Deck the halls… Tis the season… Winter wonderland… The holidays are rife with clichés. It’s enough to make you ring someone’s jingle bells. That’s why the rebels at Yellow Scene break from the monotony of traditional gift guides with our Locavore’s Guide to Giving, an annual assemblage of locally-made gifts (and gifts that are made by local companies). From beauty answers to athletic enhancers, the pages that follow are packed with not-so cliché clothing, gear, decor and toys for your not-so cliché friends and family. And not a jingle bell in sight.
Living in the mountains pretty much guarantees dry sky, so moisturizers are a must. Reduce your waste with Fort Collins-based Queen of the Meadow’s solid lotion bars. Not only are they all-natural and organic, but they’re also wrapped in 100 percent recycled paper. Perfect for dry skin and massages, the lotion bars soothe skin irritations and soften skin without any synthetic ingredients or harsh chemicals. They come in lavender, jasmine, bitter almond, vanilla, potpourri and unscented, or as an assortment of 10 bars.
Queen of the Meadow: queenofthemeadow.com
Where to buy: Meow Meow, 1118 13th St., Boulder; Willow Creek Wellness, 645 Tenacity, E, Longmont; Barbed Wire Books, 504 Main St., Longmont
Slather on the Mustard
Mustard is for much more than hotdogs and deviled eggs. Turns out it’s also great for body detox, fever, sore muscles and more. Fig and Yarrow’s Mustard Soak is the perfect gift for that health-conscious friend or family member as it combines mustard with lots of great essential oils and Epsom salts to create the most heavenly bath soak you’ll ever soak in a bath in.
Fig and Yarrow: figandyarrow.com
Where to buy: Factory Made, 2000 21st St., Boulder; I Heart Denver, 500 16th St., 264, Denver
Help your man return to a simple time. A time when shaving was done with a brush and a straight razor, when shaving foam came from a mug, and when a shave was the most relaxing part of the day. A&C Shave Co. is a local company built on the promise of a better shave. Its shave brushes are hand turned from exotic hardwoods and no two are ever alike. This is much more than just a brush. This is the promise of a better shave, a more relaxing day, and a better life. Or it’s just a really, really nice brush.
A&C Shave Co.: acshaveco.com
Where to buy: Fancy Tiger Clothing, 55 Broadway, Denver; Tootsies Nail Shoppe, 1111 South Pearl St., Denver
Chocolate’s a perfect stocking stuffer, but what about your vegan and gluten-free friends? Boulder-based Oh, Yes You Candy provides organic, vegan candies, with no refined sugars, no caffeine and no wheat, for those with even the most complicated food restrictions. The “truffley treats” come in sophisticated flavor combinations that don’t scream vegan. Choose from coconut, almond and sea salt; mint, lime and sea salt; hazelnut, vanilla and chai and many others.
Oh, Yes You Candy: ohyesyoucandy.com
Where to buy: Alfalfa’s, 1645 Broadway St., Boulder; Lucky’s Market, 3960 Broadway, St., Boulder; Muse Floral, 777 Pearl St., Boulder
Short and Sweet
The holidays are a time for sweets, and there is no finer a sweet than carefully handcrafted caramel. These special candy delights are handmade in small four-pound batches with loads of butter and cream. Clearly they’re not gonna be too good for the diet, but then, who diets during the holidays? Give this special treat and then spend the rest of the time debating on the pronunciation of the word caramel.
Helliemae’s Handcrafted Caramels: saltcaramels.com
Where to get it: Lucky’s Market, 3960 Broadway
St., #104, Boulder; The Perfect Petal, 3600 W 32nd Ave., Denver
Colorado in a Basket makes gift baskets even better—at least better than fruit on sticks—by using locally made products, letting you support the Colorado economy when you send a basket to the neighbors you don’t know very well. The small, family-run business creates gift baskets made to order with all-Colorado products. From gourmet food to spa items and unique gifts, the baskets boast a variety of items and prices. The baskets can be personalized for any theme, and you can even choose exactly what you want to create the perfect gift basket. Colorado in a Basket ships anywhere and delivers locally.
Colorado in a Basket: coloradobaskets.com
I’ll Bring the Cake
Just because something is made locally or with the healthiest ingredients, it does not mean it tastes good. It’s lucky for us then, that ZEST does it all. The Boulder-based company makes cookies and cakes that are about as healthy as food can get—made with 80 percent almonds, they are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free and grain-free. Plus, they are delicious. No, seriously, they are surprisingly good…perfect for your office party or as a gift for your vegan, gluten-free boss.
Where to buy: Alfalfa’s, 1645 Broadway St., Boulder; Brewing Markets everywhere; Whole Foods Market, 2905 Pearl St., Boulder
Vail “ski mom” Jennie Iverson traveled the country searching for the best ski-town soups and compiled the recipes and restaurants into her coffee table book Ski Town Soups: Signature Soups From World Class Ski Resorts. Featuring a dozen Colorado resorts, the travel cookbook boasts photographs of the ski towns and resorts as well as the soups themselves and celebrates the top chefs across the country. The book includes a foreword by chef Kelly Liken, a well-respected Vail chef who has competed on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. A portion of the book’s profits is donated to Sowing Seeds, a program that encourages schools to integrate gardening into their curriculum.
Ski Town Soups: skitownsoups.com
Where to get it: Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder
Sauce on the Side
There are saucy people and then there are sauce people. For the latter, condiments are perfectly acceptable gifts (saucy people might give you a bit of attitude if they find barbecue sauce in their stockings). We suggest you try out High Caliber Colorado, a shop in Lafayette that sells Boulder County-made sauces and rubs. From the Big Game Steak Sauce and Jamaican Jerk Barbecue Sauce to the Catch of the Day Dry Rub and the Catch of the Day Marinade, you may just realize that meat is just a vehicle for these delicious condiments.
High Caliber Sauces: highcalibercolorado.com
Where to buy: High Caliber Colorado, 707 S Public Rd., Lafayette
Heading out for a day on the trails? Or even a week-long adventure exploring the Rocky Mountains? Then the Klettersack is the perfect gift to take along with you. It’s a great backpack, big enough to handle the toughest of loads, with plenty of extra tabs for securing extra gear and stuff along the way. Plus it comes in lots of great colors, so you can get a few to match each outfit while you are hiking. And you can carry the extra Klettersacks with your awesome new Klettersack!
Topo Designs: topodesigns.com
Where to get it: Installation, 1955 Broadway, Boulder
Prepare for the Rapture
We’re getting closer and closer to the apocalypse on Dec. 21—the day the Mayan Calendar ends. To prepare for the end of the world, Folsom Custom Skis has designed a new ski, The Rapture. The new big-mountain design integrates a rocker/camber hybrid profile, perfect for powder as well as hard pack conditions. Choose the Rapture graphic, designed specifically for the ski, or throw on your favorite.
Folsom Custom Skis: folsomcustomskis.com
Where to buy: Folsom Custom Skis, 7100 Broadway, Bldg. 1, Unit K & L, Denver
Anyone who’s tired of eating the same easy-to-pack food while hiking will be thrilled with this gift. Gone are the days of freeze-dried foods or stale sandwiches thanks to the Snack Stacker. A lightweight, insulated cube provides perishable foods protection while backpacking. It also includes a lightweight aluminum grill so there’s even a place to cook said perishable foods. Plus, plenty of pockets for storage and a webbing handle for hanging the food up high over night. It’s the perfect answer to one of the worst parts about hiking. It does not, however, prevent bear attacks (the other worst part of hiking).
Mile High Mountaineering: mhmgear.com
Where to get it: Neptune Mountaineering,
633 S. Broadway, Unit A, Boulder
Not many companies know yoga like Gaiam knows yoga. And for the yoga-lover in your life, there’s no better gift than this Gaiam trio of perfect yoga accessories. Start with the Taos stainless steel water bottle for a great-looking bottle that holds plenty of water to get though that workout. Then pick up the sublime yoga mat, which offers a nonslip surface perfect for any yoga class. Round it out with the really cool toeless yoga socks that allow plenty of grip and absolutely no slip. It’s the hat trick of yoga gifts.
Where to get it: Gaiam, 1215 Pearl St., Boulder; REI, 1416 Platte St, Denver.
These sweet hatchling owl pillows provide a quirky splash of color and fun to any room. The pillows, by Apron Wing Designs, are made with décor-weight fabric. The hatchlings are made with eco-felt eyes, are child-safe and come in many different fabric combinations so you can choose the perfect pillow for your home. Artist Donna L. Eberle creates the pillows by hand in a smoke-free and pet-free studio.
Where to buy: The West End Gardener, 777 Pearl St., Boulder; as well as several holiday fairs
Notebooks are essential, whether you’re compiling memories of your new baby or trying to keep yourself motivated to write. Make My Notebook lets you choose the size, style, color, filler paper and binding of each notebook. The notebooks are hand printed and assembled and made with recycled paper.
Make My Notebook: makemynotebook.com
Where to buy: Factory Made, 2000 21st St., Boulder
Ring in the New Year
Grab a 2013 mini calendar from Monkey Mind Design to brighten up your desk or refrigerator. The calendar is made of 12 different cards, each with a different modern design. Switch out the colorful cards as the months change, or display them all at once. The artist and Denver-resident Anita Ashfield-Salter even suggests using the expired months as gift tags cutting the calendar part off of the card and punching a hole for ribbon, a perfect way to recycle your old calendar.
Monkey Mind Design: etsy.com/shop/monkeymindesign
Where to buy: Hope Tank, 837 Santa Fe Dr., Denver; Factory Made, 2000 21st St., Boulder
As the great American Motel succumbs to the ways of the RV and the deluxe hotel, two photographers set out to capture the beauty of vintage motel signs. Buy a color poster from one of the two Colorado series of posters and present the gift of vintage Americana all wrapped up in a bow. Our favorite is the Aristocrat Motel. Or the Bugs Bunny Motel. Or the Driftwood Motel. OK, we like them all.
Where to buy: theamericanmotelproject.com
From do-it-yourself toys and mini-figurines to art toys, KidRobot offers edgy, artsy toys. Choose from a variety of unique toys or buy a blind box from a series like the FatCap Series 3. Blind box packaging hides which toy is inside so every purchase is a surprise. Celebrity artists and top brands have created limited edition products for KidRobot, producing one-of-a-kind, collectible figurines. The artists make a limited amount of the dolls, so once they have sold out, they are sold out forever. Prices vary.
Where to buy: KidRobot, 1468 Pearl St., Boulder
Crocs have always been some of the most comfortable shoes on the planet, and now they are also some really great-looking shoes as well. No, really. The Berressa suede flat has a warm furry lining with a suede upper and it’s got all the comfort of the Croc brand. Pretty flats like this are usually terrible for the winter months, but this one is perfect.
Where to get it: Crocs, 1129 Pearl St., Boulder
Just in time for the sequel to Finding Nemo is Bitter O’clock’s Aqua Beanie with orange clownfish. Go out in style and be amazed as people stop to ask about this hat. Usually, awesome beanies like these are made for just children, but the brilliant minds at Bitter O’clock know that adults can rock clownfish. Get it this in newborn through adult male sizes. No word on whether there’s a “Peyton Manning” size, however.
Where to get it: bitteroclock.com
In the Bag
Handmade in Boulder, these wristlet wallets make running errands easy. Stop lugging around a heavy purse, and just take the essentials in Maruca Design’s Beetle wallet. The top zipper pocket fits a checkbook and iPhone while the side corner zip pocket is perfect for change and the back pocket fits your ID and credit cards. The wrist strap is removable.
Maruca Design: marucadesign.com
Where to buy: Boulder Arts Coop, 1421 Pearl St., Boulder;
Adorn, 668 4th Ave., Longmont
Built for Boulder
We’re in for a cold winter, so keep warm in GoLite’s down travel trench, perfect for both travel and everyday wear. Designed to keep you warm without sacrificing style or weighing you down, the lightweight coat is insulated with 650 fill down and features a two-way front zip, removable hood and secure-zip hand-warmer pockets.
Where to buy: GoLite, 1222 Pearl St., Boulder
Every Coloradan knows the weather here is pretty unpredictable. That’s why it’s so important to dress in layers. …And to have some really cute outerwear. Stonewear Designs’ Toaster Zip Top is the perfect addition to any Coloradan’s closet. It’s the perfect zip-top shirt that would be flattering on anyone, and it comes in rich colors and a paisley. It even has a flattering yoke. Not sure what a yoke is, but if you’re giving someone one, it better be flattering.
Stonewear Designs: stoneweardesigns.com
Where to get it: Outdoor Divas, 2317 30th Street, Boulder
Rings that Roar
Rings are an easy way to make a statement, and these lion rings do just that. Bold without being overpowering, the rings add personality to your outfit in a chic, understated way. The “Crystal Knuckles” ring includes a crystal mouthpiece, and the “Hear Me Roar” ring features recycled diamonds.
Frisk Jewelry: girlsforfrisk.com
Where to buy: Frisk, 1144 13th St., Boulder
Make Like a Tree
Etsy is probably the best place to find gifts for that hard-to-shop-for person in your life. Everything at Etsy is homemade, and everything is one-of-a-kind. Mildred and Bernice have a great Etsy shop with plenty of cool jewelry and gifts, but perhaps the coolest is their Minimalist Oak Wood necklace. It’s formed around the wood grain, so no two will ever look the same.
Mildred and Bernice: etsy.com/shop/MildredAndBernice
Adam Sikorski is bringing the “rad” back to Colorado (see what we did there?) with his line of Coloradical shirts and accessories. Shout your love of Colorado to the world and display your Centennial State pride with any of these great shirts. This is far better than just putting another “Native” bumper sticker on your car, because bumper stickers don’t come in tank top versions.
Adam Sikorski: adamsikorski.com
Where to get it: Buffalo Exchange, 1813 Pearl St., Boulder
There are so many different martial arts and exercise programs out there that it’s sometimes tough just to keep track. But if you know someone who’s into Budokon, then pay attention to this gift. These special Budokon pants were created by its founder Cameron Shayne. Your Budokon-loving pal will jump for joy when you present these pants, and he’ll be able to jump extra high because he’s wearing these awesome pants. (Disclaimer: pants won’t actually make anyone jump extra high.)
Be Present: bepresent.com
Where to get it: Order men’s clothing at bepresent.com; you can find women’s Be Present at Boulder Body Wear.