Want something irreverent? Sentimental? Beautifully designed? Check, check, and check. Hallmark’s got nothing on these local Denver card shops nestled into neighborhoods across the city. (Plus, 5 local card designers you’ll want to know.)
For me, a well-chosen greeting card has always been a point of pride. Before I became a mom, when my time was still my own, I’d been known to spend more than an hour looking through cards at a store, carefully selecting the right one, the one that sounded like I could have written it if I only were that clever.
Greeting cards don’t need to be sappy or cheesy. Sentimental, sure. Irreverent, definitely. And, those truly clever — some might say cheeky — and always beautifully designed cards? Those aren’t mass-produced, and you rarely find them in Hallmark aisles. Those cards find homes in little gift boutiques or card stores, locally owned and carefully curated.
It wasn’t that long ago that choices were rather limited. But now there are a number of fantastic Denver shops where you can find the cards that say the thing you wish you’d thought to say. Here are 12 local favorites tucked into Denver shopping districts across the city…
5 Green Boxes, 1596 S. Pearl Street and 1573 S. Pearl Street (Platt Park)
This gift boutique is actually composed of a “big store” and a “little store,” and carries an extensive selection of cards, cute gifts and home accessories. The sign is subtle but it’s hard to miss the green home furnishings decorating the exterior.
The Artisan Center, 2757 E. 3rd Avenue (Cherry Creek)
Launched in 1977, The Artisan Center is Denver’s original boutique for locally made items. (Although they also carry national artists too.) The shop has a couple of walls dedicated to its extensive card collection, where you’ll find something for everyone.
Decade, 56 S. Broadway, Denver, 303-733-2288 (SoBo)
Another long-time Denver institution, there was a time when Decade was one of the only spots you could find off-the-wall, non-sappy cards…cards you wouldn’t send to your grandmother. Unless, of course, you also have a grandmother with an irreverent sense of humor. (I did, and she always appreciated these.)
eXtra Ordinary Gifts, 3867 Tennyson Street (Berkeley)
This little gift shop features all Colorado-made products, and that includes one of my favorite card lines, MintWaffle, by a Colorado designer.
I Heart Denver Store, 500 16th Street #264, Denver Pavilions 2nd Level (Downtown)
The former pop-up shop dedicated to Denver-area artists includes locally designed greeting cards often with a local theme. Card designers like Paper Plates Press, another of my favorites, poke fun at Colfax Avenue, I-70 traffic, and other things only a Coloradan can truly appreciate.
Jolly Goods, 4020 Tennyson Street (Berkeley)
This shop is filled with goods by local and national makers, and that includes greeting cards. Check out owner Nicole’s own personal quirky line of cards named for the shop.
Lulu’s Furniture & Decor, 2050 W. 30th Avenue (LoHi)
I was totally surprised to see this furniture and decor shop also carries really cute greeting cards. But I probably shouldn’t have been since the store carries many artisan-crafted wares.
Pandora on the Hill, 1227 E. 17th Avenue (Uptown)
In my Capitol Hill days (also known as my twenties), I spent a lot of time browsing in this little shop. It has since relocated a bit north, but they still stock irreverence in object form, including fun gifts and cards.
The Perfect Petal, 3600 W. 32nd Avenue (Highland Square)
We have long bought our floral arrangements from this lovely little shop, and they carry a well-curated selection of greeting cards from the traditional (weddings, birthdays, thank you) to the non-traditional (semi-serious messages for exes).
Talulah Jones, 1122 E. 17th Avenue (Uptown)
This shop looks small from the outside but it is invitingly brimming with gifts, home accessories, women’s accessories, bath and body products, children’s toys, children’s shoes and clothes, art, and yes, greeting cards.
Tattered Cover Book Store, 1628 16th Street (LoDo) or 2526 East Colfax (Mayfair Colfax)
Do you only shop at the Tattered Cover for books? You’re missing out on a great selection of greeting cards from understated to artistic to quirky.
Wildflowers, 1201 Madison Street, (Congress Park)
This spot may be one of the best-kept secrets of Congress Park. Come into this store for a card or two, but prepared to walk out with so much more. It’s packed with fantastic gifts, and garden and home decor accessories.
Wordshop, 3180 Meade Street (Highland Square)
All cards and stationery all of the time. This is also where you will run into my husband as just about every card he’s ever given me has been purchased from this little gem of a shop…and not a cheesy one amongst them.
Don’t have time to make it to a shop? You can also buy directly online from these Denver-area card designers…
(Be forewarned…these are probably the most awesomely irreverent greeting cards you can buy.)