This past weekend we had our Studio 125 x Wit & Delight holiday market and it was a huge success. We can’t say thank you enough to everyone who came out to support our local makers and check out Studio 125! It was a blast hanging out, chatting and drinking delicious eggnog flavored lattes with you. This year, we want to highlight a handful of small companies that are doing unique and innovative things within design and business. We also wanted to celebrate small businesses near and far that have been great partners to us over the years. These are companies that make their clothing in-house, businesses that support artisans, philanthropic owners that give back, retailers that are pushing creative boundaries and celebrating art in everything they do. These are just a handful of my fave small batch shops below. These brands are great for that last-minute thoughtful gift or just to keep in mind after the holidays when it’s time for some “treat yourself” shopping. Any local favorites you’d like to share? We’re always curious to know what’s going on in other cities, especially the smaller ones!
With powerhouses like Amazon dominating the retail industry, small businesses are seeking new ways to differentiate themselves amongst the seemingly endless sea of competitors. Hackwith Design House, a young Minnesota clothing company is an excellent example of a brand that has adapted to the changing marketplace in order to stay afloat. After several years selling her designs on Etsy, Lisa Hackwith, owner of Hackwith Design House, made the decision to re-work her business model focusing in on what was most important to her. Today, Hackwith offers a fresh take on retail, rethinking the practices used to make and sell clothes in America. All pieces are designed and sewn at their studio in St. Paul, made with high-quality fabrics and with impeccable attention to detail.
If you’ve ever stepped into Erin Duininck’s shop, Golden Rule, you know the magic that lies within. That place is just a dose of happy. The Golden Rule which originally began as an art gallery called the Orchard Art House is now a beautiful shop that seeks to support art, design, kindness, and community. Erin supports American artisans and makers in her carefully curated store of treasures. You can find clothing, jewelry, home goods, art and almost anything your heart desires in this colorful shop in Excelsior, Minnesota.
The Citizenry has been a great partner to us over the years and we reach for their goods more often than not when styling our own homes and within our daily photo shoots at the studio. The Citizenry travels the world to develop and curate their cultural collections and each purchase supports artisans. They believe our home should be a reflection of the journeys we take, and that is truly a belief that we can stand behind.
If one of my male friends were to ask for a recommendation on where to shop in the area, I would immediately point them in the direction of Askov Finlayson. Pulling inspiration from Minnesota traditions of exploration and outdoor pleasure, the men’s retailer sells clothing, shoewear, accessories, and gifts with a high-quality and timeless design. Along with Askov Finlayson’s own line of original products, the store carries a wide array of brands from near and far. Two of my personal (local) faves are Leatherworks MN and Sanborn Canoe. Also, some exciting news from the brand to watch for, launching Jan. 14th in 38 Minnesota stores and on Target.com, Askov has teamed up with Target to bring you a line created to celebrate Minnesota’s pride. Inspired by the North, the collection includes home goods and accessories for men, women, kids, toddlers, and babies with affordable prices ranging from $5-$40.
Within minutes of scrolling through Wit & Delight’s Instagram feed, it becomes evident that we love ourselves some Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. Self-proclaimed as “Your one stop shop to remodeling and beautifying your home,” Schoolhouse has become a studio go-to for all things decor. From iconic lighting and furniture to one-of-a-kind art and accessories, their products inspire thoughtful living and purposeful design.
Idun (pronounced Eden), is a high-designed boutique found in the historic St. Paul Cathedral Hill neighborhood along Selby Avenue. Idun is a fashionista’s dream every item within is artfully curated with women’s clothing and accessories that reflect Idun’s contemporary aesthetic. Store owner, Dahlia Brue wanted Idun to serve as a community for women, providing clothing that women feel confident while wearing. If you live in Minneapolis, Idun is also hosting a pop-up store in the North Loop over the holidays, so if that is more in your hood you should swing by!
Created by the mother-daughter duo, Maia McDonald Smith, and Sara Jonnes McDonald, Bitte focuses on sustainable practices and modern design to create a unique shopping experience. They work with small batch and artisan communities that hold the same values to create the type of goods they would like to see in the world. They have just about anything under the sun you would need for your little one and everything is SO cute!
After experiencing the loss of both her parents, Jess Gardner, co-owner of Hello Adorn, decided she was going to make some major changes in her life. She left her job working for a big corporation and started developing her dream of owning a small business. It wasn’t long before her husband and co-owner, Adam Gardner, left his job to further grow the business. Today, Hello Adorn offers modern minimalist jewelry all handmade by the husband and wife team.
Founded by three college girlfriends in the hopes of helping artisans around the world, 31 Bits supports ethical working conditions and fair wages in aspirations of bringing a global market to us. They also have beautifully designed jewelry, home goods, and accessories that will give any home that cultural touch and the look and feel of a well-traveled life.
During the winter of 2010, sisters Olivia and Chloe Bookman were struggling to find a nursing gliding chair that matched their style and functional needs. The two decided they would design their very own glider that was beautiful, playful and oh-so-comfortable. Today, eight years later, Olivia and Chloe are the co-owners of Olli Ella, a global home decor brand designed for the modern family. Olli Ella products include rugs, woven baskets, modern nursery decor, 100% organic cotton baby bedding and of course, nursing gliders. Each piece is created to bring out the child, explorer, adventurer and homebody in all of us.
Top image via Hackwith Design House; all other images courtesy of linked sources.
BY Kate Arends - December 22, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.