7 MN Fashion & Beauty Brands to Shop at Art-A-Whirl

Art-A-Whirl is known as the biggest artist crawl in the U.S.—and a great opportunity to pick up original paintings, ceramics, and sculptures by local artists. The crawl began in 1996 with a handful of a Northeast Minneapolis warehouses that had been converted into artist studios, and it’s since then, it’s also become a shopping destination for Minnesota-made goods, including fashions by local designers. Here are seven to look out for at this year’s crawl, followed by a listing of maker pop-ups and open studio events. (Unless otherwise noted, all events take place during normal Art-A-Whirl hours, Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from noon-8 p.m., and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.) For more information, visit artawhirl.org.

Tessa Louise

Women’s wear designer Tessa Druley of Tessa Louise creates elevated wardrobe basics that are flattering, comfortable, and sophisticated. After graduating from the University of Minnesota’s apparel design program in 2012, Druley founded her versatile women’s wear label with an emphasis on knitwear and interesting textiles. Her designs feature excellent tailoring, quality fabrics, and wearability—particularly with her pants and slit-knee leggings—and feature unique design details to set them apart from clothing from mass-made brands. Best of all, many of Druley’s garments are reversible or convertible, offering more bang for your buck. Shop the designer’s new spring collection at the Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market all weekend (711 15th Ave. NE.). • tessalouise.com


With Elixery, you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics for bold lip color. The PETA-certified cosmetics house led by chemist Karoline Wells crafts lipsticks that are ultra-pigmented, long-lasting, and luxe—a combination not often found in vegan, organic lipsticks. Wells and her team craft all of Elixery’s lipsticks out of its Northeast Minneapolis lab by hand. Since launching in 2009, Elixery has collaborated on custom shades with local fashion designer Samantha Rei, milliner Ruby3 by Anna Lee, songwriter-rapper-poet Dessa, and the Minnesota RollerGirls. Plus, each comes in a glam, gold tube that you’ll love to show off on your vanity or pull out of your clutch. Shop the collection at the Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market all weekend. • elixery.com

Joeleen Torvick

Women’s wear designer Joeleen Torvick Hacker came onto the local fashion scene in 2010, when she founded her eponymous line, Joeleen Torvick. She studied abroad in London at the London College of Fashion, and worked as an understudy for David Rodriguez in New York and a showroom assistant at St. John Knits before starting her line. The designer is known for fluid, effortless lines and lightweight, natural fabrics and all of Torvick’s pieces are designed, sampled, and produced under one roof. And while she usually sticks to a neutral palette, she utilizes color thoughtfully on occasion. Her spring collection features easeful silhouettes in a mix of neutrals, sky blue, and lavender. You can shop the new collection outside in front of the Q.arma Building (1224 Quincy St. NE.) all weekend. • joeleentorvick.com

LES Bags

LES Bags are handmade by Laurie Sorenson, a Minneapolis-based maker with more than a decade of experience in making bags, totes, purses, and jewelry. After her two sons moved out of the house, she began creating her signature line of minimalist waxed canvas and felted merino-wool tote bags, experimenting with different styles, designs, and unique touches to create a bag that was stylish, yet tough enough to stand up to daily wear and tear. Each handcrafted bag features stainless steel or copper rivets, genuine leather handles, and cotton linings in a range of patterns. Shop the latest collection at the Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market all weekend. • les-bags.com

Jovy Rockey Jewelry

The work of Winona-based jewelry designer Jovy Rockey is inspired by her appreciation for simplicity and modernism. The self-taught designer’s pieces feature geometric shapes, curves, and simple lines, made using basic metal-forging and wire-working techniques. While most of her pieces are made with sterling silver, gold fill, brass, copper, stainless steel, and niobium metals, she sometimes incorporates additional elements such as semi-precious stones, glass, and textured metal. Shop the latest collection at the Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market all weekend. • jovyrockeyjewelry.com

Strey Designs

After stints in painting, photography, woodworking, welding, teaching art, and even puppetry, Sarah Butala has returned to her love of sewing with Strey Designs, a line of handmade leather goods. Crafted by hand in Butala’s Bloomington home studio, Strey Designs combines practical design with timeless style, such as a messenger bag with a laptop slot and detachable pouch pocket, and a backpack that converts into a shoulder bag. Even the trendier items, such as a black leather fringed bag—which features an adjustable cross-body strap, a rounded bottom that allows for expansion, and a top zipper closure—are designed with functionality in mind. Best of all, Strey’s products come with a lifetime guarantee. Shop the designer’s new spring collection at her studio at the Northrup King Building, #211, all weekend. streydesigns.com

Karen Morris Millinery

Born in Hong Kong, Karen Morris trained under master milliners in London, Ireland and North Carolina before moving to the Twin Cities in 2009. Two years later, she launched Karen Morris Millinery, a line of couture hats that combine traditional British hat-making techniques with a modern aesthetic. The designer utilizes simple shapes, exotic materials, and unique textures for sculptural hats that are wearable works of art. Shop the designer’s spring collection alongside Strey Designs, Foat Design, and more at Northrup King Building, studio #211, all weekend. kmhats.com

More stylish Art-A-Whirl shopping:

Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market: Hang out in Chowgirls Catering’s mod lounge space on the third floor of the Solar Arts building and enjoy pop-up shopping from a curated group of more than 30 local makers, including Jovy Rockey Jewelry, Tessa Louise, Elixery, LES Bags, and more, plus mid-century modern furniture for lounging from FindFurnish, food by Chowgirls Killer Catering, and seasonal cocktails. All weekend @ Solar Arts by Chowgirls at Solar Arts building, 711 15th Ave. NE. (third floor), Minneapolis; view event page

Hazel & Rose Turns Two (Friday & Saturday only): Ethical fashion boutique, Hazel & Rose, celebrates its second birthday during Art-A-Whirl. The Northeast shop will host designer Dinosaur Hampton, who will be in the shop with a fresh collaboration and in-store custom embroidery, plus Sandwich Ceramic for the weekend, as well as special discounts, treats, and surprises. Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. & Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. @ Hazel & Rose, The Broadway, 945 Broadway St. NE., #220, Minneapolis, shophazelandrose.com

Minnesota Mobile Market (Saturday only): Mobile retail shops of the Twin Cities congregate for this first-of-its-kind event, tailor-made for Art-A-Whirl. Head to Sociable Cider Werks to shop goods goods from mobile shops including Sota Clothing, Handsome Cycles’ traveling pop-up bike shop, Paddle North, StyleTrolley, and Mill City Running while sipping craft cider. Plus, live music, performances by the St. Paul Ballet, and live chalk art murals. Saturday from noon-8 p.m. @ Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE., Minneapolis; view event page

Art of the Grain Wood Artists: Eleven local wood makers are joining forces for a joint woodworking show at AAW. While distinct, each craftsperson shares a commitment to quality materials, construction, and highlighting the natural beauty of wood. Makers include Furniture by DeGarmo, Tree on a Hill Workshop, and Roger Knudson. The purpose of Art of the Grain is to: expand awareness of custom-made wood furniture and specialty items, show that custom-made furniture is a viable option, and to educate attendees on the “forest-to-furniture” process of how custom furniture is made. All weekend @ Youngblood Lumber Co., 1335 Central Ave. NE., Minneapolis, artofthegrainmn.com

Strange Girls Art-A-Whirl Market (Saturday only): A Conspiracy of Strange Girls artist cooperative is popping up in the Twin Spirits Distillery with a craft sale. Shop ceramics, vintage clothing and accessories, photography, lingerie, and more from 11 makers. Plus, 10 percent of proceeds benefit a local nonprofit. Saturday from noon-8 p.m. @ Twin Spirits Distillery, @ 2931 Central Ave. NE., Minneapolis; view event page

Art-A-Whirl Sumo Fight (Saturday only): Northeast boutique Duke Albert and vintage seller Moth Oddities are joining forces for a pop-up shopping event at the backyard of Grumpy’s NE. Look for vintage rock tees, denim jackets, Hawaiian shirts, and unique gifts and home goods by makers from around the world. Plus: cornhole and live sumo wrestling bouts. Saturday from noon-9 p.m. @ Grumpy’s NE, 2200 4th St. NE., Minneapolis

Gumball Boutique Vintage Pop-up & Artist Market: Northeast boutique Gumball Boutique is hosting a vintage pop-up sale and artist market in honor of Art-A-Whirl. Find goods from more than 100 Minnesota makers and artists plus special guest artists, giveaways, treats, and sales. Friday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. @ 158 13th Ave. N.E., Mpls., 612-568-5813, gumballboutique.com

Made by Hands Art & Crafts Extra-Vaganza (Sunday only): As part of Bauhaus Brew Labs’ Art-A-Whirl festivities,shop paintings, jewelry, woodwork, sweets, knits, ceramics, and more from local makers (including whimsical ceramic planters, tassel earrings, and pins by personal favorite, Tiny Loud Co.), plus a live DJ, mini golf from Can Can Wonderland, and food and beverages from Revival, Parlour, and Travail. Sunday from noon-6 p.m. @ Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St. NE., Minneapolis; view event page

Vevang Mpls Studio Maker Showcase: Founded in 2013 by Chel and Erik Vevang, Vevang Mpls uses traditional Scandinavian wood carving techniques to carve spoons and bowls. During Art-a-Whirl weekend, over a dozen artists will be selling their artwork in Vevang’s studio space, in addition to having their artwork displayed in the upstairs apartment space. Goods include ceramics, jewelry, photography, hand-carved goods, knitting, quilts, sculpture, and welding, including Kordula Coleman Sculpture, nBaxter Pottery ceramics and coffee pour-overs, and artwork by Ben LaFond, and more.  All weekend @ Vevang Mpls Studio, 2807 Johnson St. NE., Minneapolis, vevangmpls.com


Northrup King Building (1500 Jackson St. NE., Minneapolis)

Throp Building (1620 Central Ave. NE., Minneapolis)

  • Studio #137: Lauren Neal of NEAL jewelry will debut her new gender-neutral fine jewelry ring collection, and you can also shop favorites from past collections, one-of-a-kind pieces, samples, and sale items. (Saturday only from noon–5 p.m.) 

California Building (2205 California St. NE., Minneapolis)

Casket Arts Building (681 17th Ave. NE., Minneapolis)

Images courtesy the artists

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