Meet the magic behind Mago's Magic Shoppe this First Friday

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All photos by Mauricio Rocha
Like magic, Mago's Magic Shoppe at 313 West 11th Avenue has suddenly become a must-see in the Golden Triangle, with its mix of magic supplies, oddities and art. We recently chatted with co-owner and resident magician Max Mago about where art fits into the realm of magic, how he got his start in the magic business, and what to expect at the Mago's First Friday event on March 7.

See also: The five best events on Denver's fashion calendar for March

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A sad goodbye: Kazoo Toys prepares to close after three decades in Cherry Creek North

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If you grew up in Denver, you've probably shopped at or at least heard of Kazoo Toys -- or remember the interactive toy store by its original name, Kazoo & Company. After taking on a new space in Cherry Creek North for less than a year, Kazoo Toys is closing up shop, leaving behind the legacy of a well-loved store in an area that's losing a lot of its onetime institutions as the boom continues.

See also: Later, Gunther Toody's: Here's to nostalgia, my first love and a fake '50s diner of my '90s youth

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Denver Bespoke and Denver Dressmakers celebrate five years in the Mile High City

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A peek inside the Denver Bespoke and Denver Dressmakers local workshop.
When A.J. Machete and Lianna K. were thinking of moving their custom tailor and dressmaking ventures out of New York City, Denver called. In 2009, Denver Dressmakers and Denver Bespoke -- Lianna and AJ's own handmade brands of intricately sewn women's apparel and custom-tailored suits -- took up residence in Globeville, leaving behind a cramped 300 square-foot studio on the East Coast in favor of the sunshine, a supportive arts scene and much more affordable real estate Colorado had to offer.

See also: Whiteout 2014: What did the audience wear?

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Calling local designers: Fashion Design Center Denver hosts its soft grand opening tonight

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Lisa Ramfjord Elstun
The Fashion Design Center Denver in progress at 3301 Lawrence Street.
Local designer and all-around fashion industry guru Lisa Ramfjord Elstun says a one-stop design and production shop had long been the missing link in Denver's couture scene. So it was only a matter of time before the Fashion Design Center Denver came to be. "The creation of the FDC was important for me because three years ago, I was asked to create a lingerie line for the two major shopping networks," explains Ramfjord Elstun. "There is no one here in town that can produce at a couture level. I looked for manufacturers and even home sewers here, and no one is able to keep up with a production level, volume and turn over that either of these networks required. So, I went on a search to find all of those bits and pieces and realized one morning that the answer was staring at me in the mirror."

See also: Denver Design Incubator turns out better designer businesses, one stitch at a time

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Vert Beauty brings its all-organic approach to cosmetics and body care to Highland

Categories: Talking Shop

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Vert Beauty owner and cosmetologist, Amanda Hume.
As a cosmetologist and make-up artist for more than a decade, Amanda Hume says she's fielded questions from customers about what, exactly, the products she was using were made of. When she represented large cosmetic companies, a quick glance at the ingredient -- including many chemicals she could not identify -- was enough to inspire her to go out on her own one day, and find a way to bring better self-care options to her clients. And this month, Hume opened Vert Beauty at 3442 West 32nd Avenue, a "Sephora"-style boutique selling organic cosmetics and body-care products.

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The local list: Twenty holiday shows and markets for last-minute gifts in December

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Fashion Denver
It's getting down to the nitty-gritty, shopping-wise, if you're still scrambling to find the right gift for every person in your life. But as the holiday draws near, you can still feel assured that you'll find just that, and it'll all be handmade and locally sourced, to boot: Read on for our handy listing of all the best places to find artful, one-of-a-kind gifts in the remaining days before Christmas.

See also: Gifts that give back: Seven places to find thoughtful gifts for the holidays

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The local list: Seventeen holiday shows and markets for gift-buying in early December

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Valerie Savarie, Valkarie Gallery.
The holiday shopping season begins in earnest on this nasty day after Thanksgiving, and though Small Business Saturday is tomorrow, it doesn't mean you can't keep right on shopping local and handmade -- now and all year long. And how can you resist, anyway, with all of these alternatives still to come? Keep reading for a roundup of December's first wave of holiday markets.

See also: BALLS! V: A Holiday Spectacular

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Photos: SVPER ORDINARY brings art and design goods to the Source

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The Source seems to have something for everyone under its miles-high roof. But until this weekend, it didn't have a gallery/design boutique. When SVPER ORDINARY opened its sleek new space at the Source Saturday with an inaugural show, Máthēma, featuring new works by the graphic design duo, Berger & Föhr, Westword photographer Brandon Marshall caught the crowds, the art and the über-modern merchandise. Here are some of the images he brought back.

See also: First look: Babette's Artisan Breads rises at the Source


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The local list: Twenty-plus holiday shows and markets for gift-buying in November

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Colorado Potters
The Halloween ghouls have all slunk back into their closets for another year, and that means -- you guessed it -- the holiday shopping season is upon us. And the urgency is amped up in 2013, thanks to an early Hanukkah (the first candles are lit on Thanksgiving eve this year).

But that doesn't mean you have to go head-to-head with the mall hoi polloi and fight over who gets the last bathrobe on the floor. Lucky for us, local artists and crafters have been creating for months in preparation for the holidays, finishing works so unique that they're actually worth fighting over -- and you can feel good about giving their creators your money, since craft markets and holiday shows are all about keeping it in the community.

Here's a calendar to help you navigate your way through some of November's most interesting gift-shopping opportunities; stay tuned to Show and Tell for a second installment in December.

See also: Artist Viviane Le Courtois seeks Boulder flood relics for a new sculpture


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Photos: What's in store for you at Stina?

Categories: Art, Talking Shop

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Stina, which is nestled in a quaint block at 1409 Ogden Street, is a one-stop shop for one-of-a-kind upcycled furniture, vintage finds, vibrant art and home goods from local artisans. Walk in, and you're hit with the smell of fresh-cut flowers, which owner Christina Hatanaka always keeps around the place. The look is a mix of old and new: art from local creators adorns the walls, re-imagined mid-mod furniture houses sets of highball glasses, and families of air plants nest in cabinets and on cake stands. Stina's emphasis on local creeps into almost everything -- from locally-made bath products by Sweet Cheeks to hand-poured candles to knit goods. "I had been making furniture and selling it at the open air French markets -- they were a lot of work. I'd been thinking of opening up a storefront for a long time, and when I saw this place, it came together fairly quickly," explains Hatanaka.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Samuel Schimek

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