I was recently part of a focus group regarding dog food. We were asked the usual questions about what type and brand of food we serve our pooches, why they were our choices, etc. As I’ve developed my career in marketing, I have a skewed perspective on focus groups and surveys. I’m always looking at the ulterior motives of questions, what companies are trying to measure, and reasoning behind consumer behavior. I think I’m fairly impervious to marketing, believing I have an insider's handshake and wink. But, at the end of the night, I second-guessed my choice in wet food because of the conversations with fellow panelists; surely they know what they’re talking about. Ads don’t tell me to switch up protein sources to avoid sensitivities, yet these people did and I bought into it. Word-of-mouth overwhelmingly bears stronger credibility than marketing.
It got me thinking about Team ten20’s sponsors. I send out the discount and perks list (if you need another copy email me), yet members want credible personal recommendations. With I’ve compiled the best-of-the-best list of go-to products and services so you can cut to the chase and get the most out of our supporters.
Sunderland Group – Mark Sunderland, CPA, leads a business-focused accounting firm. I met Mark for coffee and found him to be a genuine good guy, even after I bumped the table and spilled his coffee onto his lap. So if you’re going to deal with someone as integral to success as a tax expert, you want someone who not only knows his stuff but isn’t a jackass to deal with. Mark is a cyclist and simply wants to support our team. If you need a CPA for your biz, give him a shout.
ten20 Spa – Marie is the queen for a wax. But also think ten20 when you need a gift for a girlfriend. Chihuahua- and kitten-screen-printed pillows, hair color for the “hair down there” (I hope the recipient has a sense of humor), cute purses and baby booties line the entryway. It’s the place to shop for unique items not found in mass market.
Rags Consignment – First, go in with a color you want to add to your wardrobe (they merchandise clothes according to color) yet with an open mind. Second, start with the New Arrivals rack near the consignment counter. Third, try it on before you buy as all sales are final. My best finds include brand new Dansko shoes, a pink patent leather Coach purse, and high-end dark wash Seven, J Brand, and Citizens of Humanity jeans at a fraction of retail pricing.
Health Images – The price of scans, x-rays, and MRI’s varies wildly between a hospital and a private imaging company like Health Images, the latter being much more low cost per scan. If you’re not in an emergent situation, choose a private service, as they take major insurance, the equipment is state-of-the-art, and if you’re paying a deductible or co-pay, your wallet will thank you.
Upslope – I can only drink 2 craft beers before I get full or goofy thanks to high alcohol content. Therefore I choose wisely. Upslope has many options at tasting rooms but cans only a fraction of their suds. If on the go and you need canned beer, get your mitts on a Thai-Style White IPA. I generally don’t care for IPAs but this isn’t overtly hoppy. Their yellow-can Craft Ale is their most popular but I gravitate toward the green-can Brown Ale…delish.
MyChelle – You can get a custom recommendation for the best product for your skin type, or simply go the trial and error route. I particularly love the Fabulous Eye Cream and the Supreme Polypeptide Cream for age defense.
Suerte Tequila – the Blanco is best for margaritas or if your pocketbook can handle it the Reposado adds more flavor. The Anejo is for sippin’; there’s a reason to go to college and it’s the ability to afford better alcohol.
Boulder Cycle Sport – Need a gift? Grab from the Dopers Suck line of apparel and accessories. Want to try cyclocross? Their ambassadors should be called “am-bad-ass-a-dores” as they’re the state and national champs to learn from during BCS’s annual CX camps, held on weekday nights.
Winking Girl – Tomatillo salsa extraordinaire but also use as enchilada sauce. The Chipotle flavor wins. ‘Nuff said.
YogaPod – Practice yoga once a week and you’ll still see results. I like the YogaTone class to get a good workout and stretch all in one.
Perlick Legal Counsel – David Perlick is a really good guy, smart as a whip yet not pretentious. If you have kids, have any assets of substance or think you will someday, you absolutely should have a will/estate plan in place. Stop putting it off.
Skratch – Put 1 and ¼ scoops in a water bottle, or use even more if you want more intense flavor. Raspberry is my personal favorite. Their new cookie mix is just that, a cookie treat, not a health food. However, it bakes real friggin’ good cookies that have eluded me since I moved to altitude and only managed to produce flat pathetic disks. Until now.
EcoProducts – Go ahead and order what you need for the next year as it won’t go to waste. Get enough compostable cups, plates, and cutlery for when you volunteer – or are voluntold – to bring paper products to school parties, neighborhood potlucks, etc.