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Made in Colorado: Punny Costumes and DoubleButter Furniture

From eco-friendly fishing lines to award-winning hot sauces made throughout the state


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A collection of products conceived of and fabricated in the Centennial State. This edition ranges from DoubleButter Furniture (pictured above); Duel Design Studio Punny Costumes – perfect for Halloween 2018 – SMŌK Brand Sauces; and Monic Fly Lines.

Check them out: 

DOUBLEBUTTER FURNITURE

Dexter Thornton and David Larabee started making furniture as DoubleButter in 2006. Under a moniker that owes its origins to Thornton’s preferred toppings on English muffins (with both peanut butter and regular butter), the duo set up shop in Denver’s Baker neighborhood.

The flagship product, the sleek Roadrunner chair, has remained the same over the years, as Thornton and Larabee expanded into desks, tables and storage for both the residential and office markets. “All of our pieces are suitable for commercial environments,” Doran says. “That awesome color pop sets our desks apart.”

In spring 2018, the company opened a new showroom next to the shop at 29 Galapago St. in Denver. “It’s not a store,” Doran says. “Everything is made to order.”

Most products $49 to $75

DENVER


DUEL DESIGN STUDIO PUNNY COSTUMES

With a background in architecture and interior design, Megan Gilligan started making personalized wedding gifts in 2014 and expanded into the Halloween market based on a personal passion for the holiday. “I’ve always loved costumes,” she says. “Growing up, I loved Halloween and dressing up.”

Gilligan noticed people would either make their own costume or spend a fair amount of money on a poorly made import, so she offered a middle ground based on puns, such as Black Sheep of the Family (a sheep-like hoodie), the his-and-her Deer in the Headlights (a “headlights bra” for her and antlers for him), and Chip on Your Shoulder (an oversized potato chip to pin on a shoulder). “I think it’s a funny twist on Halloween,” Gilligan says. “It doesn’t have to be makeup and scary.”

$5 to $150 retail

DENVER


SMŌK BRAND SAUCES

Cybersecurity engineer Patrick Tolbert planted the seeds for SMŌK with his wife, Tanja, when they lived in her native Germany. “Finding Tabasco was a problem, so we just made our own,” Tolbert says.

The couple went pro with SMŌK Brand when they moved to Colorado Springs in 2013. The catalog now includes four sauces: the original “Louisiana Style” sauce, Triple-S BBQ Sauce, Whiskey Glaze, and Pueblo Gold Chile Pepper Sauce. After launching with a co-packer in Florida, SMŌK moved manufacturing to Colorado Springs with C Vision Foods in 2014.   

A silver medal at the 2015 World Hot Sauce Awards “put us on the map,” Tolbert says, and SMŌK has since gotten into Whole Foods, King Soopers and Safeway. The Pueblo Gold was the first sauce on the market with Pueblo chiles. “The flavor of the Pueblo chile is astounding,” Tolbert says. “The Pueblo is the one Hatch should be chasing, not the other way around.”

$6 to $8 retail

COLORADO SPRINGS


MONIC FLY LINES

Before plastics guru Bob Goodale launched Monic in 1994, fly-fishing lines hadn’t changed in 60 years, Monic spokesperson Ron Rosenbury says. “They’d always been PVC vinyl,” Rosenbury says. But Goodale changed all that by developing a clear plastic line that’s considerably eco-friendlier than PVC and better for tropical environments with several feet of clear water. “They’re looking for stealth,” Rosenbury says of Monic’s customers.

The five-person company, which also makes antimicrobial pull cords for hospitals under the Microlite brand, extrudes the lines from plastic in Boulder. “Every day here is trying different plastics to make a fly line that’s better and gives fishermen different options,” Rosenbury says

$79 to $90

BOULDER

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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