Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mod Minn(ies): Guide to Spending a Local Holiday

Cyber Monday kicked off last week with online shoppers eager to save some cash and avoid lines this holiday season. But if your goal is to help the local design economy, reconsider your propensity to point and click away that valuable holiday budget. Instead spend your dollars with local designers and retailers and help celebrate the great Minnesota Arts Culture. When you shop here the dollar stays here: studies show that for every dollar spent locally 42% more of the wealth stays local. Here are some ideas for finding those local modern treasures this holiday season:

Shoppe Local: 813 W 50th Street
Mon-Sat: 9:30AM-9:00PM, Sun:11:00AM-6:00PM
Launched by the owners of Patina, Shoppe Local sells only Minnesota products created by local designers and artisans. It features fun, inventive and eclectic gifts all created within a two hundred mile radius. Products range from well-known companies like Minnetonka Moccasins to more unique fare, such as Block Bots Toys made by young architect and designer Will Dohman. Dohman’s artful toys are a perfect example of how local designers are creating alternatives to products shipped halfway around the world. Block Bots are made from reclaimed wood and offer customizable options for those inspired to make their own block avatars.

Walker Shop: 1750 Hennepin Ave.
Mon: Closed, Tues-Sun: 11AM-6PM
Nestled beneath the big crinkled aluminum block hovering over Hennepin Avenue, the Walker Art Center’s retail venue offers classic museum apparel, publications, and posters, but also has one of the best collections of design publications in the City. It includes most of the books on the region’s best designers. If you’re after a copy of Vince James and Associates’ monograph or Thomas Fisher’s book on Salmela Architects, you can find it perched on the Shop’s glossy white shelves with other regional publications. While not all products are local, all proceeds support the Walker's artistic and educational programs.

Global Market: Lake Street & 10th Avenue
When we sit down to our holiday meals we don’t often realize the vast distances traversed to get our traditional treats to the Minnesota dinner table. According to recent studies, the average meal roams some 1200 miles before it reaches the consumer. One answer to more sustainable holiday sustenance is shopping at the markets found in the Mid-Town Global Market. Some 50 local businesses sell their wares from brightly colored stands of distinct ethnic pageantry. You’ll find food shops like Grass Roots Gourmet, which sells only “small batch products” from Minnesotan farms within 100 miles of downtown Minneapolis, and The Produce Exchange selling local and global products. Organic produce, local meats and artisan gifts are just a few of the wonderful goods provided in the historic Sears & Roebuck Warehouse along Lake Street.

High Point Center for Print Making: 912 W. Lake Street
One of Lake Street<’s coolest new storefronts, High Point’s refreshingly modern renovation by James Dayton Design has created a stunning new home for this non-profit focused on celebrating printmaking. The new facility offers community access to studio space, instructional classes, and gallery spaces open to the public. High Point, however, isn’t just for those who aspire to make beautiful prints. Their gallery provides talented Minnesota artists with the ability to showcase and sell their works, making a unique local shopping experience for the modern art lover in your life. The current exhibit Prints On Ice, is on display until December 23rd.

Roam: 813 Glenwood Avenue
Mon-Fri: 10AM-6PM, Sat: 10AM-5PM
Roam is one of those stores that makes a modernist’s heart skip. It’s the latest addition to the growing design area around International Market Square, and is a perfect place to uncover gifts for any design-savvy friends. Roam stocks the latest in European inspired modern home furnishings, but also has an extensive collection of locally designed trinkets from Silvercocoon and BluDot furniture. The store, in fact, is one of the few DotSpots in the nation to sell BluDot’s entire line.

If you’re interested in helping to boost the local design community this holiday season, support your local shops and artisans. For more information on supporting the local economy check out MN Made for further resources on keeping your modern holiday local.


Todd said...

Thanks for encouraging support of the local design community! On that note the local RedBlackBrown Collective has produced a limited edition, silkscreened calendar that is pretty unique: http://redblackbrown.com/blog/article/720/calendar-is-ready-to-go

Colin said...

Hey Todd,

Thanks for checking out our post. If your group is ever interested in contributing to Threshold or have a great event/project you'd like to announce let us know. As the blog grows we hope to feature more great Twin Cities Design.... well beyond architecture. Contact me anytime with interesting stuff.