Orange Kat was recently introduced to A Touch of Colorado in Belmar. They’re located at 7170 Alaska Dr, Denver, are open 7 days a week and carry unique goods made in Colorado by hundreds of artists and small manufacturers. We were amazed by the wide variety of items that Holly and her staff have collected. We picked up a new cookbook full of Colorado inspired recipes and a couple varieties of Devil Dog Brew coffee which is delicious! Admittedly, our favorite characteristic about the store is that they just became the first location in Colorado to carry our military line of tribute plaques and ornaments. Shopping A Touch of Colorado is a fantastic way to support local businesses and artists without having to visit dozens of stores.
The two most frequent questions we’re asked is why “Orange Kat” and are we military veterans. Our name Orange Kat was chosen to memorialize our 16 year-old cat, Gizmo Joseph aka Jo Jo who left us in 2012 and to also honor our 2 orange kittens who adopted us later that year (King Aslan and Princess Jewel). We changed the spelling to “kat” to make the name fun which describes many of our products.
As for if we are veterans, no we are not. Both of Jo Jo’s grandpa’s are military veterans as are several of his cousins and uncles. We fell into making military themed products and our appreciation for what these wonderful individuals give deepens every day.
We have the opportunity to virtually meet online many great people who serve not only in the military, but for local police and fire departments along with other areas of the government. The vast majority of our interactions are online and the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show we attended this past weekend is the only venue at which we get to meet veterans and their families in person. Seeing the pride of a person’s service in their and their family’s eyes is a truly beautiful and humbling experience. We met folks from both Denver and Arapahoe County’s Sheriffs Offices, firefighters from Loveland and service-people from nearly all of our country’s branches of military.
One family in particular really touched us. To give us the spelling of her nephew’s name, the aunt of Capt. Dustin Lukasiewicz, removed a memorial bracelet with his name from her wrist. She told us that Dustin’s helicopter went down in Nepal while rescuing others after an earthquake devastated the region earlier this year. After the show closed that evening, we found this article detailing the exemplary life Dustin led. Judy’s nephew is the very definition of a hero. His actions remind us of how fortunate we are to have such selfless, brave and willing people to serve our country and to know how this man affected the lives of others so far from home is amazing and inspiring. We hope you’ll take a moment this Veteran’s Day to read more about Dustin and say thank you to the courageous people who choose to serve.
It’s been an amazing year since we attended our first Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show last November! As we load the Kat Mobile to set-up at the Denver Merchandise Mart tomorrow we’ve been remembering the trepidation we felt not knowing what to expect at our first large gift show. We were at the very bottom of a sharp learning curve and feel much more relaxed this year. We decided to narrow our focus and bring just a couple of our product lines which includes our military, civic and fraternal gifts along with our glassware and the ridiculously popular “useless machine” (and the assemble yourself useless machine kit). Even more exciting is that we’re going to feature the Artic Fox Stained Glass product line made by a dear personal friend of ours. In recent months we began providing some laser work for Artic Fox and, as the new year approaches, we hope to deepen that relationship and collaborate to produce some truly unique designs combining mediums that are not traditionally paired. We’ll keep in touch over this busy weekend and hope to see you at the Mart!