May 2016 Akinz Staff Spotlight – Logan Rowley

Meet Logan Rowley!  Logan is our weekend shop gal and also makes knitted beanies for the store.  She’s a Fort Collins local, high school student, softball player and artist!  We thought we’d continue with our birthday theme as Logan just celebrated a birthday too!

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How did you find Akinz? I was born in Fort Collins, so walking around Old Town.  I always thought it would be the coolest job.

What is your favorite part about working at Akinz? Making beanies and being in the atmosphere of Old Town.  The people and culture are amazing.

What is your favorite piece that Akinz currently has to offer?  Our new floral yoga leggings!  Super comfy and cute!

What is your favorite to make? Our sasha beanie.  Love the colors and the style of the beanie!  Perfect for all seasons!

What have you learned since working at Akinz?  Retail is no joke.  And being unique in every business aspect is very important!

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What would people never guess that you do in your role? Some might not think work can be fun, but I just love working at Akinz!

Spirit Animal? Elephant, bold and strong.

Before working at Akinz, what was the best/worst/interesting/unusual job that you had? Lifeguarding.  Yelling at parents more than kids isn’t as pleasant as it sounds.

What do you want to be when you “grow up”? Graphic or Industrial designer.  I love art and hands on work!

Favorite thing to do as it starts to get warm outside?  Hiking, backpacking and camping!

What three things can you not live without (besides food, water and shelter!)? My dog Beatrice, art, and the mountains!

Can you describe your style in five words or less? Outdoorsy, casual, easy-to-maintain, everyday

logan-rowley-staff-spotlight3If there was a t-shirt made to describe you what would it say or have on it? Mountains, campfire, and it would say wanderlust.

What is your favorite things about Colorado? Mountains, towns like Fort Collins, amazing people, and the Poudre River!

What are your interests and hobbies? Hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, being with friends and family, and ART!
Anything you want to tell the readers? Anything they should know about you? (i.e. you can pat and rub your belly at the same time, you have ambitions of being an astronaut, etc…)  I really like fruit and Birkenstocks.

 

Spring Hiking on the Front Range

Are you having a hard time making the transition from winter to spring? It’s hard to let go of the skis and bring out the bike but we brought you some great ways to make it a bit easier on yourself. Exploring what the Front Range has to offer will remind you of why you are so proud to live in Colorado. Get out and enjoy it!

St. Mary’s Glacier

Photo Cred: summitpost.org

Photo Cred: summitpost.org

There is going to be snow here all year round so you can strap your board or skis on your back and get some turns in if you’re not quite ready to let go of snow. Or, you can just enjoy a leisurely 1.5 mile round trip hike and take in the spring time wildflowers that cover the area. After your hike, you should consider visiting the Indian Hot Springs in Idaho Springs while you’re up that way. You’ll be thankful you remembered your hat because chances are you’ll be left a bit chilly, as the area tends to be a bit breezy.

Red Rocks Park

Photo Cred: redrocksonline.com

Photo Cred: redrocksonline.com

Red Rocks is surrounded by miles of trails. Many music lovers tend to forget this and dismiss it as a great hiking spot. While you’re daydreaming of summer time shows, wear your galaxy leggings to bring some of the party with you to the venue. It has killer views on any trail you choose and due to its lower elevation will often not be a muddy mess that you may find on other trails surrounding the front range.

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Another great low elevation option, these miles of trails are beautifully maintained and are ready for your first mountain bike ride of the season. You can travel from Laporte across the Fort Collins back range on the interconnecting trail systems. Open to hikers as well, it is a great place to stretch your legs, as long as it hasn’t recently rained. These trails can get a lil’ messy when wet.

Spring Time Soup

Are you feeling the shoulder season slump? It’s too muddy to get on the trails and there is still snow in the high country but not enough to shred on. What are you going to do with yourself on these Colorado spring days? Check out how Akinz spends our soupy spring days.

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Frisbee in City Park, Fort Collins, CO Photo cred: Craig Okraska

Ultimate Frisbee or Frolf

Most of the parks in town will be dry enough to get your Frisbee on. Grab a few of your friends and drag them out of their winter lairs to roll around in the grass with you. It has been a long and cold winter. It’s a good way to get the heart pumping and enjoy some time with friends that you have missed all winter season.

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Caitlin Yong in our Ride More tee, Photo credit: Justin Malpica

Take Out Your Skate(board)

After a great season of powder turns, pull out your old deck and take a spin around the neighborhood. Hit up the skate park and remember how to use that old piece of wood. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into a few old skate buddies that will help you get back on board!

Denver Botanical Gardens

Photo Cred: denver.org

Photo Cred: denver.org

The gardens are a great place to spend a spring day. It allows you to soak up some of that early sunshine and you won’t be the only Coloradan struttin’ around with wintery white legs. Don’t forget that your skin hasn’t seen too much sun in the recent months and remember to bring your shades and hat to avoid looking like a lobster by the day’s end.

Chase the Sunmoab-bike

It may be soupy and muddy on the Front Range but it won’t be in Fruita or Moab! Put that bike rack back on and pack your car full of friends to save on gas money. Hit it and get those legs back into shape so they feel great for hiking, running and riding trails all summer long. The desert is a great place to be with friends no matter what it is. Did I hear outdoor sunset yoga? Or head over to Joshua Tree or Shelf Road for some early season climbing without getting scorched by the sun.

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Caitlin Yong climbing in Joshua Tree

Akinz Find Your Wings Foundation- Rig To Flip

Rig BumperRig to Flip has set out on a mission to provide a new media for an old west. With their focus on the rivers of the western slope, they aim to shed light on conservation issues that impact us all. The RTF team has recently produced a film about the Dolores River (AKA “The River of Sorrow”) of Southern Colorado and how the effects of the McPhee dam placed on the water, in 1985, has affected the native fish, the farmers and the recreational community of the area.12984035_463667110495637_3646045540305089400_o

The filming team is hoping to spend 12-14 days working on another way to focus the public eye on the nearly 200 miles of the Dolores river. They will be setting out to help create a new river map that will easily reflect available campsites, rapid size, navigation and locations and additional information about the area.

The previous river map, published in 1993, no longer reflects the changes that have taken place on the river as a result of the McPhee Dam Project. Rig To Flip has joined up with the Tamarisk Coalition, Dolores River Boating Advocates, American Whitewater, the BLM, Colorado Mesa University, the University of Wyoming and Conservation Colorado to achieve this goal together, as a community should.

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Join Akinz in helping the Rig To Flip crew get down to the Dolores by purchasing the latest Akinz Find Your Wings Foundation design. The shirts will be available in both the store and at our online store to practice your purchasing power.

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This one-of-a-kind Akinz design is helping the Rig To Flip organization take flight by becoming the third beneficiary of the Find Your Wings Foundation. They will be receiving 40% of all proceeds from each RTF shirt purchased. We are excited to be aiding in the conservation of the beauty of the Colorado rivers and wilderness areas alongside Rig To Flip. Thank you in advance for your purchase!12356833_1233946193286322_4476050841394217193_o

April 2016 Akinz Staff Spotlight: Lindsay Parke

Meet Lindsay Parke!  Lindsay is our in-house seamstress and also runs the store from time to time.  Most days you can catch her in the back corner of the store, in front of the sewing machine.  Lindsay is a Fort Collins native who recently returned home after living in the mountains for a while so, of course, she fit in at Akinz right away!  She also just had a birthday last week so, we thought she was the perfect choice for our first Staff Spotlight!

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What is your favorite part about working at Akinz?
Working in a creative environment where my thoughts and ideas are valued! I am truly inspired by Suzanne’s work ethic and drive, which pushes me to pursue my passions and creative pursuits as a maker!

What is your favorite piece that Akinz currently has to offer?
Green Snap Back Color Block Hat. It’s simple and classic for those sunshiny outdoor activities.

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What is your favorite to make?
Yoga leggings! So comfortable and they are pushing us into producing more in-house.

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What have you learned since working at Akinz?
The ins-and-outs of running a small business, as well as local sourcing.

What would people never guess that you do in your role?
Everyone here contributes to fill all the roles. We are still small enough that whatever needs to be done, we do!

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Before working at Akinz, what was the last job that you had?
Last ski season, I worked at a small B&B in Frisco, CO serving breakfast, housekeeping and doing happy hour. It was a relaxed mountain job that allowed me to snowboard and take a break from the city life.

Can you describe your style in five words or less?
Laidback outdoorsy tomboy

What are your favorite things about Colorado?
The outdoor healthy active lifestyle: hiking, camping, climbing, snowboarding, biking, microbreweries…

What are your interests and hobbies?
Yoga, hiking, biking, camping, climbing, snowboarding, beer drinking, painting, drawing, mixed media, design, photography…

Any last words?

Support your local makers! I am all about living that local lifestyle!

10 Reasons Why We Love Leggings

Alright, the debate has been had that leggings can not and should not be considered to be pants. Here at Akinz, we have decided they don’t need to be boxed in! Leggings should be valued for what they are, in a class of their own- flexible, comfortable and functional year round. To set the record straight of why leggings hold their own in this timeless debate, we present you with the 10 reasons why we love leggings.

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  1. One ‘fit’ to rule them all
    There is no need for ones labeled “curvy” or “boyfriend fit” because they are designed to hug all those curves in all the right places.
  2. You can throw away your old “fat pants”
    On those days where you have overeaten or the morning after Tour de Fat, there is no need to try to slip into a pair of skinny jeans. Slip on a pair of soft cotton leggings and enjoy your belly being swaddled until the stomach pains go away.
  3. They are adaptable to every shape and size
    True, one size does not fit all. We have all learned that unfortunate lesson from buying the $2 pair off Amazon that were made for tiny girls, but our leggings are 100% USA made, accomodate all sizes and several designs are printed on our very own printing press.
  4. You can wear them anywhere
    Under your snowboard pants, under your favorite summer dress that you want to wear in the winter, to the grocery store, mountain biking, to the movies, anywhere!
  5. Use them to dress up or down
    Leggings are so versatile! You can pair them with our Fireside Hoodie Dress for apres ski drinks or with knee high boots and a blazer for a business casual look. They are not just for yoga anymore…
  6. They were made for brunching
    Brunch and leggings were designed with the high class lazy people of the world in mind. You’re not late for breakfast and wearing workout clothes, you’re at brunch in your best leggings. Get it straight.
  7. They make packing easy
    Great things come in small packages, right? Instead of packing bulky pairs of jeans, a couple pairs of leggings will enable you to actually fit all of your things into a carry on bag for your adventure.
  8. They can be an act of self expression
    Thinking about getting a leg tattoo? Try out the Fly Away Compression Yoga Leggings that can show you just how great it would accentuate your upper thigh. Feeling cosmic, try our moisture-wicking Galaxy Yoga Leggings!
  9. They aren’t jeans
    Jeans can be stiff, uncomfortable and you always find yourself having to cover the top of your tush. Leggings don’t wrinkle, don’t take two dryer cycles to still come out kinda-sorta dry and you don’t have to spend time trying on 32 different sizes to find the right fit.
  10. They are your entire wardrobe
    You can wear the same pair all week and no one will ever notice as long as you switch up your top!

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Shaley Scott getting ready to release RADIATE

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First, if you don’t know about Akinz new Find Your Wings Foundation, here’s the gist from Akinz founder Suzanne Akin:

“When I started Akinz, the company motto I created, ‘Find Your Wings’ was supposed to be about finding something to motivate you in life, to help you spread your wings and reach for the extraordinary, because life is too short to settle for the ordinary. I’ve tried to use Akinz to inspire others thru our partnerships, charitable outreach and sponsored athletes, but this foundation has been a dream of mine for some time. The biggest dreams take more than inspiration, hard work and planning, they also unfortunately cost money. I hope to be able to provide that money for ordinary people trying to accomplish extraordinary things.” – Suzanne Akin, owner/designer of Akinz –

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We created a tee from Shaley’s ‘Fly Back Home’ lyrics to raise money for her new album.

Shaley Scott, the new Foundation’s second beneficiary, is a Fort Collins local with a sound that can be described as piano pop-rock, acoustic, and blues all rolled up into one–with memorable melodies and hooks that are hard to forget. Her use of piano with guitar, paints a melodic picture that is unique, yet recognizable. She likes to call it piano/soul…or, piano FOR the soul.  The goal of her partnership with our foundation was to raise money to produce her new album, “Radiate”.  

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Shaley, shown here with Dawn Duncan of Sugarfox Records in the Fly Back Home tees.

Well, this fast-rising electro-pop-rock star from Colorado now has all nine of her original songs in production in L.A. with top producers! The album, “RADIATE,” is sponsored by Akinz and will be released in July of 2016! PLEASE HELP US RELEASE THIS ALBUM! Your support through purchases made on akinz.com help support our partnership and 40% of sales of the Fly Back Home Lyrics shirts both online and in our flagship store go directly to Shaley’s album production costs.

 

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Fort Collins St Patricks Day Parade

We were approached about participating in the St Patricks Day Parade here in Fort Collins this year so we teamed up with Tadpole Pedicabs, put on our best green Akinz gear and passed out candy & stickers to kids like it was our job!

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Overall it was a ton of fun, although we’ll have to stock up on more candy before next year. The amount of outstretched hands encountered was a little above our estimations.

All photos courtesy Brianne Janae Photography

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 Gift Guides – Mountain Girl

Have a gal on your list who lives the mountain life? Get her some gear to keep her warm and cozy on the slopes. Our cowl neck hoodie dress is super warm, comfy, perfect for layering and long enough to cover your backside while you’re strapping in. Give her a handful of headbands to match her various ski jackets and a bright handmade beanie!

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Pictured Above:
Cowl Neck Hoodie Dress – Black
Balibana Crochet Headband
Snow Day Knit Pom Beanie
Stainless Steel & Leather Mountain Flask