Editor’s Picks: A stylish travel bag, shower steamers, pet CBD oil, and more

Four items to consider in mid-October

From fashion to tech to entertainment, every other week Minnesota Monthly editor Amy Nelson reviews a roundup of new products, events, and odds and ends she finds interesting. Have an idea? Reach her at anelson@greenspring.com.

Austin | Fowler travel backpack
Austin | Fowler Brielle backpack in Mulberry

Amy Nelson

Austin | Fowler Travel bag

I love to travel. From international travel to exotic locations like Bali, Oman, and the republic of Georgia, to a weekend trips to our “urban cabin” in Wisconsin, I fully enjoy all types of getaways. So when Austin | Fowler reached out about their Minnesota-made travel, mother, and business backpacks and handbags, I was all willing and enthusiastic. CEO Stephanie Fowler’s story is charming, and I admire local entrepreneurs creating top-quality and stylish products. Austin | Fowler fits the bill. I already had a favorite travel pack, one that I paid more than $350 for several years ago that acts as a functional carry-on and checked roller bag. But Austin | Fowler’s Brielle backpack for $268 takes my travel up a notch.

Austin | Fowler bag interior
Austin | Fowler backpack interior

Amy Nelson

It has 14 different pockets (I keep finding more!) and a fashion-forward Mulberry design. I was able to pack my laptop, chargers, toiletries and enough clothes for my four-day, three-night trip and skip having to check any luggage. I got several compliments from others on my trip, too, for the backpack’s striking color and my ability to pack light. This will be my new go-to travel bag—now I just need to book some more trips! austinfowler.com

 

Cleverfy Shower Steamers
Cleverfy Shower Steamers Purple Set

Submitted

Cleverfy Shower Steamers

If you’re a fan of bath bombs, you’ll love these compact, fragrant, effervescent shower steamers. They fuzz up quickly, dissolve evenly, and have strong scents. Self-described as “six aromatherapy fizzies” with essential oils, they make a great girlfriend gift or stocking stuffer for $20. I was overwhelmed by the intense fragrances and underwhelmed by the actual experience of standing in the shower watching a disc dissolve, but founder Helen’s appealing note (in English and Spanish) made me want to root for her success, if not toss a steamer in my next shower. Each steamer in the pack is a different scent and made with real flower petals. I preferred the Vanilla & Sweet Orange the most, with Lavender & Mint a close second. Watermelon and Grapefruit were too fruity for me. cleverfybeauty.com

 

Cornbread Cats & Dogs CBD Oil
Cornbread Cats & Dogs CBD Oil

Submitted

CornBread Cats & Dogs CBD Oil

My aging dog has diagnosed arthritis, so I welcomed this sample of CBD oil for him to try.  I was hoping his pronounced limp and discomfort may be lessened by a few drops of this alternative medical product on his food, but I’m still on the fence if this oil has helped him much. After several doses, I can report my dog seems a bit more mellow after a few drops but not less uncomfortable. I also found the dosage recommendations very confusing, as the directions are in milligrams but the dropper is in milliliters. It would be very easy to overdose my 80-pound dog, and the 500-milligram bottle is a pricey $49.99. cornbreadhemp.com

 

BillionDollarArtGallery thumbdrive
BillionDollarArtGallery memory stick

Submitted

BillionDollar ArtGallery

This product is a fun—if not simplistic—idea. Plug this sleek thumbdrive (they call it a memory stick) into your smart-TV’s USB port and you have hours’ worth of museum-quality art. If your TV is mounted on the wall, you have famous framed art on display. As I’ve said, I love to travel (see above) and have toured many of Europe’s finest museums, including the Louvre, Prado, and Rijksmuseum. I’ve written papers about Picasso, Degas, and Velazquez and know my art history. I recognize many of the 500 featured paintings and have seen many in person, as the works span 900 years of history from Neoclassic to Cubism. This tech product amuses me but also confuses me bit. For $39.99, I would expect a flipbook of the artwork featured or an expanded catalog to go with the thumbdrive. I’m also curious how the company secured the rights of these famous works. There’s some original music you can turn on with your volume button but no other voiceover or audio as the paintings change every 10 seconds. You can also choose to display the title, artist, and museum location with each piece. billiondollarartgallery.com

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As editor of Minnesota Monthly, Amy works collaboratively with a team of writers, designers, photographers, and digital producers to create impactful, surprising, timely and insightful content that reflects the Spirit of Minnesota. An award-winning newspaper and magazine editor based in the Twin Cities, Amy has decades of experience guiding coverage of luxury living, arts and culture, style and travel topics across multiple platforms. She has interviewed personalities ranging from Prince to Roger Goodell and has stories to tell.