Minnesotans Show their True Style

I’ve been thinking of the whole meaning of the word “style.” There is definitely the inclusion of being well-groomed, well-dressed, and caring for yourself—all done in a way which expresses your individuality. But I also think style is not just the way you appear to others, but the way you make others feel when they’re around you, and also in the interests you pursue. A true person of style leaves you with a smile, wanting to know more.

This led me to think of the people around me at home and at work. What I realized is the more I thought about it, the more it made me happy and feel blessed to see how many truly stylish people are in my life.

For example, at her 40th birthday party, my friend Julie could have knocked your socks off—she was so beautiful, but also the most gracious and fun birthday girl ever. Amazing producer Bobbi Peacock and outstanding photographers Michael Crouser and John Christenson donated their time along with parent volunteers to give our children’s elementary school a most memorable Art Night. Not only do these people have style on the outside, they embody the meaning of the word as they leave those they touch inspired, with smiles on their faces.

Please let me share with you two more stylish Minnesotans sharing their talents:

Lori Evert works is an in-demand prop-and-set stylist who makes makes every set she is on perfect, with no detail missed. From Select Comfort to Target and beyond, Lori is known for her outstanding work and work ethic.

And now she can add New York Times best-selling author to her list of accomplishments. Lori co-created the Wish series of photographic fairy tales with her husband Per Breiehagen, an award-winning photographer, and their daughter Anja, who is the main character in each story and was an active contributor to the recently released story The Tiny Wish.

 The Wish series began with The Christmas Wish, a holiday story. Inspired by bi-annual trips to Per’s childhood home in Norway, the family continued writing the beautifully photographed tales, releasing The Tiny Wish earlier this year.

With Easter right around the corner, The Tiny Wish would be a wonderful addition to a child’s basket—I cannot say enough about how special these books are. You can look forward to The Reindeer Wish, set to come out in September 2015, and The Christmas Wish movie, a live-action film, which is now in production and slated for a holiday 2017 release.

And this Saturday, you can share in the excitement with Lori, Per, and Anja as they invite you to join them at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul for a Tiny Wish Party!

king of the sea by mike lizama

Michael Lizama is another Minnesotan with style in every way. An independent graphic designer, recent projects have included creating crests for a new submarine and designing a T-shirt for a group of experimental pilots from Mojave.

But Michael’s talents go beyond the two-dimensional: He also has a gift for working with stained glass. His work is unforgettable, and unlike anything I’ve seen before. He will tell you he has spent many hours gazing at church windows, and that growing up in Hawaii and being in the ocean inspired his love of brilliant, transparent color.

Michael’s windows really took off after meeting John Salisbury, who owns Gaytee Stained Glass in Minneapolis, and attending two glass-painting workshops led by renowned New York stained-glass artist Richard Millard.

Michael looks at creating stained glass windows as illustrating with glass. His influences are drawn mostly from pop culture, including such features as robots, skeletons, and tikis. He began to incorporate salvaged pieces of painted glass that Gaytee would discard when restoring and repairing windows. “I couldn’t bear to see those pieces that had been painted long ago and seen by thousands of people in their original form just thrown away,” says Michael. “My main inspirations for stained glass are the Irish artist Harry Clarke and contemporary stained-glass artist Judith Schaecter. Both artists were and are revolutionary in subject and approach. I wanted to push the perception of what can be done with the medium.”

To see some of Michael’s windows, head to the Dunn Bros. coffee shop at Bryant and Lake St. in Minneapolis, where six are currently on display. You can find more of his pieces on his blog and on the MNArtists site under Mike Lizama.