislacks, a retro corduroy finish that performs as well in the mid-mountain bar as it does on the slopes. $399, Amundsen Sports. Actual boarders design and build each ride at Silverton’s 20-year-old Venture Snowboards, which equips the Oracle, a model made specifically to suit women’s physiques, for deep powder and the terrain park. $599, Venture Snowboards. Like every custom Phantasmagoria Leather belt, this accessory was hand-dyed and assembled in the basement of Cherry Creek boutique Lawrence Covell.
$195, http://phantasmagorialeather.com/product/eric-ab-1-1-2/, 225 Steele St., 303-618-8777. With sizes ranging from Yorkie to Saint Bernard, Denver’s Ellie And Argyle carries dozens of festive bandanas. Find one to match your pooch’s singular personality. From $15, http://ellieandargyle.com/yellow-wish-flower-dog-bandana/. Black
“Black is Sleek, sexy, and sophisticated. Absolutely classic.” —Katie Schroder, Atelier Design
Boulder artist Alexa Allen hand-shapes and paints each of her leather bowls, meaning no two are exactly alike. $48, Alexa Allen. The Ridge gloves from Flylow Gear, an athletic-wear company launched by two backcountry-
skiing-loving Denverites, are as tough as a football (they’re made of pigskin) and have a waterproof seal. $50, Flylow Gear. These premade potions from Boulder’s Cocktail Squad make the perfect gift for a frazzled hostess with zero time to mix drinks. We like the whiskey sour, which is made with pressed lemon and orange juice. $20 per four-pack, Cocktail Squad, Argonaut Liquor, 790 E. Colfax Ave., 303-831-7788. Choose a significant date—your little one’s birthday, perhaps?—and Starberry Pi’s Denver-based founder will screen-print a solar system map displaying that day’s planetary alignments onto a onesie. $35, Starberry Pi. Red
“Red is a Celebratory color that attracts attention. It’s good for fiery personalities.” —Calvin Lee, RiNo painter and calligrapher
Give a tin of made-in-Boulder Refreshing Mint gum to that one friend who needs to chill the heck out (each of the 15 pieces contains 15 milligrams of CBD). $30, St. Bernie’s
CBD. The Beast from Avon’s Wildsyde is a vintage-style fat tire bike able to conquer sand and snow, and it has a motor to boost its rider over inclines. In other words, it’s the ultimate commuting machine. $1,995, Wildsyde. This pullover’s ski-lift motif is so Colorado-cute, it’s a shame Boulder’s Krimson Klover made it a base layer. (Don’t worry—there’s always après.) $109, Krimson Klover, 2709 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-416-4313. Encourage your little-black-dress-obsessed sister to add a pop of color to her next cocktail party outfit with these Arvada-made Balancing Moon earrings from Moona Creations. $40, Moona Creations. Blue
“People who gravitate toward the color blue are good to their friends, reliable, and true.” —Darrin Alfred, curator of architecture and design at the Denver Art Museum
Vanlife Diaries co-author Kathleen Morton lives in Morrison—when she’s not traveling the country in her 1987 Toyota Van, participating in the nomadic cultural phenomenon captured in this stunning how-to guide (or, for the less adventurous, coffee-table book). $25. Designed by two Highlands Ranch moms, Wanderwild’s backpacks come with fun prints and an admirable mission: A portion of profits is donated to charities such as the American Red Cross. $48, Wanderwild. No harm in a gift that also drops a hint: Buy a clock designed like an old computer board by Boulder creative Carol Baum for your loved one who’s always running late. $20, MakinTimeClocks. Brown
“Brown is the color of the earth, so people who like it tend to be grounded.” —David Mesplé, artist and instructor at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
Denver design shop Format Fine Goods’ Stol guitar stand proves that the best designs are often the simplest ones. Your wannabe musician brother needs merely to snap the identical walnut-finished wood pieces together and secure the guitar in place with a provided rubber ring to show off his beloved Gibson. From $199, Format Fine Goods. Gift the scrapbooking fanatic in your life the premier vessel for cherished memories: 25 pages of recycled card stock encased in a luxe cowhide leather cover by East Colfax’s Stitch & Shutter. $148, Stitch & Shutter. Know a cat mom? She can display her favorite houseplant well out of Kitty’s reach using this made-in-Golden birch plywood hanger from Achillea Design Co. $120, Achillea Design Co. Purple
“Purple is so calming and regal. It’s great for someone who loves luxury.” —KiriLeigh Jones, Denver artist
Boulder’s BOCO Gear sells breathable, five-panel trucker hats in a variety of colors, but we’re suckers for the trippy Agate Gemstone version. $30, BOCO Gear. The team at Always Azul has been shaping and glazing pottery since 1971. The Villa Grove shop’s dishwasher-safe French butter keeper will ensure your dearest foodie’s toast topper stays spreadable. $40, Always Azul Pottery,34091 U.S. 285, Villa Grove, 719-655-0101. A golden ring with an amethyst stone from Denver’s Bloom Jewelry is just the thing to give your best girlfriend’s brunch outfit an extra boost. ($97, Bloom Jewelry.) And When a ring isn’t wrapped around a finger, it needs another place to live. Try this ceramic ring cone,
designed in Boulder and fired in Denver, from Bohemi. $25, http://bohemi.com/shop/chroma-ring-cone-untraviolet/, 1717
Pearl St., Boulder, 720-645-2553.