• Staff Spotlight – Jenny Vazquez

    Meet Jenny Vazquez! Jenny first started working at Akinz as an intern while finishing her degree in Apparel Design from Colorado State University. Now she has become part of the Akinz crew! She mainly does on production and spends most of her time sewing, working on graphic design projects, or soaking in all the different areas of working at Akinz (screen-printing, knitting, etc.). Jenny has lived in Fort Collins for 12 years now but has lived in Texas, Connecticut and most recently North Carolina. When she’s not at Akinz she is pursuing several other business ventures and raising her eight and ten year old kiddos.

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    While at CSU, Jenny loved designing women’s apparel that is has interesting shapes and also unique design details. Her Senior Capstone collection was an all-white collection that used hand crafted metalwork details. In the pic below, you can see handmade brass buttons along the shoulder cut-outs of this Resort Collection dress with hand-beaded metal fringe.

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    What is your favorite part about working at Akinz?
    I have always love being part of Fort Collin’s “maker community” but while I was in school, my focus was very different. Now that I’m done with school I am so glad to continue to be around people that love to create art and use their hands as much as I do. I also love chatting with people from our community when they come into the store and want to hear more about what we do!

    What is your favorite piece that Akinz currently has to offer?

    I am super excited about our new line of leggings that are currently on pre-order! I helped get this project going as Suzanne’s design intern and we are so excited that we were able to keep them made in Colorado. My favorite style is probably the Northern Lights print because the colors are absolutely beautiful and I love the hand-drawn mountains at the bottom.

     

    What is your favorite to make?
    Flare leggings! I love working with stretch-knit fabrics and our new Flared leggings are super fun to make (and they wear like a dream). I am also really excited to be learning to use the knitting machine. I have been a knitter & crocheter for many years but love using the machine. It’s super fun! But truly, I love making anything… no lie.

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    What have you learned since working at Akinz?
    I have learned how to use the knitting machine, how to screen print and so much about working with local manufacturers. I have also learned a ton about being an entrepreneur in the apparel industry! I get to see all the ups and downs and all the different roles that you get to play. Suzanne works so hard and is an inspiration!

    What would people never guess that you do in your role?
    I don’t shy away from doing anything that needs to be done. Everybody here is the same way.. so that’s a tough question! I do some cleaning, organizing, photography, and marketing that maybe people wouldn’t guess…

    Before working at Akinz, what was the last job that you had?
    Before going back to school at CSU, I worked at local fabric & sewing shop, Mama Said Sew. That is where I first fell in love with the “maker community” in Fort Collins. I taught sewing classes to all ages, helped people find the best fabrics for their projects, and tried to inspire people by sewing various samples out of our amazing fabrics.

    Can you describe your style in five words or less?

    Sassy maker mama

    What are your favorite things about Colorado?
    Breweries, camping, the mountains, the people, the sun!

    What are your interests and hobbies?
    Sewing, making jewelry, drawing, painting and hanging out with the people I love.

    Any last words?

    We love our customers and are so grateful to all of those who support our crazy dreams 🙂 Thank you!!

  • American Handmade for You, From Us at Akinz

    USA Made and Handcrafted, Just For You!

    We are the best friend that you have been looking for.

    We are low maintenance, do our best to make you look good and we are loyal to the end. Akinz has stayed loyal to their commitment to provide handcrafted products from the beginning. Whether it was Lindsay, Wil, Logan or Suzanne- we enjoy letting you know who made your beanies. We value quality products made by us, with love, for you.

    It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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    Look for our handmade symbol on our beanies and various accessories. These select items have been made, with fine attention to detail, by the hands of the Akinz shop crew. With the help of our vintage knitting machine in our shop, we take pride in crafting Coloradoan knitted items to keep you stylin’ and warm while boarding, biking and bar hopping. And holding true to our desire to provide high quality goods, you will still find shop employees (like Coleen below) behind the counter hand crocheting beanies and headbands for your wearing pleasure.

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    You have requested that you want your Akinz gear locally sourced and we listened! Our new line of leggings are made here in the good ole’ US-of-A and select styles are stitched right in our Fort Collins store and workshop.

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    Our shirts and hoodies are screen printed in-house. Take pride in reppin’ the message that you “Live to Ride. Ride to Live” and knowing that a teal haired tattooed American pressed it with love in socially responsible working conditions. Not having to outsource our products results in better prices for you!

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    Come visit us at our store in Old Town! You can see first hand how much attention and care are put into our beanies and screen-pressed shirts.

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  • Holiday Daily Deals!!

    Daily Deals start today!!  Check back everyday for a new amazing deal!!

    DECEMBER 16TH

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    Today’s Daily Deal!!  Get one of our brand new genuine leather and stainless steel laser engraved 6 oz. flasks when you spend $70 or more. PLUS FREE SHIPPING!!  Add $70 worth of product to your cart and then add our Akinz Mountain Flask  Use code: BOOZE at checkout.

    DECEMBER 15TH

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    FREE Shipping on any online order + spot deals on the site and in store.

    DECEMBER 12TH

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    Purchase $30 worth of goodies and gifts and then add your favorite pair of sunglasses to your cart to get them for FREE!!  Use code: SUNSHINE

    SHOP HANDMADE GIFTS NOW

    DECEMBER 11TH

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    35% OFF all mens and womens apparel TODAY ONLY!!  Use code: XMAS35.  Shop Mens Apparel.  Shop Womens Apparel.

    DECEMBER 10TH

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    Add any 3 beanies to your cart, use code: BEANIEBONANZA and get 1 for free!  ($30 value).  Shop our handmade beanies now.

  • We <3 Handmade

    We have met a lot of people recently who were not aware of the handcrafted elements that make our clothing so special. Well, it all started when Suzanne decided to start printing tees herself on the kitchen floor of her studio apt back in 2005. Almost a decade later, with the addition of a storefront and some better equipment, the idea of In-House manufacturing is stronger than ever. Yes we take the time to print up every shirt just for you right in the back of our shop. We make all of our beanies and headbands in house as well. Countless hours have been spent crocheting and knitting but it has been a very cool experience pioneering our own production process that we take so much pride in. We are very excited for the release of our ’14/’15 line this fall and we have some goodies in there so be on the lookout. Viva La Handmade Revolution! photo
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  • One of a Kind Beanies – Week 3

    Back this week for One and Done Wednesday with some awesome custom and recycled beanies for you to check.

  • Introducing One & Done Wednesdays!

    Around the Akinz shop, we like to play around with lots of different colorways and see what we like best. We wanted to be able to share these custom options with our online community as well as our in store crowd, so we’ve introduced ONE & DONE Wednesdays. Each Wednesday we will release custom colorways and one of a kind items online. Once they sell, then they’re done.

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    Not only is this a fun way to get our experiments out to the online community, but this is also a great way for you to get a custom item without paying a custom upgrade fee… everyone wants to be unique after all.

    This weeks options can be found in our custom beanies section.

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  • FUNDED by Kickstarter!!

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    Our handmade beanie initiative was successfully funded via Kickstarter on Tuesday and as of today, we already have the cash in our account and 2 of the 3 yarn orders on their way! We’re so excited to be able to expand our beanie production and continue to grow in a handmade capacity. So,

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Thank you to all of our fans who continue to show us support through this exciting journey.

    Even though we didn’t quite reach our stretch goal of $5K, we hope to be able to upgrade our knitting machine in the near future so we can bring you even more exciting beanie & accessory options. Hopefully we will also be able to become a resource for more brands’ private label handmade beanie lines as we have started to do with a select few brands already.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  • Kickstarter Campaign: Maintaining Handmade Quality in our Beanies

    Since the opening of our flagship store in Old Town Fort Collins, word of mouth about our company and what we do seems to be spreading and we couldn’t be happier about that. However, it’s made it hard to keep up with production of our most popular item, our handmade beanies. We understand that this is that pivotal point in a company where they normally would reach out for manufacturing help from a factory.

    But since I started small and grew slowly, I had the opportunity to talk to many people along the way, and I can’t even count how many times I heard, “I love your beanies. They remind me of Company X’s beanies before they got big.” I don’t want to lose that handmade quality in our product and end up being the company whose beanies those people USED to love.

    So, today we launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us raise enough money to make 3 bulk yarn orders. The savings kept in ordering yarn in bulk will allow us to pay a network of crafters to help crochet and hire more in-house employees to help with the knitted beanies. If we exceed our goal by an additional $1500, we will be able to buy a professional grade hand-operated knitting machine which will cut down on labor time and increase capabilities from our current setup.

    So if you would like to help, check out the ways you can pledge money on our Kickstarter Campaign Page, share the campaign and/or this blog with your friends and spread the word.

  • Market Season is here – Spring Horseshoe Market!

    Market season is here! Time to enjoy the outdoors while shopping. 🙂 First up is the Horseshoe Handmade Spring Market in Denver.

    Details:
    Spring Horseshoe Market
    Saturday, May 11th, 9 am-4 pm
    4345 W. 46th Ave, in the parking lot behind Olinger Moore Chapel, Free admission.
    An outdoor market featuring over 115 Colorado artists, crafters and vintage collectors–food trucks, interactive crafting and more! Rain, snow or shine.

    This is one of our favorite markets during the year. Not only are the people who organize this amazing in their curating and planning, but the shoppers are a really cool variety of great people to talk to, and the other vendors are always fantastic! I have to control my shopping so I don’t spend all of my sales money! We’ll have new jewelry out that has yet to hit the website as well as many new tops that will be released online soon.

    Hope to see you all there!

  • Hats for the Homeless – Handmade Beanies for Charity

    January 14th – January 31st

    With so many days of super cold temps in a row, it’s easy to find yourself rushing home to cuddle up by the fire or get under a blanket with some cocoa to watch a movie. There’s only so many minutes of negative temps you can stand before declaring defeat and retreating inside. But while we were retreating to our home this weekend, we were reminded of how miserably cold it would be and it is for those who don’t have a place to warm up or a home to retreat to.

    Therefore, we’re introducing the Hats for the Homeless program. During the last two weeks in January, we’re using the powers of our handmade beanies for charity.

    For each full-price handmade beanie purchased either online or in our store from now til Jan 31st, we’ll donate a beanie to those in need.

    So, buy something to warm your noggin and know that you’ll be helping warm up someone else as well. Valid on all Handmade Beanies, Custom Beanies, Headbands, and Scarves

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    Details: One for one beanie program is only valid on full-price orders. Orders using a discount code or redemption reward will not be counted towards our beanie total.

    We’re currently speaking with several homeless shelters and working out the details of when and how they will be distributed. Depending on how many beanies we have to donate at the end of the month, they will be spread out between shelters in the Fort Collins and Denver area. Donated beanies will be a mixed group of handmade and machine made beanies.