Shopping Local during the Holiday Season in Boulder, Colorado

Posted on November 25, 2014

Expedia Viewfinder partnered with Downtown Boulder to showcase some of the older and newer locally owned shops open for business this season.

’Tis the season for holiday shopping at small, local businesses. At Expedia Viewfinder, we believe in supporting the local community during our travels, and purchasing local goods is an easy way to do so. Choosing to shop local is a socially responsible decision. It helps serve the community by reducing environmental impacts, supporting non-profit organizations, and creating local jobs.

As buyers begin drafting their holiday wish lists, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to partner with Downtown Boulder to highlight some of its locally owned shops. From one of the oldest family-run business in town, Starr’s Clothing, to two of the more recent additions to the shopping scene, Island Farm and Cedar & Hyde Mercantile, there are a number of boutiques downtown where visitors can stock up on unique gifts, apparel, and accessories this winter:

Starr's Clothing Co.

Starr's Clothing Co. is located on Pearl Street’s East End. Family-owned for four generations, Starr's has been a Colorado favorite since 1914. Back in the day, the shop sold work clothes for miners and trendy attire for residents, and today it presents a variety of “lifestyle clothing.” Starr's was one of the first jean stores for women in Boulder in the early 1980s, and denim continues to be a large part of their signature style offerings. Celebrating its 100th year in business, the seasoned shop has maintained its friendly service and wide selection of goods over the years, appealing to generations of customers looking to embrace Colorado’s casual yet cool lifestyle.

Island Farm

Opened in April 2013, Island Farm is an exciting addition to the shopping scene downtown. Inspired by the alluring ambience of Martha's Vineyard, this youthful shop strives to offer one-of-a-kind items that stir up a sense of nostalgia. Gathering goods from trips to antique shops, flea markets, and trade shows around the world, the buyers at Island Farm have brought a global selection of nostalgic goodness to the Pearl Street Mall. Browse the original jewelry, home décor, accessories, and apparel, which exude effortless, whimsical style at this new shop in town.


Cedar & Hyde Mercantile

In October 2013, sisters Christie and Poss Lambert opened Cedar & Hyde Mercantile. As one of the newer storefronts in downtown Boulder’s West End district, it features a variety of items, from regional drink mixes, jewelry, stationary, and skincare products to American-made denim and exquisite Turkish rugs. Inspiration for their ethically made goods comes from wood, cedar, hide, and other natural materials. Cedar & Hyde is a true mercantile in that it offers an assortment of events in addition to its large product selection. The newly opened shop hosts wine tastings, calligraphy workshops, trunk shows, and even happy hours for moms. Head down to 10th Street in downtown Boulder’s West End to find some unique treasures and holiday gifts.

While traveling in Boulder this winter, beeline to a wonderful variety of locally owned shops in downtown to find trinkets and treasures for all your holiday shopping needs. From the perfect stocking stuffers to ideal gifts for eight days of celebration, these small businesses won’t disappoint.

Expedia Staff Writer

Related Tag: Shopping

Making Downtown Even Awesomer!

Posted on September 24, 2014

If you're reading this blog, then you probably have a special place in your heart for Boulder. If you love Boulder, then you would probably like to see it be made even more awesome (even though we all know it is pretty awesome already).

That's where Awesome Foundation Boulder comes in to play. Awesome Boulder funds projects that make Boulder more awesome by making it an even happier and cooler place to live. Each month, Awesome Boulder's trustees give $1,000 to a project that they select from their pool of applicants. 

The best thing about Awesome Boulder grants? -- Anyone can apply!

Awesome Boulder has been going on for 31 months, which means $31,000 for 31 different, awesome, local projects. It all started with Dean of Trustees Brandon Line, who learned about the Awesome Foundation from an National Public Radio series related to philanthropy, and decided to bring the idea to Boulder.

When I first heard about Awesome Boulder, I had a lot of questions, so I touched base with Brandon to learn more:


Who are the Awesome Boulder trustees?

"Friends, friends of friends, former grant recipients. Really, anyone who wants to hang out with us ;)"

What are you looking for in the projects that you pick (besides Awesomeness)?

"We like projects where we can make a real difference. If it's a big project with a big budget where we won't have a meaningful impact, we tend to shy away. Broadly, we like projects that can be openly experienced by all in our community. We do look at the timeliness... we may favor a more immediate project over a great project that is planned several months out

We especially like truly unique, extraordinary - awesome - projects that are not easily labeled"

Awesome Boulder has funded several projects that took place in the downtown area including a Boulder Startup Week event at BMoCA, the Bridge House Humanity project, and the World is a Gallery project. 

  • Arts Event during Boulder Startup Week: This free and open to the public event involved acting out stories of local startup history.
  • Bridge House Humanity project: The goal of the project is to generate awareness using photography as a medium to explore similarities and differences of how housed and homeless people live in Boulder. Individuals were selected from both the housed and homeless communities to photograph snapshots of their daily lives.
    "The Humanity Project plays to a purer definition of 'awesome' - something extraordinary that challenges your context."
  • World is a Gallery project: Photos from photographer Andrew Kurcan were hung in random places around the city of Boulder including the downtown area. The goal was to provide a small respite from an otherwise chaotic day.

What's next for Awesome Boulder?

Awesome Boulder is hosting its annual BBQ this Friday at dojo4 to engage with the community and reveal their next project.

"The BBQ encapsulates what Awesome Boulder is all about - community - and coming together with friends and family. The highlight of the BBQ is that we always invite the past year's grant recipients to come and talk about their projects."

Currently, Awesome Boulder has two projects in the works (one on the CU Campus and one in North Boulder): Sabes Quien Soy and Art at the Armory 2.0

What's the "catch"?

There are only 3 requirements for your project to be considered -- it must happen in Boulder, be completed within one month, and be awesome. Now let's see what you can do with $1,000!

Related Tag: Boulder

The Perfect Way to Welcome Fall

Posted on September 15, 2014

There's no doubt about it: Fall is a special time of year, especially in Boulder. The leaves here turn to warm hues of red and orange just before the legendary Boulder winds rip them from their branches, and sun dresses and shorts turn to snuggly sweaters. Downtown Boulder's Fall Fest is really the perfect way to celebrate this majestic changing of the season and I'll tell you why...

1: Fall means cold weather is coming and that means more time spent indoors, a taboo for most Boulderites. Fall Fest is a chance to make inside spaces more welcoming and even naturey-feeling by purchasing beautiful art pieces to adorn those empty walls and shelves. Avoid going stir-crazy by personalizing your indoor space and making it somewhere that you want to hang out.

Credit to Phil Lewis

Many Fall Fest artists are local to Colorado, such as Boulder favorite Phil Lewis. Phil Lewis is known for distinguishable style of art which is especially evident in his piece, "The Flatirons" that adorns the walls of dorm rooms, houses, and businesses throughout the Boulder community.

Credit to Megan Morgan at Strange Bird Designs

Each Fall Fest artist is completely unique, such as Louisville artist and owner of Strange Bird Designs Megan Morgan. Megan is especially focused on a special type of art that that she calls "Coffee Art Print" in which she stretches burlap coffee bags over frames and then draws on them using oil pastels, paint, and stencils.

2: I could spend the entire day talking about all of the amazing art that is going to be available at Fall Fest but that just wouldn't give you a sense of the breadth or depth of this event. The art is incredible but there is so much more to see and do! The Fall Fest Children's Carnival includes all sorts of fun rides and activities for kids to unleash that boundless energy in an outdoor arena.


With an obstacle course, bungee basketball, WoW (walk on water) Bubbles​​, jousting, and more, I'm almost tempted to kid-out for the day and try some of these attractions myself. And don't miss the Face Painting booth! The unlimited ride wrist band available on Friday night for $15 (excludes WoW Bubbles) is a good way to fend off the onset of cabin fever during the cold months by letting the young ones go crazy.

3: There's going to be plenty of music at Fall Fest, from acoustic rock to reggae, and plenty to drink! Let's face it, Boulderites are a thirsty crowd and we love our live music. Kicking back a Rio margarita or a beer from Avery while listening to funky new tunes from a Colorado artist is the best way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

The Fall Fest music lineup has something for everyone, which is what makes it so perfect for the eclectic tastes of Boulder music lovers. From Lesley and the Flying  Foxes (pictured above) for the little ones enjoyment to 12 piece Colorado funk sensation, Funkiphino, there truly is no limit to the variety of music (and art) at Fall Fest.

4: Get out and get social with the entire Boulder community! I've said it once and I'll say it again- the community here in Boulder is something special, and that's because of all of the incredible people that make it up. Fall Fest is your one stop for art, music, and especially mingling with members of the community that we are all a part of.

For Buffs fans, don't miss the Pearl Street Stampede (aka pep rally) on Friday at 7 pm. It will start on the 1300 block and head West.

Go Buffs!


Related Tag: Boulder

Cheers to Boulder Craft Beer!

Posted on August 13, 2014

Boulder has one of the fastest growing craft brewery scenes in the nation. People here love making beer and even more of us love drinking it. To me, the beer scene in Boulder is all about shared passion. The breweries and beer drinkers form an enormous community with one very important thing in common: their love for beer. The awesome thing about the first ever Boulder Craft Beer Festival is that it is a chance for the entire community of Boulder beer lovers to come together in one place. All 20 of the breweries participating in the festival are based in Boulder County- and that's saying something!

There are so many things about the Boulder Craft Beer Festival to be excited about that I don't even know where to start! Here's a few of the many things I'm looking forward to:

  • 20 Boulder breweries, one location
    Any avid beer drinker would jump at the opportunity to taste a beer from every brewery in Boulder County. While the breweries are all local, their locations are scattered across Boulder County in office parks, warehouses, and other gigantic buildings. What I'm saying is that it's hard to get to them all, but this beer festival will make it easy by bringing the breweries to you.
  • You get your own commemorative sampling glass to keep forever
    This is the first ever Boulder Craft Beer Festival and it's something to be proud of. There will be more craft beer festivals in Boulder but there will never be another "first". The commemorative sampling glass is your take-home souvenir to remind yourself (and all of your friends) that you were a part of this groundbreaking and legendary Boulder event.
  • It's close enough to ride your bike
    The festival takes place on the west side of Central Park in Downtown Boulder (west of Broadway on Canyon Boulevard), which makes it a great location to bike to for most centrally located residents. If your lucky enough to live close to the Boulder Creek Path, you can ride right onto the trail and take it all the way to the festival for smooth and easy sailing. There will also be valet bike parking available so riding to the festival will be as easy as can be!
  • If you can't bike, there are still plenty of other safe (and easy) transportation options
    Did you know that Designated Driver Tickets are available for only $10 per person? These tickets include a food voucher and 5 non-alcoholic beverages at the festival so you get to enjoy all of the amazing things about the festival (good food, great tunes, and fun with friends) except for the beer. Being a designated driver is the cheap (or free, if you get your beer-drinking friends to cover the cost of ticket) way to have fun at the festival. If you can't bike or find a designated driver, RTD has several buses that stop very close to the festival.
  • Um, can we talk about how well beer pairs with food?
    I probably should have put this first or second on my list. Everybody loves food with their beer, it's just a fact. The inaugural Boulder Craft Beer Festival just wouldn't be complete without some amazing food-for-purchase options from some killer vendors. From creative takes on a grilled cheese sandwich to imaginative Mexican cuisine, there will be plenty of delicious food options to satisfy anybody's beer munchies.
  • Your ears will thank you
    Beer drinking is a vivacious activity and thus would be incomplete without some live music for your ears' enjoyment. Not only will there be plenty of items available to entertain your taste buds, the festival will also feature a performance stage with two acts. Colorado musician and indie folk singer Andy Hackbarth will kickoff the festival at 12:30, followed by The HillBenders, an energetic bluegrass quintet.

Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance and save some dough ($30 in advance/$35 day of)! I wouldn't want any beer fans to miss this first-of-its-kind event.

I hope you are as excited as I am for August 23! Cheers and enjoy the beer!


Related Tag: Festivals

Ta Ta For Now!

Posted on August 7, 2014

I am so sad to say that my marvelous internship with Downtown Boulder is coming to an end. I can't imagine a better way to spend my summer than exploring Pearl Street, eating gelato, people watching, and getting to know the wonderful businesses downtown. Here is a list of some of my favorite memories of the summer and also some things that I have learned. 

  • FREE BEN & JERRY'S IN THE OFFICE. Need I say more?
  • Every success is a call to celebrate. Someone's getting married? Let's eat cake. We put on a successful event? Lunch at the Rio. It's a Wednesday? Starbucks all around!
  • Home-packed lunches are soo overrated.My wimpy salads (I know, who am I?) or microwave lunches can't come close to competing with the fab meals from Lindsey's Boulder Deli or Zoe Ma Ma.
  • A small office setting is so nice. Not only do you really get to know your co-workers, but you can have a screaming conversation with them down the hall without ever having to leave your chair! I have such a new appreciation for small workplaces 
  • Downtown Boulder's Happy Hour Guide is my new bible.
  • Independent businesses are the backbone of Boulder. The owners are so passionate about their shops, and it has been great to work with them and see their hard work come to life. 
  • Rain is inevitable every single Wednesday before Bands on the Bricks.
  • Responding to 35 emails a day is something I am definitely going to have to get used to. And not to toot my own horn but I must say I am now a master at answering the phone. (Call me, I'll make your day.)
  • Even though everyone in the office is a celebrity here, it was so awesome to meet my first REAL celeb - Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno! 
  • The DBI events staff really knows how to throw down! I have been so impressed with every event I have worked this summer. From Bands on the Bricks to Open Arts Fest to the Pearl Street Mile, each event has been so successful, fun and truly embody the downtown experience. 
  • Do not leave your Facebook open in the office. This. Means. War. 
  • Although it has been great working in downtown Boulder, it is also dangerous...For my bank account that is. There are just too many amazing shops and sales and my wallet can't resist!

Well that was quite the list. Now that I've totally put you to sleep with that, it is time to say goodbye.

This summer would not have been so great if not for my wonderful "bossfriend" Natalie, who kept me laughing all summer long. From happy hours to walking barefoot in the mud to dance parties while stuffing envelopes to get the perfect photograph to stuffing our faces for lunch, I couldn't have asked for a better mentor! Natalie is off to work for American Girl in Chicago (another reason to celebrate and eat food) and we at DBI are so sad to see her go. Natalie and I are both leaving an amazing experience at Downtown Boulder, but ready to take on our futures with the knowledge that we acquired here.

I had the summer of a lifetime here at DBI and couldn't have asked for more. With all of these fantastic new experiences and insights, I am so ready for my senior year. 


Sammie (the intern) 

P.S.  If you are interested in having the internship of your dreams, DBI is looking for a fall intern! Check it out. You won't regret it!

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