The newly remodeled Target flagship store on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis boasts a liquor store, a revamped grocery area, wood plank walls, new lighting, and an online pickup area. It’s also the beta site for a new concept, Made in MN. The selection includes handcrafted goods from 11 makers from Minneapolis and St. Paul, available for a limited time exclusively at the Nicollet Mall location, beginning this week.
It’s part of Target’s initiative to “support to local communities and offer guests unique and compelling products,” according to Target PR team member Kristy Welker. In January, it announced a new chemical strategy to drive transparency and innovation, working with vendors to eliminate harmful chemicals from beauty and food products. In August, the retailer announced it will remove all artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, colors, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup from all of its private-label kids’ food products by the end of 2018.
It’s not the first time Target has had a local focus. Last December, New York-based fashion designer Todd Snyder launched a collaboration with Target on a series of “Local Pride” collections in several major U.S. cities, including Minnesota, which includes a few dozen shirts, pennants, coffee mugs, and pint glasses. But despite cashing in on local pride, none of those products were actually created by Minnesota makers.
That’s where the Local Shop MN is different. The made-in-Minnesota section features goods by local notables in the maker scene, including wood-covered notebooks and phone cases with Minnesota state emblems from Woodchuck USA, prints and cards by fashion illustrator Cait Courneya, and a range of Minnesota-themed printed tees, baseball tees, and ballcaps from Sota Clothing. Other makers include Byrd & Belle (wool felt and leather phone and tablet cases), Mill City Fineries (men’s neckwear), North Made Company (Minnesota-themed t-shirts and other branded products), North Mallow Marshmallows, Peace Coffee, Maddy & Maize (gourmet popcorn), Printerette Press (greeting cards), and Da Bomb Bath Fizzers (bath bombs).
“When I created Sota Clothing as a class project, I never thought it would go this far,” says Spencer Johnson, founder of Sota Clothing, in a Facebook post. Here’s hoping Target continues to tap its Twin Cities roots and support local makers, even after the pop-up ends.
The Made in MN collection is available from August 7 through September 3 at Target, 900 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Courtesy Sota clothing