There are so many reasons why I love living in the Twin Cities (despite our freezing winters), but if I had to pick one, it would be the community. I feel so lucky on a daily basis to collaborate and create with this inspiring network of people, companies, and organizations, so I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of them because they’re doing such incredible work. (And I also just want to gush!)

 We recently launched our tote bags and feel so lucky to have collaborated with Leather Works. A family owned company since 1999, they share the same values of quality and craftsmanship that I hold so dear. This is evident in absolutely everything that they create and the tote bags are no exception. (And, come on, how amazing is this slingshot?)

image via Leather Works MN


Another family run company based in St. Paul that I’ve been thrilled to partner with is Beka. I think we’re kindred spirits in that we both work with wood, although in different capacities. Beka captures imaginations with its toys, games, and art supplies for both children and adults. The first time we came together was for a fun project for Wilson & Willy’s – building blocks dipped in fun colors? Yes, please! And then when Wind & Willow Home launched our inaugural weaving workshop, they were the first company we turned to for looms.

Image via Jahna Peloquin via Minnesota Monthly


As a small business owner, I also feel so lucky to be a part of a community that supports its local makers. Forage Modern Workshop is a must-visit in the Twin Cities if you’re looking for something special for your home, not only because their taste is so on point (seriously, I lust over everything when I’m in there), or because they were just featured on the Design Milk blog, but also because they go out of their way to make sure that all the pieces that they offer are made by “real people who do real things.”

Image via Design Milk


And if you’re looking for a little something special for your sister, your BFF, or hey, yourself, get yourself over to Parc Boutique, STAT. Not only has owner Thao Nguyen infused a serious dose of cool to Minneapolis, she’s also a champion for makers everywhere. And if you need yet another reason to admire Thao, check out this profile of her in The EveryGirl. She’s leaning in with the best of them.


Image via Canary Grey via The Every girl


And then there are just those organizations that deserve all the praise in the world for the work they do on behalf of others. The American Refugee Council is one of those. With a mission to “help people survive conflict and crisis and rebuild lives of dignity, health, security and self-sufficiency,” I could not have been more pleased than to contribute to their Maker’s Collection.

Image via American Refugee Committee


Who are you grateful for in your community?

March 11, 2015 by Araya Jensen