Night Out: Maiden Minnesota

Guest blog by Ali Brady, Minnesota Monthly writer

Laura Nelli of Nelle

You could tell the second-annual “Maiden Minnesota” event was a big success the minute you stepped foot inside the site of this year’s event, at the W Minneapolis–The Foshay. It was packed. While this was great news for the event organizers—and even better news for the event beneficiary, WomenVenture, a nonprofit that supports local entrepreneurs—it made it a little tougher for anyone looking to score one of the sweet gift bags.

That said, I did manage to see a bunch of cool products from 20 different local businesses. The first thing to catch my eye was a display from Nelle, the line of handbags created by Laura Nelli, which featured bright, multi-hued clutches accented by folded silk and pleated ribbon. I overheard one woman gushing about Nelle’s upcoming wedding collection, which made me think about how holding one of these classy little designs might (just barely) allow one to endure the horror of having to wear a bridesmaid dress.

Plateware by Jessica Rust Designs

I also got a look at Apiary Design’s collection of charming vintage wallpaper- and toile-inspired note-card stock, invitations, and memo pads (among other things), and Jessica Rust Design’s decorative white china with personalized gold stenciling. The latter allows couples to select and personalize a unique china pattern, e.g., one design featured a penciled birch tree with a couple’s initials carved into the side. They also had candleholders, bowls, and ceramic teacups with lids featuring gold-and-black city maps from London, Paris, and New York.  


Baskets by Jeanne Beatrice

As the night wore on, more than a few women could be spotted carrying newly purchased baskets by Jeanne Beatrice, whose line of Moroccan-made, French market-style baskets range in size from everyday average to “Are you sure your child isn’t going to get lost inside that thing?” Laura Benson, creator of Jeanne Beatrice, has thoughtfully updated the age-old (and eco-friendly) iconic baskets with a zippered pouch for personal items.

Also available at: I Do & Baby Too, 846 Lake St. E., Wayzata, 952-476-0046

Apiary Design

Jessica Rust Design

Jean Beatrice
Also available at: Ampersand, Galleria, Edina, 952-920-2118; Rick Rack, 3413 W. 44th St., Minneapolis, 612-746-4160; Provisions, 320 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-6953