photos by tj turner
in the past few years, the openings of shops such as Askov Finlayson and Wilson & Willy’s have made the North Loop the hub of the Twin Cities’ maker movement. But surrounding metro cities are starting to get a piece of the handcrafted action, including Golden Rule Collective, a new cooperative boutique in Excelsior.
The store is located in a charming downtown storefront and stocked with a thoughtfully curated selection of handcrafted goods from local, national, and international makers. Local offerings include handmade art and prints by Ashley Barlow and Missy Monson, leather goods by Spring Finn & Co., wood products from Solid Manufacturing Co., and even hand-painted paddles by Winona-based Sanborn Canoe Co., alongside national brands such as Field Notes and Kinfolk magazine.
Golden Rule is the brainchild of Ekate Designs jewelry designer Erin Kate Duininck, who formerly owned the Excelsior consignment art gallery the Orchard Art House. The cooperative format gives its vendors the opportunity to work their commission down by pitching in at the store. Plus, co-op members such as Monson, who works at the shop about five days a month, says it helps her feel more invested in the retail storefront and gives her the chance to meet customers.
The centerpiece of the shop is Duininck’s build-your-own jewelry bar, where shoppers can create their own pieces from a variety of quirky-cool charms including map emblems of Twin Cities landmarks. The designer also offers customization options for her jewelry line, including personalized engraving. Whether a handmade wall hanging or a necklace personalized with fabric from a customer’s grandmother’s wedding dress, Duininck explains the shop’s “golden rule” as “everything needs to be meaningful in one way or another.”
350 Water St., Excelsior