BY RAY GRACE
The holidays are full of gift giving. During a season where schedules and to-do lists can cause stress, take a moment to acknowledge the community and creativity within the great city of Denver. With options as diverse as the mountains to plains landscape, Denver small businesses are striving to reach more consumers in today’s bigbox store economy. Below, we delve into a few of our standout gifts from the mile high city. Numerous choices abound in the guide but all have been selected with common criteria in mind. Handmade. In Denver. With Colorado Spirit.
Crafted in Denver by expert benchman, The Diamond Reserve elevates locals to a new level. Each custom piece is designed and tailored to perfection before reaching its visionaries’ hands. With an eye for stellar trends but steady hold on enduring classic details, The Diamond Reserve’s jewelry ideally balances solid shine and standout sparkle. The Diamond Reserve provides every client with a transparent buying experience accompanied by unparalleled customer service at adaptable pricing. Incorporating education throughout the process, they curate tailored diamond experiences to encourage your vision and use their expertise to take your ring from dream to reality.
A specialty of theirs, The Diamond Reserve creates custom diamond name rings for those looking to have their loved ones’ names shine! In the past, doting dads have ordered rings featuring their children’s names for their spouses. In some cases, the name rings can hold new meaning for those who have dealt with loss. Name rings can be a reminder of loved ones’ light and eternal presence. Additionally, partners have ordered each other name rings for big anniversaries and holiday celebrations! Regardless of the occasion, diamond name rings are an exquisite gift for those looking for something embedded with love and memories!
Along with custom diamond rings and beautiful scripted name rings, The Diamond Reserve has an online shop with glowing and glittering gifts ready at the click of a button. With a plethora of choices displayed in their e-commerce shop, The Diamond Reserve curated a positively festive holiday gift line up. With jewel-tone enamel stacking rings to starry night inspired drop earrings, The EF Collection at The Diamond Reserve is the perfect place to peruse for those seeking holiday gift magic.
Crafting hats with stories, AmDa Artesiania’s team of makers from the Mexican states of Nayarit, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Chihuahua, Tlaxcala, and Oaxaca sew ancestral spirit into each creation. A daughter of Mexican Immigrants, the founder grew up in a Spanish speaking home filled with Mexican cultural celebration. As she started a family of her own, she continued to weave cultural threads into her creative endeavours as a stay at home mother. What started as a personal passtime soon transformed into a beautiful bustling business where she and her network of artisans’ works thrive in markets across the country.
The name, AmaDa Artesania, comes from Amaya Davila- her parents’ last name put together- and Artesania, meaning hand made. From huaraches, handmade jewelry, and embroidered hats, AmDa Artesiania’s gifts display vibrant symbolic patterns and intricate storytelling details. Available at countless Denver boutiques, such as Terra Apothecary and 303 Salon Lohi, if you can’t wait for a custom creation, you can walk out of a local Denver shop with one-of-a-kind AmDa Artesania headpiece.
Power walking the line of strength and softness, Lux + Luca’s handmade jewelry is an enigma of grit and grace. Cassie, the founder and crafter, is on fire for creative and bold designs! She doesn’t shy away from incorporating phrases and words that shake up convention and cause pause. In all she creates, soul and spirit are worked into her polished elegant pieces that are perfect for daily wear or weekend nights! Lux + Luca’s engraved bangles are definitely top on our holiday lists! Lux + Luca gifts are available online and at the Denver Bazaar markets throughout the month of December.
A self titled Lady Silversmith, Ash of Silver Ashes jewelry fashions stunning stones and silver into superb personal pieces. Forever a creative and crafter, Ash has been working in the silversmith industry since 2017. With wisdom and innovation, she molds metals and natural stones into works beyond secular fashion jewelry and produces miniature works of fine art. Dedicated to furthering her skills each day, Ash is continuously pushing past barriers to forge new rings, bolos, necklaces and more for her community. If you’re looking for a gift for that down-to-earth and quintessential Colorado fashion fan, Silver Ashes has a plethora of pieces to browse online or at a Wildflower restaurant connected to Hotel LifeHouse.
FOR THE FOODIE GIFT
A pandemic resilient pie shop, Mile High Pie Co. has worn the storm and come out of the other side of 2021 roaring! Opening in the early onset of the pandemic, Mile High Pie Co.’s goal was to bring joy and community to Denver during the trying times. Succeeding in more ways than one, the little pie shop’s popularity exploded and the team has been baking happiness into their golden crusts by the hundreds. With hand held and full size pie options, there’s flavors for everyone at the holiday table. Sugar topped or sprinkled with cheese, snap up a sweet or savory pie for your foodie!
Ironton Distillery captures Colorado essence and bottles it into spirit and cocktails for parched localvores. Using filtered house water and local ingredients, Ironton Distillery is ingrained in sustainable sourcing and dedicated to quality controlling each small batch of stills. Perfect for outdoor mile high adventures or indoor fireside nights, Ironton Distillery resides in the heart of the artistry center of RiNo. An intimate and unique gift, reserve a tour to explore behind the scenes of Ironton’s works and end up in the lively tasting room for a true way to ring in the New Year with spirit and friends!
FOR THE FUNCTIONALIST GIFT
Go beyond box store mugs this year and give local pottery to the person in your life craving functionality. A little known fact, Denver has a bustling pottery scene. Potters, like Karley Hoffman, the creator behind Twisted Pine Pottery, creates pieces with textured finishes and picturesque line works that could fit into any Colorado landscape. Pulling inspiration from her home state, Hoffman’s pieces have a peaceful presence and utilitarian use that results in approachable gifts for those new to handmade dishware and vessels.
Another strong potter on the scene, Hazel Moon pottery makes unique pieces unseen in many other markets. Ring dishes, ornaments, bowls with chopstick holders, and more, Hazel Moon’s pottery features beautifully melted colors that giveaway to celestial scenery and mountain landscapes. Regardless of the potter you support, each piece is personally shaped and hand painted. Say goodbye to uncharacteristic glasses and gift individuality this holiday season!
Ryan and Jill Valentich, husband and wife, are committed to wearable goods and community support. Providing the local Colorado restaurant industry with fortified and enduring denim and leather products for over a decade, Valentich Goods stitches and works every item in their shop with talent and experience. Even though they started out crafting bike bags, the team now focuses mostly on aprons and knife rolls. With an articulate attention to detail, the Valentich team is constantly improving their goods to reach maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Everything from the dimensions of the straps to the angles of the pockets is considered in the crafting of Valentich aprons and products. With lasting function, their items’ designs are thought out for use and wear. Not an item to be left on the shelf, Valentich Goods are impeccable and practical gifts for the avid chef or maker in your life! Available online or in store at Carbon Knife Co.
Invented by Denver native, Shea Gerhardt, Buderflys earbuds were designed to redefine fit, comfort level, and acoustical design for the industry. These earbuds seamlessly connect and delight those who listen to learn, become inspired or simply enjoy. Perfect for the podcast and audiobook fanatics.