Minny & Paul House Tour, Binny Edition

As you may have seen, a few months ago we launched a new vessel to the Minny & Paul product line, the Binny!

Charcoal Canvas Binny

Charcoal Canvas Binny

Natural Canvas Binny

Natural Canvas Binny

byrd & belle: The Maker

Created by our talented friends at byrd & belle, this canvas bin is the perfect way to give two gifts in one. First, as a vessel for your collection of goodies, and second, as a storage item to be used around the house.

The Details

The canvas Binny comes in two different color options, charcoal or natural and is available in both a large and a mini size. Each Binny is adorned with a leather hook, made by Leather Works Minnesota, a long friend and partner of M&P (pssst, see their coasters in our Rustic box.) You can use these hooks to hang your Binny too!

The Binnys also come with a detachable M&P enamel pin. We encourage you to remove the pin and add it to your lapel or backpack for a little flair.

M&P House Tour

To help you envision ways to reuse your Binny, we’ve produced an “M&P House Tour” to get you inspired. Peek at the M&P Binny in bathroom shelving, tucked in a mudroom, on display on a nightstand, as a catchall in your home office, and more in the photos below. Click on the images to enlarge. 

Photography by our pal Colleen Eversman of @2ndtruth.

 

Bathroom 

Bedroom / Nightstand

Children's Room / Shelving

Mudroom / Backdoor

Kitchen / Living Room

Office / Workspace

Choose a Binny at checkout with any M&P gift and show us how you use your Binny by tagging us on instagram at @minnyandpaul #CollectMP

Mama Bird - The Goods

Moms do it all. They take care of everyone else before they take care of themselves. This Mother’s Day, we’ve curated a box with essentials in mind so moms can feel taken care of every day. Handpicked and tested by our team, this collection of local items is the perfect way to say thank you to the special mama in your life. Pick up your own “Mama Bird” today and show mom just how much you care this Mother’s Day. Photography by our friend, BethCath.

Learn more about the products and the artists that make them below!

 

MinnyPaulMothersDay-12 (2).jpg

A small treat to eat while you unpack your gifts…

Mini Chocolate Bar - Mademoiselle Miel, @mademoisellemiel

This bean-to-bar chocolate is sweetened with local maple sugar and made in small batches in St. Paul, Minnesota. Meant to be enjoyed while you unpack your gifts!

The balm that will never leave your purse...

All purpose balm - WorkerB, @worker.b

By harnessing the potency of bee-created ingredients straight from the hive, Worker B has crafted the very best of what nature, and the bees, have to offer. Made with beeswax, olive oil, raw honey, and other natural ingredients, this balm is perfect for chapped lips, rough elbows, or cuticles. We love the subtle and beautiful smell - perfect to toss in your bag and use on the go.

A wallet for on the go mamas…

No. 612 Slim Leather Wallet - Montgomery Collections, @montgomerycollection

Inspired by travel and the stories and people we encounter on the journey, the Montgomery Collection features handcrafted leather goods perfect for on-the-go individuals. This slim leather wallet was designed around the simplicity of the Whitney Bridge, an iconic spot in Minneapolis. Replace your bulky billfold with this slim wallet and enjoy a lighter load on your next trip out the door. Store up to four credit card, business cards, or IDs.

MinnyPaulMothersDay-14 (1).jpg

 

For all your daily to-do lists…  

Mini Notepads - Dick and Jane Letterpress, @dickandjane_letterpress

Founded by husband and wife, Brian and Natalie Durk, Dick & Jane Letterpress is a decade old print business crafting quality, affordable products in St. Paul, MN. From wedding invitations to Spyhouse coffee bags, this family-run business does it all. Use this notepad for your daily to-dos, work notes, or daydream doodles.

To protect and soothe your lips...

Vanilla Lemon Lip Balm- Kind Lips, @kindlips

Inspired by a lesson he learned from his mom as a young kid to always be kind to others, Josh Neuman, set out to create a product that was not only all natural but that also gave back to the community. Kind Lips, a lip balm made from completely natural ingredients also gives 20% of their proceeds back to anti-bullying nonprofits. Chapped lips? Use this vanilla lemon balm to soothe and protect.

To say a little something special...

"Peace, love, and happiness" or "Breathe, peace, calm, relax" greeting card - Redcruiser, @heidischweigert

Designer and illustrator, Heidi Schweigert started Redcrusier, a stationary and gift product company in 2010. What began as an exploration of her favorite sketches has now evolved into a cohesive brand, with Heidi creating products like greeting cards, calendars, prints, coasters and more. Enjoy these thoughtful cards then frame them on your wall for fun decor or keep at your desk as a reminder of those who love you.

MinnyPaulMothersDay-17.jpg

Did you receive a Mother's Day box? Tag us on instagram at @minnyandpaul and show us your goodies! 


 

How to make client gifting more thoughtful, unique and less work for you

After hours of collaboration, team meetings, and countless email threads, you’ve just wrapped a huge project with a really important client. Everything went off without a hitch and the end result was better than you could have imagined. To top it all off, the client just gave you a glowing review and hinted at future business with your company.

These types of clients are the reason you work as hard as you do. They help your business thrive. And while your work ethic, genuine character, and likeability are probably a large reason they chose you in the first place, to help improve your chances of their return, it’s important you go above and beyond to show your appreciation.

But how can you say “thank you” and represent your brand without spending hours upon hours curating a gift? How can you choose a gift that delights the customer yet subtly reminds them of your company?

 Branded coasters for  The Hewing Hotel

Branded coasters for The Hewing Hotel

To help you in your efforts, we are sharing our expertise in client gifting so that you can impress, delight and strengthen your client relationships.

 

Ditch the boring, company-branded swag

Long gone are the days of boring branded swag. Think about it - when’s the last time you actually used that branded mouse pad (do people still use mouse pads?), USB stick, or 1 inch sticky pad cut out in your company's oddly shaped logo (wait, did anyone try to actually write on that)? Probably never. These old, outdated strategies simply don’t work because they lack personalization and fail to represent your brand in an authentic way.

We do recommend branding some of your gifted items as long as it’s done in a tasteful way. Stay in front of your audience by subtly displaying your logo or adding a small insert about your company to your gift. Check out a few examples below. 

 

 Screenprinted lids for a collaboration between Minny & Paul x Squarespace

Screenprinted lids for a collaboration between Minny & Paul x Squarespace

 Customized stickers for  KNOCK , a local creative agency

Customized stickers for KNOCK, a local creative agency

You already know your clients - how can a specific gift delight or inspire sharing?

Client gifting doesn’t have to be boring or challenging. It really comes down to understanding your clients and how a particular gift can delight, go above and beyond their expectations, and establish them as a lifelong customer.

Take time to reflect back on your time with the client. Were there specific moments that stood out to you? Project milestones are memorable but it’s the personal connections throughout the process that solidify relationships and drive repeat customers.

Maybe the project manager had a baby during your time together or the primary account coordinator celebrated a birthday or you vaguely remember the company VP expressing their love for a local chocolate company - when we take time to remember those experiences and use them when choosing a gift, the gifting process will be more meaningful for both you and the client.

Not only will a gift inspired by emotional connections and company values delight your customers but it could also inspire them to share your company services with professional connections, potentially expanding your network.

 

Free advertising: How one small gift can go viral

We’ve all seen it before. A company sends out a unique gift or even just a handwritten note, and the client was so moved, they share it across all their social channels. Before you know it, their post has gone viral, giving that particular brand immense exposure and essentially free advertising.

 

If you’re going to invest, invest wisely

If you’re going to invest company dollars in gifting, opt for a gift that leaves a lasting impression on your key clients. A gift that’s thoughtful, unique, and drives customer loyalty. Instead of getting overwhelmed in the curation process, reflect on the memorable moments you had with your clients. Utilize what you already know about their company, their needs, and their brand. Paired with their personalities and you’ve got a gift that will hopefully ensure loyalty for years to come.

Here at Minny & Paul, we’ve helped numerous businesses delight and impress key clients with our thoughtful, curated gifting. Need a memorable way to say thank you? Get in touch today.

 

LESSONS FROM MEG LEWIS, MINNEAPOLIS DESIGNER & HAPPINESS EXPERT

Last Friday, March 24th, I attended a talk put on by CreativeMornings/Minneapolis at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

CreativeMornings is a place where people of all artistic backgrounds can come together to celebrate creativity, design, and collaboration. Each meeting begins with the CM manifesto, a declaration of our drive to always create work that matters, support one another in all endeavors, and promote an environment that leaves us feeling refreshed and inspired.

Each month, a chapter of CreativeMornings will choose a theme to center its efforts around. This month’s theme is courage, chosen by CreativeMorning’s Oakland chapter. This past Friday, Minneapolis-based designer, Meg Lewis, joined us to talk about her courageous work.

Formally known for her success as founder of Ghostly Ferns, a group of commercial artists, illustrators and product designers creating content for companies like Slack and Neighborly; co-founder of Fool Proof, a collaborative workspace in Minneapolis, and owner of her personal brand, Darn Good, this energetic, courageous creative is so much more than just an artist.

March-MegLewis-8.jpg

Image Credit: Peter Heidorn

Packed into a small auditorium on the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) campus, some 400 people listened and laughed as Lewis inspired and awed us with her stories and lessons on how accepting yourself, professionally and personally, can not only help you create your best work but also make the world a happier, healthier place.

A Version of a Girl That Didn’t Exist

Growing up, Meg was different. She never fit the mold of girly girl or athletic tomboy or even nerdy mathlete, falling somewhere awkwardly in between the unforgiving tween stereotypes. She was quirky, artistic, and just didn't feel like there was a place for her. Her role models were people like Mr. Bean, exaggerated versions of humans who made Meg further deviate from anything “standard issue”. Other kids made fun of her and picked on her. She just didn’t fit in.

March-MegLewis-28.jpg

Image Credit: Peter Heidorn

 

“What’s the deal with humans? Why do we all want to be the same?”

 

Meg simply wanted to be herself. A version of a girl she felt didn’t really exist. This left Meg feeling confused, sad, and lonely.

A Curated Version of Herself

Fast forward a decade and Meg was beginning her career as a young designer. But years of criticism had taken a toll on her confidence and rather than capitalizing on her unique style, Meg stepped into the field with caution. She didn’t believe people wanted to see her and her work for what it actually was.

To compensate, she began to curate a very specific, filtered version of herself IRL and online. A version that she thought people wanted to see. Someone that was always introspective, cute, serious, and thoughtful. The qualities that social media said made you a good person. While Meg was and is all of those things, she’s also so much more.

Instead of creating content for her dream companies, Meg was hired by brands that lacked passion in their own work. This resulted in boring projects, bad relationships, and multiple terminated contracts.

After so many repeated blows, Meg knew she needed a change. But what?

The Epiphany of Dance - Where She Found Her Confidence

 

During her phase of sad work, Meg registered for a Zumba class at her local gym. After about a dozen of failed attempts, she finally mustered up the courage to actually go.

And what she discovered was absolutely pivotal to her career and happiness. While dance may have been a segway into this understanding, what Meg found was a whole new world where the goal wasn’t to try and be perfect or fit the standards of what you were supposed to look like, but to be exactly what you wanted to be in that moment. To simply have fun and enjoy.

This thought was incredibly freeing to Meg. As she watched others in class, she slowly let go of the preconceived notion that people were going to judge her and just danced. She started to see her body and thoughts in new light and felt a small confidence begin to grow.

Embracing My Uniqueness

“I stopped hiding what made me different. Those were my superpowers!”

 

From there on out, Meg made a radical shift in her life - professionally and personally. She fiercely embraced her quirky qualities and only invested in people, companies, and projects that fit her strengths and made her happy. And what happened?

 

Image Credit: Darn Good

By just being herself, opportunities with her dream clients started flooding in. She couldn't believe it! People resonated with her quirkiness, valued her genuinity, and respected her work. They wanted her for exactly who she was.

 

Finding Her Purpose - Making the World a Happier Place

 

To help the audience understand how Meg found her purpose and used that as a guide when making choices in her career, she shared a few exploratory questions and encouraged us to ponder them ourselves.

 

1. What’s my life's purpose?

  • One, short sentence

  • A driving force that guides my decisions

  • Tailored based on my strengthens and unique characteristics

 

Meg’s Answer: To make the world a happier place.

Owning multiple businesses can be challenging. You’re asked a lot of questions and constantly making decisions. It’s easy to deviate from your roots and forget the mission behind your work. That’s why determining your life’s purpose is so critical. For Meg, making the world a happier place is always the guiding force. If her work doesn’t align that core value, she shouldn’t be doing it. It makes it easy to say yes and to say no.

 

2. What are my unique qualities?

  • Qualities that come naturally

  • Things that you may be hiding

  • Things that others have pointed out to you

 

Meg’s Answer: I love change.

Meg never wanted to be a specific kind of designer. She hated having to choose just one. If she was just a designer she could pivot on any project, being a UX designer for one project,, a graphic designer for the next, or a product designer. She thrives on change and realized how much strength she had in that unique quality.

 

3. What do you value?

  • Things that are important to you

  • Something that is really important to you and maybe not as important to someone else

 

Meg’s Answer: Communities and shared spaces where people feel like they can be themselves.

Although she loves some good ol’ “me time”, Meg is a classic extrovert. She loves to just hangout with people and is always the last one to leave the party. When she moved to Minneapolis from NYC, she had a hard time finding a community of friends. So, she made her own.  In this time, she found that a close knit community was extremely valuable to her and that creating spaces where friends could connect was part of her purpose.

Be Exactly Who You Are and Good Work Will Come

Meg taught us a lot in that crowded room early Friday morning. Wise tidbits of knowledge and advice on how self acceptance and defining your life’s purpose can truly change the type of clients you attract and the kind of work you produce . If I could sum it all up in one sentence, I think Meg so eloquently said it as such,

“The more I’m me, the more I succeed!”

Minny & Paul is a proud partner of CreativeMornings/Minneapolis. It is an honor to support local artists and creatives in the Twin Cities community!