Posted: June 14, 2013
Colorado cool stuff: Biz game, dance duds, hot sauce and organicwearBy Eric Peterson
Julien Sharp launched Funnybone Toys in 2012 after relocating from New York to Denver. The company started with a trio of color-oriented games – Cubu, Array and Spectrix – that all sold equally well in the museum market. Now Sharp is looking at a new target with this year’s Disruptus game: businesses. “It’s our most exciting product,” says Sharp. “Everybody is talking about disruption.” Players try to create out-of-the-box concepts from the images on a pair of cards, and the judge “picks the wackiest or most innovative,” Sharp says. Expect plenty more from Funnybone in the future. “We have 35 games in the pipeline,” she adds. About $25 retail.
Kady Zinke and Audrey Fedele Hartwell have teamed up to bring dance wear to the 21st century. Zinke, a former Nuggets dancer, says dance wear hasn’t changed in 20 years. “There’s such a fashion sense in dance that no brand was capturing,” she explains. Kadyluxe fills that void with a catalog of stylish and versatile tops and bottoms made of premium Italian fabric, and is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to bolster the style’s substance in the form of innovative knee padding. The company’s logo is a chess queen because “she’s the most powerful piece on the board,” says Zinke. “She represents freedom of movement, femininity and strength.” $50 to $120 retail.
Made by Kadyluxe
BLUE BONNET HOT SAUCES
Denver’s venerable Blue Bonnet celebrates its 45th anniversary at 457 S. Broadway in July. As much as the neighborhood has changed around it, the Mexican restaurant has succeeded by sticking to its roots. That’s not to say that proprietors Gary Mobell and his sister Marci Rosenberg – part of the 7th generation Colorado clan who have operated Blue Bonnet since 1968 – aren’t trying new things. “We try to be creative and think outside the box,” says Mobell. Case in point: their new bottled pineapple-habanero and raspberry-habanero hot sauce. And they’re not just for chips. “I take it home and put it on peanut butter sandwiches,” says Mobell of the latter. “I put it on a bagel with cream cheese.” $5.75 retail.
Made by Blue Bonnet
COALATREE ORGANICS CLOTHING
Jacob “Charlie” Bessey and Cavin Nicholson started a 16-acre farm in New Castle in 2010, then launched a sustainable clothing line last year. “The message behind Coalatree is for people to grow their own goods and be socially responsible,” says Bessey. “What came from that was a clothing line made of all organic and recycled fabrics.” Made of organic cotton as well as recycled X-ray film, lunch trays and coffee grounds, their Coalatree brand has gained a fast following in the action-sports world. New for spring 2013: Lure, the pictured angling-themed button-up made of 100 percent organic cotton. $20 to $90 retail.
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