The Kids Are Alright
Minnesota makers debut new collections of stylish goods for little ones
Clockwise from top right: SolidKIDS block set, $40, and slingshot, $34; Cozy Campers by Senn & Sons teething rings, $12 each, burp cloth, $20, and bib, $24; Oh Baby! "I Dream in Glitter" tunic, $110, and headband, $26; Christopher Straub "Albert the Confused Manitee" plush toy, $22
PHOTOS BY TJ TURNER. BABY MODEL LUNA TAILLON.
Minnesota is home to a number of hip brands creating handcrafted, well-designed goods for babies and kids. Solid Manufacturing Co., known for its paint-dipped stools, recently launched its first line of toys for kids, SolidKIDS, which features wooden shields, slingshots, swords, and blocks—all designed and handcrafted out of its Minneapolis workshop. • solidmanufacturingco.com
FRONT ROW FROM LEFT: Oh Baby! bunny doll, $130, and purse, $66; Cozy Campers by Senn & Sons pillow, $35, blanket, $79, teething ring, $12, and burp cloth, $20; Betsy Johnson “Block Bot” doll, $150; Oh Baby! “I Woke Up Like This” sweatshirt, $80, tutu, $40, leggings, $56, and headband, $26; BACK ROW FROM LEFT: BEKA block set, $100; SolidKIDS shield, $38, and sword, $40; Oh Baby! plush hoodie, $116; Cozy Campers by Senn & Sons bib, $24; The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle, $6.99, and Counting with Barefoot Critters by Teegan White, $16.99, both @ Wild Rumps Books; Christopher Straub small “Inside-out” bear, $85, “Rocky the Confused Platypus” plush toy, $36, and large “Inside-out” bear, $300; Solid Manufacturing Co. stool, $275
The trend of craftsmanship and good design that started with home goods and heritage-inspired menswear has now spread to handcrafted, high-style clothing and toys for babies and kids.
Among the newcomers is Kimberly Senn, founder of the design studio Senn and Sons, who is known for her graphic prints for nurseries and baby rooms. She recently launched her first soft goods line, Cozy Campers, a collection of blankets, pillows, organic wood teething rings, bibs, and other nursery items inspired by nights around the campfire in Minnesota’s north woods. The super-soft fabrics feature original patterns and illustrations with outdoorsy motifs and a fresh color palette.
Another local favorite, Solid Manufacturing Co., recently launched its first line of kids’ toys, SolidKIDS. Their colorful wood swords, shields, slingshots, and blocks have durable, simple designs that inspire imaginative play. And unlike plastic versions, these toys are so good-looking you won’t want to hide them in the toy bin—they can even double as décor.
Other Minnesota kids’ brands have making stylish goods for years. Interior designer Mary Lauer lent her modern design sensibility to a line of chic baby clothes when she founded Oh Baby! in 1994. With two retail stores at Galleria and in Wayzata, the brand designs and manufactures its own line of babywear and accessories right in Minnesota.
Beka Block, a 40-year-old family-owned wood shop in St. Paul, has created its wood block sets for decades. A new update to the design dips the shapes in colorful paint.
William Dohman’s wood shop, Oh Dier, is beloved for its whimsical script signs and cutting boards, but his charming Block Bots are also great gifts for kids. The whimsical cubic renderings of iconic fashion designers such as Betsy Johnson and Karl Lagerfeld are cool enough to sit on the shelf at any style-conscious home—whether or not you have kids.