Baby Grand sheathes small ones in fashionable accessories and carries furniture, slings, wraps, and baby clothing for moms and moms-to-be. Cloak a trend-setting tyke in the bamboo romper ($28.50), a vintage-style onesie decorated with snaps, making it easy to remove. The funky farmyard activity gym's dangling livestock and noise-making plush toys can entertain bored babies ($65). The laminated buckle bag ($70) boasts a foldout changing pad and insulated bottle bag and comes in a variety of popular prints to fool passersby of its contents. The baby boutique's Balboa Baby adjustable sling ($56) is capable of carrying an 8–25-pound baby or roasted chicken.
When Saint Paul native Angie Hanson was pregnant, she found it difficult to buy moderately priced maternity clothes that still looked stylish and new. Her quest for economical outfits took her to Richfield, where a fellow new mother, Crystal Pollard, was consigning clothing out of her own Bellies to Babies shop. Inspired, Angie worked with Crystal to bring the business concept to the Twin Cities—and Bellies to Babies Saint Paul was born. At the shop, moms and moms-to-be can find maternity, nursing, baby, and toddler clothing for any season, including swimsuits.
Though Little Venetian opened in 2002, the family behind the operation has been treating locals to Italian flavors since 1928, when Mama and Papa Vitale opened a modest vegetable stand. Now, decades later, diners can enjoy their fresh produce whipped up into hearty meals, made in accordance with Vitale family recipes. Pastas and pizzas come coated in slow-cooked marinara or alfredo sauces, and plates of chicken parmigiano and Italian sausage warm forks and souls with homemade flavor.
When Crystal Pollard was looking for maternity and baby clothes, she found plenty of onesies but a dearth of stylish skirts or flowing evening dresses. With the help of her husband Brad, a carpenter, the couple outfitted their garage with a changing room and chandelier and created Bellies to Babies. Stocked with the best of Crystal’s garage sale finds, the shop specialized in not only gently used baby clothes but stylish maternity duds for Mom.
Today, in a storefront rather than a garage, customers weave through racks of colorful, stylish, and pint-sized clothes for toddlers as well as soft, frilly sweaters and workout gear. The shop also specializes in dress rental for special occasions, offering over 100 pieces including floor-length, summer, and cocktail dresses.
Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She?s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show I Hate my Kitchen, on the episode entitled Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show?s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop?s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
Wax Kitten has smoothed the skin of all kinds of clientele, including men, women, and stars of the WE show Bridezillas. Skilled technicians remove unwanted hair from the full body—from brows to back, nose to navel, and upper lip to derriere. To reduce pain along the bikini area, they use hard wax instead of strips and divulge aftercare instructions to reduce irritation. The business also hosts waxing parties, where five or more friends may lessen waxing inhibitions by sipping from a complimentary bottle of wine or nibbling on waxed fruit.