Breck Biz Spotlight: b boutique

When you begin talking to b boutique owner Cathy Cleary about her new shop on Main Street in Breckenridge you quickly realize this was a business born out of necessity.

“When I moved to Summit County I noticed there were hardly any places to buy high-quality makeup, hair or skin products,” Cleary said. “The brands that I used when I was working with salons weren’t accessible to people living in the mountains and it usually meant driving to Denver and spending more money.”

Now ladies need to look no further, tucked away at 301 N. Main Street behind The Fall Line, b boutique sits in a completely renovated ski tuning shop. Lines of skis and snowboards have now been replaced with handcrafted tables stocked with hair care brands like Pureology and Aquage, makeup lines from Stila and highly sought after skincare products from Ole Henriksen.

Starting on November 11th through the weekend b boutique will be celebrating their Grand Opening complete with giveaways, goodie bags and a jewelery trunk show.

“I feel like it’s great to finally have a place outside of the salon setting where people can shop and have someone there to educate them on which product will best suit their needs,” Cleary said. “Plus, there have to be plenty of testers. That’s what makes it fun!”

Originally hailing from Chicago, Cleary attended the Aveda Institute for Cosmetology and later joined Trio Salon in Chicago’s Gold Coast. After migrating westward for a  job in Vail, she realized she had her own ideas for a business model and launched Weemala Wedding Hair and Makeup, a mobile venture with fellow local Kelly Richardson. With business growing, the logical next step for Cleary was to set up a more permanent location for wedding consultations and an onsite boutique was something she had always envisioned.

Catering to locals and visitors alike, b botique carries a host of products perfectly suited for life in the Rocky Mountains. Skin feel dry and scratchy from too many cold days on the ski slopes? Try the Pine Tar Soap Bar from Made In Breck, a locally made, all-natural alternative to soaps that further dry out the skin. Lips feel chapped? Slather on a sample of the Sara Happ lip scrub followed by the shimmery gloss and you’ll quickly realize it’s impossible to walk out without buying at least one of the many lip-smackin’ flavors. Or, maybe you forgot your sunscreen on your way to the gondola just a few steps down the road. To keep your skin protected you can pick up a tube of Zinka, the original zinc oxide waterproof sunblock in a variety of retro neon colors that will remind you of the good ‘ol days on the mountain.

Custom jewelry and pottery creations from local resident Regina Signa and her company ArTraveLove are artfully displayed throughout b boutique as well as colorful wrap bracelets and assorted jewlery from BB Dharma. Those interested in checking out more of the jewelry offered at b boutique should make it a point to stop by the shop on Sunday the 13th for jewelry trunk show with BB Dharma’s creator Mary Beth Brush.

Whether you are a full-0n beauty diva or just looking to battle split ends, b boutique is a clear choice for those in the High Country looking to treat themselves. So do yourself a favor and stop by this weekend to check out the Grand Opening, free samples guaranteed.


Goodbye mud season, get ready for live Summit Sunrise!

If you happen to be one of those people who dream about the snow report then you should get ready to start setting your alarm to wake up with TV8 Summit for the rest of the winter.

Like most people in the county the station took a little breather during the off season but starting back on November 12th the Summit Sunrise morning show will be live six days a week with weather and snow reports, interviews, dining reviews and, most importantly, the daily Watch and Win.

What’s that you say? No access to cable TV? Well dry your eyes because Summit Sunrise is now streaming live on their website during the show so you don’t have to worry about missing any of Jeffrey Bergeron’s classic one-liners about the snow conditions.

Also make sure you check out the daily weather reports on TV8 Summit’s YouTube page. While you’re there you can click through past Summit Sunrise interviews or take a look at clips from local businesses.

So this winter, do yourself a favor and wake up with TV8 Summit for everything you need to know to start the day off right.

TV8summit’s Channel – YouTube.

Winter has arrived

The rumors had begun swirling late last week.  Moisture out of the Southwest was set to collide nicely with a favorable jet stream and snow was the one thing on everyone’s mind.


You heard it in line at the coffee shop, in the aisles of the grocery store and, most typically, at the bar. Everyone you asked wasn’t shy about giving you their own personal predictions either.

Although some people were talking big numbers (1-2ft) we all woke up this morning to more modest snow totals than expected but still enough to label it a bona fide powder day at Loveland and Arapahoe Basin.

As much as I wished I could have gone skiing today I’m still a few weeks away from getting my season pass. Luckily, the scene in my backyard today couldn’t be more serene and the quite that comes with having all the roommates out of the house is perfect for sitting with my laptop and a cup of tea.

Hope everyone else is having a happy snow day!







Never Summer’s “Shred ‘Em All” premieres in Breckenridge

In a year that proved pivotal for pushing the boundaries of action sports films, the guys from Never Summer Snowboards will be the first to tell you they aren’t concerned with comparing themselves with some of the other production companies with big videos out this year. The riders don’t have RedBull endorsements, they didn’t fly around the world chasing powder and the missions into the backcountry weren’t accompanied by a huge crew of filmers.

20111019-124556.jpg“Shred ‘Em All” is a snowboard flick that most riders can identify with. A season spent with friends, exploring local stashes, pushing themselves not only for ‘the shot’ but rather for bragging rights at the bar later that night. A throw-back to how snowboarding films used to be before they started turning into high-definition feature films.

This Saturday, “Shred ‘Em All” makes it premiere in Breckenridge at Liquid Lounge at 520 S. Main Street.

With a healthy mix of backcountry, park and urban riding the film does a great job of highlighting what snowboarding is all about: getting creative with whatever you have to work with.

“Shred ‘Em All” also features local riders Ryan Cruze, Chris Lynch, Nick DeCicco and Jake Williams.

In typical premiere fashion, expect some giveaways, drink specials, music and lots of rowdy locals. Special thanks go out to local sponsors at KSMT, TallT Productions, TV8 Summit and Late on 8, the best place to watch late night ski and snowboard flicks in Summit County.  See you there!


Doing some Haus work…

I was supposed to have jury duty yesterday. I had been dreading it all week and was cringing at the idea of having to wake up early and sit in the stale air of a courtroom all day. Much to my surprise, when I arrived at the Justice Center promptly at 8a.m. the parking lot was completely empty and the security guard at the door wasted no time in making me feel like an idiot.

“Didn’t you think to call like the notice told you,” he asked with a knowing smirk.

First off, I don’t appreciate a knowing smirk from anyone before 10 a.m., and once I took a second look at the jury summons I immediately felt like an idiot considering I had ignored half of the important instructions.

With the whole day suddenly free I was able to join a few of my guy friends on a mid-day rock climbing mission at Haus Rock located between Keystone and Montezuma. The 20 minute hike in is pretty steep and can be hard to follow, but just make sure you keep an eye out for carins making the trail.

Our buddy Mike, the real climber out of all of us

As we approached the rock from the south I was feeling a little daunted. I’ve only rock climbed a handful of times and these pitches had crazy vertical and overhang, but my friend told me not to worry and we continued around the rock to the north side where the lines looked a little more manageable.

Safety first, then teamwork

It’s easy to see why Haus Rock has become a favored climbing spot in Summit County, with numerous routes and plenty of bolts it can be an easy climb for those just starting out or a technical endeavor for those looking for a bit more of a challenge.

Even though I hadn’t really planned on doing a whole lot of climbing myself, I couldn’t resist giving it a try and after my first climb I refused to take off the harness so I could try out different routes. By the end of the afternoon I was beating the boys up the rock with a huge smile on my face.

All photos by Sam Steen, my trusted belayer.

Mike D with Jake and Sammy looking on

Jake is now addicted as well

Think I found a new hobby to sink my money into

Twist arrives in Breck just in time

Truth is, some of us were getting bored.

Menus plastered outside local eateries in Breckenridge were starting to curl up at the edges, watermarks obscuring old standby options that were starting to look uninspired. We were feeling blase by overexposure to the same burgers, pizza and pasta options

Enter chef Matt Fackler and Twist, a new Ridge Street restaurant boasting an innovative take on comfort cuisine.

Having already garnered national acclaim for his Main Street restaurant, Relish, including a favorable mention in the New York Times travel section, Fackler opened Twist in June of this year.

Open for Happy Hour and dinner starting at 4p.m., Twist boast one of the best patios in town. Nestled just far enough off of Main Street, the property is situated at the perfect level for stellar mountain views and charming lights strung through the trees add a touch of romance to the casual atmosphere.  Walking through the door, the servers dressed in jeans and t-shirts let you know that there are no pretentious attitudes here.  Simple, intimate and bright, the interior of Twist seems cheery and welcoming even if there is a thunderstorm raging outside and the friendly vibe of the staff is the perfect compliment.

The menu at Twist is familiar and far reaching but in all the right ways. Classics like corn dogs and macaroni and cheese get a funky modern makeover with lots of focus on keeping many ingredients locally sourced. Dinner entrees are incredibly reasonable price wise given the quality of ingredients and the care in the preparation. Having worked in several restaurants around town I have an idea of what goes on behind the scenes and you can always tell when there are people in the kitchen that actually care about the food they are putting out.

While I have to admit I have done more visiting during Happy Hour, my favorite dinner entrees were the “fish and chips” (with amazing rosti potatoes) and the “chicken and waffles” (this wild rice waffle ‘aint yo mamas Bisquick), a must try if you ask me. Now, Happy Hour is a time I know quite well. Focusing again on the locally sourced, Twist enlisted the help of the boys over at the Breckenridge Distillery to create a watermelon infused vodka that flies off the shelves as the main player in their signature Watermelon Vodka Lemonade. It’s the perfect after-work cocktail and, if it’s been a particularly bad day at work, you can kick it up a notch to the Green Tea Martini, a personal favorite of mine.

The food served during Happy Hour is also a great deal for the price and diners will be pleasantly surprised with the softshell crab sandwich, the clam strips (ask for extra tartar sauce, it’s awesome!), sweet potato fries or the shrimp “cocktail” with seaweed salad. Neil and Tom at the bar are great for conversation or a menu recommendation and there is plenty of local flavor around the bar during the after-work rush.

Twist is a welcomed addition to the Breckenridge restaurant scene and given the man in charge isn’t afraid to shake things up a bit, I’m excited to see the menu change with the seasons, a sure way to keep the local foodies interested.

Get ready to wrap your mind around electro-acoustic

I first met Nic Coolidge somewhere between nap time and snack time at the aptly named Country Munchkins daycare in our small town of Bolton, Massachusetts.  Our friendship had no where to go but forward as we navigated through bad school photos, field trips, birthday parties, first loves and finally moving away from home to follow our dreams.

While mine lead me out west in search of more wide open spaces, Nic’s journey lead him to NYU to study music. Frequent phone conversations keep me in the loop and although we live a few thousand miles apart I still try to check out his projects and am always so proud to see what he comes up with.

Musical talent runs in the family with those Coolidge’s and Nic’s latest project, Knox,  is a collaboration with his beautiful and talented younger sister.  Their unique, dream-like sound is truly like nothing I have heard before. Haunting, energetic  and supernatural, every track I’ve listened to blends smooth vocal harmonies over countless layers of fragmented sound, and it works.

Check out the write-up they were recently featured in at as they get ready to drop their debut EP! 

So stoked for you Nic!!