December 9, 2021

Meet the makers featured at this year’s Holiday Maker’s Market!

Rachel Grammes


We work with some brilliant local artisans and makers in our museum shop. As a small business, it brings us so much joy to cultivate a community of small businesses through our shop. When you shop small, your support is far-reaching: it allows us to bring in new makers, continue to support existing relationships, and advance the mission of the museum!

We love our makers, and you love our makers, so we thought it would be fun to highlight some of our friends and host a Holiday Makers Market on Friday, December 17, where all of us last-minute shoppers could get some totally rad gifts supporting rad people. Come meet the makers, grab some sips, and get your holiday shopping done! 

Can’t wait to meet the makers? You’re in luck! We’re here to give you a brief introduction to seven of the makers who you’ll see at the event.


Meet Carly Owens

Tell us a little bit about you and your brand! What’s the mission behind your brand? What inspires you? 

I am a multidisciplinary artist based down the road from y’all in Boulder. A central part of my practice is hand embroidery, and more specifically goldwork embroidery - which uses metals to embellish surfaces. I studied hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework just outside of London (UK) and now I implement the knowledge I gained there to create hand embroidered jewelry art pieces. My goal is to recontextualize this historic technique, making it wearable for today. Eyes are a recurring motif within my work and they’re greatly inspired by Victorian “lover’s eye” portraiture. My handcrafted pieces serve as a symbolic device for expressing the polaric spectrum of emotions from exaltation to anguish to melancholy.

Your jewelry is stunning and makes such a special gift! What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection? 

Thanks so much! I’m really excited about one of my newest pieces called the Palais Necklace (pictured). My most recent collection is loosely inspired by the grandeur and decadence of Versailles and this is probably the pièce de résistance. It’s adorned in freshwater pearls and is perfect for any maximalist fashion lover. 

Necklace photographed on a stark white background. The necklace features an embroidered eye, using metals used to embellish the surface. There are pearl-like obejcts surrounded the eye and a larger stone hanging from it.


What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small? 

All of my pieces are handcrafted solely by myself, and with my newer designs, I tend to not replicate many of them exactly. So when someone purchases a piece from me, they're getting something one-of-a-kind that was created from start to finish by the artist. That in itself, I think, is pretty special. I also love knowing that there are people all over the world wearing my pieces which is so cool! 

What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

At the market, I’ll have a range of jewelry pieces- from earrings to brooches to my more recent velvet chokers. I’ll also have a combination of new styles and old favorites- like my Fringey Eye Earrings. I can’t wait to see y’all there!



Meet Good Hearted Woman Ceramics

Tell us a little bit about Good Hearted Woman Ceramics! What’s the mission behind your brand? What inspires you? 

GHW is inspired by the vast landscapes of the west with a small dose of city flair; a solo, small batch stoneware act by me, Andi. Every product that leaves the studio is hand-thrown, hand-carved, and hand-glazed. Preserving the imperfections from human touch are intentional, this is where art and beauty collide. I hope to create pieces you and your family want to reach for everyday, this is the goal anyway. Plates that make your dinners feel special on a Tuesday or a mug that might cause a morning fight between you and your partner because they set a secret alarm to wake up early and get to it first. Long story short, I hope to create pretty and functional pieces you love and if they cause a wrestling match along the way, great! My advice though…always default to buying two. Problem solved. 

What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection? Why do you think gifting someone a ceramic good is a reliable go-to? 

MUGS; everyone loves a good drinking vessel. I personally love the Confetti Thumbprint Tumbler most. The thumbprint nooks make the cup feel extra cozy on a cold morning. Like a hug from your granny. 

Everyone loves something handmade. Extra points for everyday use pieces with an under $50 price point is always a great go-to gift in my mind. 

Two small mugs stacked on top of one another, a third one is situated behind the two. The mugs are on a textured surface and in front of a dark cream colored backdrop. The mugs are neutral colors with black and orange abstract shapes on them.


What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small? 

When you are the only person behind the brand, each step is done by one person. I think it's a unique situation these days,  to touch each part of the process. When you shop small you are directly impacting someone's life with each purchase. Trust me, we notice each returning customer and are so honored you are here.  

What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

Lots of drinking vessels and small easy-to-take-with-you pieces all under $50!



Meet jojo's sriracha

Jojo’s Sriracha is an award-winning, Colorado local, small batch sriracha company! Tell us a little bit about jojo’s sriracha! What’s the mission behind your brand? What inspires you? 

We started with the goal of making sriracha that isn’t full of sugar, salt and preservatives. What we discovered was just how delicious it was. Since then we’ve become obsessed with flavor, fermentation and all the ways we can delight our palate. We’re a tiny but mighty business that cares deeply about our workers, farmers and community. Whenever possible, we fundraise for the ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter, a cause near and dear to Jojo who lost her mom to ALS when she was a teenager. To date, we’ve raised over $10,000 to the cause. 

We love love love sriracha here at MCA Denver. What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection? 

We put extra love into our holiday gift boxes this year! Our absolute favorite includes a special jar of Björns sweet and spicy honey, our collaboration with the amazing Swedish bee keepers that use our hot red sriracha in their whipped honey. BAZINGA!

Four jars: three with sriracha inside, the fourth with honey inside (that looks like sriracha in color). The jars are photographed from a bird’s eye view and surrounded by pine cones.
Photo credit: Jolene Collins


What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small? 

The love and care that goes into our products is what separates us from commodity sauces. Our sriracha requires three steps: processing, fermentation, and jarring. Each step requires craft and attention that ultimately results in deliciousness. 

What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

Expect beautiful handmade holiday gift boxes for any food lover as well as jars to stock the pantry with. We’ll be sampling our many flavors and delighting your senses!



Meet Kind & Funny

We interviewed you a few months ago for the blog when we brought Kind & Funny to the MCA Denver shop! Tell us a little bit about how Kind & Funny is approaching Holiday gift giving and why the mission of Kind & Funny is so relevant this season.

As lovely as the holiday season is with Hallmark movies, cookie exchanges, and company parties, the holidays also have a tendency to be stressful. Getting gifts for people, hosting family, traveling, and all the to-dos associated with that. For me, at Kind & Funny, I want to try and regain that magic of the season. The part of the season focused on togetherness, kindness, joy, and love. Sharing a laugh together with friends and family over a nice meal, is so much more memorable than packages of Amazon gifts. 

What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection?

That is a hard one. I mean each one of my ribbons are unique and so many of them can be perfect for gifting lots of different people in your life. People you know really well, people you don’t know so well, vague white elephant gifts, you can’t go wrong with bringing a Kind & Funny ribbon to any holiday occasion. 

A Christmas tree on a white background, that’s casting a purple shadow behind it. The tree has legs coming out of the bottom with heels on the feet, and arms coming out of the middle of the tree. It’s decorated with red, green, blue, and orange ribbons.


What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small? 

Being a small business is pretty special. I get to truly hone in on what is important to me and how I want to make an impact on the world. And shopping small with local makers is a similar opportunity for gift-givers. Gifters can choose to shop with people who care deeply about their craft and their impact, and gifts from people like that are really special. There is a story behind them. There is a person behind them. And it’s that kind of personal thoughtfulness that comes through with shopping for small businesses.

What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

My mom! My mom, best friend, and favorite person in the world is going to help me at the Maker’s Market. We started our own event planning business years ago, so it will be fun to share this new entrepreneurial endeavor with her!



Meet Lux + Luca

Tell us a little bit about Lux + Luca! What’s the mission behind your brand? What inspires you? 

Lux + Luca is a lifestyle jewelry line for the Unapologetic Badass. My mission is to design pieces that inspire confidence and create empowerment through “real-relatable” jewelry for all occasions and moods. My designs are inspired by the incredible womxn in my life who fiercely support each other, take no shit, and help to carve out more space for Future Badass Pioneers.  

What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection?

My favorite gifts are part of the stamped collection like Raise Hell and Bad Bitch Energy Necklaces. I also love our double-wrapped, hammered rings that come in 14k gold fill and Sterling Silver.  

You’re a one-woman show! What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small? 

My favorite thing about having a small business is being able to bring things I dream about (literally) to life and being able to share it with the world. We (humans) are such a small part of the universe, and it is humbling and beautiful to be able to put a little bit of myself out there in it. You really feel like you're contributing something to the world when you make art. To be able to make a wonderful living while doing this is something I never could have dreamed of, but I’m doing it and I am so grateful for everything I have. 

Shopping small is supporting a dream. I think we are slowly starting to move away from the idea of big-box things—malls are struggling, big bookstores are closing, huge electronic conglomerates are in slow decline, and I think it's all because people are starting to realize the value in small business. People aren't just a number to us, our work isn't sitting on shipping crates in China or L.A ports, its individualized attention, custom pieces, one-on-one attention. It’s about building relationships within your community and for me, it's about showing people that we can “stick it to the man” in a sense by supporting the people in our own communities. 

It’s about showing young people that there is value in their dreams and talent. You don’t have to go to college and get slammed with 50K in debt, you can open a small business and while not many are building mansions or driving Maserati's, you can create a flexible, enjoyable, life for yourself and your family, where you work from home and spend your time creating and making something that fulfills you. There is no question, somedays it feels like work—and damn it can be so hard—but I will never work another day in my life building someone else’s dream. I do this for myself and now I do it for all of you. 

Portrait of Cassandra of Lux + Luca jewelry line, wearing a black tank top that says “very cool” and aviator sunglasses. Cassandra is tilting the sunglasses down and smiling at the camera.


What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

I will have all of my staple pieces from the stamped collection at our pop up, including the ever popular, “Fuck It” pieces. 



Meet Such A 4

Tell us a little bit about Such A 4! What’s the mission behind your brand? What inspires you? 

​​Such a 4 is an ode to a piece of my personality as an enneagram 4. The individualist. I found it helpful for me to find that out as I’m always searching for who I am or what I believe in. And with this business I’ve found that THIS is who I am! I’m creative and a little curious. And my pieces reflect that.

I started Such a 4 as a way to build some independence. I'm a stay at home mom, and that's not all I desire in my life. I needed something to be just mine. I've always enjoyed adding pops of color to my outfits with earrings. I stumbled upon polymer clay and realized I could make this work for me in both ways! A small business to build independence and add style to my wardrobe. 

My mission is to show others that bold and quirky accessories are not intimidating. If you love it, wear it! If you're drawn to a piece of my work you must have that part of you in there wanting to be recognized so let it out :)

I'm inspired by colors, shapes and textures. When I was younger I collected stickers, crayons, beads, scrap textiles from my grandmother's quilting, anything colorful with shapes and textures, I wanted it. I'm that way with my designs now. I don't subscribe to one aesthetic because I love it all!

Two earrings, designed in the shape of a half circle, with red, yellow, and white geometric shapes on them. One earring is placed on the light peach colored background, and the other is being held by a hand.


Your funky, artful designs are a fav in the shop! What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection? 

It's so hard to pick one! All of my designs I stop and stare at for a moment to just take it in and think "damn that's nice". All of my pieces are 100% giftable for the funky, color lover.

What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small? 

Being a small business is special because you're truly supporting somebody’s dream and probably their livelihood. I'm able to contribute to my family in more ways than caring for our son now that I have this small business. Jobs in general offer that but in supporting a small business you're supporting somebody much more intimately. I mean, I've cried over orders before! That's a real, intimate thing.

What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

You can expect me to have pieces you haven't seen before! I make new pieces when the mood strikes, when the creativity or inspiration hits me. I don't release collections per say because I'm creating new, one of a kind pieces all the time. Expect texture and bold colors in all shapes and sizes :)



Meet Wooly Wax

We’ve been friends for a long time now! For those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about Wooly Wax! What’s the mission behind your brand? What inspires you? 

Yes, we have had a long and lovely friendship which I cherish and adore. Not just individually, but with the museum and all the others that work there. 

Wooly Wax started from the ground up first with the desire to understand scent and all that surrounds it, to wanting to incorporate my 20+ years of chef experience. The excitement really unfolded when we started developing Collaborative Custom Scents with others like yourselves. The combination of ideas and memories makes for an exciting adventure in scent. That is our brand and that is what inspires me!

Rachel of Wooly Wax candles laying outside on her stomach on a large and tall stack of boxes outside her storefront. Behind her is a brick building, partially covered in greenery, with the text “Wooly Wax” and “Home, Bath, Body” printed on the window.


Candles are a go-to gift for just about everyone. What’s a favorite giftable item from your collection? 

Well, as you might suspect, it’s hard to have a favorite when you make everything yourself. However, during these holiday times, I’ve been enjoying sharing our new Holiday Kits which include a taste of all the things we do. If you travel, there’s a kit for you. If you want to give a gift, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a little self-care, look no further.

What is special about being a small business? Why do you encourage people to shop small?  

The best thing about being a small business is how connected you are to the customer. It’s very much like when I owned my restaurant. I made many longtime friends just from meeting them through the business. The same applies. Plus, shopping small gives not only people a chance to follow their dreams, but a community connected. 

What can we expect from you at the Maker’s Market?!

Well, you know! You can expect us to be having a lot of fun. We love the MCA and this event is one of our favorites. As far as shopping goes, we’ll have a wonderful array of candle products and gift kits, smiles and cocktails. See you there!