With an eye for bold design, the staff at FinnStyle curates clothing, home décor, and other goods from Finnish designers including Marimekko, Iittala, and Artek. The online store and brick-and-mortar building house wares that have been featured in magazines such as Lucky, Dwell, and The Nest. Among the items, colorful bolts of Marimekko fabric await future occupations as curtains, pillow covers, or dresses, and Kalevala jewelry designs, modeled after archeological finds from the Iron Age, form bold statement pieces for the neck, ears, and wrists.
Castle Building & Remodeling, one of Remodeling magazine’s Big 50 of 2011, hosts a team of professional designers and builders who overhaul interiors with historically inspired concepts. Two design-selection studios display the custom craftsmanship, showcasing a 1940s–style kitchen with cherry cabinets and a 1910s–style bathroom with hex tile flooring and a sink full of Teddy Roosevelt's mustache trimmings.
The remodelers create a mockup of each project using 3-D CAD software, noting any desired changes before installation. They realize projects with the help of artisanal manufacturers such as Clay Squared, whose artists craft custom ceramic tiles using time-honored methods.
The brewing and winemaking experts at Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies lavish equipment and encouragement upon aspiring beverage crafters nationwide. Beer and wine equipment kits provide every necessity in one handy package, unlike puzzle-piece-of-the-month clubs, and ingredient kits yield liquid harvests in a range of styles and varietals. Whatever the favored flavor, Midwest's premium ingredients and handy how-to books help to make consistent batches each time, aiding brewers in avoiding the embarrassment of turning out a spicy pinot grigio or a bacon-flavored lager.
Started in 1998, Fired Up Studios has quickly evolved from a small pottery studio to an art center with classes and a gallery. Despite this growth, its mission remains the same: to raise the spirits of anyone who enters. In the 7,200-square-foot studio, experienced potters provide a judgment-free creative outlet for students and visiting artists alike, inviting them to have fun and experiment with the studio's collection of pottery wheels, kilns, and glazes. These potters also teach students how to throw clay, shape up elegant bowls and vases, and sculpt pixelization onto nude figures.
On a secluded ranch near the Cotopaxi volcano, the powerful Ecuadorian sun nourishes Las Rosas' rose bushes before they are carefully harvested and shipped to the Minneapolis store. Rare rose varieties, grown in the ranch's temperature- and humidity-regulated greenhouses, range from 45 centimeters to six feet in length, so customers can use them to measure a kiddie pool to the depth of a fathom. Their flowery palette in hand, the shop's resident floral artists can craft arrangements or bouquets for weddings, holidays, and other events.
Like sword makers in a samurai movie, Eversharp’s skilled artisans toil over blades to ensure that each one is flawlessly straight and sharp. Their shop, hailed as one of the nation's largest Wusthof retailers, houses specialized knives and knife sets suited for any need, be it cutting a turkey, slicing bread, or carving a jack-o’-lantern into the spitting image of Alex Trebek. In addition to supplying cutlery, the staffers sharpen blades on a rolling grindstone and host knife-skills classes that prepare students to tackle any cooking emergency with gusto.