Since Ryan and Suzanne Huggett opened The Maker’s Studio in Excelsior two years ago with curated products from half-a-dozen vendors, the store has grown to include work by more than 55 makers. “Everything is crafted locally, with the exception of some textiles,” explains Ryan Huggett.
He adds, “Many of our textiles come to us through Digo Goods, which Suzanne started.” Digo teams up with women’s weaving cooperatives around the world, pairing its designs with global artistry to create modern home goods. “The emphasis is on quality and originality as well as sustainable, ethical production,” he says.
Like many other small local businesses, Huggett is busy setting up an online store. He’s also posting new products on Instagram. “Right now, everything is shifting toward online,” he says, “and consumers are also shifting away from the big online stores toward smaller makers, whose products can bring more character into your home.”
Right now, especially, he adds, “It’s important to surround ourselves with beautiful things. Being able to walk into your living room or kitchen in the morning and enjoy a work of art can put a little bit of joy back into your life.”
To help you find that joy, Huggett suggests considering a hand-crafted item from one of these makers recently added to the shop.
Keith Fjelsted, of Fjelsted Nord in Hastings, crafts exquisitely detailed cutting and serving boards as well as furniture. “We currently have a fantastic dining table inlaid with a wood map of Lake Minnetonka. He can customize any size table or serving board with any lake. They’re tremendous.”
Lake Superior Art Glass is a collective of glassblowers in Duluth. “From decorative glass work to functional tumblers and wine and martini glasses, every piece is unique because each one is hand-crafted,” Huggett says.
TiAnna DeGarmo, whose South Minneapolis company is Furniture by DeGarmo, designs and fabricates graceful furniture and home goods. “Her style has an elegant simplicity, but it’s not as simple as it looks,” Huggett explains. “She works at the intersection of Scandinavian and Japanese influences, which makes her furniture great for people with a modern or mid-century sensibility.”
New ceramic artists at The Maker’s Studio include Victoria Rubinstein, who fashions carved bowls and vases with intricate designs. Eric Pilhofer’s work has a more rough-hewn, archetypal quality, with patterns that resonate with ancient times.
Chris Buchta creates custom furniture (“We have a desk right now that would make a stunning addition to a home office,” Huggett says) as well as pizza cutters with custom handles. “They’re heirloom and will last forever. And we’re all eating a lot of pizza now, right?”
Photos courtesy The Maker’s Studio