Awakening Boutique opened in RiNo’s Modern Nomad last Saturday, bringing Denver a female-focused sex toy shop that celebrates women’s choices and empowers them to be bold about their sexuality. In a whirlwind few months, Golden natives, Tory Johnson and Rose Kalasz, conceptualized Awakening and brought it to life. “This has all happened very fast. We approached Modern Nomad in April and they were so open to it and so excited,” said Kalasz. “Everyone here was really excited and welcoming and opened their arms to us.” The duo has been overwhelmed by the amount of support they’ve received and they’ve only just begun.
Climbing the stairs to get to the boutique, we weren’t 100 percent sure what to expect but then entered a space where we instantly felt comfortable and excited to explore. Exotic flowers and greenery were strategically placed throughout and plants hung from the rafters. Mid-century modern furniture displayed a variety of products and frilly, handmade undergarments hung on multiple racks from corner to corner. “Other vendors keep coming up and saying this is what they want their bedroom to look like. It’s so cozy and green. I like to think about it like you’re walking into your favorite coffee shop but you can buy candles and vibrators too,” said Johnson.
Johnson and Kalasz carefully selected every product they sell, often making trips to meet the artisans who created the goods. “I’m a marine biologist so eco-friendliness was one of the things that was really important to me,” said Johnson. “We have local makers and we’re almost entirely American made. We always chose quality even if it isn’t locally made because it’s so hard to find in this industry.” Cards, pins and “Crushing the Patriarchy” candles by local brand, Craft Boner, are present all over the space and natural skincare products like “Growing Belly Balm” from all-natural, California-based company, Fat and the Moon, are stocked on vintage side tables. Vibrators from FUN FACTORY, a German company that uses strictly medical-grade, hypoallergenic silicone to make its toys, are in large supply and a variety of products dedicated to the BDSM community are also available. It seems as though every community is represented — gay, straight, BDSM, drag — and we couldn’t be more excited.
Awakening Boutique is located inside Modern Nomad at 2936 Larimer St., Denver.
All photography by Amanda Piela.