Northern Grade Market Pops up with Home Goods by Minnesota Makers

by Jahna Peloquin (Image: Courtesy Concrete Pig)

When Northern Grade was founded in in 2010, the roving, made-in-the-U.S. market showcased menswear and men’s accessories by brands such as Red Wing, Duluth Pack, and Leatherworks Minnesota. With this spring’s iteration in St. Paul, the pop-up has evolved to showcase goods by a handful of home goods makers.

Originally conceived by the husband-and-wife team of Katherine and Mark “Mac” McMillan in Northeast Minneapolis, the event has since traveled around the world, popping up everywhere from L.A. to Moscow. Last year, the couple, who now live in New York City, opened a permanent Northern Grade storefront filled with American-made goods from some of their favorite brands.

Here are some of the home goods featured at this spring’s market, which takes place this Saturday, May 6 (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sunday, May 7 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the Red River Kitchen at the historic City Place building in St. Paul (258 Mill St).

Concrete Pig

Who: Established in 2013 by Minneapolis maker Keith Wyman, Concrete Pig’s statement-making pieces are right at home in either a North Loop loft or a Minnetonka bungalow.

What: Concrete Pig has a unique approach to furniture design—combining the clean lines of molded concrete with steel and wood to form modern, functional, and one-of-a-kind furniture designs that are industrial and rugged in material yet stoic and elegant in form. Its designs are also flexible in design, such as its Harlan modular side tables, which can be flipped on their sides or pushed together to form a coffee table.

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Modest Clock

Who: Last year, Mark Lassonde, who works as a sales rep for a sheet metal fabricator in Savage, Minnesota, was searching for a large wall clock for his home office. When he couldn’t find anything that matched his taste, he decided to design his own and founded Modest Clock.

What: The line of eye-catching clocks are designed with a less-is-more principle. The aluminum surface of the clocks, available in nine styles, features numbers cut out from the face, with the back ply painted in a contrasting color for a bold, modern look.

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Pillbox Bat Co.

Who: Zak Fellman and Dan Watson founded Pillbox Bat Co. in 2016 in Winona, Minnesota. The line of hand-painted, hand-turned wood bats was named for the old Downtown Park in St. Paul, which was so small that it was nicknamed “the Pillbox” and was briefly used as a ballpark by the St. Paul Saints in the early 1900s.

What: Available in 18 different styles, the collection of artisanal bats are painted in homage to various baseball teams, state and country flags, and Americana themes, and are intended to be used as decor, rather than sport.

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