Where is your favorite place to shop for art and home goods in Minnesota? Our own list is all over the map, though increasingly online in this weird pandemic year.
For ceramics, we love browsing Dock 6 Pottery and Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis and The Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul. For elegant kitchenwares, candles, incense, and table linens, we turn to The Foundry Home Goods, Flotsam + Fork (currently online only), and Upstate MN in Grand Marais.
For one-of-a-kind vintage finds, our go-to spots are SouthSide Vintage & Quality Goods, Carousel + Folk, Haus Theory, Maven Style Shop, Turquoise Vintage, and MidModMen+friends. For objets d’art and other wild conversation starters, you can’t beat the selection at Forage Modern Workshop or Foxwell Shoppe + Studio and Stranger & Co. in Edina, the latter of which primarily stocks goods by artists and designers “who are women, people of color, LGBTQ, and immigrants.” For universally appealing host/hostess gifts, Patina and Rose & Loon at Rosedale Shopping Center are as easy-breezy as they come.
And for original works by established and emerging artists, we are forever keeping tabs on Studio 400, Gamut Gallery, CO Exhibitions, Gallery 360, Golden Rule Gallery, and the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (the force behind Art-A-Whirl).
We’ve also found chic, polished work-from-home gear at Russell + Hazel (which, sadly, closed its North Loop location earlier this year); endless houseplant and gardening delights at Tangletown Gardens, Mother, and Tonkadale in Minnetonka; and baskets, towels, pillows, rugs, tapestries, and other ethically sourced artisan goods from True Ethic, Indigo Asian & Tribal Folk Arts, Khazana Arts and Textiles, House of Talents, and Zinnia Folk Arts.
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 5-year-old store is impeccably curated and aesthetically of a kind. In their deft hands, deep cleansing facial masks from Grown Alchemist, intoxicating smokey oud reed diffusers from Na Nin, and hand-poured candles from True Hue make good sense alongside teak coffee spoons, seagrass bowls and jute baskets, and copper salt mills. Shoppers on the hunt for adorable kids gifts, meanwhile, should check out Pip & Pal, tucked into the back of GRAY.
One more store that consistently sparks joy in us, especially for holiday gifting, is the Japanese-inspired boutique ŪMEI in Minneapolis. 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 hot pots couldn’t be better suited to Minnesota’s long, cold winters. And while the Harrison-based shop is temporarily closed through the pandemic, the website is fully stocked up with vintage kimono-inspired rice bowls, contemporary cuckoo clocks from Lemnos in Takaoka, and a smart selection of pens, journals, and washi tape. (Tip: These needle-nosed ballpoint pens from Tous les Jours may be the world’s most underrated stocking stuffer.)
Beloved brick-and-mortars aside, we’re crazy about all kinds of Minnesota makers, designers, and artists. What follows are 63 brilliant local gift ideas to transform a home into a cozier, more beautiful place.
1. In addition to hand-built pottery, like this Scuilla vase ($250), Tinyloud Creative Co.’s Megan Burke Harris makes oodles of funky ceramic earrings.
2. Handwoven cloth baskets ($15-$40) from West Ash Designs, a small textile studio in Minneapolis, work as colorful plant holders.
3. These too-cute-for-words Cloud Candles ($24) are hand-poured by EVIEMINE in Chicago—but the gentle color palette (mauve, dusty pink, sandy brown, white, sage green) are exclusive to Carousel & Folk. Each one burns 25 to 30 hours. The cloud style is currently backordered, but C&F also stocks flower and shell shapes.
4. This chubby, versatile wave planter ($65 at Tonkadale Greenhouse in Minnetonka) was made by local ceramicist Sandwich, a.k.a. the talented Francis Pineda-Fischer.
5. For years we’ve admired Maiya Lee Hartman’s work at Studio 400 in the Northrup King Building and, more recently, in murals across the city—thanks to her work with BIPOC artist collective Creatives After Curfew. What a privilege it would be to bring a piece of her artwork home. Joy and Confusion retails for $650 at Gamut Gallery.
6. Whatever your tea of choice, it’ll taste better pouring from Kevin Caufield of Caufield Clay Works’ rustic wood-fired teapot, $148 at Northern Clay Center.
7. Behold: an elegant turned maple candle holder ($30) by Freeze Design Build of Minneapolis.
8. Wood from the Hood’s solid ash charcuterie serving boards ($13.50-$26.50) are made with reclaimed wood from downed trees found in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
9. Love where you live? Hire illustrator Amarilys Henderson, a.k.a. Watercolor Devo, to make a custom portrait of your home, starting at $70. Sizing options include 8″ x 10″, 9″ x 12″, 11″ x 14″, and 20″ x 30″ and the commission is typically finished within one to two weeks.
10. Gift your favorite vinyl nerd these handsome Danish Modern-inspired wall cubes ($175 each) from Deep Cut in Crosslake. They’re easy to mount, store up to 65 records a piece, and come in a choice of hard maple or walnut.
11. This Dinnerplate Dahlia ($75) by Anna Gaseitsiwe of A Paper Florist never wilts. Custom colors are available—all you have to do is ask.
12. Who needs a weighted blanket when you’ve got this 12-pound merino chunky knit blanket ($270) from Minnie’s Wool? It’s soft, luxurious, and ready for cuddling. Also: customizable. Select from more than 100 colors and a single, ribbed, or double ribbed stitch when ordering.
13. We have no idea how to play cribbage—but if we did, we’d want to do it on this eye-poppingly graphic handmade artisan cribbage board from Sanborn Canoe, $65 at Upstate MN in Grand Marais.
14. Student artist Alice Bennett uses embroidery floss and graphite to make her Cracks Are Where the Light Gets In tapestry come alive. Golden Rule Gallery in Excelsior is selling the framed original for $800.
15. Commission a custom moon (price upon request) by Minneapolis-based watercolorist and mixed media artist Anna Palmquist of Stargirl Art. It’s a riff on her Moon Field series and can be tailored to a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, one’s heritage, or whatever else you can dream up.
16. Rustic beeswax pillar candles ($14-$21) handmade by Ames Farm in Watertown.
17. Spring for one of colorblind painter Matthew Rucker’s incredible oils on canvas. Serendipity here measures 36″ x 48″ and costs $3,000—or you can buy the 11″ x 14″ print version for $40. Other creatures in the Minneapolis artist’s repertoire include giraffes, elephants, polar bears, dolphins, snails, owls, foxes, and hummingbirds.
18. These handsome shadow plaid coasters ($12.50 each) were born of a collaboration between Faribault Woolen Mills and Leather Works Minnesota. Rugged yet refined, the edges of the mahogany leather are finished with Italian paint.
19. This 33-inch XL rainbow swirl wall hanging ($935) from local fiber artist Mandi Smethells makes a bold statement. Each one is crafted to order using hemp, rayon, linen, alpaca, jute, bamboo, acrylic, steel, cotton, and wool.
20. The handsome Edge bookends ($44) by Hossle Woodworks in Northeast Minneapolis are plywood with a walnut veneer. Hossle also makes plant stands and hexagon shelves.
22. St. Paul potter Adam Greutzmacher knows his way around functional kitchenware. This small ceramic batter bowl ($50 at Upstate MN) has a raw clay exterior and glazed inside, and it’s available in a triangle or dash pattern.
23. Figure I, an 8″ x 6″ oil painting by local artist Yuta Uchida, would complement any gallery wall. Find it at Gamut Gallery for $300.
25. We always chuckle over the subversive cross-stitching of sibling artists Youa and Wone Vang, a.k.a. Third Daughter Restless Daughter. To wit: this lolz Bad Day Rapper cross-stitch ($25-$30).
26. Solid walnut Rooftop candle holder ($50) by Tandem Made, a husband-and-wife team based in Minneapolis. What a beauty.
28. Snow Owl handwoven wall hanging ($85) by Minneapolis-based Reiki master Amber Kokenge, a.k.a. Texturize Your Eyes. It’s made with wool, cotton, and pine cones. Kokenge works in brighter palettes, too, as evidenced by this made-to-order Color Therapy tapestry (from $150).
29. Dante Germain’s hand-blown Unzipped Glass Bag ($210) at Vandalia Glassworks in St. Paul would make a most curious centerpiece.
30. We can’t take our eyes off Minneapolis-based artist Katherine Boyce’s new My Mind’s Interior, a quiet but powerful 16″ x 20″ oil painting ($300).
31. Oh lá lá! What better way to wipe up kitchen spills than with this French Man linen tea towel ($30) from Goldfinch Modern Textile?
32. The black stoneware Gazelle vase ($950) by Minneapolis ceramicist Liz Pechacek is a total showstopper.
33. “The World’s Easiest Campfire” ($19.95) by OneLogFire in Minneapolis.
34. This celestial neem wood dish ($22.40) was hand-carved in India by a fair-trade certified artisan and hand-painted in Minneapolis by True Ethic.
35. Lauren Strom, whose colorful Artifacts of Joy end tables you may recognize from Curiosity in Northeast Minneapolis, makes soft goods, too. We love the badass women print on this Boss Paper 3 throw pillow, $17.99 at Society 6.
36. If you can’t splurge on one of Minneapolis-based visual artist Eyenga Bokamba’s original acrylic and mixed media paintings, e.g., Let the First Mark Be One of Joy ($4,500), splash out on a limited-edition print ($300) of the same design.
38. This exquisitely detailed Ojibwe birch bark basket ($1,600) from Indigenous-owned boutique Northland Visions in Minneapolis is decorated in hand-dyed porcupine quill work and edged with sweetgrass.
39. Shop for charming fern terrariums, cheerful anthuriums, and D.I.Y. wreath kits (from $45, on left) at Ergo Floral in St. Paul. Also on our radar: ceramicist Jessica Holleque’s 4-inch bud vase ($22, on right) made with Iron Range clay.
40. 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.
41. Look for planters ($30) and trinket dishes ($35, on left) by amazing alcohol ink artist Natalia James at Curiosity in Minneapolis. Or snap up a 10-inch round art piece ($120, on right) from her website.
42. Just a guess, but we bet there are a lot of Carousel & Folk fans out there who’d swoon over these color-blocked macramé coasters ($30) by fiber artist Anne Cops of Meraki Handmade Collective as much as we do.
44. Minneapolis painter Ashtyn Sibinski’s Window Collection includes abstract paintings at every price point, ranging from $128 to $720. She also makes fun hand-painted Christmas ornaments for $28 a pop—though good luck snagging those before they sell out.
45. Birch bark basket handmade by Nancy Foster (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe), available at the Minnesota Historical Society gift shop for $29.95.
46. A carved wild turkey feather photograph encased in an antique wooden drawer ($225) by St. Paul encaustic artist Nadia Alenov of All of Our Beeswax.
47. HVRNT‘s limited-edition White Pine woodcut print ($49) was made with a hand-pulled rubbing from a downed 113-year-old pine. Each one is signed, numbered, and dated by artist Zak Fellman.
48. This topsy-turvy porcelain vase from St. Catherine University instructor Monica Rudquist retails for $130 at Northern Clay Center.
49. Fringe and Fade Handwoven Rya Tapestry ($135) by Duluth fiber artist Kristen Kaas.
50. Colorful goose pysanky ($49.98 each) from the Ukrainian Gift Shop in Minneapolis.
51. Botany woven throw ($170) based on an original acrylic painting by Minneapolis artist Lindsay McCall.
52. A 500-piece, double-sided Dawn and Dusk puzzle ($65) modeled on a landscape painting by Minneapolis’ Colleen Elizabeth. These take up to three weeks to ship, so don’t dilly-dally!
53. If we can’t travel to the North Shore this winter, at least our home can smell like it with this wooden wick North Shore candle ($18) from Sota Scents.
54. For the person who loves reading as much as they love nature: Evergreen & Vine‘s Green Trees bookmark ($6), a watercolor print by Minneapolis artist Mia Nicole.
55. Icelandic Poppy print ($10) created from an original hand-drawn and painted illustration by Esther Clark. She also draws Japanese anemones, white pines, and more.
56. A one-of-a-kind handwoven wall hanging ($170) made with organic natural fibers by Bailee Humphrey of Less Traveled Co. in Minneapolis.
57. Here’s a lovely 💡: Commission a family portrait by Lisa Luck of Daughters and Suns. She’s currently offering virtual sessions, ranging from 15 to 45 minutes and starting as low as $100. Visit her Etsy shop for booking details.
58. St. Paul designers JUDiTH + ROLFE produce framable handcrafted paper art. We dig their new tightly coiled flower series, including Eight Billy Buttons ($300, on left) and delicate Queen Anne’s Lace ($200, on right).
59. Speaking of hand-folded flowers, check out this sweet little milk carton bouquet ($35) from Origami By Jade. Each blossom is one-of-a-kind, but artist Jade Huynh is happy to customize the bouquet to your liking.
60. These earthy birch spoons ($42) from Women’s Woodshop are carved with wood from local trees and sealed in walnut oil.
61. Set Adrift Art Shop‘s Witch’s Hat Water Tower print comes in two sizes: 8″ x 10″ ($16) and 12″ x 16″ ($26). Side note for Dylan fans: Legend has it the singer-songwriter was sitting at the base of the Hat when he penned “All Along the Watchtower.”
62. Hand-dyed clay gives this citrus ceramic planter ($80) by Cry Baby Clay its fruity punch.
63. Getting hygge with it this pandemic winter? Of course you are. Let cozy birch log tea light holders ($10 each) from Ingebretsen’s light the way.
Still shopping? Check out our other holiday roundups, including…
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Jewelry
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Food + Drink
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Kids
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Pets
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Clothing + Accessories
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Beauty + Wellness
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Sports + Recreation
Minnevangelist’s Epic Minnesota Gift Guide: Experiences