Meet 6 Gifted Minnesota Makers in Their Spaces

Minnesotans are creating beautiful, delicious, useful things out of concrete, honey, straw, and tons more
From top left, clockwise: Concrete Pig’s Keith Wyman, Celina Kane, Woodlucker’s Ann Wood, Worker B’s Michael Sedlacek, Liz Pechacek, and ONE Fermentary’s Ramsey Louder

Photos by Nate Ryan

When the economy crashed in 2008, many Minnesotans hit rewind on the booming materialism of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, retreated to their garages, and birthed the local modern-day maker movement.

“Recessions are a great time for innovation,” says Pamela Diamond, director of marketing for the American Craft Show. (Note: This interview took place in early 2020.) “Craft is about materiality: to reuse, to repurpose—to not just throw away.” With DIY derring-do, we mixed ’70s scrappiness and 21st-century tech, rising up on Etsy, Pinterest, and what Diamond calls the “absolutely perfect” platform, Instagram.

What has distinguished Minnesota from the rest? “I attribute it to the weather,” Diamond says. “It keeps you inside.” Plus: Midwestern work ethics, good schools (“MCAD’s first-class”), and our arts institutions. “I mean, this is why the American Craft Council moved from New York to Minnesota 10 years ago,” she says.

Today, Minnesotan makers are finding inspiration all over—telling stories with straw, concrete, and honey. “How do we use these materials that are surrounding us?” Diamond poses. “Someone’s gonna make something out of it.”

Get to know six of those someones in Minnesota—and, at the bottom, check out our Minnesota Makers Hall of Fame, in addition to four rising stars:

Photo by Nate Ryan

The Beekeeper: Worker B

Beeswax and honey products do a body good. Read more.

Photo by Nate Ryan

The Paper Botanist: Woodlucker

Life springs forth from Ann Wood’s mixed-media creations. Read more.

Photo by Nate Ryan

The Brewmaster: One Fermentary & Taproom

Ramsey Louder reinvents the craft and culture of beer. Read more.

Photo by Nate Ryan

The Potter: Liz Pechacek Ceramics

Liz Pechacek fires gallery-worthy pottery inside her garage. Read more.

Photo by Nate Ryan

The Furniture Maker: Concrete Pig

Keith Wyman’s modern furniture defies expectations and weight restrictions. Read more.

Photo by Nate Ryan

The Milliner: Celina Kane

Handmade hats make stunning statements. Read more.

Minnesota Makers on the Rise:

BA Craftmade Aprons

Kathleen Meier’s aprons are elevating the look and function of this kitchen essential item while advocating for wellness in the local restaurant industry.

Bailey Builds

Duluth wood mosaic artist Anna Bailey operates the Makers Movement Collective Studio.

Pickle Witch

South Minneapolis fermenter with an eye on building a more-inclusive DIY scene.

Winsome Goods

Sustainable fashion from Kathryn Sieve has expanded into zero-waste home goods.

Minnesota Makers Hall of Fame

Even more local makers of note:

Adam Turman

Muralist and 10,000 lakes iconographer


Organic popcorn in vibrant flavors

Crybaby Craig’s

Hot sauce, happiness in a bottle.

Duluth Pack

Durable, North Shore goods.

Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

A Minnesota original.

Jonny Pops

Real-fruit popsicles.

Hennepin Made

Pristine glass light fixtures.

Leather Works Minnesota

Belts, bags, and wallets.

Love Your Melon

Ubiquitous winter hats.

Mercury Mosaics

Epic tilework.

North House Folk School

Where makers of all sorts are made.

Red Wing Shoes

The most stylish and durable footwear around.

Sanborn Canoe Company

Museum-piece watercraft and paddles.

Surly Brewing

The craft brewer that paved the way.

Woodchuck USA

Products for life, made out of wood.