Golden Rule Collective Brings Maker Movement to Excelsior

With the recent openings of shops such as Wilson & Willy’s and Askov Finlayson, the North Loop could be considered the hub of the Twin Cities’ maker movement. But smaller metro area towns—such as Semblance in New Ulm—are starting to get a piece of the handcrafted action. The latest is Golden Rule Collective, a cooperative boutique founded by jewelry designer Erin Kate Duininck, which opened last week in Excelsior on Water Street.

Located 12 miles west of Minneapolis, the store is stocked with a thoughtfully curated, contemporary 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 local maker Spring Finn & Co., ceramics by A Mano, jewelry by NEAL, and wood products from Solid Manufacturing Co. and Winona-based canoe paddle maker Sanborn Canoe Co. It also carries national brands Scout + Lilly (leather goods, pennants, and prints), Field Notes notebooks, Kinfolk magazine, and kid’s clothing by Iowa-based Locally Grown Clothing and Duluth-based the Medium Control.

Before opening Golden Rule, Duininck owned Excelsior consignment art gallery the Orchard Art House, which doubled as a showroom for her quirky, vintage-inspired jewelry line Ekate Designs. Golden Rule gives her the chance to collaborate with other makers and invest in the community—she plans to host workshops and other community-oriented events in the store.

The designer offers customization options with her line of jewelry, from engraving on readymade pieces to a build-your-own jewelry bar. She also designs custom pieces for clients that incorporate something sentimental, such as a piece of their grandmother’s wedding dress. “Everything needs to be meaningful for one way or another,” she says.

The cooperative format of Golden Rule Collective gives its makers the opportunity to work their commission down by working at the store. “It helps me feel more invested in the store,” says Monson, who works at the shop about five days a month. “Plus, it’s good to meet the customers.”

Duininck tells me Ivivva, Lululemon’s kid’s chain, will soon open a showroom next door to Golden Rule, and Excelsior is already home to boutiques such as Brightwater Clothing & Gear, cheap-chic clothing shop Primp, Cherie Consignment, and home furnishings store Que Será—making for a perfect shopping afternoon trip.

Now open, 350 Water St., Excelsior, 612-598-2098, The store hosts a grand opening event 1–10 p.m. Saturday, May 30, and will be doing a pop-up at Madewell at the Mall of America on May 27.

Paintings by Missy Monson, paddles by Sanborn Canoe Co., jewelry by Ekate Designs

Ekate Designs’ make-your-own jewelry bar

Ekate Designs’ dyed lace earrings

Scout + Lilly pennants, stool by Solid Manufacturing, wood antlers and Minnesota silhouettes by Pink Linen Designs

photos by Jahna Peloquin