Holiday gift guide: While shopping this year, keep Summit County businesses in mind
FRISCO — Summit County boasts a wide variety of quality local businesses. From handmade jewelry to clothing to ski gear, there are plenty of ways to support local businesses while doing your seasonal shopping. This way, you can purchase meaningful gifts for your loved ones as you celebrate the winter season and know that you have contributed to the local economy.
To round up our gift guide, we talked with local brand owners for the story behind each business and to get suggestions for holiday gifts, which range from gift baskets of wine to new pairs of powder skis.
The Wild Balance
The Wild Balance is a jewelry store with the tagline, “designed for women with wild hearts & day jobs.” Founder Annie Kerr sources her stones from gem shows and then creates the majority of the jewelry at her home — along with a few women who help her out from time to time. Kerr makes dangle earrings, stud earrings and necklaces from various types of metals: antiques, 14 karat gold, sterling silver and brass.
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Kerr’s products are available in local stores including Mountain Outfitters, Magical Scraps and Next Page Books & Nosh as well as several others. For gifts, Kerr said the earring line has a large selection and offers “something for everyone” with a wide variety of metals, lengths and colors.
Cowboys & Daisies
Breckenridge ladies’ boutique Cowboys & Daisies caters to women and younger girls, giving mothers and daughters a chance to shop together. Donna Prescott opened the store more than four years ago after having success with a children’s store. Prescott had met people through trunk shows she attended to find merchandise for her children’s store and often found clothing for herself through the connections she made.
She decided to open Cowboys & Daisies when people continued to ask where she got her clothes, Cowboys & Daisies now sells menswear, as well. She said the winter pajamas she will be bringing into the store could make a great gift.
The Flying Crane
Lisa Ton opened The Flying Crane in Frisco to bring fashionable women’s clothing to the area while still being practical for the outdoor lifestyle of Summit County. The brand has expanded to bring this style of clothing to the whole family.
For this winter season, Ton is putting out several products that are trendy and functional. The Iconic Norway 5 keeps you warm while adding fun winter details, while the Ugg Warm and Fuzzy collection keeps things cozy. One of the most useful winter products to be put out at The Flying Crane is the warm Ninja Suit, which is available for men, women and children.
Ton’s second Frisco retail store, Colisco Wearables, sells men’s and women’s fashion and specializes in outdoor, yoga and other active-style clothing. Ton is putting out a plethora of practical and fashionable winter gear — perfect as gifts for your local friends and relatives. The store will feature the Swiss On Running lightweight speed-hiking boot, the winter-themed Snow Racer Henley and the winter collection of Vuarnet sunglasses.
Carboy Winery is a unique spot due to its history: The winery is run out of a historic landmark building, the Gold Pan Saloon, which was founded in 1879. According to manager and owner Chris Butler, the building holds the “longest continuous liquor license west of the Mississippi.”
When Carboy Winery was built, the crawl space of the Gold Pan Saloon was excavated to build the actual winery while the tasting room was built upstairs to serve wine on tap from the downstairs winery.
Carboy recently had a collaboration with The Summit Foundation to produce two blends: a red and a white. Five percent of the sales of these two blends will go to The Summit Foundation. The winery also creates holiday gift packs, which include a pack of two or three wines in a holiday gift basket.
Continental Divide Winery
Heading into its fourth year of selling locally made wine, Breckenridge’s Continental Divide Winery has several holiday gift ideas for wine lovers. Jeffrey Maltzman, co-founder and “chief amazement officer” of the winery, said the business is running its wine blending experience Sundays through Fridays. The wine blending experience is a two-hour session where customers learn to create their own custom blend of wine — and get to take it home. The session costs $85 per person, and Maltzman said it is a popular item for people to give as a gift.
The winery also sells gift baskets of wine with glasses and corkscrews and has just released its first pinot noir. Maltzman said Continental Divide Winery also will come out with a winter wine blend shortly after the new year.
Angry James Brewing Co.
Plenty of locals know Angry James Brewing Co. as a great place to gather and play trivia on Thursday nights, but they also sell a lot of merchandise. They have T-shirts, hoodies and hats, but the brewery also provides beer-fanatics with some creative ways to store your favorite brews.
Angry James sells glass growlers and 32 ounce aluminum crowlers (an aluminum can growler for the uninitiated), but co-owner A.J. Brinckerhoff said they’re also coming out with something more unique around holiday shopping time. The brewery will be selling swing-top, Stanley growlers that are made with double-walled stainless steel to keep things hot or cold, reusable and basically indestructible. Angry James will be selling these for $65 to $70, which includes your first fill of beer.
“We haven’t really had growlers that are that high end before, so I think it’ll be fun for our regular and new customers to have something they can use year-round,” Brinckerhoff said.
Alan and Carol Kelly opened Portfolio Gallery in August in Breckenridge with the goal of making art more accessible as well as providing an opportunity for local artists. After a successful few months, the Kellys have plenty of holiday ideas up their sleeves. The gallery will feature a special collection of winter-themed art that can be gift wrapped in holiday-style pizza boxes, which Alan said is perfect for under the tree.
There will be a solo exhibition featuring the work of Evergreen artist Julie Leidel through Jan. 4. Leidel will be selling original and print pieces of her Colorado series, which features iconic places in the state as well as holiday ornaments and magnets. The gallery also will offer holiday cards featuring the works of artist Alex Benjamin.
The Frosted Flamingo
With a social view of how art should be experienced, Becca Spiro’s mobile art studio, The Frosted Flamingo, is buzzing with creativity. The Frosted Flamingo specializes in craft projects that are offered at local venues and private events. A perfect gift for the crafty people in your life, Spiro is offering 15% off for private events and home deliveries through Jan. 15.
Ski and Snowboard Gear
Rocky Mountain Underground
Rocky Mountain Underground is a unique ski shop in that it is employee-owned and gives customers a lifetime warranty on their skis. While the brand has been selling to stores for some time, they now have an official store in Breckenridge.
“Opening the store in Breckenridge was kind of the logical long-term goal of ours where we would have a showroom for our skis and a mountain culture center,” manager and part-owner Mike Poleto said.
Poleto said their 2020 skis have arrived and include a new ski called the YLE 110, which is coming out for the holidays. Poleto described the ski as the “younger brother of YLE 118,” as it is an all-mountain powder ski.
Barre Forte Summit County
Katelyn Huston opened Barre Forte in Frisco in May, believing barre fitness classes would perfectly complement the high-impact sports Summit County residents and visitors know and love. Since barre focuses on strengthening and stretching muscles, its low-impact nature can help balance out the toll high-impact sports take on the body. Huston partnered with the small, Denver-based brand Barre Forte to bring barre to Summit County.
Retail in the studio includes activewear brands like DYI, Onzie, CO Threads and the local brand Nitto Mountain Knits.
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