minnesota makers

hackwith design house for wilson & willy's

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Over the past several months, I have been working with Wilson & Willy's, a general store focused on thoughtfully made products for men, women, and the home. The webshop launched before the holidays, and the brick and mortar location will be opening in Minneapolis next week. Wilson & Willy's believes in the makers. Everything in the shop is made in the USA, and a great deal of it is made right here in Minnesota. 

It has been a true pleasure to spend time in the local studios of these makers, documenting their processes. I am consistently inspired by their creative wisdom, their slow intention, their quiet humility. 

Lisa Hackwith has an art background, and taught herself to sew after graduating. She designs and constructs the clothing, along with her small team, in her Minneapolis studio. They aim for quality, for timelessness, for creating the pieces that will be the highlight of your closet. All of the items for Wilson & Willy's are made from selvage material from Faribault Woolen Mill, resulting in a collection of pieces crafted locally, from beginning to end.

I look forward to sharing more of my work with Wilson & Willy's, and with these makers. There is so much good.

minnesota makers 05 | siri knutson

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over the winter, i had the true pleasure of visiting the home studio of siri knutson, a talented local artist and designer. i first encountered siri's art at the foundry, a favorite little shop of mine in minneapolis.  her abstract pieces made of faux gold leaf quickly caught my eye, and i was thrilled when she agreed to be a part of my minnesota makers series.  she has made a studio space in her home, which is minimalistic and bright, and filled with simple, personal elements. although it appears as though each piece in her space was chosen with intention, the collection comes together with seemingly no effort at all. she keeps an inspiration wall that brims with old photographs and postcards, and her own artwork from various points in her past. 

siri also works as an interior designer, and i couldn't help but take a few photos of her home while i was there. her bright, authentic spirit manages to shine through in every corner. (it's amazing how that happens, isn't it?) in this time of pinterest, social media, and general overstimulation, i felt so refreshed after talking with siri and spending time in her space. she has created a home that is a natural respite, and perhaps most importantly, has stayed true to herself while doing so.

you can see more of siri's work on her website. 

minnesota makers 04 | wind & willow home

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wind & willow home is a company i was familiar with even before moving to minnesota. when i realized that they were based locally, i knew i would have to add them to my minnesota makers series. i had the loveliest time with araya, (and her daughter avery, who was home from school on a particularly bitter day) chatting about how she got started, and what it means to be a small business owner.  araya is a kitchen and bath designer by trade, and a creative at heart. she began a few years ago with her colorful rubber dipped wooden spoons, and quickly saw lots of interest in her products. she expanded to add a full line of wooden bowls, serving boards, and planters. the saturated color is a beautiful contrast to the natural wood, and provides function, too-- the soft rubber on the spoon handles is easy on hands, and the rubber-bottomed bowls provide a slight surface grip. araya works in her beautiful home studio, dipping the items by hand, and sells them in her online shop

minnesota makers 02 : hennepin made

a few weeks ago i had the opportunity to visit this studio in northeast minneapolis. founded in 2011, hennepin made is an independent studio that creates lighting and other modern designs. although the team is small and the craft is careful, hennepin made is growing in a big way.

jackson schwartz, who shares my excitement about minnesota makers, gave me a full tour of the studio. just a couple of years ago, jackson and his partner joe limpert made the decision to pursue product design instead of fine art, and were outgrowing their rental studio. without a perfect plan, they moved into this new space, and paid themselves just enough to get by. today, the company is selling a line of products through room and board. more proof that there is a place-- and a need-- for artisanal goods. i have always been intrigued by glass blowing, so it was a remarkable experience to see these makers in action. 

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minnesota makers 01 : leatherworks mn

since moving to minnesota, i have been endlessly impressed with the robust contingent of makers in the local area. it feels like everywhere i turn, i am learning about another company that is doing good-quality, artisanal work. as my list grew, so did my inspiration to document this expanding community of businesses. i decided to start a project to visit these makers and photograph them in their spaces. 

my first installment is leatherworks mn. i had the opportunity to visit their space last week, as they were busy packing up for the american field show in boston. the shop was bustling, and kent, pictured in the 8th photo down, was kind enough to show me some of their most popular products. the capital wallet is a great basic, perfect for your back pocket. i like the smaller 3-pocket card wallet, and business card holder. the loop key fob is my favorite-- (who wouldn't want this simple, attractive piece to adorn their keychain?) --and a popular seller.

i found so much beauty in their shop, from the scraps of leather, to the attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. truly, their heart and soul goes into every item they make. it makes me happy to know that this shop exists in downtown st. paul, and that good work goes on there everyday. it was such a pleasure to meet these folks and experience their work.  i look forward to this project developing further in the future, to meeting new artisans and visiting their studios, and creating a collective of minnesota makers.

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