When Andy Higgins opened Ciel Loft & Home on St. Louis Park’s Excelsior Boulevard in 2013, he saw an area full of potential. The neighborhood is home to several specialty home and design businesses, from Oriental rug importer Navab Brothers to high-end furniture store Traditions Classic Home Furnishings.
This year Higgins pushed on that potential, launching Design District SLP as a locally owned, boutique-shopping alternative to big-box home stores—like a home-specific version of Edina’s 50th and France. “When it comes to furniture,” he says, “most people either think of the Southdale area or HOM, and we would like them to know there is an alternative to those places.”
In addition to Navab Brothers and Traditions, Design District SLP’s retailers include Woody’s Furniture, which specializes in finished and unfinished furniture and has called Excelsior Boulevard home for more than two decades. Last year, Habitation Furnishing + Design also opened on the boulevard, offering design services along with furniture and home décor. Ciel moved across the street to an airy new storefront, offering its signature mix of authentic home décor imports and furnishings by local makers. “You can get almost any furniture line through the five of us,” says Higgins.
Higgins plans to recruit additional retailers in the area to join the district. The group is hosting a district-wide sale in April.
By Jahna Peloquin. Map Illustration by Ashley Mary