Happy Colorado Day!!
The day I first stepped off the plane in Colorado in the summer of 1992, I felt something shift inside me. It wasn’t the decrease in oxygen at altitude, or the color of the bluest blue sky I’d ever seen. It was a cellular shift—an understanding that somehow, someday, I needed to move my life to these mountains.
At the time, I was in college at Georgetown University, studying psychology and French, with no real plan for the future other than graduating with a GPA that would make my parents proud. I had lived in Washington, DC my entire life, and until that fateful trip to visit my brother, had thought I would live there forever.
After college, I was busy untangling myself from a destructive relationship, falling in love with my eventual husband, and rethinking my plan to become a French-speaking psychologist. As I redirected my path toward a medical career—also at Georgetown—I pushed my dreams of Colorado aside for the sake of education.
When I first brought my husband to Colorado, I nervously wondered if a Bronx-born lawyer would notice the same magic I felt in this little mountain town. Not only did he feel its charm, he rode every inch of dirt here on his mountain bike and started imagining what a life here could mean.
MOVING TO COLORADO
In 2001, we bought a piece of land with every penny we had and many pennies we had yet to earn. We called it an “investment property” to make ourselves feel safe, but we both knew it was actually an investment in our dream life together. As I finished my training in DC, we saved money and slowly—over the course of four years— started building our home under the watchful eye of a 13,000 foot peak.
We’ve been living here 16 years now, and I fall more deeply in love with Colorado with every passing day. It reminds me to respect our planet with even my smallest decisions. It nudges me to take care of my body with the siren songs of its endless trails. It calls me to connect with my thoughts and my inner quiet when I hear the river’s gentle roar.
In our 10th year as a Colorado business, I can think of no better way to celebrate Colorado Day than to give some love to other Colorado companies. My team and I put together this list of local companies; some are big, some are tiny, some are in our backyard, others a few miles over the mountains. I hope you enjoy getting to know them whether you live in Colorado or not, and be sure to put this state on your bucket list if you’ve never visited!!
I think every Colorado resident owns at least one pair of SmartWool socks—some of mine are over ten years old! They’ve branched out from feet and make everything from base layers to sports bras with their ethically-sourced wool. I should know, since I’ve been lucky enough to model for them a few times!
Makers of functional mountain clothing and top-of-the-line canvas bags and backpacks.
Simple, multifunctional clothing for modern mountain men.
Founded by a Colorado native with a passion for the outdoors, Shredly offers colorful apparel for women’s athletic endeavors, from hiking to running to shredding on a mountain bike. Their products are made in the US, and sizes range from straight to curvy to fit every shape out there.
Super cute clothing and accessories store in Fort Collins. From tarot cards to tee shirts, you’ll see original merchandise with an artsy flair—but you have to shop in person when you’re in Fort Collins because they don’t have an online store.
For the ultimate “in-person-only” shopping experience. Based in Leadville, this cult-fave company makes the world’s most durable and supremely cozy Polartec hoodies from US-made fabrics.
Organic cotton clothing for active days and lazy days out of Boulder, CO. Simple, sturdy designs made with fair-trade, organic cotton - what more could you want?
Owned by Aspen athletes, this high-end outerwear company is designed to support the alpine athlete who takes gear as seriously as the sport itself.
A message we can all get behind, right? You can wear their stuff to remind folks to be good, or you can gift it to someone as a not-so-subtle message that they have a little work to do?
I splurged and bought a Moots road bike a couple years ago, and it’s one of the best splurges of my life. They are masters of the titanium ride, and make beautiful, timeless bikes.
These guys used to be our next-door-neighbors—we shared a wall. They call themselves “the bike nerds on the block” which is quite accurate. And bike nerds are exactly the people you want building your next gorgeous titanium road bike or dual-suspension carbon mountain bike, right?
HOME + LIFESTYLE
If you have an afternoon free in Denver and need a place to wander with no plan, stop by this design collective. You might leave with a rug, a vintage skirt, or a refilled bottle of laundry detergent!
Delta Brick & Climate Co.
Have you seen our Soap Stand? It's pretty special. Made from accumulating sediment found nearby in Paonia Reservoir, this soap holder was created for us by Delta Brick & Climate Company. Their vision is to use methane from retired coal mines to fire the sediment, creating bricks, and tiles. In essence, they’re solving an environmental problem (methane), an agricultural problem (sediment), and your soggy soap problem (never again).
Incredible floral and plant deliveries for something a bit more elegant than the standard botanical fare.
If you’re getting married on the western slope, these are your people! Gorgeous, sustainable flowers for your big day.
Beautiful, hand-woven wall hangings for your bedroom wall.
These guys are our next door neighbors, and make evocative, nature-inspired jewelry with a Bohemian twist. Layers and stacks prevail in this artisanal, hand-crafted line.
WELLNESS + BEAUTY
Hopefully you watched my IG takeover at this magical spot in our town. If you need a quick, in-state getaway with yoga, meditation, nourishing food, and a fantastic spa, this place is for you!
If you’re coming to the Aspen area, this place is a must. They have lectures, guided hikes, dinners, and kids’ programs—eco-fun for the whole family!
Need a little mountain getaway? Book a cabin just up the road from us, and enjoy mountain views that will make your neck hurt (in the very best way). Luckily, their beautiful, on-site hot springs will soothe your sore neck, and any aching muscles from the epic hike you did that day!
If you're needing to take a beat for yourself and slow life down a bit, consider checking out these herbs, mushrooms, and collagen for focus and sleep.
Started by a wicked smart mom at my daughter’s school, Authentic takes hemp to the highest level. Dawne took her extensive background in integrative nutrition and herbalism and applied it to growing organic, biodynamic hemp and harvesting its power in the form of salves, balms, and hemp oil compounds. I use their Juniper Joint Rub on my sore muscles and the Olive Hemp Oil compound to improve sleep. Dawne and I will be writing an article together, just as soon as I can get her out of her hemp fields (she just texted this photo):
Makers of bright, beautiful CBD products, from tinctures to sparkling water.
One of our trusted brand partners, Vert carries a small but beautifully curated selection of green beauty brands, including a huge assortment of Osmia products. They offer facials and waxing services in their absolutely darling space in Highlands.
Basecoat Nail Salon
This is how all nail salons should feel—bright, clean, and healthy! They’ve expanded beyond Colorado now, and their website offers fabulous colors and a handful of their own skincare products as well.
Another brand partner in Denver and beyond, this rapidly expanding retailer carries the best in green beauty, curated carefully by a former beauty industry executive. They have locations in Denver, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, and Raleigh.
FOOD + DRINK
Stock up on amazing, organic, free-trade coffee and make your day a little more buzzworthy.
For a fast, raw, healthy snack on the go, these bars pack a nutritional punch before your next great athletic endeavor! The Lemon flavor is YUMMY.
Sustainably-sourced beans, roasted in Denver by coffee geeks, and in your hands within 48 hours of roasting.
Fast food for athletes without all the junk. The gluten-free salted caramel waffle is my favorite snack for a long hike.
Ginger explosion in your mouth! This has been my favorite chai for years.
Two Leaves and a Bud
Our favorite local tea company, just up the road in Aspen. Their plant-based tea bags are commercially compostable, and they have a huge variety of mostly organic tea.
Good chocolate is a nutritional supplement—almost. This Boulder-based company makes beautiful, socially and environmentally-responsible chocolate.
If you don’t have time to head to the orchard and pick your own apples, these guys will do it for you. That said, if you DO have time to drive over to Hotchkiss, they have a cafe, cider tastings, and live music in the harvest season.
If you’re not making your own granola from the recipes on our blog
, this crunchy Colorado brand is easy to grab and throw in your bag for your next road trip!
They have food. They have craft cocktails. They have divine chocolate.
That’s all I needed to know.
Speaking of chocolate labs, your pups need good food, too! These are Alice and Pixie’s favorite treats - they hear the bag and come running!
Combine a craft distillery with a modern mountain inn, and you’ll find yourself at the Marble Distillery in our little town. They have five modern rooms above the tasting room, and quick access to all Carbondale has to offer. Plus, look at their still—it is the stuff of my wildest dreams.
This employee-owned, sustainably-minded beer company is a certified B corporation that makes every kind of beer I can even imagine. Just reading the menu on their site made my mouth water, and I’m not even a beer girl.
Whiskey, Colorado style. They have a great brand story that plays right into the cowboy that lives in all of us.
Special thanks to my amazing team for sharing their favorite Colorado companies! Hope you find some gems in here, and Happy Colorado Day to all!!
With love and buckets of Colorado Pride from us to you,