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Made in MN

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Photo by Todd Buchanan

February 2012

Busy Bees

In 16 months, Worker B has developed 10 products, ranging from light facial moisturizers to intense putty for cracked hands and feet. They also took home Best in Show from the New York International Gift Fair and an AIGA award for their letterpress packaging. Worker B products are available at multiple locations, including The Bibelot Shops, Bachman’s, and worker-b.com.

 

 


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

December 2011

Photo Sensitive

Meeting Andrew Kamin, founder of Canopy, a line of iPhone “app-cessories,” calls to mind how influential Steve Jobs continues to be. Kamin, a photographer, was frustrated with the limitations of the iPhone camera. So he obtained an Apple license—no easy feat—and developed a line of protective cases, tripods, and, in the case of the Kapok, a tripod that adds a button to the iPhone, turning it into a camera, with exposure and focus controls and the ability to make stop-motion movies. For aesthetes, his gadgets fit the bill; tech geeks will love the open-source software. It’s Jobs’s version of the American dream: tech prototypes once built in the garage will be seen the world over, on the world’s most coveted devices. canopyco.com

 


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

November 2011

Super Jewels

Jennifer Merchant’s jewelry matches her personality: bold and retro-yet-modern, in that Lynda Carter-as-Wonder Woman way. Merchant took her metalsmithing background and applied it to her hand-carved, hand-polished Corian and acrylic pieces, the latter layered with found images, which creates an avant-garde, double-sided design. She also tried out for Lifetime’s Project Accessory, but was cut after the second round. Undaunted, she plans to try again. “I’m scrappy and I want it,” she says. “I’m pushing the boundary between fashion and fine jewelry.” Jennifer Merchant Design is available at Bumbershute, Gallery 360, and jennifermerchantdesign.com

 


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

October 2011

The Better to See You With

If the eyes are windows to the soul, consider Eyemusement’s sassy frames the best window dressing. Savvy sexagenarians Susan Moore and Mary Jane Pappas, friends of 35 years who share a passion for design, weren’t about to sport “little old lady” frames when it came to transitioning into readers and progressives. So they pooled their experience to create feng shui-, French-, and vintage-inspired designs made from acetate and metal—along with colliers (essentially necklaces to hold glasses) designed by local artists Talin Spring and Helen Wang. A marriage of fashion and function, they’re also affordable—under a hundred bucks. eyemusement.com

 


 

Photo by Rod Hasse Photography

September 2011

Unmentionables Worth Mentioning

Sarah White, couturier and proprietress of Jagress Intimates, walks into Urban Bean looking the very picture of a lady: blouse, pencil skirt, kitten heels, Kate Spade handbag. First impression: this is the woman I would want shaping my silhouette. But she also has the credentials to design and sew couture lingerie, having attended DeMontfort University in Leicester, England, the only school that teaches the art of making intimates. Her designs are heirloom quality, not to mention glamorous and comfortable. By making beautiful things, she loves to make women appreciate their own beauty. “I love helping women feel that what they have is good enough,” she says. Jagress Intimates, 612-703-9298, jagressintimates.com

 


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

August 2011

Read These Lips

“Lipstick is bold, daring, and demands to be taken seriously,” says The Elixery founder Karoline Wells. She would know. She has developed a seriously beautiful lipstick line that she makes herself, built on a platform of equality and kindness to animals, people, and the environment. Wells’ 100-percent vegan, PETA-certified lipstick isn’t all talk, either: Her line is also long-lasting and moisturizing, with a color palette that gives MAC a run for its money. All her concientious thinking lets the wearer experiment with a fun accessory and make a statement, too. After all, don’t we all feel more courageous when we wear a gorgeous lipstick? $18 @ Elixery.com

 


 

Photo by Terry Brennan

July 2011

Lovingly Odd

Molly Spilane creates art reminiscent of antique anatomy books or Gregor Mendel’s genetics experiments. Back then, reference materials and research didn’t feel so much high-tech as they did occult or slightly dangerous. Spilane’s cuffs, lockets, pendants, plates, and prints feature similarly odd and “off” images—not unlike a flight of fancy written by Roald Dahl or Lewis Carroll. But the popularity of her work—buyers include Kate Beckinsale and Billy Bob Thornton—confirms we’re all still contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Sold at the Walker Art Center, Guthrie Theater, I Like You, and etsy.com/shop/uniqueartpendants
 


 

Photo by Terry Brennan

June 2011

On a Soapbox

StormSister Spatique owner Becky Sturm had had enough. Her relentless requests for products with better, safer ingredients went unanswered, so she decided to do it herself, closing her brick-and-mortar shop (she’s still open online) and lassoing investors and manufacturers for her own line. The result is the Shhh Bar, a superfatted soap free of synthetics, preservatives, and artificial scents, suitable for shampooing, showering, and shaving. The packaging is compostable and recyclable. And the unisex-scented essential oil blends are to die for. So naturally, Sturm followed up with the matching perfume blend, 8. Shhh Bar, $17, 3waybeauty.com
 


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

May 2011

Mother Lode

Martha Lunde of Martha’s Gardens has been on the Twin Cities’ floral scene for years, but recently she moved her shop from St. Anthony Park to Snelling and Selby in St. Paul. Two tips if you plan to visit: give her a call a few days beforehand for the best picks, and choose pickup over delivery. Why? Because you should present these flowers in person, and you’ll want time to browse. Martha’s retail space feels like the aunt’s house you always wanted to explore, full of charming bits such as tiny letterpress tags, terrariums and cloches, jewelry, and spools of ribbons. 1593 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-696-2993, marthasfloralstudio.com
 


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

April 2011

Ionator Hom

Its time to retire your spray bottles and harsh chemicals. Developed by Rogers-based Activeion Cleaning solutions, the Ionator Hom looks like a sci-fi weapon, but it destroys bacteria--not aliens.  This clever cleaning gadget gives plain tap water and electric charge, transforming it into negative and positive nano-bubbles that attract and annihliate dirt.  It's a sure shot for pure cleaning satisfaction.  $169 at activeion.com

  


 

Photo by Todd Buchanan

March 2011

Rapport Handbags

Fresh out of college, Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus have launched a grown-up line of clutches. Rapport Handbags pays homage to local landmarks with collections such as the Walker, France Avenue, and Lake of the Isles. The design duo handcrafts each one-of-a-kind bag using leather, silk, and magnetic embellishments which can also be used to pretty up a jacket lapel or pair of pumps. From $80 @ shoprapport.com

 


 

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