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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 annually. Stay tuned for our next group of featured Minnesota makers!