BizBeat: farewell bash, dog training and new apparel store

Deb Hurley Brobst and Olivia Jewell Love
Posted 5/20/22

Conifer says goodbye to the current owner of a Borgata, Evergreen trainer offers force-free training, downtown gets a new clothing shop

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BizBeat: farewell bash, dog training and new apparel store


A Borgata birthday party on June 11

A Borgata owner Pennie Gaudi wants to celebrate the many different artisans she features in her shop and to say goodbye after 10 years running the store.

She is planning a birthday bash and farewell party from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 11 outside her shop in the Conifer Safeway center. She promises craft tables, music and fun.

Gaudi opened a Borgata a decade ago in Windy Point before moving west 18 months later. Now, with 237 artisans in her shop — some who have been there from the beginning — she has provided opportunities for locals to showcase their work.

The items in a Borgata range from jewelry and photography to home décor, pottery, metal work, clothing and more.

“There’s really not one thing that outdoes the other,” Gaudi said. “Things come around in time.”

Gaudi said while customers know her, they probably know Mia the shop puppy even better. Mia is an 8-year-old shih tzu-papillon mix who doesn’t know a stranger, much like her owner.

Gaudi started a Borgata when she turned 50, saying she wanted to try something new after being in the corporate world. A friend told her about someone in California with an artisan gallery, and she decided she could do something similar.

She said her forte in merchandising has come in handy as she has organized the store and the artisans’ wares with a flowing feel from one artisan to the next — showcasing their items to the fullest potential.

“A Borgata means village in Italian, and I like to say it takes a village to run a store like this," Gaudi explained. "All of us are in it together.”

Even during the pandemic, she said, “Everybody stepped up. They took care of me, and I took care of them.”

Gaudi is planning to continue being at the store until she finds new owners and gets them situated. The rest of her time will be spent helping her sister with their latest venture, Maggie's Candy Kitchen in Pueblo.

She hopes everyone will attend the party so she can thank them for their patronage.

Friends For Life: Holistic Pet Training

Friends For Life in Evergreen wants to help owners strengthen the relationships with their dogs through force-free dog training. 

Natalie Hawkins, CPDT-KSA, has been training dogs through her business, Friends For Life, for 22 years. She has three other positive reinforcement trainers at her facility in Evergreen. 

The trainers offer group and private classes that focus on puppy training, behavior modification and problem solving. Hawkins said the trainers never use traditionally painful training methods.

“There’s no use of any tools that can be painful for the dog or use any methods that might intimidate them or frighten them,” she said. 

The idea behind the training is positive reinforcement, which keeps the dog actively involved in the training. Trainers work to build confidence, desensitize animals to triggers and provide education over obedience. 

Hawkins said one of the most common behaviors she works on with dogs and their owners is leash reactivity, where dogs get excited and pull on the leash. 

Hawkins grew up raising and training horses, and realized after training her own dogs and helping out some friends that she had a knack for it. 

She spent 15 years as a veterinary technician prior to training and has focused the last 12 years of her training career on force-free training. 

If people have questions about their pet’s behaviors or need information on training, Hawkins encourages them to reach out to her business for a consultation. 

Buffalo Mountain Apparel–Evergreen 

Buffalo Mountain Apparel has just opened a new store in downtown Evergreen.

For the past two and a half years, Laura Bard and her husband have owned two apparel stores open in Breckenridge, one by the same name and a children’s store called Bluebird Kids Clothing Co.

As for the new shop in Evergreen, Bard says the merchandise will be mostly geared toward locals, with a wide selection of products.

“General Colorado gear, shirts, sweatshirts, home goods,” she listed. “Anything you can wear to show your Colorado pride and Evergreen pride.” 

Bard and her family live in Evergreen and are excited about the opportunity to open a store close to home. 

The new Evergreen shop quickly found a great staff and has seen a lot of locals come in to shop so far. Bard said they are ready to gear up for the summer rush. 

“I think this summer is going to be pretty busy for tourism,” Bard said. 

Right now, the shop is offering 20% off the entire store through Memorial Day, and plans to have more sales throughout the summer and end of season, once she finds out more about the store's customer base.


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