BY SHALEEN DESTEFANO

It should go without saying, that small businesses are the backbone to any local economy. As small business owners ourselves, we can tell you from experience that 2020 did not deal the hand we had hoped for. So our big ask of you as we head into November, is to remember the local businesses that  give our community the character that we hold so dear. Small Business Saturday is on November 28th and we urge you to shop small, and support your favorite local boutique, restaurant, bar, liquor store, groomer, artisan, you get the idea. To emphasize the importance of being able to support small business owners in the midst of our current global crisis, we’ve shared a few of our favorite locations. Connect with the humans behind some of your nearby shops and eateries and remember them as lockdowns begin to rise. Try to expand your horizons past the comfort of familiar buildings and brands. Explore our little pocket of the world and you’ll find a place you love, you’ll form new bonds, and taste something different. Together we can help our local friends who have given their life blood to keep their passion alive.

Artisan Rug

– 2800 Walnut St.

The origins of the store go back more than 25 years, with owner Jeff Deutsch making his way to Ecuador in 1990 to trade his own personal possessions for a small collection of handicrafts. The trip sparked many more like it – from the Andes, to Central America and the Middle East. Soon a successful business was born and Jeff opened a permanent store, selling his exotic finds from around the world.

Over the years, the folk art, weaving, jewelry and clothing disappeared and the focus became hand woven rugs. Jeff and his wife Tiffany continued to travel and learn about the business and art of making fine artisanal carpets along the way. Today, Artisan Rug Gallery in Denver, Crested Butte, and now Charlotte, North Carolina, is established as one of the best rug galleries in the Rockies and Beyond.

Birdsall & Co. The Garden Boutique

– 2870 S. Broadway

Make your botanical sanctuary a reality with the beautiful products at Birdsall & Co. The Garden Boutique. With a focus on helping individuals create elegant and lasting garden spaces, our home and garden store in Englewood, CO, offers a specialized inventory aimed toward high-quality garden decor, including fountains, containers, and furnishings. As a locally-owned, women-run business, they are dedicated to providing the best service and quality of products in the area. In addition to their on-hand selection, they can also fulfill special orders to ensure you get exactly the piece you want to complete a showplace garden that will amaze your friends and satisfy your soul.

Hope Tank

– 64 Broadway

Hope Tank is an awesome woman-owned social enterprise (Business for Good) gift store located in Denver’s Baker neighborhood. They sell gifts that give back. They opened in February of 2012, and they started off selling handmade products by local artists who joined them in donating a portion of their sales to a charity of their choosing. NOW, they have all kinds of amazing products from companies all over the world that they use to connect their customers to their local nonprofit partners. They also sell products from companies that build giving back into their products, but they vet them carefully, and their impact must be in the United States. Every purchase in the shop will come with a sticker that states which nonprofit they are highlighting, and will have impact in the world and they want that impact to inspire people to action.

Green Lady Gardens

– 733 Santa Fe Dr.

When you visit woman-owned Green Lady Gardens you will use a one-of-a-kind assessment system to find houseplants that match your skill level & living environment. Then, you will choose a specific houseplant (or two or three) from inventory that was hand-picked for happiness & healthiness from a trusted local greenhouse. Finally, you will take home a unique care card for all or most of your houseplant purchases. You will leave confident & ready to have a prosperous relationship with plants. Let your urban jungle grow!

Modern Nomad

– 2936 Larimer St.

Modern Nomad is a woman-owned Denver design collective featuring new and vintage furniture, textiles, lighting, rugs and accessories for the home.  Everything has been carefully curated to bring you the latest in art and design, with an emphasis on supporting local businesses.  The space is housed in a 5,500 SF warehouse in Denver’s booming RiNo district, and functions like a 3 dimensional living magazine with retailers displaying their product cohesively in an open-air market.

Rosy Rings

– 2940 E. 6th Ave.

Rosy Rings Studio is a woman-owned, part gift boutique and part community workshop. They wanted to have a place where they could sell their beautiful candles, carry other elevated small brands from around the world and form a community by offering workshops. Few of the brands they carry can be found at the larger retailers. Here shoppers can find the perfect gift or one-of-a-kind pieces to add to their own collections. They are always on the hunt for makers that are doing something really special.

As well as being a boutique, they also offer workshops in candle- making, sachet-making and more. The workshops are a lot of fun and guests get to make a beautiful item to enjoy at home. But the real power of their workshops come from the incredible women that teach them and the personal connections made during the class. There is no average age of their guests. From young to old, people gather in their space to laugh, learn and create. It really is the heartbeat of their studio.

Studio Colfax

– 2418 E. Colfax Ave.

Studio Colfax is a community of local and national artists. An artist- run shop; they make art, and support art. They take pictures, make jewelry, and design clothing. Everything in this shop is handpicked and handmade. From prints to ceramics, cards and candles. Connect with a gift that has a story. What you buy matters, they are there to show you the way.
Little India

– 330 E. 6th Ave.

The Little India Restaurant & Bar was established in 1998 and since that time has been voted ‘Best Indian Restaurant’ and ‘Best Lunch Buffet’ for 16 consecutive years! This unparalleled success led to the opening of an additional restaurant and the birth of a Denver legend.

The Baidwan family has been in Colorado for more than 20 years, and in 1998 decided to open Little India because of their love of cooking. Since then, they have been serving Denver the most authentic fine Indian cuisine and have quickly become an area favorite. The Chefs began their careers in Northern India and use only the freshest meats and ingredients. A friendly, charming staff rounds out the dining experience at Little India-an experience that combines exotic and simple tastes for an unforgettable effect. The sense of authenticity is undeniably evident in Little India’s atmosphere, where Indian art and music accent the casual dining rooms. There’s a reason Little India has been named “Best Indian Restaurant” and “Best Lunch Buffet” by local critics and Denver patrons for the past sixteen years.

Magnolia

– 1446 S. Broadway 

Though the flavors of South Louisiana are recognized globally, Cajun food is uniquely American. Developed over generations by rural French-speaking communities, the dishes of the region showcase the one-of-a-kind ingredients native to the bayous and prairies of South Louisiana. Magnolia serves quality Cajun cuisine in a warm, friendly environment using ingredients from both the Rocky Mountain and Gulf Coast regions. Visit them and enjoy the best Cajun food that Denver has to offer! Their menu caters for to-go as well.

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