i’m super pumped to announce the launch of my friends’ new company: R.L Linden & Co. they let me in on their project a little bit ago with testers of their goods. they had me swooning with every spray, swipe, cleanse, sip, sniff of their expertly concocted ecobeauty skin care products. i swear by their toner and am having fun doing further beta testing with them on a deodorant and facial serum. read my interview with robin and lynn below.
1. in your words, what is R.L. Linden & Co?
R.L. Linden & Co is Robin & Lynn. We are a small, local, women-owned company dedicated to crafting lovely plant-based skincare and healing teas.
2. how did you get into this? what was your inspiration?
Combined we have backgrounds in herbalism, nutrition, women’s health and natural skin care; have always made products for ourselves and friends; and are total beauty product junkies. We are inspired to create products that help people feel gorgeous in their own skin, as well as getting to work with our favorite plants.
3. what has the process been like from conception to execution?
We have known each other for about six years now, but started creating and blending together in August of 2012. Around the holidays we decided to do this for real and started our LLC in January. While formulating and deciding on what products to offer first, we took business classes together and sent out beta tester product samples to gather feedback. The official launch of our first three products is on August 2nd; we can’t believe it’s already been a year!
4. has creating/developing/launching this been what you expected? easier or harder? what have the challenges been?
We both had experience with start-ups in the past, so had a good idea of what to expect. Because we are committed to bringing our vision to fruition, and are so passionate about what we do, it makes the hard work totally worth it.
Of course we’ve had fairly minor challenges that are common to new businesses: nailing down our aesthetic, sourcing beautiful eco-friendly packaging, and definitely funding. Our biggest challenge, honestly, is more personal. With five kiddos between us, scheduling our work time with family time has proven to be a difficult transition.
5. tell us about other collaborators/helpers in the shop/brand?
Right now it’s just the two of us in the business, but we’ve been super lucky and really grateful for all the support that we’ve gotten. Blogs/Social Media/Product Lines like A Denver Home Companion, Seed to Serum, Rebecca Casciano, Green Beauty Bunny, One Love Organics and Beauty Bets have really helped to get the word out before our products were even available. It’s really humbling to be embraced this way.
6. who is helping you w branding/website development?
A huge thank you to Lynn’s husband, Jonathan Till, who did a beautiful job designing our logo and labels. Right now we have our website on VIRB and Lynn has set everything up so far, but we will likely enlist his creative services more as we grow.
7. where can you be found?
8. what new/other/different businesses would you like to see in denver?
That’s pretty hard. Denver is totally rocking it right now.
9. what are your favorite shops in denver? food/restaurants? neighborhoods?
Lynn- A Small Print Shop, Beet & Yarrow, Ironwood, Fancy Tiger (both stores). Udi’s off of Colfax is yummy and walking distance from us and True Food Kitchen is great despite it’s location. City Park, Baker, RiNo
they launch friday, august 2, and are going to celebrating by participating in a wonderful gathering at our mutual friend that evening along with brick & mortar, ollie’s vintage, and other awesome small denver business companies). look at the flier below and keep scrolling for a giveaway!
robin and lynn are generously giving a bundle of one of each of their products to one lucky reader of A Denver Home Companion! just leave a comment below saying what daily beauty product you cannot live without. you can gain extra entries by sharing this giveaway on twitter and/or facebook, and also by following R.L. Linden & CO on facebook, pinterest, and/or twitter. one extra entry per share or follow! that’s a lot of chances! just make sure you comment back here for everything you do so it’s sure to be counted. the giveaway winner will be announced in a blog post on august 16.
shawn reagan, the designer and craftsman behind the beautiful neckware at primary ties, chatted with me about the recent opening of his new company. i’m swooning over these unique and beautiful and thoughtfully made ties (jp received one for christmas last year and it’s his go-to tie). read on!
1. what is primary ties? Currently Primary is only neckwear, but my vision down the road is to expand to other fashion accessories.
2. how did you get the idea to make ties? what was your inspiration? I have always had a strong interest in design and I have a background in art, however I’ve found myself in a day job that doesn’t exactly satisfy my creative passions. so for the past few years I have been exploring several personal creative projects. About a year and a half ago I stumbled upon ties. I can’t remember exactly when the idea to make a tie came to me, but I have fallen in love with the process, because it touches on so many of my passions.
A lot of my fashion inspiration comes from childhood memories. My family spent summers in Connecticut and although the New England culture played a part the biggest influences were my two uncles Joey, and Clay. Joey worked in a ship yard, so his attire consisted of solid heavy workwear. He was always in a knit cap with a bulky button down shirt, jeans and boots. It was great. This never changed unless we were going out to Italian, and he would wear a tie. A solid navy blue, or forest green is usually what he went for. Clay on the other hand worked in Manhattan, and had some dough. His style was completely prep, and completely different from Joey, but even as a child I appreciated and aimed to emulate both.
Another one of my biggest influences is Japanese designer Hiroshi Awai. I think the reason I identify with his design is because he melds workwear and classic american dress wear really beautifully, and every now again you see a funky Japanese twist.
3. where are they made and what are they made out of? All ties are made in Denver, CO. Currently I’m using some linen fabrics as well as a few chambrays. I was also lucky enough to stumble upon some unique Japanese double gauze on a recent trip to LA which has been a challenge to work with, but the final result is amazing.
4. what has the process of developing this company looked like — from idea to conception? When I first began making ties I would walk into a fabric supplier, and my eyes would light up. I would end up buying any and every fabric that caught my eye, but this left me with a collection that didn’t seem harmonious. Since then I have developed a more clear vision of what I want the aesthetic of Primary to be, and my restraint has improved.
5. has creating, developing, launching this brand been what you expected? easier or harder? what have the challenges been? Overall it has been easier than expected. This is because I am fortunate to be surrounded by the most supportive friends and family a man could have. It seems that whatever problem, or question I come upon there is always a person in my life to give me a really intelligent helpful solution. It’s really a great blessing. My biggest challenge has been finding the time to develop the entire brand aesthetic from top to bottom.
6. are you doing this alone, or do you have partners/collaborators/helpers in the brand? I am designing and constructing the ties alone, but I am inspired daily by my creative friends, which is priceless help.
7. who is helping you w branding/website development? I have a degree in graphic design, so I decided to tackle most of the branding myself, but I’ve received a lot of web development help from my good friend and roommate, Dan Garza. He is a gifted web/graphic designer and his guidance and expertise has been a huge aid. I have also been lucky enough to lock down photographer Luca Venter to work on some look books with me which has been a treat. Both very very talented guys.
8. where can you buy these handsome ties? Online. I’ve also been in talks with several Denver boutiques — but that’s still in the works.
9. what new businesses (besides ties!) would you like to see happen in denver? Honestly just more of the same good stuff. Denver had been blossoming before our eyes in my opinion. The restaurant and bar scene is better by the day, and it seems that I’m hearing about more and more well curated men’s and women’s apparel stores that are ready to pop up soon. Tikwid, and Steadbrook to name a few. There is a a great creative energy in Denver right now, and as long as it keeps up I’ll be a happy camper.
10. what’s your favorite shop in denver? favorite place to eat? My favorite shop is Ironwood. It is beautiful, and interesting space, and I would buy every plant, stone, and antique if I could! With the rapidly growing Denver food scene it’s tough to pin down a favorite, but a few months ago I tried Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, and enjoyed every bite. It was my favorite meal of the year for sure, and the good news is that they are opening a sister restaurant at The Source in Denver called Acorn which I cannot wait for.
thanks, shawn! shawn is generously offering readers of A Denver Home Companion 10% off purchases made in his shop now through july 30th! just pop on over to shop primary and enter promocode GOLDENLIGHT.
this saturday, jp and i are partnering w a local community non-profit, earthlinks, to speak about urban farming, specifically raising goats and chickens in the city. if you’re in denver, saturday morning at 10, stop by and meet lacey and violet and here how we incorporate livestock in to our city living! also, make sure to check out the monthly open house series, community links, that earthlinks puts on. the organization is so unique and a much-needed asset to the five points/north larimer neighborhood and its homeless population.
i’ll be back next week w some posts about our time in nashville, a yummy meal planning helper (and how it’s been encouraging me to cook), and thoughts on two-years-olds and being married for five years. muah!
this week’s guest post is from jenny stockton. she reads, she bakes, she travels, she does lots of good for this world. she certainly seems quite wonderful! (we’ve never met but denver just keeps getting smaller and smaller: we do have some mutual friends.) go check her out. i especially love her discuss posts — thoughtful links to stuff worth knowing about.
if you ask me where i want go out to eat, chances are pretty good i’ll be suggesting any place that serves a big ass margarita and endless bowls of chips and salsas. that will be my request for my last meal. so when jenny came to me w an idea for a guest post that involved letting us all in on the secret of her favorite mexican restaurant, well, i couldn’t wait to see just how big those margaritas are.
I first ate at La Loma almost ten years ago, when some West Denver natives took me for dinner. I was volunteering with a youth organization, tutoring and mentoring teens, and the folks I was working with were intent on teaching me about all the best food the Westside had to offer.
One of my favorite things about La Loma is that it’s been around for so long, serving excellent authentic Mexican food. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the best Mexican food in Denver.
When my husband and I went for dinner recently, we had the honor of sharing the experience with my baby brother for the first time. By the end of the meal, the two were cracking each other (and themselves) up with jokes about how La Loma “is no Casa Bonita but…”
There are three main reasons to eat at La Loma: green chile, tortillas, and tequila.
If you are a tequila connoisseur (I am not), La Loma has something to offer you. If you are a margarita enjoyer (I am), you should probably get a medium and make your underage baby brother drive you home (I did). I like margaritas on the rocks with salt, and La Loma uses only “tequila reposado 100% de agave”, which means it’s aged no less than two months but no more than a year and is made with no glucose or fructose sugars. The margarita de la casa is the perfect balance of flavors – tart and citrusy without being too sweet or sugary.
The flour tortillas are made from scratch, which is really probably all you need to know.
Luckily, the green chile comes as a side option with a number of the dishes. I have been known to order a bowl of it with tortillas for my dinner. Either way, you really shouldn’t ever leave without having at least a spoonful (or dipping one of your tortillas in the bowl your brother got as a side with his chimichangas).
If you have room for dessert, the sopapillas are some of the best. They’re light and crispy, but soft and fluffy enough to fill with pockets of honey.
So the next time you find yourself in Denver craving good, authentic Mexican food, go to La Loma. You won’t be disappointed.
thanks, jenny! i’ll be trying to talk jp into margaritas and burritos for lunch today!