Made in Colorado.
The origin of the word says it all: Manufacturing is derived from the Latin manu factum: made by hand.
Of course, it's not just hands anymore. It's minds and machines and computers and centuries of time-tested rechniques that are often passed down from generation to generation. It's a diverse industry with one common thread: Every sector is visceral. Tangible. These companies make things.
And manufacturing is trending up in both Colorado and the U.S. at large. Companies are reluctant to offshore production any longer with rising costs and a loss of control. The time it takes to ship a container on a slow boat from China is an eternity for some of the more fickle markets.
The total output of Colorado manufacturers jumped from $20 billion in 2012 to $21.6 billion in 2013, according to data from the National Association of Manufacturers, a galloping 8 percent clip--and that's before the economy really got rolling in late 2014.
This most recent stare rally meant manufacturing made up for 7.3 percent of gross state product, $7.9 billion of it in exports (or about 90 percent of Colorado's total exports). This emanated from just 5.6 percent of me State's total jobs, more man 150,000 workers in all. And these jobs pay quite nicely, about $80,000 a year on average, or roughly $30,000 more man the non-farm mean income for me state.
Small is big
For Colorado in 2015, neighborhood breweries, small-batch manufacturers of clothing and bacon and whiskey, and other micro-makers are flourishing.
At the same time, big is going small. Massive manufacturers like Ball Corp. are increasingly working with small breweries. There's plenty of opportunity in the supply chain to provide local ingredients for end products gobbled up by a marker that's increasingly keeping it in-state.
The supply chain is coming back with work force, as manufacturing supportS upward of 100,000 jobs that are dependent on the sector in Colorado.
While mere's a concerted push by all levels of government to attract advanced manufacturing, the smaller, craftier makers shouldn't be ignored. With nearly 300 breweries, 60-plus distilleries, and craft manufacturers making everything from ice cream sandwiches to pinball games, small batch reigns in Colorado.
The Web has allowed small businesses to sell to a worldwide marker. Makers can live wherever they want, and Colorado hits a quality-of-life sweet spot for many.
For larger companies, the state has good logistics and infrastructure with a central location on major freight routes, relatively low land and labor costs, and an economy that's helping set me pace for the nation.
It follows that Colorado can really shine in me bigger picture of the national manufacturing resurgence. As the comeback accelerates, we are in an enviable position to grab a big chunk of manufacturing as it gets re-shored, restarted, and reinvented.
Who: Founded in 1976, Finishing Pros is the state's only ISO 9001:2008 metal finisher certified by the National Association for Defense and Aerospace Contractors (NADCAP).
Michael Webb took the reins as president in mid-2014 to help the growing company make the jump from a contract shop to first-tier vendor for aerospace and medical device companies.
Growth drivers: Finishing Pros offers electroless plating, electroplating, and chemical conversion, but anodization has proven key to its recent growth. "Anodizing is absolutely critical if you want to be inaerospace." Webb says, referring to an electrolytic passivation method to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts.
Aluminum has become omnipresent; the new Ford F-150 even uses it to shave 700 pounds from its weight, Webb notes. "The use of aluminum is on the rise," he says, "That's underpinning our growth."
Training: Finishing Pros has partnered with Colorado State University to deliver continuing education to employees via their smartphones and tablets. "The most difficult thing about manufacturing in Colorado: finding people with technical skills," says Webb. "We'll be able to have our people access all of the information for our technology on their smart devices:"
Next: Webb says his aim is to position the 50-employee company for "large-scale industrial growth." He forecasts an uptick of about 50 percent for 2015, due in large part to growth in aerospace.
W.H. Ranch Dungarees
Who: Ryan Martin has been making jeans to order from raw denim since 2012. Priced at $335 and largely sold to European customers, W.H. Ranch Dungarees are the rare luxury good that double as durable work wear--one rancher wore his pair daily for months without serious damage.
Inspirations: Family and the mass market. "My mom's a fifth-generation pattern maker and sewer," says Martin. "My jeans definitely have a Lee influence."
Toughness, technique and style: Martin employs "heirloom" skills learned from his mother and grandmother. For the latter, sewing "was a matter of survival during the Dust Bowl," he adds. "You made your own clothes and you dam well better make them built to last."
Utilizing small runs of raw denim from Japan, the attention to detail in a pair of W.H. Ranch Dungarees also stands out. "Everything is cleanly made--the jeans look as good on the inside as they do on the outside," he says. "I've been known to rip out an entire inseam because one stitch was a little wonky." As for the Western style, he adds, "I just made what I wanted to wear."
Why Colorado: The market's not local, but the quality of life is. "We just love Berthoud. It's a nice little Mayberry town."
Next: Thanks to a 10-week backlog, operations are expanding with the help of a Los Angeles cut-and-sew facility with 1950s-era machinery. Martin's handmade process will remain in Berthoud as W.H. Ranch Origins, and the factory-made jeans will retail for $220.
Dry Dock Brewing Co.
Who: In 2005 Kevin Delange and Michele Reding from The Brew Bigger Hut home brewing store came up with a pioneering model that's since gone mainstream.
What: "In Colorado, you can have a manufacturing license with a tasting room," says Delange. "Nobody had opened up with a manufacturing license and sold all of their beer retail. We were the first to do that in Colorado and now there are probably 150." He's since moved into wholesale with cans of Hop Abomination and four other beers, as well as 22-ounce bottles.
Why cans: "It was a tough decision," says Delange. "If you do a good job getting the beer into a can, it's just as good. I thought, 'If the beer's the same, which would I rather have?'"
DeLange went with cans for their weight and portability and bought a canning line from Boulder-based Wild Goose in 2009. Five million cans and a $4.5 million production facility later, he says the line is going strong. "Their sales girl says, 'You've abused your line as much as anybody:"
Who: President and founder Edmond Johnson launched Premier to make custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) in 2000.
Next: After 20 percent revenue growth in 2014, Johnson is looking to a booming entrepreneurial ecosystem in Colorado to catalyze more growth. He wants to partner with startups in Denver and Boulder. "The opportunity to engage in technology," he says, "makes for good manufacturing opportunities."
And it works both ways. "There's not a lot of companies left [making PCBs in Colorado]." he says. But the benefits of working with a local partner are obvious. "You have access to your manufacturing arm."
A Plea to D.C.: Johnson says Congress needs to lower the federal tax burden on small business and implement a longer-term plan for accelerated depreciation. "It keeps us at bay," he says. "Stop talking about it and do something about it."
Who: Bill Swails built himself an "Xpedition Vehicle," or XV, in 1998 before going into business making up-to $500,000 vehicles that are designed to go literally anywhere. There are about 150 EarthRoamer XVs on the road today, including one that was delivered to musician John Mayer in late 2014.
Innovation: RVs usually run on propane; XVs are solar-powered. "It allows you to be 100 percent off the grid;" says Swails.
Next: An even burlier vehicle: the $1 million XV-HD. Swails hopes to deliver the first one this year.
Lessons learned: The company went through bankruptcy after the 2008 crash. "We were pretty leveraged," says Swails. He took the opportunity to retool the company, now 26 employees strong and growing. "Now we can stay in business on the service side alone."
Why Colorado: "The Colorado image and brand is very important to us," Swails answers. "It's also a perfect testing ground for our vehicles."
The ends of the Earth: Many customers have driven their XVs around the world, but one Australian customer put his to the ultimate test in Mongolia. "You're not even on roads," laughs Swails. "You're just driving on trails at that point."
David Rasmussen Design Group
Who: David Rasmussen started building high-end tree houses before shifting his focus to custom furniture and cabinetry in 2006. Now his 11-employee shop in Carbondale turns out a wide range of kitchen products in barware--think wooden martini glasses and colorful cutting boards --between furniture and cabinet jobs.
Retail and custom: He's selling the houseware products through accounts like Uncommon Goods and TJ Maxx, and makes custom creations for such clients as Kate Spade and Calvin Klein. "There's not a lot of companies doing quite what we do." says Rasmussen of the latter business. "They have a hard time finding manufacturers that will do smaller runs."
Growth curve: After doubling in 2013, sales grew at a 50 percent clip last year. Rasmussen says he's fine with "crazy" growth hitting a more moderate pace "At this point, its like slowly turning up the volume."
Why Colorado: One of the benefits is the dry climate," Rasmussen says. "We've never had issues with the wood splitting or cracking, which is a common issue with wooden products made in more humid climates."
Laws Whiskey House
Who: Al Laws teamed with ex-Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey distiller Jake Norris to create premium whiskey concocted with barley grown by family farms in Colorado.
No shortcuts: The bourbon aged for a full 34 months before it hit the market in fall 2014. In an environment where many upstart distilleries buy pre-aged spirits and slap on their label, the patient approach has paid off. Batch #l sold out in eight weeks, as did Batch #2. Batch #3 was bottled in early 2015. "It's who we are," touts Laws. "I think we can match Maker's Mark and everybody else."
Next: The distillery's rye whiskey is due for release in June 2015. Bui aging more than 1,000 barrels of whiskey requires real estate. By year's end, "We'll have no space left, says Laws.
Why Colorado: The market is primarily Colorado, plus New York, New Jersey, Chicago and San Francisco. "We don't need to be anywhere else," Laws explains. "We haven't even dented Colorado yet. We want to dominate this state."
"What I find about Colorado more than any other place is this intense passion for what's in their state" he adds. "They're doers here. People don't just talk about it--they do it."
Frontiere Natural Meats
Who: James Viola and Robert LaPoint launched Frontiere in 2009. After brokering meats for the first three years, they bought processing equipment and went into production.
What: Bison represents about two-thirds of sales and Frontiere also sells organic beef, chicken and pork. "Bison has become more of a national thing," says Viola. "People are just getting more health-conscious."
Frontiere owns a herd in Colorado. They're not nearly as challenging as raising cattle," Viola notes. "They're very hardy, naturally wild animals." But there are some wrinkles, he adds: "A 2,500-pound bull --a barbwire fence ain't going to hold him in."
Next: The company is expanding its facility in 2015 to accommodate annual growth of 30 percent for three years running and looking at shelf-stable, jerky-like bison bars and other new products.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Who: Lockheed Martin VP and Orion Program Manager Mike Hawes touts the Orion crew module as NASA's first step to Mars. Lockheed is the prime contractor on the project, successfully tested last December, and Centennial-based United Launch Alliance built the rocket that took the capsule 3,600 miles above Earth.
A deep labor pool: Space-related jobs in Colorado--170,000 to be exact--are up nearly 20 percent in the last decade. "Behind every great technology advancement are dedicated, talented and hardworking people who drive innovation everyday," say Hawes. "And we're fortunate to have such an exceptional aerospace work force in Colorado." Lockheed alone has about 9,000 employees in-state.
Innovation: Orion's Colorado-made heat shield withstood temperatures twice that of molten lava during the December test, or about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The module is designed to be deployed as many as 250,000,000 miles away from Earth--or more than halfway to Jupiter.
Who: Clive Smith invented a better stethoscope in 2003. "Stethoscopes had not been improved since they were invented 200 years ago" he says.
Innovation: The Thinklabs One digital stethoscope reimagines the archetypal device with a headphone jack that integrates with iPads, smartphones and computers. "It's very loud and very clear," says Smith, noting that Thinklabs is making inroads against the "mega corporations" that dominate the market.
Why Colorado: After manufacturing in China for more than a decade, Thinklabs re-shored production to Colorado in early 2014 and saw sales more than double for the year. Thinklabs now utilizes 3D printers and a network of contract manufacturers largely in-state.
"One of the reasons was flexibility and the ability to innovate," says Smith of the move. "You can change design and improve things very rapidly. Innovation gets slowed down by offshore manufacturing."
Dixie Elixirs & Edibles
Who: CEO Tripp Keber started making marijuana-infused soda for medical marijuana dispensaries in 2009. Five years--and Amendment 64--later, he's built a showcase production facility in northeast Denver and says he can't make his products fast enough.
Innovation: "We've built what I believe to be the industry's most state-of-the-art extraction facility," says Keber. The company uses the resulting cannabis oils in sodas, energy drinks, mints, candy bars and other products. 60 Minutes has toured Dixie's facility twice and Keber has appeared on CNBC and countless other media outlets
Buzz: Immediately after recreational marijuana became legal in January 2014, "We were selling more in six hours than we were selling in a whole month in 2013," Keber says. "I don't think we had any idea how voracious the demand would be." Growth for the year was around 500 percent. The brand will expand into seven other states via "affiliate partners" in 2015.
Why Colorado: "Colorado has a state's rights environment," says Keber. "Regulators and legislators seek first to understand ... then be understood. All of that wrapped up in a big red bow--or maybe a green bow--is an entrepreneurial environment."
Who: Ben Frohlichstein and Stacey Marcellus started making gluten-free pasta from almond flour in 2011. Three years later their 11-employee company's sales topped $1 million.
Paleo boom: Riding the crest of the Paleo wave, Cappello's doubled its retail footprint to 400 stores by launching into Whole Foods locations in the Northeast and the Pacific West in early 2015. "It's a pretty substantial uptick in production," says Frohlichstein.
Next: Now offering four packaged pastas, Cappello's is introducing new smaller sizes of its cookie dough in 2015.
Why Colorado: "It's been awesome because the consumer base here is looking for products like ours," says Frohlichstein. "It makes a great testing ground for us."
Jeff Rowland Design Group
Who: Just coming off of his 30th Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jeff Rowland launched his high-end amplifier manufacturer in 1984. He works with a network of Front Range contract manufacturers to make amplifiers that often retail for $10,000 or more to consumers all over the globe, and "exude opulence," according to Stereophile magazine.
A shifting paradigm: Hi-Fi listening rooms are a disappearing breed. "Streaming and downloading is affecting this industry as a whole," says Rowland. "The younger set has handheld devices and their content provider is their computer."
Innovation: The company has been first-to-market with now-industry standards like Class D power. New for 2015, the Daemon is a networked and integrated preamplifier/amplifier with a touchscreen that's aimed at bridging generations. "It's known as the messenger between gods and man," Rowland says of the name.
Why Colorado: A great manufacturing ecosystem. Rowland sources everything from circuit boards to aluminum casing from local companies.
Who: Founded in 2001 by Mike Evans, PLAYTIME is perhaps best known in Colorado for the iconic play area at the Cherry Creek Mall. The 60-employee company has since manufactured and installed thousands of amusement grounds at malls, restaurants, hospitals and other facilities worldwide, says COO Grant Walter.
Innovation: "We're really the pioneer in creating unique play spaces," says Walter. "We've got a world-class design team," The company takes the team's collective imagination and transforms it into everything from ladybugs to giraffes, sculpted from foam that's safe, soft and antibacterial.
PLAYTIME's proprietary foam has been ruggedized for the outdoors with the new-for-2014 PLAYTUFF products, and its structures increasingly involve interactive musical and visual elements.
Gone global: With recent installations in South Korea, China, Russia and Australia, PLAYTIME is supplying an increasingly international market. Walter says exports now represent about 20 percent of the company's sales.
Getting Wilder: Walter says Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is his favorite movie and PLAYTIME's rubber pump mimics it. "If you close your eyes, this sounds just like the Everlasting Gobstopper machine," he
T.A. Pelsue Company
Who: The late T.A. Pelsue got the company started by inventing a watertight manhole ring in the 1960s. Today his son, Brad Pelsue, is CEO and the company has about 100 employees in Englewood and Lamar.
Today the company now makes a wide range of safety equipment, including heavy-duty work shelters, ventilators and fall-arrest equipment. "Our mission is on the wall of everybody's office: 'Our job is to make your job safer and easier,'" says VP of Sales Christian Miller. "That's really what we do."
Boom times: After closing their facility in Lamar, where the company made fiber-optic splicing trailers, Pelsue reopened it with a dozen employees in 2014. "We shuttered it for two years, then we had a great 2013," says Miller. "We had an even better 2014."
Why Colorado: "I think that gives us the ability to react faster to special requests from our customers," says Miller. "We can make changes very quickly and we don't have to wait for a container from overseas."
Who: In 1986, Gil Brassell invented a filter that would safely vent nuclear storage containers at Rocky Flats. Nearly 30 years later, his son, Travis Brassell, is CEO of the 80-employee company spun out of that innovation.
Diversification: With a five-axis machine shop, NFT not only makes nuclear storage equipment but has recently moved into aerospace and manufacturing automation. "There's a lot of synergy between our divisions," says Senior VP Terry Wickland.
Innovation: "We've had some of the biggest companies in the world come through our facility in the past few years," says Wickland. "Every one of them has been blown away by what we're doing right here in Golden, Colorado."
Why Colorado: A skilled workforce, says Wickland. "We have some of the finest five-axis machinists in the country. Colorado just draws bright, motivated, talented people."
Who: The Wisdom family operated carnivals in Colorado for more than 50 years, but their company has focused manufacturing trailer-mounted carnival rides and most anything else on wheels since the late 1960s.
Fourth-generation owner Victor Wisdom now runs the 50-employee company near Sterling.
Innovation: "We specialize in designing equipment that is not normally very portable," says Wisdom. "We make it into something that's easier to move."
This all started with a better Ferris wheel a half-century ago --the old way required five burly guys and four or five hours to set up. Wisdom's fan-like version would go up in an hour or so with two people.
Now: In the decades since, the company has made not only Sizzlers and Gravitrons, but also everything from drilling equipment to flight simulators, not to mention about 400 roller coasters, more than any other company on Earth. On the drawing board: 210-foot wind towers that won't require a crane to erect and portable operating rooms.
Boxwood Pinball (Lakewood) boxwoodpinball.com
Who: Travis Hetman and Bill Manke shared a love of pinball that led to an art project and was spun off into an entrepreneurial endeavor. Manke's the woodworker and Hetman hand-paints the playfield.
What: The duo's "craft pinball" melds the mechanical and the mental. "It's a pinball game with board game rules," says Manke.
Next: Their original BearCiaw model ($695) is complemented by a series of smaller bagatelle games ($125). Expect two new full--size models by the end of 2015.
Soothing chaos: Manke calls Boxwood a "soothing" alternative to the sensory overload of most pinball games. But there's still a hint of entropy, thanks in no small part to a few well--placed magnets. "Anything can happen in a pinball game," he says.
Eddyline Brewing (Buena Vista) eddylinebrewing.com
Who: Mic and Mollie Heynecamp opened a brewpub in Socorro, New Mexico, in 1999, then migrated north to Buena Vista to launch Eddyline 10 years later. They since opened a taproom in 2011.
Brewing in a whitewater town: "Our first summer was incredible," says Mic. "It's amazing how much (Buena Vista) swells with people When they started canning Crank Yankers IPA in 16-ounce six-packs in 2012, demand spiked again. "It just took off. Overnight, we maxed out our capacity."
The past five years have involved smoothing out this seasonal oscillation. The Heynecamps think they solved it in early 2014 with a $2 million expansion. Mic forecasts production to increase from about 3,000 barrels in 2014 to 7,000 this year.
Why Colorado: "We always wanted to live in Colorado and realized opening the brewery was the ticket," says Mic. Eddyline also focuses distribution of its cans in Colo rado alone. Mic's motto: "Don't overextend yourself."
Next: The ongoing brewing boom, the industry's third in 30 years, is going to have fallout, Mic says. "There's only so much shelf space.
Packaging brewing is going to be increasingly competitive.
The survivors are going to be those with the best beer." To th is end, Eddyline will invest in a pressurized canning line in 2015.
Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) (colorado springs)
Who: Lyle Small started the company in his dorm room at Cornell University in 1993 and relocated the now 53-employee company to the Rockies. Chief Marketing Officer Pat Edson worked for Coors for 25 years before coming to CTI in 2012.
The Silver Bullet's Blue Boost: CTI's blue mountains that appear on cold Coors Light cans proved a game changer. Coors Light leapfrogged Budweiser into the No.2 spot and gained hundreds of millions of dollars in sales since the ink's introduction in 2006. "With 3.5 billion cans shipped worldwide, it's tough to beat," says Edson. "It's a radical success." New markets: Food safety and financial security, including anti-fraud checks that change colors twice with the right friction.
Next: Photochromic ink that changes color in the sun, thermochromic and photochromic plastics, and technology that will allow aluminum cans to communicate with iPhones. "There's a lot going on with how we get our chemistry to talk to mobile," says Edson.
Denver Machine Shop (Henderson) denvermachineshop.com
Who: In business for 99 years, Denver Machine Shop has always been a family business. Co-owners and brothers Eric and Scott White's great-grandfather started the 25-employee company in 1916 in downtown Denver. In 2013, Denver Machine Shop moved to its fourth location, a 30,000-square-foot shop in Henderson.
Why: Keeping old machinery alive. "There's a lot of businesses that were created in Colorado around the tum of the century," says Eric, the company's CEO. "A lot of that machinery is still being used." Denver Machine Shop makes custom parts for steel mills, elevators and mining equipment, among other things.
A dying breed: "There's very few people in Colorado in this industry," says Eric. The company's resilience is paying dividends: Sales grew by 25 percent in 2014 and are forecast to hit the same mark in 2015. "The secret to our longevi ty is being able to flex with the marketplace," says Eric.
But the requisite skills--and tools --are getting harder to find, and often passed down from generation to generation. "We've got sons working out of their fathers' toolboxes," says Eric.
Capco (Grand Junction) capcoinc.com
Who: Originally known as Capacitor Company. Capco moved from Texas to Colorado in the 1970s and transitioned from electronics to cutting and machining metal in the 1980s. The 250-employee company has been a prime contractor for the Department of Defense for more than 20 years.
Innovation: The company's M192 machine gun mount won the Soldier's Choice award from the U.S. Army in 2006. Noted Defense Industry Daily of shaving 6.5 pounds off the mount: "If you don't think that's pretty great. try carrying one around for about 10 miles."
Next: Capco has won about $3 million in research grants since 2010. "We're doing some pretty aggressive research into obscurants, nanoparticulates and nanostructures," says Vice President of Operations Eric Goertz. "We're growing and looking to hire in 2015."
Why Colorado: "Every time I travel for business. says Goertz. "I come home and always comment to people. 'I know why I live here.'" He says the company works four 10-hour shifts and takes three-day weekends. "It gives everybody lots of time to play."
Elevation Organic Ketchup (Denver) elevationgourmet.com
Who: Real estate agent by day, Aaron Wagner started making his great-great-grandmother's ketchup recipe in 2012. Three years later, he's making 100-gallon batches and selling pallets of the stuff to stores and restaurants.
What: Elevation Organic is a condiment for toadies. All ingredients are organic and there's no corn syrup. An all-new vindaloo-spiced variety launched in late 2014. "Traditional ketchup is more than half corn syrup," Wagner notes. "I'll be delivering ketchup this morning that's still hot because it was made last night"
Growth: After 500 percent sales growth in 2014, Wagner says he's looking for more growth in restaurant accounts. He just developed a custom ketchup for The Kitchen restaurants, and Root Down DIA alone went through 125 gallons during Christ mas week "They go through extreme amounts of ketchup," Wagner says.
Two jobs: With a white-hot housing market in Denver, does Wagner sleep? "Not much," he laughs.
KADYLUXE (Denver) kadyluxe.xom
Who: Kady Zinke was a Denver Nuggets dancer before launching KADYLUXE. The brand's dancewear line debuted after a successful Kick-starter campaign in 2013, but Zinke has since pushed into broader market for protective clothing by partnering with Dr. Terry Lowe of the Colorado School of Mines.
Innovation: "We've actually invented something pretty amazing," says Zinke. Her idea of ultra-thin padding for dancers has snowballed into something much bigger. "It 's a hybrid technology that's going to make sports a lot safer." She sees opportunities in football helmets, military gear and automobiles.
Inspirations: "Under Armour," says Zinke. "I love Kevin Plank's story."
Next: After landing seed funding from Colorado's Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant program, Zinke and Lowe are in the midst of a feasibility study to manufacture the next-generation material in Colorado. (KADYLUXE currently splits production between Colorado and California.) But she's not forgetting her roots: The brand's second dancewear collection launches in spring 2015.
Knotty Tie co. (Denver) knottytie.com
Who: Mark Johnson and Jeremy Priest launched Knotty Tie in 2013 to make neckwear from custom-printed fabric. In 2014, they grew to six employees, including a pair of resettled refugees from Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both were professional tailors before coming to Colorado. "We wanted to connect them to opportunities that were very meaningful to them," says Priest.
One-off and custom: Knotty Tie has no minimum order for custom printed ties and a standard turn around time of three to five weeks.
"We felt custom shouldn't have a minimum order of SO and an eight-week lag time," says Johnson.
Lessons learned: "Month over month over month, we're making slow and steady improvements," says Priest.
"We're really expanding our market share. "He notes that Knotty Tie is in the top three Google results for "custom neckties," a term that sees about 50,000 searches a month worldwide.
Highlights: The company sold neckwear to numerous wedding parties, academic departments and consumer brands, and executives from Boston-based HubSpot wore Knotty Ties for their October 2014 IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
Next: The nimble operation is bringing fabric printing in-house in 2015 and partnering with a number of artists on custom patterns. "We're constantly developing new products on the fly," says Priest. "The printing equipment unlocks the cost equation for us."
*2015 Made In Colorado 250*
Capco Inc. Grand Junction www.capcoinc.com
Lockheed Martin Littleton www.lockheedmartin.com
Sierra Nevada Corp. Centennial www.sncorp.com
Ball Aerospace Boulder www.ballaerospace.com
Woodward Inc. Fort Collins www.woodward.com
Scion Aviation LLC Fort Collins www.scionaviation.com
Leptron Golden www.leptron.com
Agribotix Boulder ww.agribotix.com
dpiX LLC Colorado Springs www.dpix.com
RT Logic Englewood www.rtlogic.com
Primus Metals Lakewood www.primusaero.com
AdamWorks Centennial www.adamworksinc.com
Zybek Advanced Products Boulder www.zybekap.com
Falcon Umanned Aurora www.falconunmanned.com
Bron Aerotech Denver www.bronaerotech.com
RJR Circuits Inc. Denver www.rjrcircurts.satpremium.com
A&M Aerospace Inc. Denver www.amaerospace.com
Faustson Tool Corp. Arvada www.faustson.com
Lewis Engineering Inc. Grand Junction www.lewisengineering.us
APPAREL/ACCESSORIES/GEAR Topo Designs Denver www.topodesigns.com
Freeride Systems Leadviille www.freeridesystems.com
Winter Session Denver www.winter-session.com
Astis Denver www.asrts.com
Janska, LLC Colorado Springs www.janska.com
Knotty Tie Co. Denver www.knottytie.com
REO Precision Optical Solutions Boulder www.reoinc.com
KADYLUXE Denver www.kadyluxe.com
Omerica Organic Denver www.omericaorganic.com
Maruca Design Boulder www.marucadesign.com
Carrot & Gibbs Boulder www.greatbows.com
W.H. Ranch Dungarees Berthoud www.whranchdungarees.com
Colorado Malting Co. Alamosa www.coloradomaltingcompany.com
New Belgium Brewing Fort Collins www.newbelgium.com
Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins www.odellbrewing.com
Avery Brewing Co. Boulder www.averybrewing.com
Breckenridge Brewery Denver www.breckenridgebrewery.com
Great Divide Brewing Co. Denver www.greatdivide.com
Dad & Dude's Breweria Aurora www.breweria.com
Denver Beer Co. Denver www.denverbeerco.com
Crooked Stave Denver www.crookedstave.com
Trinity Brewing Colorado Springs www.trinitybrew.com
Ska Brewing Company Co. Durango www.skabrewing.com
Station 26 Brewing Co. Denver www.station26brewing.com
Eddyline Brewing Co. Buena Vista www.eddytinebrewing.com
Dry Dock Brewing Co. Aurora www.drydockbrewing.com
Black Shirt Brewing Co. Denver www.blackshirtbrewingco.com
Laws Whiskey Denver www.lawswhiskeyhouse.com
Leopold Bros Denver www.leopoldbros.com
Molson Coors Golden www.coors.com
Peach Street Distillers Palisade www.peachstreetdistillers.com
Wood's High Mountain Distillery Salida www.woodsdistillery.com
Breckenridge Distillery Breckenridge www.breckenridgedistillery.com
Montanya Rum Crested Butte www.montanyarum.com
Sutcliffe Vineyards Cortez www.sutcliffewines.com
The Infinite Monkey Theorem Denver www.theinfinitemonkeytheorem.com
Tonix Denver www.tonixdenver.com
Kannah Creek Brewing Co. Grand Junction www.kannahcreekbewingco.com
Colorado Gold Distillery Cedaredge www.coloradogolddistillers.com
CapRock Hotchkiss www.peakspirits.com/caprock
Oskar Blues Longmont www.oskarblues.com
Colorado Cider Company Denver www.coloradocider.com
Redstone Meadery Boulder www.redstonemeadery.com
Deerhammer Distilling Co. Buena Vista www.deerhammer.com
Carlson Vineyards Palisade www.carlsonvineyards.com
Bear Creek Distillery Denver www.bearcreekdistillery.com
300 Days of Shine Monument www.3hundreddays.com
Wynkoop Brewing Co. Denver www.wynkoop.com
Crazy Mountain Brewery Edwards www.crazymountainbrewery.com
Raven Brick Denver www.ravenwindow.com
Coolerado Denver www.coolerado.com
Lightning Hybrids Loveland www.lightninghybrids.com
Silver Bullet Aurora www.silverbulletcorp.com
Ascent Solar Thornton www.ascentsolar.com
Terra LUX Longmont www.terralux.com
Steelhead Composites Golden www.steetheadcomposites.com
Airius Longmont www.theairpear.com
Confluence Energy Kremmling www.confluenceenergy.com
FridgeWize Glenwood Springs www.fridgewize.com
Community Power Corporation Englewood www.gocpc.com
Hach Company Loveland www.hach.com
Vestas Brighton www.vestas.com
Geotech Centennial www.geotechenv.com
Wadsworth Controls Systems Arvada www.wadsworthcontrols.com
Sturman Industries Woodland Park www.stunnanindustries.com
FOOD & BEVERAGE
The Real Dill Denver www.therealdill.com
Corvus Coffee Denver www.corvuscoffee.com
Continental Sausage Denver www.continentalsausage.com
Hammond's Candies Denver www.hammondscandies.com
Enstrom Candies Denver www.enstrom.com
Leprino Foods Denver www.leprinofoods.com
Mile Hi Specialty Foods/Bakery Denver www.milehifoods.com
Celestial Seasonings Boulder www.celestialseasonings.com
EVOL Foods Boulder www.evoltoods.com
MM Local Denver www.mmlocaltoods.com
Frontiere Meats Longmont www.frontierenaturalmeats.com
Helliemae's Caramels Wheat Ridge www.saltcaramet.com
Baba & Pop's Pierogis Denver www.babaandpops.com
Cappello's Denver www.cappellosglutenfree.com
Noosa Yoghurt Bellvue www.noosayoghurt.com
MouCo Cheese Company Co. Fort Collins www.mouco.com
Chocolove Boulder www.chocolove.com
Rocky Mountain Soda Company Co. Denver www.rockymountainsoda.com
Beeyond the Hive Elizabeth www.beeyondthehive.com
Polidori Sausage Denver www.potidorisausage.com
Danny Cash Hot Sauce Lakewood www.dannycash.com
Zuberfizz Durango www.zuberfizz.com
Mady's Mustards Colorado Springs www.beennustard.com
BigB's Salida www.bigbjuices.com
Rocky Mountain Natural Meats Henderson www.greatrangebison.com
Elevation Organic Ketchup Denver www.elevationgounnet.com
ink! Coffee Denver www.inkcoffee.com
Patsy's Candies Colorado Springs www.patsyscandies.com
Avalanche Cheese Co. Basalt www.avalanchecheese.com
Dram Apothecary Silver Plume www.dramapothecary.com
Tender Belly Denver www.tenderbelly.com
Rudi's Organic Bakery Boulder www.rudisbakery.com
Horizon Organic Broomfield www.horizondairy.com
RedCamper Denver www.redcamper.com
Peteybird Denver www.peteybird.com
Atlas Pacific Engineering Pueblo www.atlaspaciftc.com
Dixie Elixirs Denver www.dixieelixirs.com
Waste Farmers Denver www.wastefarmers.com
BirkoCorp. Henderson www.birkocorp.com
Jackson's Honest Potato Chips Crested Butte www.honestchips.com
HI-FI & MUSIC Avalon Acoustics Boulder www.avalonacoustics.com
Boulder Amplifiers Boulder www.boulderamp.com
Jeff Rowland Design Group Colorado Springs www.jeffrowtandgroup.com
Ome Banjos Boulder www.omebanjos.com
Mullen Guitar Co. Flagler www.mullenguitars.com
PS Audio Boulder www.psaudio.com
Grace Design Longmont www.gracedesign.com
Rocky Mountain Slides Poncha Springs www.rockymountainslides.com
Henriksen Amplifiers Arvada www.jazzamp.com
Victor Banjolas Denver www.banjotas.com
Curt Mangan Strings Cortez www.curtmangan.com
Finishing Professionals Denver www.finishingpros.com
Prescient Denver www.prescientco.com
David Rasmussen Designs Carbondale www.davidrasmussendesign.com
Growing Spaces Pagosa Springs www.growingspaces.com
Nulite Denver www.nulite-lighting.com
Finishing Pros Denver www.finishingpros.com
Shafer Commercial Seating Denver www.shafer.com
Premier Manufacturing Frederick www.pmscs.com
T.A. Pelsue Co. Englewood www.pelsue.com
Van Briggle Art Pottery Colorado Springs www.vanbriggle.com
Sashco Sealants Brighton www.sashco.com
Rosy Rings Denver www.rosyrings.com
Housefish Denver www.housefish.com
Schacht Spindle Co. Boulder www.schachtspindle.com
Hunter Douglas Broomfield www.hunterdouglas.com
Studio Shed Louisville www.studio-shed.com
Encore Rail Systems Inc. Broomfield www.encorers.com
Sjotime Industries Denver www.sjotime.com
MetalCraft Industries Denver metalcraftind.com
Springs Fabrication Inc. Colorado Springs www.springsfab.com
Diamond Materials Technology Colorado Springs www.dmt-inc.com
Oliver Manufacturing La Junta www.olivermanufacturing.com
Diversified Machine Systems Colorado Springs www.dmscncrouters.com
Colorado Waterjet Co. Berthoud www.coloradowaterjet.com
StoneAge Waterblast Tools Durango www.stoneagetools.com
Alfred Manufacturing Denver www.alfredmfg.com
Walker Manufacturing Fort Collins www.walkermowers.com
Qualtek Manufacturing Colorado Springs www.qualtekmfg.com
Linear Manufacturing Colorado Springs www.linearmfg.com
Atmel Corporation Colorado Springs www.atmel.com
Denver Machine Shop Henderson www.denvermachine.com
VAIREX Air Systems Boulder www.vairex.com
NFT Inc. Golden www.nftinc.com
Wazee Companies Denver www.wazeeco.com
Mile High Orthotics Lab Commerce City www.mholabs.com
CEA Medical Manufacturing Colorado Springs www.ceatechnotogies.com
Mountainside Medical Boulder www.mountainsidemed.com
Westone Colorado Springs www.westone.com
Terumo BCT Lakewood www.terumobct.com
Encision Boulder www.encision.com
Corgenix Broomfield www.coregenix.com
lnDevR Boulder www.indevr.com
AlloSource Centennial www.allosource.org
Value Plastics Loveland www.valueptastics.com
Spectranetics Corp. Colorado Springs www.spectrantics.com
E.I. Medical Imaging Loveland www.eimedical.com
Pure Cultures Denver www.purecultures.com
Thinklabs One Stethoscope Centenntial www.thinklabs.com
Hyperflesh Denver www.hyperflesh.com
Circle Graphics Longmont www.circlegraphicsonline.com
pewag Inc. Pueblo www.pewagchain.com
Aleph Objects Inc. Loveland www.lulzbot.com
Tribologix Inc. Golden www.tribologix.com
Evraz Pueblo www.evrazna.com
Visser Precision Cast Denver www.visserprecisioncast.com
Eldon James Corp./EJ Beverage Denver www.eldonjames.com
IPWUSA Denver www.ipwusa.com
Never Summer Industries Denver www.neversummer.com
Grace Skis Denver www.skigrace.com
Meier Skis Glenwood Springs www.meierskis.com
Folsom Custom Skis Denver www.folsomskis.com
Wagner Custom Skis Placerville www.wagnerskis.com
Kota Longboards Denver www.kotalongboards.com
Honey Skateboards Grand Junction www.honeyskateboards.com
Phunkshun Wear LLC Silverthorne www.phunkshunwear.com
Gibson Athletic Denver www.gibsonathletic.com
Mountain Racing Products Grand Junction www.mrpbike.com
Alchemy Bicycles Denver www.alchemybicycles.com
Guerrilla Gravity Denver www.ridegg.com
Denver Tent Co. Denver www.denvertent.com
Trumark Manufacturing Co. Boulder www.slingshots.com
TWIG wdwrk Denver www.twigwdwrk.com
Makoto USA Centenntial www.makoto-usa.com
Product Architects (Polar Bottle) Boulder www.potarbottle.com
Brown Cycles Grand Junction www.browncycles.com
daVinci Designs Denver www.davincitandems.com
Moots Steamboat Springs www.moots.com
Ross Reels Montrose www.rossreels.com
Wiggy's Grand Junction www.wiggys.com
Rainbow Plastics Berthoud www.rainbowplastics.com
Melanzana Mountain Gear Leadville www.melanzana.com
Spyderco Golden www.spyderco.com
Weston Snowboards Minturn www.westonsnowboards.com
Connor Wood Bicycles Denver www.connorcycles.com
Crescent Moon SnowShoes Boulder www.crescentmoonssnowshoes.com
Lenz Sport Fort Lupton www.lenzsport.com
David Ellis Canvas Products Durango www.cowboycamp.net
Enabling Technologies Denver www.enablingtech.com
South Creek Ltd. Lyons www.southcreekltd.com
Fat-ypus Skis Breckenridge www.fat-ypus.com
EagleClaw Denver www.eagleclaw.com
TUFF SHED Denver www.tuffshed.com
KONG Company Golden www.kongcompany.com
Earth Roamer Dacono www.earthroamer.com
Gamma 2 Robotics Inc. Denver www.gamma-two.com
SparkFun Electronics Boulder www.sparkfun.com
Shotcrete Technologies Idaho Springs www.shotcretetechnologies.com
Wolf Robotics LLC Fort Collins www.wolfrobotics.com
Reynolds Polymer Technology Inc. Grand Junction www.reynoldspolymer.com
Intertech Plastics Denver intertechplastics.com
Roximity iBeacons Denver www.roximity.com
Chromatic Technologies Inc. Colorado Springs www.ctiinks.com
Lifeloc Wheat Ridge www.lifeloc.com
Advanced Circuits Aurora www.4pcb.com
Aqua-Hot Frederick www.aquahot.com
Ice-0-Matic Denver www.iceomatic.com
Wisdom Rides Merino www.wisdomrides.com
Modular Robotics Boulder www.modrobotics.com
Distortions Unlimited Greeley www.distortionsonline.com
Boxwood Pinball Denver www.boxwoodpinball.weebly.com
Liberty Puzzles Boulder www.libertypuzzles.com
Little Colorado Inc. Denver www.littlecolorado.com
Davidson Lathe Craft/Yo Yo Spin Colorado Springs www.yoyospin.com
Henry Bergeson Kaleidoscopes Conifer www.henrybergesonkaleidoscopes.com
Playtime LLC Englewood www.playtime.com
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|Title Annotation:||MADE IN COLORADO|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2015|
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