LITTLE SHOP, BIG STYLEWORDS: Heather Shoning • IMAGES: Trevor Brown Jr.
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#fdfefe” background=”#33b9cc”]L[/dropcap]ON Little Shop is a breath of fresh design. Vail native, Lon McGowan, left sunny Colorado for Seattle—marketing degree in hand—to begin a career steeped in design. However, it would be a downtown loft with high ceilings, exposed bricks and abundant natural light that would inspire his passion for great design.
The University of Colorado alumnus founded iClick, a promotional materials company as dedicated to customer service, branding and being a seriously fun place to work, as it is to its funky flash drives. The brand he birthed became an impetus for great things to come. Once McGowan enjoyed a fair amount of business success,
he purchased a loft, and soon after, developed an obsession with designing and redecorating it. The process fostered his love of quality design—in spaces, products, printed items and more.
After moving back to Colorado, McGowan recently opened LON Little Shop—a mini Mecca for the design enthusiast—located just off Pearl Street in Boulder. “It was important to be just off Pearl,” McGowan says. “I wanted this to be a destination location.”
Destination it is. The space, designed by McGowan with the help of his brother, who is both a furniture designer and owner of Fin Art in Denver, and their collaborator, Jeff Walters, is a delightfully understated “modern timeless” with black and white hex tile on the floor, museum-white walls and hefty walnut floating shelves. The space itself is eye candy for the design bent.
Then there are the products—each a quiet nod to modern beauty in many forms. All curated by McGowan himself, each product is a direct reflection of his taste for great design. A question about why design is important prompted an impassioned response. “Good design is important to everyone,” he says. “It’s like asking ‘why art is important?’”
With that in mind, he curates objets d’art on par with those found in the MoMA store. McGowan represents more than 50 designers from around the world in his Little Shop including: Three Bad Seeds from the Pacific Northwest, ARCHITECTMADE from Demark and Black+Blum from London.
Every aspect of the Little Shop whispers “design” from the understated, timeless interior that showcases the products to the custom-designed font that graces the company logo. “Little Shop is quaint—it’s just fun, not grand,” McGowan says. “We make good design approachable.”
Lon Little Shop: 2037 13th Street Boulder, CO 80302
They are open everyday 10am-7pm • lonlittleshop.com