Last weekend I was in Aspen for closing weekend. Little did I know, it was more of a locals closing weekend. So, the town itself was quiet. Exactly what I needed after weeks of going non-stop. If you don't know (now you know), I went full psycho with coffee like @PeterMcKinnon ... I have made it my mission to find cool coffee shops wherever I go because typically you meet some really incredible people who work out of them.
Erin and I went to a place called the Local Coffee House, fitting name for the locals closing weekend. I was immediately obsessed with the vibes (and the dogs) in there. The smell of espresso beans filled the shop, which also sold local artisans products. It had incredible natural light, bright walls, and there was everything from rugs, couches, and jewelry to art and plants. It was the perfect hodge podge for me to want to spend hours looking at everything and then photographing everything. I went up to the counter and asked the barista (Aspen-born named Kevin) to see if he would mind if I took photos. In typical chill, 'boarder fashion, said get after it. I started shooting the pups in the shop, some of the makers, and the process of making my espresso. While shooting, I talked to some of the in-house resident artists that sell their products there. They were all locals that grew up in Aspen, left, and then came back to start their own small businesses. My kind of people.
We talked about skiing, the 80's party shenanigans we may find ourselves in later that day, the creative process, and pursuing whatever it is that gets you going. No matter where you go, it's easy to connect with people because every is experiencing their own journey. I loved talking to one of the makers about how she left Aspen went to a big city, tried to work a "normal" job, and found that she wasn't happy. So, she went back to Aspen and realized she needed to work with her hands. And, she makes incredible textiles. She hand weaves blankets, rugs, and pillows. I could have spent hours talking to them about their passions, dreams, and figuring out the next step of the journey. I'm usually good with words, but there's no way to describe the feeling you get when you meet people on the same wave length as you. I literally felt the passion and enthusiasm from these local artisans. And, one of the guys behind the coffee bar said the same about me when I started talking (nerding out) about photography and writing. So, now picture a coffee shop filled with a drummer, a textile artist, a ceramicist, two baristas, and a photographer / writer. You get a group of people pursuing completely different things, but are also connected by a shared joy of pursuing what they each love. You see this group, and you see true makers.