Baby Bird - THE ULTIMATE GIFT FOR BABY SHOWERS, NEW FAMILIES, and your little ONE.

It's finally here! For months, you've been asking for a baby inspired box. We've been working hard to curate something that treats new mamas and their little ones while also highlighting the unique and talented local makers and businesses in our community. 

Cue the Baby Bird. Featuring iconic mini Minnetonka Moccasins, the softest swaddle blanket and hat from Colored Organics, a practical teether from Senn & Sons, all-purpose balm from our neighbors and good friends Worker B, the most adorable plush bunny from Manhattan Toy Company, and last but not least, a keepsake card from local artist Cait Courneya.

Read more about each product and the companies behind them.

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Photography by Claudia Dube

 

For the fashionable little BIRD... 

 

Minnetonka Moccasins - Riley, Grey, Size 0

An iconic Minnesota brand established in 1946, we knew we had to include Minnetonka Moccasins in our baby box. Super soft suede with an elastic opening, these grey booties are easy on and off so you and your little are out the door in no time! Perfect addition the baby's wardrobe as we transition into fall.

 

FOR THE TEETHING BABE...

 

Senn and Sons - Teether

Founded by local illustrator / designer Kim Senn, Senn & Sons is a creative studio making children's products, textiles, home decor and paper goods. Inspired by the energy of little ones and the precious moments of family life, Kim's designs are filled with playful designs and bursts of color. Made from organic maple polished with beeswax and olive oil, this custom mint green teether is beautifully designed and will soon become an essential for your diaper bag. 

 

So you can keep your LITTLE ONE warm...

 

Colored Organics - Swaddle Blanket & Beanie

A mama on a mission, Amanda Barthelemy, founder of Colored Organics, wants to help others make the switch to ethically sourced organic fashion. Not only can you feel good about purchasing their products, but they're also incredibly high quality and so adorable. We're featuring not one but two products from their baby collection - the swaddle blanket and classic knotted hat - both made from some of the softest cotton we've ever felt. 

 

Toss this in your diaper bag and use on the go... 

 

Worker B - All-Purpose Balm Stick 

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 stick is perfect to spot treat chapped lips, rough elbows, or boo boos. We love the subtle and beautiful beeswax scent - perfect to toss in your diaper bag and use on the go. 

 

Every baby BIRD needs this... 


Manhattan Toy Company - Plush Bunny

Because every baby needs a soft little bunny, right? The Manhattan Toy Company began in - you guessed it - Manhattan - but was purchased and now is headquartered here in Minneapolis. It was a tough call because they have so many adorable toys, but we landed on this classic cream plush bunny because we all had that bunny or bear or lamb that we just couldn't let out of our sight, right?  

 

THE PERFECT ADDITION TO YOUR BABY ROOM GALLERY WALL... 

Cait Courneya - Little Bear Card

Local artist Cait Courneya is well known for her fashion illustrations and textile design. We are especially falling for her neck scarves - stay tuned for these in an upcoming box! We came across this sweet dopey bear and fell in love. Originally designed as a print for a baby room, we had Cait create a custom greeting card for us which can still be framed and added to any adorable baby room gallery wall. 

Visiting Stockholm, Wisconsin

Along the rolling bluffs of the Mississippi, you’ll find the village of Stockholm. Nestled within this tiny town (population of 66) are plenty of local artisan shops and good food which is enough to fill a full day with activities. Stockholm is similar to the Twin Cities in that they also have a bike-sharing program except the bikes are refurbished junkers, painted blue, and free for all to use! Voted Best Day Trip in 2017 by City Pages, this artfully authentic town does not dissapoint. Below are some of our favorite places and things to do!

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Stockholm Pie Company
Homemade pies just like your grandma used to make. Whether you opt for a whole pie, just a slice, or one of their pie cookies, you’ll be addicted. They also make Gluten-Free Pie and it's honestly incredible, you will need to call 24 hours in advance but they can make it happen! If you are traveling to the Pizza Farm, we recommend placing an order so that you can pick up dessert on your way!

A to Z Pizza Farm  (Tuesdays) 
The Pizza Farm has developed quite a following over the past few years for their farm-fresh wood-fired pizzas that can be eaten right on the farm. It is important to note that it is only open on Tuesdays and the wait can get up to over an hour. We recommend bringing salads, snacks, lawn games, and all of your usual picnic supplies as the Pizza Farm is a Pack it In/ Pack it Out establishment. Long wait times start to occur after 6 pm so plan accordingly!

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Rush River Blueberries
Generally, July is the most consistent month for picking. It is suggested that one calls ahead to find out what is ripe. More than just blueberries! When you arrive, the owners will equip you with everything you'll need and then direct you to eat your way down the blueberry patch, so that you can try different varieties, and pick your way back- yum!

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Good Turn Farm
Good Turn Farm grows certified organic vegetables, cut flowers, berries, and mushrooms. It's a family tradition to have a pesto-making party every summer and Good Turn Farm lets us buy basil by the pound! This year we made enough pesto sauce for over 50 pounds of pasta!

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Last but not least, any opportunity to spend time on the river or hiking in the bluffs should be taken advantage of. The constant breezes on the lake and scenic landscape makes Lake Pepin a favorite for sailing and steamboats - cruises available for both. The Mississippi River and many tributary streams and rivers foster great spots for canoes, kayaks, and small power boats. Maiden Rock Bluff Natural Area just outside of Stockholm and Frontenac State Park across the Lake from Stockholm both provide great views of the lake and an assortment of Raptors.

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Image Sources: 1,4,5,72/ 3, 6

 

30 Best Minnesota Vendors for Your Hotel Wedding Welcome Bags

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Image by Tarah Elise Photography

During the hustle and bustle of planning your wedding, your hotel welcome bags can sometimes fall to on the back burner. But with a little bit of preparation and some help from local experts (like us!), curating a welcome bag that delights, surprises and engages your guests doesn't have to be stressful. When done right, a welcome bag can be a perfect way to show guests your appreciation and kick off the weekend of festivities. 

What type of items would your guests enjoy?

To get started on what to include, think about the type of guests that are attending your wedding. It's likely that many people have traveled at least 30 minutes by car or even by plane to attend your big day so include items that can help them settle in and relax. Think a salty snack, perhaps a healthy granola bar, a sweet treat and a mini alcoholic beverage. 

The Day After... 

If you're really thinking ahead, you can also provide your guests with a few items to help them get on the next day. After a long night of celebrating, your friends and family may need a pick me up. Include a mini cold brew coffee, a calming essential oil spray or perhaps a map to the nearest coffee shop!

How to Pick the Best Vendors

There are so many options, but how do you choose your vendors? How can you wow your guests, stay on budget and show off the best of MN? 

Well, besides curating and crafting gift boxes, it's our job to know this stuff. To help you in your efforts, here's a list of our top 30 Minnesota made products to make your welcome bags surprising, delightful, and better than ever.

Don't have time to assemble, pack and drop at the hotel? Email us at hello@minnyandpaul.com and let us take care of the rest (*we require a $25/bag minimum on hotel bags)! 

 

30 Best Minnesota Vendors for Your Hotel Wedding Welcome Bags

1. Thumb's Peanut Butter Cookies

2. Annie B's Triple Treat Popcorn

3. Isadore Nuts - Minny & Paul Blend

4. Maddy and Maize Avocado Oil and Pink Himalayan Salt Popcorn

5. Spruce Soda Sparkling Water

6. Northstar Kombucha 

7. Mademoiselle Miel Dark Chocolate 

8. Bare Vanilla Bean Honey Spread 

9. WholeMe Granola Clusters

10. Ommie Fruit and Seed Energy Bar 

 

To continue reading, subscribe to our monthly newsletter! We share the latest and greatest on all things MN and info on our latest box releases, new products and collabs. 

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The Minny Maker Wall

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The Concept:

Originally, we wanted to bring three walls in our studio space to life through murals by local artists. We began to curate a list of artists and designers to potentially work with and ideate on what exactly would be on each wall.

While exploring this idea we realized we might be biting off more than we could chew - a common theme over here at the M&P studio ;) We came back down to earth and landed on one wall with one concept. The next question became - what should go on this massive wall? We knew we wanted to celebrate our brand and do it in a way that felt true to us and something that sparked a conversation and inspired the community. Not too much to ask, right? ;)

After spitballing some ideas with our studio mate and creative dynamo Bethany, we finally started to think outside the box. We began to hone our idea because Beth asked us the right questions -  who were we as a brand, what did we want the wall to accomplish? We knew we wanted to celebrate our brand and the M&P community through this wall installation project, but the 'how' was the tough part.

Bethany crafted a deck with a few ideas on how to execute this. We landed on the "Minny Maker Wall" to highlight four selected artisans we work with and meld their story into our walls. Without our partners, we are simply a box company. We decided to have their portrait taken and hang them proudly on our walls.

We felt close - but there was still something missing. Our community. All of the future artisans, rule breakers, thought leaders and creative ideas living in each of us. For the fifth frame, we would hang a mirror with the 'future maker' plaque. When you pass a mirror you can't help but sneak a peek at yourself. Our hope is that when people engage with the wall they take a moment to see themselves in the position to bring change and creativity to our community.

To illustrate the feeling that these founders are woven into the fabric of our business, we went with intersecting color blocking painted on the wall in our brand colors - midnight blue, toasted almond, green, gray, and mustard.

The Design + Prep Work

This is a big wall. Really big. So layout was key. We knew we wanted the wall to be visually pleasing and have a relaxing feel. Beth designed a layout for us in Photoshop to visualize exactly where each of the colors would go and how the frames would be arranged. We made a trip to Ikea and we were off to the races. The race finish line being Art-A-Whirl ;) Also, in true M&P fashion we hit the ground running to bring the wall to life about two weeks before our goal end date.

The Squares + Painting

The week of Art-A-Whirl we raced to prime, tape and paint this behemoth of a wall. Once we had the squares penciled in, we carefully applied the tape with a level to ensure straight and clean lines. Shout out to our handyman Matt for helping with this - we would be lost without you! Once we got all the squares on the wall we painted the first set of squares. We waited overnight to dry before we could re-tape the remaining squares so they would hit right up against one another. Fun fact. We didn’t anticipate this until we got the squares up on the wall and realized - ohhh so we are going to have to re-tape and let half of these dry since we are putting most of them back to back. Oh the things you realize when you are knee deep. 

Day 2 of painting rolled around with little hiccups. We re-taped the squares to protect the day 1 color and painted away.

Once the squares were complete we felt a huge wave of relief that it was actually coming together and the colors were feeling just right. Next up - the frames.

 

The Frames + Makers

Painting the squares was a challenge in itself but matching the color to the frame that was adorned to the wall over the square was even trickier. Marking each frame with tape, we noted in which direction did the color spread and how far. From there, we would paint either navy, mustard, almond, or gray.

Often times we talk about the companies we work with - the story behind how the product is made. For our Minny Maker Wall ,we really wanted to highlight the people behind the brand. Who they are and why we love working with them. 

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Griffin Overby, True Hue

I first came across Griffin's line of - at the time - skin care and candles (now just home fragrance) at Roe Wolfe in the North Loop. His packaging was beautiful and the scents were inventive. When I first sat down with Griffin I was blown away - he was still in school, designed, poured, packed and shipped all of his products and had a motivation and drive that was truly inspiring. I knew he would accomplish big things. We currently carry True Hue's matches and rollerball perfume in our Zen box and his Forest and Fern candle in our upcoming Rustic style custom client box. 

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Susan Brown, Mademoiselle Miel

Susan was part of our first ever box back in 2016 for Father's Day. I remember finding her scotch honey bon bons online and frantically calling her shop hoping to swing by that day to pick up a sample to photograph. Typical M&P style. Susan was gracious and always leads with kindness and compassion. We currently carry Mademoiselle Miel's dark chocolate and mini honey in Rustic and her honey bon bons in Yin and  Yang.

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Ken and Lee Begnaud, Leather Works Minnesota

 I first worked with Ken and Lee while at Kit and Ace when we did custom leather bracelets with them. Once M&P was just an idea in my head, they were one of the first companies I reached out to. They too were part of our first ever box back in 2016 and their leather coasters have been a best selling product for us ever since. We currently carry Leather Works MN coasters in our Rustic box and work with them on countless custom orders. 

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Louisa Podlich, A MANO

One of the first people I sought out for advice - Louisa has always been a mentor and trusted advisor to me. I remember going to coffee with Louisa and sharing my big new idea. Her encouragement was key and I remember being so excited to have her nod of confidence at that early stage. Louisa's creativity is endless - she is a photographer and ceramic artist and now designing and sewing one of a kind pieces of clothing. We currently carry A MANO's bud vase in Confetti, her spirit rocks in Good Vibes + Zen and her ring dish in Girlfriend and Couple. 

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The Future Maker

 It was important for us to add a frame that encouraged new entrepreneurs, business owners and artists just starting their journey to picture themselves living out their vision. We also love that good friend and studio mate, Ashley Mary's mural wall is reflected in the mirror ;)

 

The Completed Wall

We did it! What a feeling seeing all of the pieces come together. Here's a look at the completed wall - you can also come take a look by visiting our studio, of course. We are located at the Northrup King Building in Studio 247. 
 

Shout outs + Thank You's:

My mom Theresa - or Mama T as she is referred to over here at M&P - is a queen of all things color and helped nail down the exact shades and help with the painting details. She had a job one summer as an assistant to our painter so she had done her fair share of taping and knew the importance of getting it right. 

We hired a handyman who turned out to be pretty much our saving grace when it came to last minute madness. For example, the unanticipated high cost of a massive vinyl of our logo - and the anxiety of how it would even look against the brick. Matt stepped in a said - oh yeah, I can free hand your logo no problem. But not so fast, the morning of Art-A-Whirl Matt twisted his knee and called in a panic.

My long time friend and M&P helper, Christina Bannayan was another last minute lifesaver. I called her the morning of Art-A-Whirl and the conversation went like this. "Hey Christina - do you know any handymen? Laura, I work at a construction company :) Sure enough, within a few hours we had their best guy over to tackle all the last minute things we needed hung.

Don't forget - we still had half of the free handed M&P logo to complete. Ashley Mary to the rescue. She knocked it out in no time that morning, a time when she had a million things of her own to do. It truly takes a village and we are so grateful for the kindness we saw throughout the experience.

Our Minny Maker Wall will rotate quarterly. Stay tuned for our next set of featured Minnesota makers!