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Posted: October 01, 2010

Colorado cool stuff: women’s hunting duds, coconut creations, lucky nuts

Eric Peterson

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PROIS WOMEN'S HUNTING APPAREL
ER nurse and avid huntress Kirstie Pike was spurred to start Prois (Gaelic for "prowess") in early 2008 by "basically not being able to find any performance-driven women's hunting apparel. We just decided to go out and do it."
Now 40 products strong, the Prois catalog includes thermoregulating layering systems with function in mind: The Pro Edition line is windproof, water-resistant and notably silent. The Prois growth curve has been "crazy," says Pike, who has five employees. "In the first two quarters of this year, we had 700 percent growth over last year." Jackets: $150 to $250 retail. Pants: $100 retail. Shirts: $40 to $90 retail.

Made by Prois Hunting Apparel LLC, Gunnison, (970) 641-3355, www.proishunting.com. Also available at Cabela's in Grand Junction, Gene Taylor's in Gunnison, Bear Guns in Glenwood Springs, and Sportsman's Warehouse locations throughout Colorado.

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GLOBAL GIRLFRIEND ECO BAGS
A social worker by trade, Stacey Edgar decided to change her career path in 2002 after her mother-in-law told her about women she'd encountered in the Third World trying to sell their handmade goods to aid workers.
"That's not a very good market," says Stacey, who has worked tirelessly since to find poor women all over the globe better markets for their wares. She began with a party at her Littleton home ("a huge success") before moving into events and then wholesale. Her Global Girlfriend catalog includes apparel, accessories, jewelry and bags now sold through outlets like Whole Foods and Target.com. One standout product is the pictured Eco Bag, made by disabled Cambodian women out of repurposed dyed rice bags. Eco Bags: $14 to $34 retail.

Imported/wholesaled by Global Girlfriend (a subsidiary of the GreaterGood Network LLC), Littleton, www.globalgirlfriend.com. Available at Pome (Denver), Mountain Calling (Silverton), Salida Mountain Sports (Salida), and all Whole Foods stores in Colorado.

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RICKY'S LUCKY NUTS
Paul Gelose, current owner of Durango's Palace Restaurant and former personal chef for Oprah, worked with Rick Jensen in many a kitchen. After Jensen traded the Southwest for the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Gelose kept making his specially seasoned peanuts for parties he catered, and people loved them.
Now with his wife, Carolyn Lamb, Gelose is trying to make Ricky's Lucky Nuts a national brand. The company launched in 2008 and has since expanded to five flavors that run the gamut from curry-coconut to cocoa-vanilla bean.
"We only use four ingredients: peanuts, sugar, salt and spices," he says. "We don't use any gums, adherents or artificial stuff. We're innovators in this category - no one has touched the peanut in ages." And Jensen is poised to share in the company's success, Gelose adds: "Rick gets a royalty. He's a good guy." $1.49 to $3.99 for a 2- to 6-ounce package retail.

Made by Ricky's Lucky Nuts LLC, Durango, www.rickysluckynuts.com. Available at Tony's Market, McGuckin Hardware, Whole Foods and numerous stores in Durango.

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SID WIGGY'S COCONUT CREATIONS
Named for a Costa Rican baby sloth who inspired founders Greg Belcher and Leslie Vogt to slow down, Sid Wiggy's Coconut Creations "is ice cream made without dairy," Belcher says. "Instead of cow's milk, we use coconut milk. Instead of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, we use agave nectar."
Available in five flavors - vanilla, chocolate, coconut, mint chip and coffee - the resulting vegan, gluten-free, and 95 percent organic ice cream is not only tasty, he adds, but it's healthy. "It helps raise your good cholesterol."
Belcher says the company, founded in 2008, "took off like a rocket" after Whole Foods took it on at the end of the first year. About $5.49 a pint retail.

Made by Sid Wiggy's LLC, Fort Collins, (970) 215-9191, www.sidwiggys.com. Available at numerous stores in Colorado, including Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods locations.
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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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