As an offshoot of Sierra Trading Post, Derailed.com holds fast to the same business model as its parent company: bargaining with top brands to procure overstocks at heavily discounted prices. But like a youngest sibling taking up juggling cats, it strives to differentiate itself from its older counterparts. It stands out with a youthful vibe thanks to skate, surf, and SUP apparel and the staff's laid-back attitude. They'll happily answer questions and make recommendations on their throngs of camping gear, running shoes, collegiate attire, and bicycle accessories from brands including Hurely, Billabong, and Teva. Though their merchandise boasts an average discount of 48% off the retail value, shoppers can save even more—customers receive a $10 coupon when they sign up for emails, and clients of the Give & Go Referral program get a $20 egiftcard when the friend they referred uses their own $10 email coupon.
For over 30 years, 3 Day Blinds' technicians have sift through samples and unreel measuring tapes during in-home consultations, custom-fitting abodes with blinds, shutters, and shades. They handcraft and cut treatments such as faux wood blinds, vertical blinds, and flexcell honeycomb blinds that reduce light and are energy efficient. As they tailor-make each order, the staffers dress windows of all shapes and sizes, from an arch above a doorway to a misshapen wormhole in the attic. All of 3 Day Blinds’ products come with a limited lifetime warranty. After clients have made a selection, the team shows up just two days later to install the new window dressings or let customers do it themselves.
Akinz began in a studio apartment in Houston, Texas, where founder Suzanne Akin designed T-shirts and tank tops to sell from the back of her purple Mini Cooper. After peddling her colorful wares at bars and wakeboarding events, Suzanne moved to Colorado, where she fell in love with snowboarding culture and expanded her clothing repertoire to include stylish beanies, hoodies, and jewelry?all knit, acid-washed, and crocheted by hand.
Like Theodore Roosevelt's early years taming wild grizzlies in the Pacific Northwest, each item of clothing exudes a free-spirited, peaceful aesthetic, as exhibited by the company's encouraging slogan, "Find Your Wings." In addition to outfitting customers with trendy active wear and outdoor apparel, Akinz adamantly supports the local bike culture, sponsoring Fort Collins-area Bike to Work events and the Fort Collins Bike Co-op.
Since 1999, founder Lino DiFelice has paid tribute to his Italian heritage with customized micro-batch wines made to customers? specifications?often by the customers themselves. Armed with more than three decades in the business, a staff of experienced oenophiles, and grapes from Italy, France, and California, DiFelice is able to guide his guests through the bottling process as they select the flavors that best suit their tastes. At tastings, customers can mix a concoction from scratch and wait for the fermentation process, or select one of Vintages? signature reds and whites.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
At Runners Roost, the staff members don’t just outfit athletes with shoes in the right sizes—they make sure the footwear matches each wearer’s individual needs with a thorough gait-and-arch analysis. As discussed during an interview with Colorado and Company, the staff records video of clients’ feet as they jog on a treadmill, then examines still frames to assess whether the shoes are offering proper support. With this method, customers can find the ideal footwear from brands such as New Balance, Saucony, and Nike for both women and men.
Channeling wisdom collected over the company’s 35 years in business, the pros at Runners Roost’s numerous Colorado locations also outfit athletes with accessories and sweat-wicking apparel perfect for triathlons over hot coals. In addition to supporting feet, Runners Roost has supported the local community throughout the years by sponsoring high-school cross-country and track meets, marathons, and other events.