Ouray's Main Street is Open For Business this Holiday Season!
Looking out the window as the Fall leaves play in the breeze, my mind scurries with them, dancing along in anticipation of winter and the holiday season.
Halloween jumped out so quickly it seemed, October had only just begun and is now almost over! With the arrival of November, many of the shops on Main Street have already begun to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. And what a season it should be!
Recently, it occurred to me that I had not walked Main Street lately. Like so many others, I had begun to be a slave to advertisements of "Rollbacks" and double coupon days. Prepackaged gift baskets that involved little thought and brand names easily recognizable had become a shopping norm.
Then, I walked into the first shop on my stroll along the few short blocks of Main Street in Ouray.
The Blue Pear is a tiny shop with a giant heart. When you look through the door, it is easy to think there can't be much there, but upon entering, immediately I saw how wrong I was. The walls are lined with an amazing variety of items. From handcrafted jewelry, glassware, candles and soaps to mugs and notepads with funny little sayings, just the first couple of feet into the store can take quite some time for gazing at the treasures to behold.
Specializing in "Self Indulgence", there were at least a dozen items both original and affordable that I would have loved to take home with me that very moment. Thats not including a plethora of gift ideas that would be perfect for those loved ones I always struggle with during the holidays. And she hasn't even gotten all of her Christmas orders yet! "I Love the Holidays!" Michelle, the owner, smiled "and I will gift wrap anything, I love wrapping presents!" looking at some of the lovely gift wrapping materials she carries, I completely understood her passion.
With my list of gift ideas growing by the moment, I walked out of the Blue Pear and wandered across the street to the Buckskin Booksellers, and again was not disappointed.
I love book stores. Walking into Buckskin Booksellers, the familiar feel of the written word surrounded me, and immediately I picked up a photographic journey through Southwest Colorado. But there is much more to this book store than books about the area.
A large section of novels and recommended reading , as well as a section dedicated to local authors is accented with card racks, popular paperbacks and audio books. The childrens section is a virtual paradise of beautiful illustrations and wonderful trips for the imagination of any child on your list.
A corner of the shop is dedicated to the mining history of Ouray, featuring some beautiful artifacts as well as old books; and Robert, the owner, proudly displays his amazing sand bottles. He recently met his 'creative twin', he says, in an Austrian who creates sand art as well, and Robert displays this art beside his own. How fun to be able to purchase original works of art so similar and yet different, created by like minded artists thousands of miles apart!
Any book can be ordered if Robert doesn't already have it in his store, he is quick to provide guidance to whatever you may be looking for with a pleasant, non-invasive demeanor perfectly suited to a wonderful book shopping experience. I could spend the entire day in this store just reading the jackets and choosing a book or two.
Alas, it was getting late in the day, and I had not even walked an entire block! I resolved to start earlier the next day, but still wanted to catch at least one more shop before dark.
Weaving across the street again, I found myself in front if High Country Leather. I hadn't even left the sidewalk, and already found myself checking out a variety of items on display outside the store. Walking up the stairs, there was a tiny taste of what was to come, with a sale rack and a selection of hats and shoes.
High Country Leather does indeed carry leather. Bags, jackets, belts and hats made from the finest quality leather, in addition to a variety of moccasins and slippers in an assortment of styles mesh with wool hats and socks.
It is close to impossible not to try on a hat or two. Whether you lean more toward the beautifully crafted cowboy hat, or a gloriously colorful cap with ear flaps, there is a hat for you. Sheepskin gloves so soft you don't want to ever take them off tempt from the side, and the bags! Even if you're not a huge purse person, these are like little works of art you get to carry on your arm!
The wonderful sense of humor and style of Kathy, the owner gleams from every corner, particularly the back room, and of course, the magnets. Taking a group of friends into High Country Leather can turn into at least several minutes of giggles, as everyone trys one of the crazy hats combined with a pair of Elvis style sunglasses. It is not unusual for a group to head over to the Buen Tiempo garbed in bright silly hats from the back room.
It is hard to visit every store on Main Street and truly see everything each one has to offer in just one afternoon. Not only are there a variety of one of a kind articles in each store, the prices are genuinely not too high. So often, the small individually owned shops are forced to raise prices in order to stay in business, but not so much here in Ouray.
So next time you are visiting, make it a point to spend some time on Main Street. The treasures in each store combined with friendly service make for the perfect shopping experience! Once you have gathered all of your purchases, relax in the mineral hot springs for the perfect day of relaxation!
See you soon!