When it was founded five years ago by contractors and restoration specialists Michael Smith and James Brown, Forage Modern Workshop quickly became a favorite for those whose personal mantra is “shop local.”
In the beginning, the East Lake Street shop was stocked with handmade products from Minnesota makers and vintage finds, but, as time went on, modern furniture from major brands such as Gus* Modern and Loll Designs began appearing. Now, on the eve of its fifth anniversary, the store has evolved to focus on unique, functional home décor and gifts by makers and design studios from around the globe—and less on name-brand furnishings.
“There are so many more places you can buy beautiful, modern furniture today than there were five years ago,” explains Rebekah Cook, the store’s director of operations. Instead, she says, the store is selling a rotating selection of restored, midcentury modern furniture from the Minnesota-based workshop, Golden Age Design, and home goods that marry form and function, such as braided rope baskets by Brooklyn-based artist Doug Johnston and monochromatic toothbrushes by Danish furniture design company HAY.
The store also hosts regular art exhibitions featuring local and national artists, and sells one-of-a-kind ceramics and jewelry by indie makers. “We want to continue to bring in pieces that people haven’t seen in the Twin Cities and create an atmosphere that celebrates beautiful things,” says Cook. “We’re always trying to stay inspired, and push the boundaries of what Minnesotans think of as ‘modern design.’”
By Jahna Peloquin. Photo courtesy Forage Modern Workshop