The craft movement is alive and thriving in Breckenridge as more locals are sharing their talents, spinning side hustle into full-on artistic entrepreneurship. We’re hollering back to the days where handcrafted outweighs big box. And creativity is flourishing as our friends and neighbors pour their hearts into their craft of Breckenridge goods and gear.
Here are a few born-in-Breckenridge experiences and products that continue to shape our community.
Start with the best water from Rocky Mountain snowmelt with just the right amount of mineralization to make one of the tastiest bourbon whiskeys you’ll try. And try to your heart’s content at the conveniently located Tasting Room on Main Street next to the Blue River Plaza. Owner Brian Nolt started with bourbon, and now creates vodkas, rums, gins, and expanded bourbon offerings like single barrel and port cask finished whiskeys. Visit the Distillery on Airport Road and pair your cocktail with high-end victuals at their adjacent restaurant.
Broken Compass Brewing
It didn’t take long for the locals’ secret to get out: Broken Compass has a chill scene, really good beer, and a tucked-away location that takes some effort to find. But find it they did, and now Broken Compass’s award-winning libations are found at bars and restaurants around the county. Bring your own food, the kids and the dog to enjoy creative craft beers inspired by English and Irish Ales or whatever wacky ingredients owner Jason Ford and his brewers think up, like Peanut Butter Banana Hefeweizen.
Breckenridge Brewery & Pub
In the late 1980’s Breckenridge locals noticed something unusual: a brewery under construction. Soon our town would be on the vanguard of craft brewing. Since 1990, the Breckenridge Brewery has been offering their Avalanche Ale, Vanilla Porter and other favorites to thirsty locals and visitors alike, along with great pub-style food. While the Breckenridge Brewery may now be owned by Anheuser-Busch, the Breckenridge Brewery location is still the laboratory for new beer concoctions and seasonal offerings like chile beers in the fall and Orange Cream Ale in the summer.
Get Outside with It
Rocky Mountain Underground
RMU is a real grassroots ski bum story (read all about it here). These guys started out making hand-crafted skis for themselves in their basement (hence the underground name), then for friends who paid them in beer, and now their wildly successful alpine equipment is sold around the world and in a fresh Breckenridge retail-tavern space. RMU keeps it real with a “50+ days on snow” employee requirement. They also sell apparel and the Grrowler, a wearable dog bowl-collar combo.
Skiing Magazine has called Breckenridge-headquartered Faction the Ski of the Year. Born in 2006, The Faction Collective came about in a time of skinny, flat-tailed, capped family and racing skis. Freestyle skiing was taking flight and these globe-trotting friends wanted something more. Today, the high-performance freeride and all-mountain skis are the foundation of a full gear and outerwear line.
Born from a family of lifelong skiers—mom, a former racer, dad, a full-time alpine race coach and former US Ski Team athlete, and daughter, an elite alpine competitor—Breckenridge-based Steller Ltd. hand sews high-performance neckies and bandanas. These stylish multi-season sports accessories are made with love, gratitude and amazingly fuzzy, warm micro fleece.
Annie Kerr is a self-described type-A hippy entrepreneur with Rocky Mountain spirit. And it’s reflected in her stylish jewelry. The 31-year-old Boston native landed in Breckenridge in 2008, selling her simple, lightweight quality earrings at Magical Scraps and Clint’s Bakery while working other jobs. Kerr took the full-time artist plunge in 2013 and has since set up shop in the Breckenridge Arts District.
Alicia Clark Fulcher’s bohemian-style jewelry is mountain chic vintage meets warrior woman, incorporating lots of brass wire, bone, crystals and textiles. The self-taught Peruvian artist maintains a dedicated following on Etsy and pulls from high-altitude living and ancient cultures to craft her unique, soulful pieces.
Find it: Shop on Instagram or Etsy @Spicyheart or find her wares dangling at Vintage Sweet and Chic, Wandering Daisies and Fun vs Awesome.
Breckenridge Soap Company
Breckenridge local Renee Bartnick uses only organic or all natural ingredients to hand-craft small batches of these yummy soaps. That means no harsh dyes, fragrances or preservatives. She takes pride in creating a safe, pure soap the whole family can use, including her infant son. Look for Breckenridge Soap Company at the Blue Sage Spa, Marigold’s Farmhouse Funk & Junk and Nature’s Own in Breckenridge.
Fresh Soap Company
Kim Nieuwoudt opened the Fresh Soap shop in 2011 and has been making soaps with love since 2003 when she was disappointed with the lack of natural, fragrant soaps in the stores. Stop by her colorful shop where she makes soaps, sugar scrubs, bath bombs, lip balms and lotions all right in house from as many natural and vegan ingredients as possible!
Find it: 500 S Main St 970-423-7194
Learn The Craft
The Breckenridge Creative Arts Campus provides incubator space for local makers creating useful crafts, treasured take-aways and gifts, and offering classes in their field of expertise. Check BreckCreate‘s class schedule for a chance to meet the artist, learn their skills of the trade and go home with your own Made in Breckenridge Souvineer.
Ambika Herbal Apothecary
Carefully crafted salves, lotions, floral perfume blends, and therapeutic tinctures are handmade in small batches using locally grown and gathered herbs, roots and flowers. Owner Erica Ragusa is a trained herbalist and massage therapist who employs her products in her treatments.
Breckenridge Candle Cabin
Sourcing their raw materials from sustainable renewable resources like domestically grown soybeans, their pure wax candles, lotions, and gifts are fragranced with natural essential oils and presented in clever packaging.
Wild Balance Studio
Earrings from natural materials inspired by women with wild hearts and day jobs, including the creator herself, Annie Kerr who worked at local restaurants for years to support her jewelry-making habit.
Other Breckenridge Goods and Gear
Roasting their own coffee beans right in the store, this is the place to get a hand-crafted coffee.
Nikki LaRochelle Cards
Best known for heralding the entrance to Breckenridge with her charming banners, local artist Nikki LaRochelle’s art cards fit in your pocket, making it easy to take home a piece of Breckenridge.
Businesses That Sell Local Crafts
Utilizing colorful fabrics with whimsical designs, owner Mary-Anne Collins and her crew create children’s wear, pillows, belts and accessories right in the store.
Vintage Sweet and Chic
Local artisans mix with fashions and accessories, including Midnight Soul Macramé by Chelsa Ann Sullivan, and stylish silver and turquoise jewelry by Katie Pickens.
Marigolds Farmhouse Funk and Junk
Three generations of crafty ladies create clever jewelry, ornaments, and clothing from cast-offs and found items. Old hymnal books become Christmas ornaments, silverware gets a new life as rings and pendants, recycled saris turn into wrap bracelets, all upcycled and made in Breckenridge.
Ever-changing, engaging, and colorful, this artisans’ cooperative features locally-made crafts including bicycle-themed jewelry, art and clothing. In a nod to Breck locals’ love of drinking outdoors, a hand-warmer koozie is one of their top sellers.
Get Real Bazaar
Funky local and uncommon goods are found at Heather Wickstrom’s collective, including her own stone jewelry. Other artists include photographers, tie-dye makers, weavers, and art glass and paintings by ski instructor Jane Hamlin.
True Joy Soy
Amy Flanagan crafts True Joy Soy homemade candles in her Breckenridge kitchen. The soy candles use eco soya wax—100 percent soybeans and botanical oils—for a cleaner, healthier burn.
Find it: Sniff these homey jars and discover other Colorado artist creations at Serendipity of Breckenridge.
Breckenridge 9600 BBQ Sauce uses Breckenridge Distillery bourbon in its spicy Kansas City-style sauce, making it ideal for chicken, chops, burgers and tofu. Try their Bloody Mary mix too.
Find it: At the Breckenridge Distillery and Breckenridge Distillery Tasting Room