Gathered Goods Company is a triple threat: They have an in-store boutique with a little bit of everything, DIY classes and workshops, and work tirelessly to make a difference in women’s lives—not just in the Twin Cities, but in Haiti, too. We caught up with co-owner Tara Thorn (the other half of the dynamic duo is rounded out by Nicole Lemmerman) to find some fresh DIY perspective and learn more about their Excelsior-based beauty.
Tell us about your biggest DIY fail.
“I can’t say I have any DIY fails that come to mind. Sometimes projects don’t turn out how I want them to, but I’ve never had any fails. My biggest fail is getting everything for a project together and then not touching it again for a year or two.”
What makes your studio stand out from the rest?
“I think one big ‘stand-out’ thing for us is our faith-based atmosphere. We’ve heard that we have a welcoming and caring vibe. Like I said—there are no DIY fails here—we want everyone to feel comfortable to try new things; to come in, sit down at the table, and try something fun they haven’t tried before. Plus, we are more than just a DIY studio. We have fun, stylish boutique clothing and a ton of Minnesota-made products, as well as other gifts and home items. So, you aren’t just coming for a class. You also get to shop!”
Where do you find inspiration for your projects?
“Honestly, all my best ideas come to me when I am running or driving in the car. I’m not sure where the inspiration is, but it must be inane because any little thing can spark an idea for me.”
Of your own personal projects, which has been your favorite and why?
Making jewelry. It started as a hobby in high school, but fell to the back burner. When I moved to Minnesota from Haiti, I began Cedar and Cypress Designs. Now, I design jewelry. It’s made in Haiti and provides jobs. We are sold in stores all over the Twin Cities and beyond. It’s one of the most exciting things for me.
Why do you think DIY has become so popular in recent years?
“Pinterest. It has become such an important platform for so many women. It offers everything from travel, food, shopping, and of course, DIY. You go on to find something to bake for the next family get-together and you leave with an entire new kitchen remodel idea, 13 projects to do with your kids this weekend, a new closet, and six workouts to try before your next vacation.”
What do you see as the future of DIY?
“The future is up, right? The internet isn’t going anywhere and neither is social media. The more we see things done easy and done well, the more people who will want to get out there and try them. If you don’t know how to sew, you don’t have to ask your grandma anymore—you can search it on Youtube, go to the next Pinner’s Conference, or go down and ask someone at the front desk of JoAnn’s. We seem to have the time on our hands, so instead of siting around on the couch on a Friday night, why not get together with some friends and learn something new or make your next fall mantle piece?”
Studio name: Gathered Goods Company
Studio owners: Nicole Lemmerman and Tara Thorn
Year opened: May 2017
Where to find them: 5619 Manitou Road, Excelsior
What they offer: The studio and boutique offers a little bit of everything—including candle making with Excelsior Candle, weaving with West Ash Design, and Photography 101 with Sewell Photography. Their popular bracelet bar is great for birthday parties or even a Mom’s night out.