We’ve never ventured out into the Tennyson district of Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood, but there’s good reason today. Berkeley Supply is here, an organic, independently run American made goods boutique specializing in well-crafted and smartly-curated menswear.
From left to right, these are my new friends Josh, Tyler, and Eli. Eli is the man behind Berkeley Supply and we’ll get back to him in a bit… His shop is sandwiched between Josh’s workshop to the left and Tyler’s bike store on the right.
Tyler’s bicycle boutique is called Pearl Velo and is a tried-and-true, homegrown shop dedicated to the art and lifestyle of cycling.
Pearl Velo stocks brands from Cinelli to Poler, but the main attraction is Josh’s handiwork. Here’s one of his custom-crafted bicycles, a camp-themed piece with subtle references like the matchsticks that Tyler points out:
Over in Josh’s little factory, he’s toiling on his next creation.
And this is how Berkeley Supply came to be. Eli had always dreamt of such a project while hanging out at Pearl Velo with Tyler, so when the spaces next door opened up, Eli did something about it.
The shop is comfortably situated in a space the size of a living room, and emotionally feels as such. The story of Berkeley Supply was to reflect and replay Eli’s youth growing up in rural New Hampshire. The trustworthy American-made product have stood the test of time in Eli’s book – names like Filson, Red Wing, and Tanner Goods – and so they carry on that tradition here in his store.
These paintings were done by his neighbor back home, and are of Eli’s literal backyard.
Eli vividly recalls using these chainsaws as a youth. So the shopping experience is as much about fine goods as it is Eli’s personal narrative. It’s boldly authentic and refreshingly pure; a consummate example of effective branding.
What Eli, Tyler, and Josh are doing is a true success story, the realization of an American dream. But that value isn’t weighed by financial return or Excel spreadsheets, it’s not measured by fame or glory. As Eli and I were discussing, the fact that he DID it is enough. It’s more than most dreamers can actualize, it’s beyond what many hopers can fulfill. The success comes in the process of doing and completing, the journey of working and creating. It’s a really inspiring adventure to watch, even for just the brief time we’re here this golden Denver afternoon. If Eli, Tyler, and Josh are doing it, so can I and so can you.