Where is your favorite place to shop for home goods in Minnesota? Our short list is all over the map: We like Grand Hand Gallery, Dock 6 Pottery, 360 Gallery, and Northern Clay Center for ceramics; The Foundry and Flotsam + Fork for elegant kitchenwares; Russell + Hazel for polished office goods; Tangletown Gardens and Tonkadale in Minnetonka for houseplants and pots; True Ethic, Indigo, Khazana Arts and Textiles, and Zinnia Folk Arts for baskets, towels, pillows, rugs, tapestries, and other ethically sourced tribal and folk art; SouthSide Vintage & Quality Goods, MidModMen+friends, Turquoise Vintage, Arlee Park, and Carousel + Folk for one-of-a-kind vintage finds; and Forage Modern Workshop, Haus Theory, and the seasonal Upstate MN in Grand Marais for almost everything else.
GRAY Home + Lifestyle in Excelsior is another goldmine. The neutrals-loving concept shop was founded by mother-daughter dream team Dee Dee and Chloe Lappen. Every table and shelf in their 4-year-old store is impeccably curated and aesthetically of a kind. In their deft hands, deep cleansing facial masks from Grown Alchemist, Smokey Oud & Tobacco Rose reed diffusers from Na Nin, and hand-poured spiced mule candles from True Hue x Sandwich Ceramic make perfect sense alongside beechwood spoons, seagrass bowls and jute baskets, and copper salt mills. Folks on the hunt for adorable kids gifts, meanwhile, should check out Pip & Pal, tucked into the back of the shop.
One more store that consistently sparks joy in us, especially for holiday gifting, is the Japanese-inspired boutique Ūmei in Minneapolis’ Harrison neighborhood. It was founded by former Mattel executive Susan Brouillette, who fell in love with Nippon design when she was living and working overseas. Her range of handsome donabe (Japanese clay pots) couldn’t be better suited to Minnesota’s long, cold winters. Also in store: sheeny wood grain bowls from makers in Fukui, sweet contemporary cuckoo clocks from Lemnos in Takaoka, and a smart selection of pens, journals, and washi tape. (Hot tip: Those needle-nosed ballpoints from Tous les Jours are the world’s most underrated stocking stuffer.)
Beloved brick-and-mortar stores aside, we’re crazy about Minnesota makers and designers. What follows is the first installment of our seven-part Ultimate Minnevangelist Gift Guide, kicking off with an epic roundup of #MNmade home goods.
1. Rustic beeswax pillar candles ($14-$21) handmade by Ames Farm in Watertown.
2. A pair of handsome Edge bookends ($55) by Hossle Woodworks in Northeast Minneapolis. They are plywood with a walnut veneer. Hossle also makes plant stands and hexagon shelves.
3. A set of four hand-dyed Big Magic cloth napkins ($42), made by sustainable textile artist Annabella Sardelis of Indigo & Snow in Minneapolis.
5. We dig the subversive cross-stitching of sibling artists Youa and Wone Vang, a.k.a. Third Daughter Restless Daughter. Pee-wee here is $45; the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind nod in the middle is $40; and I ❤️Our Boring Life is $20.
6. Hand-built terra-cotta U Vase ($98) from the Minneapolis-based There There Collective, founded by Lauren Traver, Lucy Voller, and Katie Woodling. The inside of the vase is glazed so it can hold water.
7. Solid walnut Rooftop candle holder ($50) by Tandem Made, a husband-and-wife team based in Minneapolis. What a beauty.
8. Circle Fringe Weaving ($42) by Kira Savage of Kindred Looms in St. Paul.
9. Pictured on left: Imbroglio on the Riviera, a 12” x 12” original painting ($220) by St. Paul graphic designer Abby Haddican. On right: On the Veranda with Carlito and Comandante, an 18” x 24” original painting ($450). Both come ready-to-hang with D-ring hardware.
10. The sweetest stack of geese, courtesy of Minnesota woodworker and timber framer Mike Loeffler. His bird bowls will be available for purchase online starting at noon on Thursday, December 5. Email him for price info.
11. Limited-edition Women For Women original relief print ($45), handmade by Grand Marais artist Nan Onkka. It has been block printed onto high-quality, acid-free Japanese masa paper and signed by the artist.
12. Chunky Cholla handwoven wall hanging (pictured on left, $111) by Minneapolis-based Reiki master Amber Kokenge, a.k.a. TexturizeYourEyes. It’s made with wool, cotton, silk, jute, raffia, and cholla wood. Kokenge works in brighter palettes, too, as seen in the large Color Therapy tapestry ($210), on right. That one is fashioned from wool, cotton, silk, driftwood, and alpaca.
13. Hand-blown Aperture vase ($175) by Vandalia Glassworks in St. Paul.
14. “The World’s Easiest Campfire” ($19.95) by OneLogFire in Minneapolis.
16. This exquisitely detailed Ojibwe birch bark basket ($1,600) from Native-owned shop Northland Visions in Minneapolis is decorated in hand-dyed porcupine quill work and edged in sweetgrass.
17. Shop for charming fern terrariums, colorful anthuriums, low-maintenance air plants, dried wreaths (from $50), and other natural beauties at Ergo Floral in St. Paul.
18. You can never have enough soy candles. These little pretties ($32 each) are thrown by ceramicist Emily Tani-Winegarden of Wondrous Crane.
19. Dancer on Sienna print (from $42) by Kate Arends of Wit & Delight. It’s printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 paper and available with or without framing.
20. Look for small works by amazing alcohol ink artist Natalia James at Curiosity in Minneapolis. Or, for $430, commission a custom work of art like the one shown here and die happy. Message @nataliajamesdesigns to get started.
21. Chunky crochet basket with leather handles ($80) by fiber artist Anne Cops of Meraki Handmade Collective.
22. Copper-roofed, Craftsman-inspired birdhouse ($109.99) made by South Minneapolis artisan John Posl, available at Tangletown Gardens.
26. Fringe and Fade Handwoven Rya Tapestry ($165) by Duluth fiber artist Kristen Kaas.
27. Colorful goose pysanky ($49.98 each) from the Ukrainian Gift Shop in Minneapolis.
28. Jacquard weave kindred throw ($170), based on an original painting by Minneapolis artist Lindsay McCall.
29. Pink and Green Leaves, A Study by Minneapolis’ Colleen Elizabeth, whose work you probably recognize from Art-A-Whirl and Art Attack at the Northrup King Building. The acrylic version on hand-stretched linen is signed, custom-framed, and ready to hang for $3,200. Love it but on a budget? Prints of the same piece start at $45.
31. Also for you outdoorsy types: We’re loving this Drippy Green Trees (pictured on right) watercolor print by artist Mia Nicole of Minneapolis’ Evergreen & Vine. Twelve bucks! And for you goth nature lovers, there’s a Misty Black Pines watercolor print for $22.
32. Pieced Pillow No. 10 ($77) is designed, sewn, and finished in Minneapolis by ACG. Fun fact: It was pieced together using wool and leather scraps from garment production.
33. Icelandic Poppy print ($10) created from an original hand-drawn and painted illustration by Esther Clark. She also does Japanese anemones, white pines, and more.
34. Handwoven wall hanging ($180) made with natural fibers by Bailee Humphrey of Less Traveled Co. in Minneapolis.
35. All Are Welcome Here lawn sign ($40 for two), translated into Somali. It’s also available in Spanish, Hmong, Mandarin, German, Hebrew, French, Arabic, and English.
36. Here’s an 💡: Commission a portrait by Lisa Luck of Daughters and Suns. Sittings are hosted in her studio at the Casket Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis. Visit Luck’s website for booking info.
37. Know someone who’s crazy about St. Paul? Check out this groovy, handcrafted paper art piece ($300) by STPL designers JUDiTH + ROLFE.
38. For the person who seems to have everything, we’re obsessed with these one-of-a-kind holiday stockings made from antique and vintage rugs — $150 at Henslin Rug Shop.
39. Last but not least, consider commissioning a custom wall tapestry by Nathalie Carrigan of wool + timber; it’s one of the best gifts you could give someone obsessed with Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, etc. Tapestries can be made in almost any size and color combo. Prices start at $180. Her waiting list is long because, well, look. 😻Start planning ahead now for the 2020 holidays!