Our Modern Market series looks to highlight some of the best makers and artists from the Twin Cities and beyond. Each one of our vendors embody the Midwest’s unique take on modern living. These artisans are woodworkers, jewelry designers, leather workers, culinary artists and graphic designers.
Minnesota Made allows all Minnesotans to show of their state pride in style and comfort. Their beautifully designed apparel is all made in the USA with materials that will hold up to the coldest Minnesota winters and the hottest days on the lake. There is sure to be a lot of Minnesota pride at the Modern Market and Minnesota Made is right in the middle of it.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background?
Born and raised in Stillwater I grew up loving the outdoors, music, and art. After high school I ventured north and attended University of Minnesota Duluth for graphic design and photography. Living in Duluth was the only time that I ever lived outside of the St. Croix River Valley. I think the river valley will always be my home. My favorite places are either among the pine trees or next to water. You can always find me next to a bonfire, on the river in our 1970 Boston Whaler, or at a concert. My wonderful husband Dan shares the same love of the outdoors and music. We now live in the small town of Bayport with our dog Roman, and our crazy cat Mr. Wayne.
As for career background, most of my career has been in product design. I have worked within product design and marketing for over ten years and have expanded my passion for design, art, and trends. I really admire and love creating the interaction of people to products and packaging. There is something special about being a part of that emotional connection. I have been told that my design style can be described as thoughtful, unique, and have an effective storytelling touch, as well as having a twist of hand crafted modern flare. I am a little obsessive, well within reason, but I just like my work to be done as good as possible and I am incredibly organized. Within my career I have had experience with such clients as BRIDES magazine, Martha Stewart, Disney and Nickelodeon. I also have experience in with product and packaging with various clients as Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Michaels as well as product photography and styling. I carry a lot of knowledge in various areas such as product and packaging design, sourcing, typography, illustration, print, signage, page layout, ﬁne arts, marketing, art direction, etc.
Tell us more about Minnesota Made.
The idea of Minnesota Made started a few summers ago when Dan and I attended a Trampled by Turtles and Atmosphere concert in Duluth with a group of friends. I love Duluth and I go back any chance I get. When we were at the concert we saw so many Minnesota shirts! Some of the designs were great, but the quality of shirts needed some help. Then I thought, I could do this. I could create some unique and thoughtful designs on quality clothing while giving Minnesotans apparel they can wear with pride. At the time, I was unemployed, and not too long after that, I started creating designs that Minnesotans could connect with and found high quality apparel that was made in the USA. I still felt as though there was something missing from the shirts and wanted to do something more. I wanted people who purchased a piece of apparel to feel special. That is why today you can find hidden quotes on the inside of all t-shirts. For many years I had created custom shirts for my husband as gifts and would put hidden messages on the inside of the them. Now, I am able to put hidden inspirational messages on the inside of the t-shirts and share them with a lot of people.
How do you go about creating new apparel designs?
I like to create designs that are for everyone and celebrate Minnesota. A design that can be for all ages and that have a thoughtful, unique, and meaning behind it.
Where do you go to get inspired?
Music + Nature
What makes the Midwest, and specifically Minnesota, unique for makers?
There is a certain passion, pride, and support that comes from this state. People are proud to be from this state and want to share their love for this state with others. It is amazing to interact with other makers/business owners and see that everyone wants every company to survive and introduce one another to help make connections.
What makes shopping local special?
Shopping local is amazing! You get to meet and know the owners and why they started their business. There seems to be more of a purpose of their business beside making a dollar.
Who are other makers in your community that we should know more about?
Mitch from The VOICE Community. He is a different type of “maker”. He created the VOICE and it is an online marketplace, where Minnesota companies and customers are coming together to build a better world. A place where you shop, knowing from the start that 7% of what you spend will be given to one of the causes that our community is currently investing in. And you get to pick which one! He has such a passion to help the community and help small businesses.
What’s one thing a non-Midwestern native should know about the region?
We love the outdoors! We find a way to enjoy every season. We water ski or wake board during the summer, downhill ski or snowboard during the winter. We fish during the summer, ice fish during the winter.
What’s something exciting for Minnesota Made that we can expect coming up?
Well, I guess it would be how much I am going to expand. Not many people know that I run this business, all parts, by myself. I certainly will not leave out the help that I get from my amazing friends and family at times, but really, almost everything is done all by myself.
Another big thing that I have been working on is a “Give Back” project. I have been working on a project of a way to help Minnesota waterways and land. Nothing on a big scale, but all things don’t start big, do they?
There is also, The Minnesota made photography project. As we all know there are many talents across this great state of Minnesota. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some very fine local photographers (big and small) that have helped in the creation of Minnesota Made. Minnesota Made is a huge supporter of local artists and I wanted to find a way give back to them in return. So, I did some brainstorming and decided how great it would be to work with multiple photographers and take it a step further and showcase their work on the Minnesota Made website. If you take a look (this is still at the very beginning stages) at the Lookbook you will see that I have not only worked with one photographer, but multiple. Each of their photos displays their logo as well as links to their website link in the stores – photographers area. I personally know how hard it is to get your name out there and thought this would be a great way for people to connect with them. I started out many years ago as a graphic designer fresh out of school and struggled to find a good job. Throughout the years I have made my way through some fantastic jobs, unemployment, and now have found myself here, fully dedicating myself and time to Minnesota Made. It has been an amazing ride so far and it will only continue to grow and transform. This is only the beginning of The Minnesota Made Local Photographer’s Project. In the next few days I will be sharing with the photographers/musicians I have been working with.
Shop a variety of Minnesota Made apparel at Modern Midwest’s second annual Modern Market in Minneapolis’ North Loop. The Market will feature a wide variety of vendors that embody the Midwest’s distinct take on modern living. Enjoy local food and drink, from Indeed Brewing and Salty Tart while supporting the Minneapolis maker community!
Thursday, December 15th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fast Horse, 240 9th Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
$10 in advance / $20 day of