For handmade gifts with an original touch, head to downtown Stillwater and browse Smith + Trade Mercantile to find them all: paintings, pillows, leatherwork, wall art, food, and even the local “smiths” who make them. The new home décor and art store showcases the talents of its smiths in the best possible way—live and in action.
From glass blowers to ceramic artists, these Minnesotan makers put on a can’t-miss show for locals and visitors while they shop. To prevent over-saturation in a particular trade, there are only two artists per medium, explains cofounder and interior designer Kelli Kaufer, who shares ownership of Smith + Trade with business partner Erin Quast. Through videos and demonstrations, the shop provides customers with the who, the how, and the inspiring stories behind their items. “It’s telling a story,” Kaufer says. “It’s connecting the consumer with the producer: the artisan.”