A Mecca of MN Makers
After spending some time at the RAAS (Retail As A Service) pop up boutique last year, I was excited to see them return to Mall of America rebranded as Fourpost. I invited Minneapolis stylist Alexandra Howe to join me for the grand opening. Ali's growing popularity as a premiere stylist around town made her the perfect guest choice – besides her taste is impeccable! We knew we were in the right place (new location right outside Nordstrom) with hundreds of other MN enthusiasts ready to experience this new retail destination strategy.
Our Favorite Gift Brands
The space is home to 20+ brands, some from 2017 and others are new. We were thrilled to see MEND Jewelry, Thumbs Cookies and Namakan with their clever magnetic accessories and beanie puffs. Although each brand is uniquely merchandised, the space feels largely cohesive. We toured the space and spent some time with owners from Essence Once, Excelsior Candle Company and Mill City Made. Every MN maker we engaged with was beaming with pride and thrilled to share their brand story. What struck me (even more than the incredible foot traffic) was the comradery among the owners, there was a genuine love and support among the brands. A true reflection of MN good.
Obviously, we had lots of favorite brands and products but here is our top 5 list:
Our honorable mention goes to Cuddle Mutt whose business owner was so deep in customers we didn't even get a chance to make an introduction! We are huge fans!
A Retail Destination
As we explored the booths (and drooled over the gorgeous candles from Excelsior Candle Company) we appreciated the design strategy. Great lighting, lots of space, nice fixtures for merchandising. Even an apparel brand like The Northern Thread has the space to really showcase their product designs, colors and styles. It has a fun upbeat feel and offers the consumer a real treasure hunt. Although the treasures are truly everywhere, just check out the beautiful MN pride signs at b + d custom crafts, great for any MN home.
Together We Rise + Local Love
Mark Ghermezian, the founder of RAAS and Fourpost, told Lianna Matt at Minnesota Monthly, “by giving emerging businesses access to a high-visibility platform we hope to become a destination that supports local commerce, allows businesses to learn from each other, and keeps shoppers coming back for more.” What a fantastic business model, we couldn't agree with you more Mark! Local love is here to stay. Congratulations to the many MN makers featured in the Fourpost space, we had a wonderful time hearing your stories and shopping your beautiful product, we will certainly be back.
On our way out the door, we nabbed a life-changing Double Chocolate Chip Cookie sample from Thumbs Cookies! Next time, we are starting there!