Saturday was magical.
Friends joined us and wandered off as we explored the booths and some new shops in downtown Fargo. Being among so many interesting and creative people was incredibly invigorating. It was exactly what I needed.
The day was charmed from the start. I got up early to get a grab bag at the craft fest, which I’d never done before. Not only did we all score a bag (my friends Erin and Liz are total pros at this) we met cool new people in line, ran into old friends and even scored free Sandy’s Donuts.
Then we finished the day with a leisurely lunch at Nichole’s Fine Pastry. It was fascinating to see what we bought. We walked away with handmade jewelry, magnets, art, bug-eyed monster figurines, vintage forks and statues, even a fabulous crimson cape.
We all found new treasures because there are so many creative people in the Upper Midwest. And they’re doing great — and radically different — work.
Here are eight shops I love. I’ve followed some of them for years, while some I’ve just discovered. I hope you find them as interesting as I do.
Larissa Loden Jewelry:
I’ve been obsessed with Larissa’s blend of tough and pretty jewelry for years, so her booth was a must-see.
Her work is a fascinating mix of vintage and modern, bohemian and tough, playful and pretty. Tiny dagger earrings dangle alongside graceful feather cuffs and whimsical gold elephant and dinosaur charms. It makes me smile every time.
I’m a mama to a toddler and I seriously do not understand why every freaking baby toy has to make noise. Dale Rosseau’s beautifully constructed, handmade wood toys make all those bells and whistles seem superfluous.
My friend Beth found a little Greenbush Woods car in her grab bag and passed it on to Eli, who’s been racing it around the house ever since. Everything is coated with non-toxic finishes, which makes me love this shop even more.
How do you not smile when you see these adorable little animal bags? Minneapolis designer Mary Pow’s sweet sharks, whales, honey bees and goldfish hold kids’ toys, snacks and art supplies.
And big kids love them just as much as little ones. Our group of grown women made a beeline for her booth and walked away with big, goofy smiles on our faces.
J Rose Designs:
Julia Rose Knutson’s work is a fun mix of hard and soft. Her knit scarves and headbands are cozy and her tough leather and metal necklaces have an edge I love.
I used them to style my vintage outfits at the studio and they looked so good, I asked her to make one just for me.
The Little Apiary:
How often do you get a chance to buy honey that’s made just a few miles from your house? I’ve known Kendall and Becky Goltz since I was a little kid (I grew up literally just down the road from them in Hendrum, Minnesota) but I got my first chance to try their raw honey this weekend.
Their honey is produced in small batches the old-fashioned way, without chemicals. Each variety has its own unique flavor. It’s a delicious treat for yourself and makes a great gift. (The foodies in your life will love it.)
The White House Boutique
First I fell for the vintage, antiques and junk that this mother/two daughter team from Thief River Falls, Minnesota showcase so well. Then I fell down the rabbit hole of their lovely website.
If you love celebrating the beauty of old things, you’re going to be obsessed with this site. Their displays at craft fairs and pop-up events are every bit as engrossing.
Twenty Below Coffee Co.:
I scored a free coffee token in my grab bag, which is pretty much the perfect gift for me. I could have used it when Twenty Below Coffee Co. opens its Roberts Street in downtown Fargo this spring, but I couldn’t wait that long.
I tried the Blizzard of 66 blend and it was light and lovely. And watching the baristas pour the coffee was such a fascinating ritual.
The Honey B Soap Company:
I first met Fargo’s Brittany Sinclair this summer and when I fell for her pretty soaps at a farmer’s market. Her products are so useful — and packed full of natural, non-toxic ingredients — that I’ve been adding new ones every time I run across her booth.
This time I picked up a lovely lavender lotion bar (so handy for traveling — no liquids!) and a shimmery lip balm.
Were you out at the Unglued Craft Fest or the studio this weekend? What did you fall for?
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