If you’re like me, you want to shop local. But you also want it to be easy. And if you could not break the bank, and even buy an original and thoughtful gift, EVEN BETTER.
We gathered the best of the best, all under $30, all Denver-made or from Denver-based businesses. We’ve got gifts for everyone, the guy, the girl, the impossible to buy for. And HERE WE GO!
The Winter Warmer – Booze Gifts are the best gifts and The Winter Warmer takes your gift to legendary status by discounting cocktail drinks in and around Denver by offering 2 for 1 drinks for the passbook holder. This book is perfect for getting to know the best bars around town, so this gift is great for the Denver newbie, adventurer, refuse-to-go-to-the-same-place-all-the-timer or cocktail aficionado. Cost, $20. Find it here.
Winter’s Session’s Passport Holder – You’re baller and a $30 gift won’t do. Up the ante with Winter’s Sessions Limited-Run of Debossed Leather Passport Holder. Perfect for the person who not only appreciates real craftsmanship but values one-of-a-kind items. Price, $20, get the details, here.
Be A Good Person T-shirt – We need positivity now more than ever, and as this line of t-shirts is endorsed and worn by Denver-based artist Thomas Evans, aka Detour, we’re all in. The clothing start-up even employs Mile High Workshop, who is assisting with getting a line of hoodies out. Men’s & Women’s t-shirts, starting at $24, find them here.
Spinster Sisters All Natural MicroSoapery – The best gift I received last year was a plethora of bath and body products. It was decadent, indulgent and something I would never buy for myself. Make someone happy in the same way with a gift purchase from Spinster Sisters! Some of my favs include the Coffee Scrub and the Butta’ Milk Salt Scrub. Find more goodies under $30, here.
Bloody Mary Mix & Other Gifts From Bottle Rocket Liquor Station – Let’s face it, we’re all just one frayed nerve away from a Christmas-stress nervous breakdown. Oh wait, only me? Okay, fine, well Bloody Mary Mix from the Real Dill is a great gift for even the happy-go-lucky type. Pop by Bottle Rocket Liquor Station where they not only have a ton of gifts that are $20 & under, and of the liquor variety, but they can pair that Bloody Mary Mix with a Colorado-made vodka. Grab store hours, here.
Swell Water Bottles from Hope Tank – It’s not just functional, it’s chic and the best part is, when you buy it at Hope Tank, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the work of UNICEF USA. You can shop for everything at Hope Tank, from cards, jewelry, men’s gifts, baby gifts, clothes and so much more. Each gift gives back to a particular charity, most positively impacting our own Denver community.Though these start at $35, we’re willing to break our own rules! Check store hours and location, here.
With apologies for all that we might offend by dividing gifts into a his and her sections, we march on, promising to do better next year.
Base Coat Nail Salon – The great thing about Base Coat Nail Salon is you aren’t just buying a gift, you’re supporting a cause, as the owner Tran Wills is working non-stop to make giving and getting a manicure safe with her line of non-toxic nail products. Not only that, she just has damn good taste and if you stop by shop you can not only pick up a gift card but lots of #TreatYoSelf merch as well as other locally made products. Gift Card, $30 and under, Nail Polish, $20, Treat Yo Self Glasses & Mugs, $12.
The $12 Doru Brass Ring From Native Clutter – Yes, that gorgeous bauble is $12 and even better, you’ll find a wide selection of jewelry for $30 and under at Native Clutter, many of it with free shipping. Here are four of our favs, all $30 and under, which you can find here.
The Custom Letters Necklace – Let someone hang around your neck in the most delicate and beautiful way with this custom brass necklace from Sparkle and Stone, $30. You can order this online, as well as browse some of her other creations at two of my favorite Denver-based stores, Judith & Joe and Denver Fashion Truck.
The Reflections Patch From Denver-based Artist Strangedirt – There’s something really forward-thinking about letting your art be wearable and our Strangedirt jacket patch is one of most prized possessions. You should get one, too, and fast because once they’re gone, they’re gone. Buy it here, and browse Stangedirt’s other creations (we are in love her ceramic mugs.) Patch, $30
Tiny Daggers T-Shirt – If we had a gift section titled, “Gifts For Bad Asses,” there would be only one item and this would be it. Grab this soft, vintage tank, or it’s “Fun Forever” counterpart, for just $22, here.
Sparkle and Stone Bracelet at Judith & Joe – We love it. We have to have it. But because we swore every gift here would be under $30, we’ll just have to grab a $30 gift card at Judith & Joe for this $45 beauty. And that is A-okay! Check out Judith & Joe store hours and location, here.
Massage from LoDo Massage – Though their massages start at $69 for one hour, LoDo Massage offers a $20 discount for all first time customers. That still doesn’t get this gift under $30 but we don’t know a person in our life who wouldn’t love a $30 gift card for a massage. Plus, we already did the research part, just to ensure you’d get an amazing massage. Ask for an appointment with Sascha or Brandon. Check pricing and locations, here.
Jewelry From Lady Jones – Lady Jones is one of our favorite women’s boutiques in Denver because everything in the store is so perfectly chosen, like walking into a best friend’s closet, the one with such amazing style. We’re also excited that there are always a wide array of fun accessories under $30. Here are a few of our favs (please buy us that “Babe” pin)! Check out store hours and location, here.
From right to left, Jonsey Wood beaded tassel bracelets $27; The Good Twin -Babe pin $12 and nail polish by Base Coat Nail Salon, $20, all available at Lady Jones.
BBQ Class from GQue BBQ – If your man loves good BBQ, you have to get him a gift certificate to the place whose pork ribs we named, The Best Thing We Ever Ate, GQue BBQ. Using the gift card to eat some of the most delicious BBQ he’s ever had is one way to spend it, another is to use it to take a BBQ class from legendary pit master, and owner, Jason Ganahl. Classes will start up again in the new year and grill-lovers will nerd out on learning everything from trimming, seasoning, smoking, wrapping and saucing. Read about GQue BBQ’s accolades, here and their location and hours, here.
The Dope Tie Pin – I know he’s dope, you know he’s dope, now let the world know he’s dope with this tie clip from Judith & Joe, $30. Find location and shopping hours, here.
The Street Crime Coloring Book – You want a gift that is going to top all other gifts, no matter the price? Get this hilarious coloring book from Denver-based artist Axel Geittman. Buy it, be the star of Christmas morning and know, you’re obligated to tag me in a picture right after he opens it. Grab it here, or at one of these Denver stores: Berkeley Supply, Proper Barber, Indy Ink & SVPER ORDINARY.
$10 Ruckus Mug – A $10 gift? Get at us but be warned this heavy ceramic campfire mug (discounted from $16) is your gateway drug to the Ruckus brand. Be ready to swipe right on a ton of cool wearables for him (and you). Start shopping, here.
MiddleState Coffee – You’re going to feel pretty foolish buying someone a discounted mug without getting them some bad ass coffee to go with in it. Our go-to? MiddleState. You can grab it at Little Owl Coffee, Berkeley Supply and Denver Central Market, where it’s almost always out of stock because it’s that damn good. Under $30.
Denver Against The World Snapbacks: Collect ’em all at Abstract Denver, $30. Browse more merchandise, and check out store hours and locations, here.
Class at Cheese + Provisions – Remember when we were young and naive and thought creating a delicious (and Pinterest-worthy) cheese board meant just a quick trip to Trader Joe’s? Yep, not anymore, not after our class at Cheese + Provisions, where we learned about the beauty of raw milk cheeses, rare cheeses and award-winning cheeses. Up a true entertainer’s host or hostess game with a gift certificate from Cheese + Provisions. Not only did I learn a lot, but I drank A LOT of wine, had so much fun and made some great friends. Gift Certificate, $30.
Cocktail Bitter Set from DRAM Apothecary – We love DRAM apothecary because the couple who created the business have a real passion for the products they make. If you love a craft cocktail lover, they will love this line of handcrafted selection of bitters, syrups and tea blends which are all hand-foraged from plants found in the forrest. Though most products are in the $36 dollar range, you can will definitely impress with a gift of the Cocktail Bitter Gift Set, $30, which contain 6 flavors. Want to pick up your gift in person? Try Bottle Rocket Liquor Station, which carries the line, too. You should also check out our fav DRAM page, the cocktail recipe page.
Supplies For The Craft Cocktail Maker at Hazel & Dewey – The entertainer in your life is always looking to take their cocktail game to the next level and these goodies from Hazel & Dewey will do just that. From top right, “Cheers” rocks glasses, $16; “Shake, A New Perspective on Cocktails,” $25; “Cheers Bitches,” cocktail napkins, $12.00 and “Sip & Savor, Drinks for Party and Porch,” $20. Find them, here.
TAKE A CLASS AT RIVER NORTH WORKSHOP: You don’t just get to take classes like Mini-Terrarium Building, Arm Knitting, & Brush Calligraphy at River North Workshop, you get to make good friends, too. I always recommend their classes for people in Denver that want to meet smart creatives. Plus there’s wine drinking! Even if you’re not the “take a class type,” you must give this beautifully curated shop, with lovely housewares, gifts and bath products, a browse. It’s one of my happy places! Check store hours and location, here.
My Favorite Colour Studio Card – Chicago Dog – Not since I started hanging out with Bites With Bre did I realize there was such a strong Chicago faction in our fair city. Celebrate the Cubs win, or your fav Chi-town native, with this $5 card, which, were we you, we’d frame up right. Painted and printed in Denver and available for purchase at Berkeley Supply.
Scott Albrecht T-Shirt – If this print looks familiar, it might be because it’s one of your absolutely favorite pieces of Denver street art from Colorado Crush 2015 (on Larimer, across from Denver Central Market), screen printed on a t-shirt. Grab it as a gift at SVPER ORDINARY, for $28.
Gift Card From The Art, A Hotel – If you know someone whose idea of a perfect day is taking in the latest exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, then get them a gift card to The Art, a Hotel. There, they can take in the amazing art on display in the hotel as well as be wowed by the the Fire Lounge, a glass encased restaurant that’s a work of art in it’s own right. The Art was recently named the #2 Top Hotel in The West by Conde Nast and we’re not surprised – be ready to have your jaw drop when you get off at the 4th floor and see how the open air lobby continues out to the rooftop! Read more, here.
Gangsta Rap Print from Kaitlin Ziesmer Art – Christmas morning, make an impression with this Gangsta Rap print. Browse more of Kaitlin Ziesmer’s art, recently featured in 5280 Magazine, here. You can also contact here about which Denver shops and galleries have it in stock. From $20.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing – I love beer, you love beer. Let’s put some beer under the Christmas tree! Crowlers that will dazzle, starting at $9. Check out OMF location and hours, here.
Beer Making Gear from CO Brew – If you’ve got a beer lover that would nerd out on making his or her own beer, we’ve got the place where you can buy them a gift – CO Brew. Whether they just want to dabble in beer making, or go all in, this place is the mecca with all your homebrewing and wine making supplies on hand. Your $30 gift card might only make a dent in their beer empire dreams but you’ll always be remembered as the one that got them started! Check out location and store hours, here.
Free Week + One Drop In At The Fitness Branch – The guy in my office won’t stop talking about how great the classes are here and I have to admit, kettle bell classes were always the most fun, challenging and results-getting workout classes I’ve taken. So if you have someone impossible to buy for, get them a gift card for one class ($25), plus, if they’re new to The Fitness Branch, they’ll get an additional week for free, Read more about this sweat-inducing, dynamic workout, here.
A Gift Card from The Nickel – People that are often impossible to buy for usually value experiences over things, so when I have someone tough to buy for, I buy them a gift certificate from a beautiful hotel. Hotel Teatro has a really cool lounge, aptly named The Study, that is the perfect place to cocktail, catch up or read. A gift card will get your loved one a hot toddy and an amazing dessert or appetizer from The Nickel, and best of all, a great memory of discovering a gem in Denver.
Gift Card from Black Project Beer – One of THE BEST times I’ve had in Denver was at The Brewer’s Table at Black Project Beer. Not until then, did I understand the level of passion, and incredible hard work and commitment that goes into each glass of Black Project Beer, most which take minimum, eight months to make, some, much more. It was spectacular (yes, spectacular) to hear owner and brewer James Howart speak about his process in such a small, intimate gathering of just 6-8 people. Though this event cost is $75, we think it’s truly worth a mention, as a $30 gift card towards it will thrill the beer lover in your life. Find Black Project Beer’s location and info, here.
Meraki Moon – Who says you have to just shop for your friends and family? You need pretty things, too! If you lust for beautifully curated pieces with a hint of bohemian flair, you are going to love Meraki Moon, in RiNo. It’s right by our office and we just love each and every piece. Best of all, there’s free parking so after you get your shopping on, stop into The Preservery for post-holiday shopping victory cocktail. You can shop the instagram or you can get find location and hours, here.
Sacred Thistle – Part flower shop, part gift shop, we’ll call this store one of the most magical places in Denver. Browse through a wide array of beautifully crafted gifts and goods and we’ll bet you’ll find that most are handmade by a local Denver or Colorado maker. Find store hours and location, here. Pro Tip: If you pop in and the store’s not too busy, ask to see the flower arrangements in the back, each one is truly a sculpture and a work of art!
Patterns & Pops – We’ll take one of everything from this Denver-based mobile fashion truck. They’ve got some great $30 and under gifts, just beware you might not get out of there without a bag full of goodies for yourself! You can shop them online, here, or following them on instagram to find out where they’re popping up next!