ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — This weekend at Schmidt Artist Lofts in St. Paul, nearly 50 entrepreneurs, small business owners and artisans will show off some of the highest quality “Minnesota Made” products at the Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed event.
From lake-ware to lip-ware, there really is something for everyone. One “Minnesota Maker” will walk away with $5,000 to put toward their business.
“Most of my work is very bright colors,” Geralyn Thelen, founder of Just Me Geralyn and Glass, said. “I’m known for my strong geometrics.”
Her hottest selling glass product is an olive oil dish that includes bright geometric designs.
Seven years ago, Thelen was deathly sick and it was during this time she decided to take a glass class with a friend. The Northfield resident has since made a full recovery and is now making all kinds of creations. Her glass collection has turned into a full-time job.
“I started off just making jewelry and the jewelry market got totally saturated,” Thelen said. “I kept morphing into bigger and bigger pieces, and now I have a seven foot sculpture of sunflowers.”
Speaking of color, how about Allison, Sarah or Maria. Those are all names of shades of lipstick.
“I’m putting Cathy on you and it’s a lovely raspberry pink,” Becky Sturm, founder of Stormsister Spatique, said as she put a pretty pink on our WCCO This Morning’s Ali Lucia.
The Minnesota made and manufactured lip stick is all named after women who helped Becky build her business.
“I went to each woman and asked, ‘If you could have the most perfect lipstick shade to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?'” Sturm said.
Nothing wrong with a pop of color, especially as summer approaches, that’s exactly what childhood friends Spencer Barrett and David Burke are banking on when it comes to “Going to the Lake.”
“Probably the most exciting things is seeing somebody else wearing your product, randomly especially, not just our friends,” Burke, co-founder of Great Lakes Clothing, said.
Using a loon as their centerpiece, the “Great Lakes Clothing” co-founders said their product is more about the emotional connection of Minnesota summers. Their clothing line feature summer T-shirts with the “I’ve been in the sun” look, hats and plenty of other products which certainly bring the lake right to your wardrobe.
“That’s the most rewarding thing, is being able to connect with so many customers and seeing how our brand resonates with them on an emotion level,” Barrett, co-founder of Great Lakes Clothing, said.
Our final stop of the short HAMMS event preview takes us to the kitchen for something with a bit more flavor.
“I’ve always made my own spice blends,” Debb Masterson, founder of Minnesota Nice Spice, said.
She always enjoyed growing her own fresh herbs. When funds were running low to support Masterson’s developmentally delayed sister’s love of art, she turned her seasoning into 14 different blends. The first, as expected, was named after her sister.
“We call it “Lucy’s Pub Blend.” It’s named after her because it’s good on everything she likes,” Debb said. “She likes burgers and French fires and Bloody Mary’s.”
HAMMS, or Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed, is Saturday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Schmidt Artist Lofts.