The Minny Maker Wall: 2019

Last May, we debuted our Minny Maker Wall, a mural devoted to honoring the makers we work with. The wall was designed as a focal point to the entrance of our studio, in hopes to inspire other makers + entrepreneurs to go after their own ideas. You can read about the entire process in our first Minny Maker blog post here.

While we had hoped to change out the vendors on a quarterly basis, in the midst of the holiday season and post holiday catch up, we decided rotating on an annual basis in concurrence with Art-A-Whirl made more sense. Learning the rhythms of our business has been huge for us this year. We are thrilled about this new line up of makers and invite you to come check out the Maker Wall in person!

Angie Davis, Byrd & Belle

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Just a few miles down the road from our studio, byrd & belle specializes in custom felt and canvas designed goods. Their work has been recognized for its modern look, functionality and high quality design. Owner & designer, Angie, is an incredibly kind and genuine person who we’ve been lucky enough to work with from the very beginning. In our first ever holiday collection back in 2016, we featured her beautiful wool felt coasters in our holiday gift set.

More recently, we worked with Angie to design our signature binny. Combining our talents, us with the gifting experience and Angie’s innate eye for a unique, functional design, we landed on a canvas bin in two sizes + two colors (charcoal and cream,) adorned with a small leather hook.

The M&P binny has quickly become our most popular vessel - for both online shoppers and our corporate audience.

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Craig Kaiser, Cry Baby Craig’s

If you haven’t tried Craig’s hot sauce, RUN to the next stockists (or here) and get your hands on this baby. A mix of pickled habenero and garlic, Cry Baby Craig’s hot sauce is full of flavor, just the right amount of spice and adds the perfect oomph to any dish. Not only has CBC won numerous awards but the man behind it all is a very awesome human. With a background as a chef, Craig first came up with the recipe on a slow night at work. After countless co-workers and friends requested more, he wanted to see if he could make this an actual hot sauce to offer in his restaurant. The rave reviews continued and CBC was born.

Besides the free hot sauce perks, we’ve loved working with Craig for his hilarious, vivacious personality. It seems he’s always dreaming up new sauce concoctions or crafting up fun ideas for the biz. Laura remembers when she first saw his fun packaging and called him up when the idea of Minny & Paul was well, simply an idea. They chatted for a while and he was one of our first ever vendors we signed on for our ‘Father’s Day Beta Box’ released to family and friends. Countless cases later, CBC will always be a staple at M&P.

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Jule Vranian and Hope Klocker, Sweet Jules Gifts

Some of the best caramels you will find in town- hands down. Sweet Jules Gifts is run by sisters Jule and Hope, two serious foodies and professionals in the food industry. With a passion to make real, good food and share the importance of quality with others, these two brought Sweet Jules to life in 2009.

One of our favorite products (and yours too, according to our ever-depleting inventory) are the Pub Crawl Caramels. Infused with local beer, this product isn’t just tasty but also tells a unique story of the growing brewery market in the Twin Cities.

Hope and Jule have been so flexible and easy to work with, always accommodating with our last minute volume requests from corporate clients. We adore their gentle spirit and easygoing nature. See their goods in our Treat and Rustic Crate Gift set!

Ahmed El Shourbagy and Ashley Paguyo, Lucy & Co.

Ashley and Ahmed are the husband and wife duo behind Lucy & Co and @dogsofinstagram - two extremely popular brands all about dogs. Laura first met Ashley and Ahmed years ago while she was working for another company in the North Loop. We always knew we wanted to work with them - it was simply a matter of time until we were ready to release a gift set for our furry best friends.

In March we had our first meeting about our first dog gift set, WOOF x Lucy & Co, a gift set we are extremely excited about. Ashley and Ahmed are incredibly hard working and the integrity they put behind their products and brand is truly inspiring. We had a blast curating the gift together and are are excited about adding to the pup inspired collection.

Come check out the new peeps on our wall at Art-A-Whril, open all weekend long! Interested in becoming a Minny & Paul maker? Reach out to us at hello@minnyandpaul.com or check out our maker page here.

Get the Most Out of Minnesota Spring

1) Visit Art-a-Whirl

Get your culture fix at the largest open studio tour in the country! Coming up this weekend, Northeast Minneapolis becomes one giant open studio, showcasing the work of nearly 800 artists. Spreading over 60 locations, ranging from studio buildings to local businesses and even a couple home studios to meet the artists, Art-a-Whirl is your chance to get immersed in the Twin Cities art scene. Be prepared to meet the artists, watch demonstrations, participate in mini-workshops, and build your personal art collection! We will be opening up our studio at Northrup King Building alongside studio mate Ashley Mary and weekend guests Dinosaur Hampton and Tandem Vintage.

Image Courtesy of The Current

Image Courtesy of The Current

Weekend Hours:

Friday, May 17th: 5pm-10pm

Saturday, May 18th: 10am-8pm

Sunday, May 19th: 10am-5pm

2) Sea Salt Eatery

Image Courtesy of Momentum Mag

Image Courtesy of Momentum Mag

Nestled next to the Minnehaha falls, Sea Salt is the perfect place to get your seafood and fresh air fix! This is the place to be on warm spring evenings, so expect a long line and take advantage of the separate beverage counter to tide you over. If it’s your first time, you can’t go wrong with the steamed shrimp tacos or crab stuffed avocados. Finish off your evening with Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream and a visit to the falls. Opens April 12.

3) Get Outside and Explore the Lakes

Celebrate the longer days and warmer air by getting out in nature. Perhaps there’s no better indicator of spring in Minneapolis than the thousands of lime green bikes that seem to appear overnight every April. With over 3000 bikes and 400 stations, NiceRides are the quickest (and maybe the most fun) way to explore the city. If hiking is more your speed, head over to the Winchell Trail, a 5-mile hiking-only loop on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The trailhead is a short drive from Sea Salt if you’re in need of a post-hike ice cream cone or beer. We won’t judge!

In the land of 10,000 lakes, Spring is best spent by the water. We love hanging out in the Lake Nokomis neighborhood. Walk the 2.5-mile loop around the water and finish at Sandcastle, a beachside food concession stand that pairs updated American classics with sweeping water views. Another neighborhood favorites is Italian Eatery, a warm neighborhood joint known for their fresh pasta and cozy patio. Finish off your day by heading across the street to Grand Ole Creamery, the made-from-scratch neighborhood ice cream shop that’s been in business for 33 years.

Image Courtesy of Twin Cities Mom Blog

Image Courtesy of Twin Cities Mom Blog

Image Courtesy of MPLSART

Image Courtesy of MPLSART

Support the Twin Cities art scene by visiting Minneapolis local Leslie Barlow’s new show, “A Family Portrait of Labor and Love” at The Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers. “This new series of paintings feels like I’m working at the edge of myself-- painting into the future what knowledge I wish I had in the past, barely able to keep up with the churning of my mind and the layers of stories I increasingly hold. I hope to find home in visual explorations that challenge superficially-simple narratives and change our perceptions of family normalcy.” - Leslie Barlow Runs April 17-June 14th

5) Somalis + Minnesota

Image Courtesy of Minnesota History Center

Image Courtesy of Minnesota History Center

Plan a visit to the Minnesota History Center and learn about Somalo culture in their newest exhibit, Somalis + Minnesota. Developed in partnership with the Somali Museum of Minnesota, the exhibit celebrates Somali traditional culture and highlights the story of Somali immigrants settling in Minnesota. Visitors can expect an immersive experience including interactive photo panels, objects, and stories. Runs till June 9.


Six for Good: A Shopping Experience that Gives Back

One of the things we love most about the Twin Cities is the vibrant community of Creatives. At Minny & Paul, we love getting to highlight these makers and share their unique products with our community.

New to the scene is Six for Goods, a collective of six friends and their six brands dedicated to doing good. Not only will their collaborative-store concept support Minnesota makers, but it will also give a permanent home to some of our favorite local brands! The six behind Six for Good are Lauren VanScoy of Essence One, Ginger Nielson of Baubles & Bobbies, Nikki Hagen and Anna Hollerich of Hagen & Oats, Robyn Frank of Thumbs Cookies and Sairey Gernes of Urban Undercover and Towel Topper.

We were so excited when they reached out to us about getting involved with their brand new store at Rosedale Center! We know a thing or two about packaging curated gift boxes and were happy to partner with a business that shares so many of our values. Plus, what better way to take home a selection of Six for Good products than in a beautiful canvas Binny made by the talented Angie Davis from Byrd and Belle right here in Minneapolis!

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We recently sat down with the Nikki Hagen and Anna Hollerich of Hagen & Oats their unique brand and mission and hope you’ll be as inspired by them as we were!


1) What is the most valuable piece of business advice you’ve ever received?

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Someone once told us " winners focus on winning". This is a simple concept to keep your head high and keep moving forward. It's pretty easy to get lost in what other people are doing. If you spend your time focusing on what someone else is up to, you lose valuable time that you could have been spending on your own business.

2) What are your goals for the future of SixforGood?

We would love to see Six For Good be a permanent store, not only in Rosedale but other retail locations as well. We can see this concept growing and #doinggood for cities everywhere. This is just a thought in the wind but the idea of franchising could be awesome!

3) What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?

Anna and I are so thankful that we get to live our dream, every day. We are doing what we love, meeting incredible people, employing badass humans and creating art for homes all over the country. Being fulfilled by all of these things is something that is hard to find any other way.

4) What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?

Small business ownership is a roller coaster. There will be really bad days but usually, they will be followed by something awesome. Just keep going. The highs and lows are all part of the game. 

We hope you join us in supporting this wonderful new business venture by stopping by their beautiful storefront at Rosedale Center!


The Case for Client Gifting Outside of the Holiday Season

Q4 hits and the scramble to plan and execute your company’s holiday gifts implodes. We at Minny & Paul know this all too well. As an expert in client gifting (especially during the holiday season,) we see many businesses send out their gifts between mid November and December. While holiday gifts fit well within the winter traditions, we want to make the case that gifts outside of the holiday season can actually create a more significant impact on your clients - improving ROI and strengthening the relationship throughout the entire year.

1) You’re not competing with others

A majority of our corporate gifting falls during the holiday season, meaning when you send out your client gifts, it's likely that company x, y, and z had the same idea. Because of this high volume of gifts, yours will probably end up next to 5-10 others, getting lost in the shuffle and forgotten in the break room.

While sending in say April or August may feel random, most companies aren't sending during this time, so you won't have to compete with others for attention. Plus, it's usually a delightful surprise for the receiver, making the experience all the more memorable. This leads me to our next point.

2) An impactful surprise

If your clients are used to receiving something during the holidays, they probably won't be on the lookout for something in the "off-season.” How impactful would it be for a unique, thoughtful gift to arrive at their door when they least expect it? When we gift outside of a "reason" (i.e. the holidays,) it shows we really care. This kind of gesture sticks with people.

Not sure what kind of messaging to use outside of the holidays? If you're used to the traditional "Happy Holidays" card, think about why you're sending something in the first place - is it to thank them for their partnership? Simply just because? Show them gratitude? Tailor your messaging around these words instead! We can even create a custom insert that's branded with your company logo and your own message so it has that special touch.

New Years Gifts from Field Nation

New Years Gifts from Field Nation

3)  Think Outside of the box

When gifting outside of the holiday season, it’s important your gift still feels intentional. Spring feeling too random or off brand? Ease into a new gifting schedule by sending New Years gifts! Reconnect with your clients after a long holiday break and inspire them for the new year ahead. Plus, we all know it can be tough getting back into the swing of things post holiday breaks - ease your clients transition with a little pick me up gift.

4)  More time, less stress

We all know the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year - holiday parties, family gatherings, work deadlines, extra shopping. Throwing a company gifting project into the mix tends to feel like an added stress instead of a reflection on the gratitude for your clients and team members. What if you already tackled your gifts - checked them off in July or September? Our goal is to help give you more time to enjoy the important part of the holiday season.


Holiday gifts can be a hit and a really thoughtful gesture during a fun time of year - but when you’re competing with many others and are juggling other a myriad of other holiday to-dos, planning your company gifts can be stressful. By checking it off earlier in the year or post the holiday craze, you’ll likely save time, money and most importantly, stand out to the people who help your business thrive.

Ready to take a leap and gift outside of the normal time frame? Learn more about our gifting process below or get in touch at hello@minnyandpaul.com to get your custom project started.