Top of the Town 2022: Shopping

Choice of editors

Best place to buy houseplants

The Room of Plants

Daniel Brenner’s photo

“Follow me to the plant room.” That’s the phrase Victor Sosa-Meza found himself repeating over and over again when he started selling houseplants from his parents’ guest room six years ago. At the time, it was a way to relieve the stress of his day-to-day work at the company, but Sosa-Meza quickly discovered that giving personalized advice to plant novices could become a full-time career. In 2020, he moved from his parents’ home to his first physical location in Jefferson Park. Sosa-Meza gives detailed care instructions for each plant and even responds to the panicked: “Why is my prayer plant dying?” Instagram messages. (Hint: you’re probably overdoing it with the water.) But the Plant Room isn’t just for beginners. Sosa-Meza makes frequent trips to Florida, a hub for rare plants, to pick silvery Philodendron hastatum and other hard-to-find varieties in the Centennial State. Acclaim among collectors has catapulted it to a new, larger location just down the street from its original location earlier this year. —Angela Ufheil

Top Accessories/Home Furniture

South Platte Trading Co.

Jessica Larson knows what conversation is like. As a buyer for South Platte Trading Co., a Furniture Row concept that opened just before the pandemic, her job is to travel the world to find merchandise that will spark discussions in her living room. Unlike Denver-based Furniture Row’s other brands, which generally sell mass-produced items, South Platte Trading Co. kind global finds” that expand the company’s aesthetic breadth.

Walking through the North Denver showroom with Larson is a special treat because she is intimately familiar with the origin stories of her purchases. For example, there are the accent chairs, covered in the centuries-old tradition of kantha, an art form born in the Bengal region of India, in which rags are sewn together to create larger sheets of cloth. For these brightly colored chairs (pictured below; $469) from Jodhpur, embroiderers sewed together pieces of recycled saris.

Photo courtesy of South Platte Trading Co.

Bringing these treasures to Mile High City has become an adventure of its own. While Larson had enough international contacts and relationships to keep goods flowing when he couldn’t travel abroad because of COVID-19, importing items became exponentially more challenging. “We used to take about 45 days to receive something from India or Vietnam,” says Larson, who has trips to Europe and Asia planned for later this year. “Now, nobody knows with the shortage of manpower and the ports with backup.”

Fortunately, the 18,000-square-foot Bannock Street venue isn’t exactly low on stock, and Larson says things are still coming, just slower. “Items get to people’s homes quickly when they get here,” says Larson. “Sometimes I come to the store and I’m sad because one of my pieces is gone. But at least I know they are going to good homes.” —Lindsey B. King

Editor’s Choice: Choose a side

People’s styles are as unique as their fingerprints, which makes it extremely difficult to select a Top of the Town winner in certain shopping categories, so we picked two.

local women’s boutique

Streetwear – CR Lee Designs

Although she started her label in 2013, designer Crystal Renee Lee didn’t start accumulating orders until she launched her Tomboi collection in 2019. The combination of high fashion and streetwear has become so in demand during the pandemic – when comfort became essential – that each new line continues to sell out, and in March, Lee opened his first store on Broadway. —joce blake

Old fashion – the vintage label

Co-founder Carolyn Carrington travels the country to fill her luxury vintage store, traveling between private clients and estates to find one-of-a-kind pieces from timeless brands such as Gucci, Dior and Prada. If you can’t make it to the LoDo store, which opened in March, Carrington is eager to serve customers in their homes or offices, offering an old-fashioned level of customer service. —Spencer Campbell


Sneakers – All Access Kicks

There’s no better place to step up your shoe game than at All Access Kickss, which had to relocate to a larger LoDo location in November 2021 after outgrowing its original store in less than a year. The new commercial features everything from high-profile releases to Adidas by the name of Towelie, the perpetually stoned South Park character. —SC

Bling – Sarah O. Jewelry

The boho chic brand recently opened a second location at LoDo’s Dairy Block, and founder Sarah Ortega has remodeled its original location in Tennyson, creating more space for design consultations and a larger showroom. The expansion came just in time for Sarah O.’s latest collection, which launches this month: rings with rare stones, like the Montana sapphires, which Ortega has spent years hunting. —Philip Clapham

Jonas Conn-Parent/Courtesy of Steadbrook

local men’s boutique

City – Steadbrook

This 11-year-old Five Points boutique offers a mix of contemporary brands such as Rick Owens, Stüssy, Timex and Our Legacy (pictured). But it’s the community it fosters that makes Steadbrook a gem: When the store isn’t serving rappers Jack Harlow, Trippie Redd and Slow Thai, it’s running clothing campaigns to benefit Denver’s Samaritan House Homeless Shelter. —JB

Outdoors – Acme Fine Goods

If you’re looking for the standard Patagonian uniform, don’t bother driving to Louisville to visit Eric Reed’s three-year-old men’s store. Reed, a former sales rep for Denver-based Topo Designs, sells mostly quiet quality outdoor brands — think: Amundsen wool, Filson buttons, and Red Wing heirloom boots — for the man who doesn’t need a label, just high-quality yarns that make it look good. —SC

Reader’s Choice

local jewelry designer

João Atencio

several locations

fine jewelry

Sarah O. Jewelry

4301 Tennyson St., 720-502-3229
1825 Blake St., Suite 120 (inside the Dairy Block), 720-708-2947

home/furniture accessories

Warehouse of rare finds

6500 E. Stapleton Drive South, Suite A, 303-990-9311
8575 S. Quebec St., Highlands Ranch, 303-237-4470

Kitchen utensils

Elements knife company

2501 Dallas St., Suite 104B (inside Stanley Marketplace), Aurora, 303-460-4628

Place to buy houseplants

The Guardian

6400 W. 20th Ave., Lakewood, 720-688-1146

Baby/toddler boutique

wishing gifts

750 S. University Blvd., 303-722-2900
5014 E. Hampden Avenue, 720-502-6081

local women’s boutique

Nora’s Retro

1509 S. Pearl St., 303-388-7999

local men’s boutique

Berkeley supply

4317 Tennyson St., 720-445-6818

Wedding dress

lovely bride

2636 Walnut St., Suite 100, 720-452-1192


wishing gifts

750 S. University Blvd., 303-722-2900
5014 E. Hampden Avenue, 720-502-6081


W store

5014 E. Hampden Avenue, 720-476-4990

Place to buy books

tattered cover bookstore

several locations

Eco-friendly products

coffee toasters

2122 S. Lafayette St., 303-929-3325

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