Get inspired for holiday shopping with these local gifts, helpfully arranged by vibe, to suit every­one on your list.

In a Giving Mood

Strapping these handmade Quickdraw skis (pictured above) to your sister’s boots will ensure she receives lots of compliments—on the Colorado-flag-inspired art, of course, but also on her form. Denver’s Meier Skis designed this pair with a wide shovel and narrow waist that facilitate smooth turns. $800,

In a Rustic Mood

Photo by Matthew Stacey, styling by Charli Ornett

This spunky little kokedama from Denver’s Mountain Moss Plant Co. is made using the Japanese practice of covering the roots of a plant in a ball of mud and moss. It features a tradescantia plant that serves as a happy reminder of springtime greenery on even the coldest Colorado winter day. (Order by messaging the shop on Instagram or seeking it out at various local markets.) $35

Photo by Matthew Stacey; courtesy of Hap Sakwa (ring). Styling by Charli Ornett
  1. This carved and sanded walnut kitchen spoon, from MakeShift Labs in Denver, is a dinner-party-worthy salad scooper for your friend who’s always having company. $24–$38,
  2. Is the Delta variant keeping you from visiting Grandma? Surprise her with a greeting card that features a frame-worthy print of one of Lakewood artist Valerie Savarie’s picturesque sculptures made from the pages of notable books. $5,
  3. Rising Sun Distillery’s lavender hibiscus liqueur, made in Denver, merges subtle floral flavors with a bright tartness that plays well with sparkling wine. Plus, the artfully designed bottle makes it a beautiful bestowal for holiday party hosts. $26,
  4. A corroded piece of tree bark found during a hike inspired Basalt-based jeweler Sarah Graham’s Shadows collection. Treat someone special to a wearable reminder of nature’s beauty via her Shadow diamond narrow band. $1,505,
  5. Boulder’s Dreamatorium designs and manufactures everything from trucker hats to soy sauce dishes—whatever its clients dream up (thus the name). We like this handcrafted walnut candle block as a crowd-pleasing option for a book club exchange. $20,

In a Dreamy Mood

Photo by Matthew Stacey, styling by Charli Ornett

Baker-based B Fresh Gear goes retro with ’80s- and ’90s-inspired wearables. The Cordial fanny pack windbreaker transforms from a waist bag to a jacket in seconds, so your recipient will look bad to the bone no matter what Colorado’s notoriously capricious weather is doing. $70,

Photo by Matthew Stacey; courtesy of Eben Grace/Grace Design (amplifier). Styling by Charli Ornett
  1. The frazzled teachers in your life need some pampering. The delightful notes of sea moss, aloe, and melon escaping this certified vegan agave and teakwood bath bar, from Pueblo’s Formulary 55’s shea butter soap collection, will begin to settle their nerves before they even unwrap it. $12,
  2. Kim Cherubin founded Premye Herbals to encourage self-care; in fact, “premye” means “first” in Cherubin’s ancestral language of Haitian Creole. The thoughtfully sourced herbs in her tea blends—including this Fumee Te tisane—are formulated to help sippers relax and unwind. $8,
  3. Even the unruliest WFH facial hair can be tamed, thanks to Woodland Park–based, veteran-founded Vintage Grooming Co., whose all-natural, vanilla-and-lavender-scented Barber’s Choice beard oil leaves scruff looking smooth, silky, and Zoom-ready. $20,
  4. Denver Amp Works builds custom guitar amplifiers with its patented FluxTone speakers. Unlike most amps, they can be turned down without sacrificing sound quality—a gift for anyone sharing a house with a Jimi Hendrix in training. $3,800,
  5. The Launch configurable keyboard from Denver’s System76 lets you choose your key switches (which determine if they emit a sharp clack or a more muted click when struck) and color-changing LED backlighting—a tactile, hopefully book-report-inspiring upgrade for your middle schooler’s computer setup. $285,

In a Playful Mood

Photo by Matthew Stacey, styling by Charli Ornett

The do-gooder on your list can stuff Adventurist Backpack Co.’s Classic backpack with travel essentials before heading out on another humanitarian relief trip—while knowing that for every bag purchased, the Denver company donates 25 meals to families in need. $65,

Photo by Matthew Stacey; courtesy of Katabatic Gear (quilt). Styling by Charli Ornett
  1. In response to demand from students in her Indian cooking classes, held at her home in Fort Collins, Bina Mehta developed her own line of seasonings. Both culinary connoisseurs and beginning toques can use her spice collection set—chai, cumin, and four different masalas—to flavor their kitchiris and paneers. $60,
  2. Entrepreneur-artist Sarah Buchanan creates unique, colorful caps—including kitschy-cool kids’ trucker hats—from her Fairplay HEC Studio (short for High Elevation Creations) space, which happens to be a converted yellow school bus dubbed Lucy. $40,
  3. Encourage your budding engineer’s STEM skills with a set of Cubelets from Boulder’s Modular Robotics. These adorable little blocks with built-in LED lights can be combined to make robots that perform various functions, such as rolling until they sense a wall ahead. Sets start at $139,
  4. Aaron Martray spent approximately 200 nights in the wilderness developing his ideal outdoor sleeping setup before launching Salida-based Katabatic Gear. Backpackers will love his Flex 15 quilt: Its draft-stopping technology works equally well draped over legs around the fire and zipped around a tired body at bedtime. $335,
  5. The pumpkin spice latte craze is here to stay, and now your Labradoodle can indulge in it, too, via organic, caffeine-free pumpkin spice Doggy Donuts from Aurora-based Pawfee Pups. $12,

In a Minimalist Mood

Photo courtesy of Kayla Snell Photography; stylist: Lauren Field Design

More than 10 years ago, Michael McDowell lost his corporate job—and found he could turn his passion for pottery into a career. An eight-bell strand of moon chimes from his Denver-based Mudpuppy Ceramic Studio adds dulcet notes to your neighbor’s backyard patio. $85,

Photo by Matthew Stacey; courtesy of Rachel Kading (perfumes). Styling by Charli Ornett
  1. Boulder-based Rowdy Mermaid’s packaging is so pretty, its beverages don’t need wrapping paper—and what’s inside the savory peach kombucha (immunity boosters such as thyme and vitamin C) is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone feeling anxious about flu season. $4 each,
  2. Denver furniture maker Sjotime Industries’ Notch coat rack has something for the whole family: Kids’ backpacks, grown-ups’ Patagonia Nano Puffs, and Fido’s leash all find homes on the sturdy wooden frame, and preening teens can catch flyaways in the mirror. $199,
  3. To liven up this year’s office holiday party, snag rosé lollipops for your favorite co-workers from Sweet Caroline Confections’ Englewood shop. (Yes, they’re made with real wine.) $35 for 10,
  4. Denver artist James Garnett specializes in raku, a clay-firing technique that originated in Japan: Pottery is taken from the kiln while still hot, starving the piece of oxygen and causing one-of-a-kind cracks in the glaze. Find one of Garnett’s clay houses in his Etsy shop, Zen Home My Home, and gift it with a side of tea candles so your recipient can light it up from the inside. $40–$300,
  5. Carbondale’s Osmia Organics crafts eco-conscious skincare products sans parabens and sulfates. The natural perfume sampler features a versatile array of scents—such as vanilla, rose, and cedar—made from essential oils. $44,

This article was originally published in 5280 November 2021.

Barbara Urzua
Barbara Urzua

Barbara oversees 5280's fact checking processes and editorial internship program, as well as writes stories for 5280 and