Souvenir Sleuth in Aspen
by Marla Norman, Publisher
As you’d expect, Aspen has Prada, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zenga, Frette, Fendi, Gucci and Wells Fargo. But, I’ve tried to suss out the less obvious spots. Locate places locals go for great shopping and deals or a few unique souvenirs. Here’s what I found.
THE THRIFT SHOP OF ASPEN
422 East Hopkins Avenue
If there were Oscars or Emmy’s for thrift shops, this one would win all the trophies. And who knows, you might even see an Oscar-winner picking over the goods there. Start with the designer gowns, furs and shoes. Then work your way through the jewelry and crystal. Or, like any smart local during ski season, go straight to the basement for the snowboards.
Not only is the merchandise top rate and inexpensively priced, but you can negotiate at checkout. The angelic clerks will most likely drop the cost a bit more if you make a good case. Best of all, the Thrift Shop provides scholarships and supports essential projects within the area. Everyone gets comes out ahead here.
424 East Cooper Avenue
Given the amazing selection of boots, hats and western memorabilia at Kemo Sabe, you might think they’re a Cowboy store. But the managers insist that’s not the case: “Because we really don’t sell much to real, working Cowboys–we are at our best when we get to help bring out the Cowboy that we all have inside us.”
And of course, that means Stetsons and a pair of boots even the Lone Ranger would be proud to wear.
TWO OLD HIPPIES
111 South Monarch Street
Once the Great Divide Music store, Two Old Hippies still provides premium guitars along with eye-catching gift items, jewelry and clothes for the whole family. Musicians continue to gather for sessions, so you might even catch a great performance.
THE ASPEN EMPORIUM & FLYING CIRCUS
315 East Main Street
The Emporium claims to have everything from aging creams to faux zebra furs – and they’re not exaggerating in the least. Electric cars are sold on premises and there are plenty of herbal cosmetics in addition to chocolate truffles, pastries, and packaged organic soups. Freshly-baked dog biscuits are displayed along with jewelry, cut flowers, clothing, hula hoops and woven wool blankets. Hand-blown glass as well as chandeliers made from bicycle wheels and mason jars are just a few more of the eye-catching items for sale. Did I mention there’s an oxygen bar to go with the coffee bar?
All in all, there are 38 vendors represented within the Emporium building. Prices are impressively lean. And spontaneous demonstrations, music or wild new inventory can show up at any given moment.
ASPEN FARMERS MARKET
Hopkins Avenue & Hunter Street
Every Saturday, from mid-June to mid-October, you can find luscious produce, fresh eggs and organic meat at the Aspen Market.
You’ll also spot one-of-a kind handmade clothing, like that produced by Jeanie Norris. Cashmere and merino blend sweaters with rose buttons and faux fur are her specialties. Dramatic capes, dainty cotton tank tops, darling pullovers for kids fill her booth on weekends. Jeanie accepts orders online as well at SweaterGenie.com.
While exploring the Colorado wine country, you may also want to drop by these shops:
THE BLUE PIG GALLERY
101 W. 3rd Street
Colorado scenery inspires artists across the state, and there may be more artists per capita on the Western Slope than anywhere else. The Blue Pig has an eclectic collection of art: paintings, sculpture, photography, glass and fiber. The Piglet Gift Gallery displays jewelry, scarves, cards, ceramics, and glass. It’s a detour you won’t regret.
SLICE O’ LIFE BAKERY
105 W. 3rd Street
Since, you’re bound to want a snack while visiting all the great wineries in Palisade, pop into Slice O’ Life Bakery – conveniently located next door to The Blue Pig Gallery. The bakery makes tasty sandwiches and endless treats from locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Carrot Cakes to Apricot Pies are exquisite, and I’m not using the word lightly here.
Peach Focaccia is one of the more unique items you’ll find. There’s no doubt you’ll want to try multiple other selections as well. Not to worry. The tab will NOT take a slice out of your budget. Both you and your wallet will leave quite full – guaranteed.
635 Main Street
An upscale resale shop, Heirlooms features clothing, jewelry, antiques, porcelain and an impressive selection of furniture — all beautifully displayed and arranged. Most importantly, all proceeds support Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, which provides support for those facing serious illness and grief.
Help yourself to amazing bargains from gently used jeans, blouses or sweaters for $2.00 (!!!) to estate jewelry for a few pennies. Walk away knowing you’ve helped an especially important cause.