To celebrate the sunny day, we took a stroll up and down Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN. Grand Avenue has long been a treasure to Twin Cities residents and travelers—a place to enjoy local shopping and dining. While there are several big name retailers in the area, this street is known for its innovative small boutiques.
Our first stop was at Quince. This funky shop features one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories, jewelry and small gifts. The big surprise was that you can also find lots of cute baby clothes and accessories that you won’t find in many other places—like a Pink leopard tutu and zebra print baby high heels! While they had adult apparel, the jewelry and clever gifts were what kept us roaming around.
Our color senses were awakened at Karma and Hot Mama. Karma is a fashion-and-beauty shop for women that can be found only in St. Paul. Hot Mama is a Midwestern boutique specializing in Maternity-wear, as well as stylish clothing, shoes and accessories for every woman. Each store was neatly organized by color, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. When it came to patterns, stripes were by far the most popular trend. In Navy and Brown, they gave off a nautical vibe, while Pink and Turquoise stripes were just something fun to have in your wardrobe for the summer.
Taking a break from apparel, we walked down the street to The Bibelot. This shop, one of four in the Twin Cities is filled to the brim with an eclectic mix of gifts, jewelry and household items. The Bibelot participates in promoting earth friendliness through some of their products and practices. We learned that the Como location will be starting a program called “REWEAR,” which allows women to bring in their gently used clothing for resale.
By far, the most interesting retailer we visited was Ten Thousand Villages. This store is a fair trade, not-for-profit, volunteer based shop that sells home décor, personal accessories and gift items that are handmade by artisans from around the world. This includes 130 artisan groups in 38 countries! Even better, all profits are given directly back to the artisans to support themselves and their families. We loved how every product proudly represented the country where it was made through its minute details and style. This characteristic can bring diversity into your home and wardrobe with a touch of ethnic flare. This organization’s business plan is unique in the retail world. For more information, visit one of their many locations or their website.