In the ever-changing world of Minnesota retail, the word “heritage” gets thrown around an awful lot. After all, we’re home to some of the most celebrated, time-honored heritage brands: Duluth Pack, J.W. Hulme Co., Red Wing, and Faribault Woolen Mill.
New North Loop shop Wilson & Willy’s, opening today, is the latest—and it comes with a strong pedigree. It’s the brainchild of John Mooty, the former marketing and creative director of Faribault Woolen Mill and son of the company’s CEO Chuck Mooty, who helped revitalize the brand for the 21st century. After coming up with the concept, which Mooty likens to a modern day general store, he partnered with Rita Mehta—the woman behind Minneapolis-based style blog the American Edit, which focuses on American-made products and makers—who has a wealth of experience in retail and product development strategy and buying for Target.
Together, the pair have brought their collective passion for American-made products to the storefront, making good use of their respective networks of makers and manufacturers in the industry. The store’s offerings include products from Minnesota-based makers such as ceramicist Fringe & Fettle, wood workshop BEKA Block, letterpress design printer Studio On Fire, and clothing line Hackwith Design House, as well as Red Wing Stoneware, Duluth Pack, and, of course, Faribault Woolen Mill. Additional product lines include New York–based Best Made Co., which manufacturers high-quality tools and camping equipment, as well as Austin, Texas ceramicist Keith Kreeger, and Georgia-based skincare line One Love Organics.
Not only does Wilson & Willy’s boast a solid roster of makers and manufacturers, it offers a number of exclusive products created in collaboration with its vendors. They include a line of pendant lights that features Conway Electric’s signature, colorful cords and a hand-blown glass pendant lamp by Hennepin Made; a collection of pots and cups by Red Wing Stoneware Company that are inspired by the sewer pipe that it manufactured for city infrastructure in the early 1900s; and a line of coats by Hackwith Design House made from Faribault Woolen Mill blanket fabric. The shop also carries an in-house brand of menswear including shirts and jackets, some of which are crafted from Faribault Mill–woven wool and cotton.
“We’re doing things different in the way we’re connecting manufacturers,” says Mooty. “We’re taking the raw materials and different components and combining them in different ways and with other manufacturers to create something new.”
Many of the products on the store’s shelves are also available on the shop’s website, wilsonandwillys.com, though they plan to continue to add more products to the online shop. Some product lines, such as the Best Made Co. assortment, are available exclusively in the brick-and-mortar store.
Now open. Opening weekend hours: Noon–8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 & Friday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, 211 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., wilsonandwillys.com
Hackwith Design House’s exclusive collection for Wilson & Willy’s
BEKA Blocks’ collaboration line with Wind & Willow Home at Wilson & Willy’s
Men’s products at Wilson & Willy’s
Wilson & Willy’s
Red Wing Stoneware at Wilson & Willy’s
Conway Electric products at Wilson & Willy’s
Wilson & Willy’s
[All photos by Jahna Peloquin]