MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Mall of America debuted a new concept on this Black Friday called “Shop Local.”
It’s a holiday pop-up shop supporting small, local businesses.
The 10,000 square-foot space, located in the Southeast Court by Sears and Santaland, features 22 different Minnesota brands in one place.
Jessie McShane, owner of local brand Wool and Whiskey, started selling her hand-knitted scarves online nearly three years ago.
“It’s a handmade, hand knit, brand from Minnesota. It’s locally made by myself and a team of small knitters and it’s handmade warmth,” McShane said.
On Black Friday, she set up her own space at the largest shopping mall in the U.S.
“Shop Local is a celebration of Minnesota retail,” Jill Renslow, senior vice president of business development and marketing, said.
McShane, along with 21 other local shops, were brought together by Mall of America to give their shoppers a chance to consume some Minnesota-made goods.
“Mall of America supported Minnesota retail and Minnesota businesses all year round, but to be able to have the opportunity to bring them all together and celebrate them in one space for shoppers to really get an eclectic mix of everything from chocolate to scarves and slippers. There’s a little bit of everything,” Renslow said.
There are recognizable brands like the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota United side-by-side with other up-and-comers, like Elixery Cosmetic House, Mill City Fineries and Thumbs Cookies.
“This is Barb’s Classic. My mom Barb used to make these when I was growing up. She’d hand roll them and press them with her thumb. So, they are called Thumbs Cookies,” Robyn Frank, of Thumbs Cookies, said.
For these local shops, it’s a chance to get their products in front of an international shopping audience.
“It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. To have my stuff be seen at Mall of America at this scope and to be able to curate my space that reflects my brand, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” McShane said.
Shop Local will be open at Mall of America through December 27th during mall hours.
The stores included are My Sister, Thumbs Cookies, St. Croix Chocolate Co., Mill City Fineries, Minnesota United FC, Great Lakes Clothing Co., Minnesota Twins, Taki Watches, Beer Dabbler, I Like You, Wool & Whiskey, Evla Gallery, Worker B, Classical Element, Elixery Cosmetic House, dpHUE, Choo Choo Bobs, Cooper & Kids, Tumblewalla, Fashion Mobile and Poppy and Astound Video.