Vol. 2, No. 2 - March/April 2017
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We create a magazine that shares the stories of makers and innovators spanning our great northern state. As we feature bold and inspiring Minnesotans—from craftsman to beekeepers, artists to farmers, brewers to foodies—we’re here to build a timeless collection of tales from each region across the state. We aim to strengthen and promote sustainable, beautiful, altruistic, unique, and creative communities. We are so proud to share our one-of-a-kind Minnesota magazine with you.
www.makeitmn.com/subscribe 2 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
The Driven Issue
In creating—whether it be drawing or gardening or brewing or sewing or cooking—we craft a space for ourselves to be imaginative. The first step: make time for solitude. From my perspective, it is only here that we can properly explore our creativity and discover that special place where our minds wander aimlessly. In this freedom, our ability and desire to create can play without boundaries. This sort of voyage also often opens the door to the enlivening creative drive that exists within all of us.
As humans, we are the result of moments that are ephemeral. We are all collections and collectors of passing connections, singular threads woven together to form a diverse semblance of our communities and ourselves. Every mind is unique and every choice is inspired by a distinctive experience, and in turn, the things we create have fresh intentions and pioneering purpose. And yet, I think our collective drive brings us to the same spot—to the road that opens our minds to the possibility of creative fulfillment.
How do we define drive? Is it valiant, like the courageous push to fight? Is it hidden, like the cavernous desire to express how we see the world? Is it profound, like the meaningful passion spurred by something greater than ourselves?
That’s what the Driven Issue is all about. These are the stories of people who make things they care about, chase their dreams, learn the hard way, and explore the depth of their creativity. For the Minnesotans featured in this issue, we thank you for sharing your ambitious perspective and honor your drive to attaining creative satisfaction. In every insight you offer, we grow as individuals and community members, finding ways to respond to our experiences and uncover our own creative vulnerability and strength.
To these questions, I don’t have precise answers. However, I do know that drive isn’t all that elusive or precious. It isn’t a fleeting glimpse of bold ambition—it isn’t expensive or for one-time-use only. Drive is ubiquitous and spattered at whim within the chaos of our creativity. It’s in the smallest of ideas, in the moments between, in the overlooked margins.
— Kara Larson
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Editor Kara Larson Production Manager Leah Matzke
Contributors Diana Crane Matt Frank Sean McSteen Kate Arends Peters Stephanie Thurow Colby Wegter
Contributors DIANA CRANE AND EMY CRANE
Diana and Emy felt like little nomads from a very young age—from Arizona, to Arkansas, to Idaho, it seemed they were always on the move. Now settled in Minneapolis, they’re still figuring out how to put down roots. Spruce is storytelling, it’s learning, it’s growth—it’s their attempt to weave themselves into this city, and to feel truly at home. MATT FRANK Matt’s passions for urban agriculture, regenerative landscape design, and food justice issues led to From the Ground Up North’s creation as an educational and inspirational tool for change in the Upper Midwest. He strongly believes in the power of narratives to shape minds, open eyes and shift perspectives. Learn more about his work at www.fromthegroundupnorth.org
Cover Photo 2017 Driven Instagram contest winner Jess Berglund
Copyright All images contained in Make It Minnesota are subject to copyright of the artist, illustrator or photographers as named, but not limited to. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior permission is prohibited.
Born and raised in a St. Paul suburb, Sean grew up being exposed to and participating in the rich and diverse culture of the Twin Cities. His passions range from playing cello, filmmaking, Gonzo journalism (on the weekends), and traveling to any new place around the world, near or far.
KATE ARENDS PETERS
Wit & Delight is an ongoing project created by designer and brand strategist, Kate Arends Peters. Founded in 2009, the lifestyle website has evolved into a brand that celebrates a combination of veracious expression and simple elegance with an approachable, yet edited point of view. Above all, Wit & Delight is dedicated to the development of its contributors and readers, promoting self-discovery, mental health advocacy, and wellness topics as the foundation of a life well lived.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Disclaimer The views and comments expressed by the writers are not always that of Make It Minnesota. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication, Make It Minnesota accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. Make It Minnesota (ISSN 2471-6744) Volume 2, No. 2, is published by Make It MN LLC
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Stephanie has a passion for cooking from scratch, fishing, gardening and food preservation. If you follow her on Instagram (@minnesotafromscratch), you will quickly learn she is obsessed with all things pickled. She is the author of Can It & Ferment It, July 18th, 2017 release, where she brings the canning and fermenting communities together.
From growing up near a town without a stop light to working in NYC’s Chinatown to finally landing in St. Paul, Colby looks to converse, to learn and attempt to tell. He feels more at home in Minnesota than anywhere else and enjoys her beauty on the daily. He’s also the founder of A Look Into (alookinto.com), an online editorial that tells the stories of the people behind the products we love.
Contents Featured Communities
Local by Local: Wit & Delight
Maker Workshop Series
Amara Hark Weber
Out & About
Powderhorn Seed Co.
Behind The Creative
No Apologies Podcast
Duluth Folk School Instagram Contest
Bouchard Design Co.
Minnesota From Scratch
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Makeshift Accessories By Sean McSteen
There are those lucky few who are fortunate enough to know exactly what path they want their life to take from a very early age. No doubts, no questions, always pushing towards that ultimate objective. Every decision made and action taken is influenced by a deep-seeded ambition and understanding that the end result is exactly what they wanted from the get-go. And there are those who follow a different path; seeking out their true calling amongst the intertwining paths laid out before them, always alert and looking inward for a visceral connection to something larger than themselves. The amount of options and unknowns are both exciting and daunting, a combination that when harnessed, has the potential to become a driving force. 4 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
For Devin Johnson, artist, metalworker and owner of Makeshift Accessories, the discovery of his passion for metalwork holds its origin in a few different events. The first came one night when he was working as a manager of a Ruby Tuesdays while living in the Metro Area. The restaurant had gotten a shipment of black, plastic tongs for the salad bar to be switched out with the metal utensils that were being used at that time. So, rather than just throwing out the metal utensils, Devin took them home and built his first ever art piece: a small statue of a figure made entirely from the discarded salad bar tongs. That was the first moment. The second came when a local gallery took in the leather bracelets he had just recently begun making to be sold on consignment. Lastly, and possibly the most significant event for Devin during his artistic transition, was when he was accepted into his very first maker fair in the spring of 2009, which just so happened to be the American Craft Show (ACS). Put on by the American Craft Council, the ACS is one of the largest craft fairs in the Midwest, boasting over 250 different artists and makers. What probably felt like an intimidating endeavor to throw himself into, Devin quickly found that rather than artists and attendees questioning his presence at such a prestigious craft show, they thought he was lying when they learned it was his first ever maker event. Looking back to that show and how it became the final push to change his path, Devin says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the accolades and enthusiasm from other exhibiting artists (as well as attendees) from around the country and locally was the final push that cemented my drive to quit my job and do art full time. It took one more year to make that a reality, but I quit my day job three days before my 30th birthday and truly felt like I had stepped into a new phase of my life.â&#x20AC;? Now, eight years after that fateful craft show, Devin Johnson still going strong, asserting himself as a driven, incredibly creative artist giving unmoving objects new life. And with a busy show season each year and his own gallery/ workshop, Devin is long past the daily grind he endured while searching for his calling. The gallery that he runs in downtown Northfield, MN highlights his passion as a true craftsman with his art and jewelry covering every available surface and spanning wall-towall across the long, narrow building. The brilliantly lit store welcomes you into Devinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world and the sheer amount of beautifully crafted metalwork guarantees that a return visit is a must. I have visited the gallery on two different occasions; and while I tried to look at and appreciate every inch of the space, I am fairly confident that there were still things I missed. DRIVEN - VOL 2, NO. 2 - 2017 5
It would be drastically underselling Devin’s creativity and artistic merit to say there are just one or two things that he specializes in. Yes, there are obviously best sellers among the pieces, but the range and variation from piece to piece runs the gamut artistically speaking. From speaking to Devin and seeing his work, it is clear that he feels no sense of limitation in regards to the things/art he creates. For him, there is always something new that can be salvaged, recycled and transformed into something beautiful. As Devin puts it, “it is the excitement of working with and exploring ever new and different materials.” This is what makes Makeshift Accessories unique; every piece of jewelry and art is crafted out of metals and other materials that have been salvaged or found and reused in one way or another. There is absolutely no metal coming in fresh off the factory floor. Instead, the reused metal presents a larger challenge and an even bigger payoff, because as Devin explains it, “when you make something and you know where it used to be; that’s when it’s really satisfying. If you make something out of just a piece of metal that was designed to be made into something specific, it doesn’t feel like you’ve really accomplished much. It’s like putting together a model or a kit.” It is Devin’s mission of sustainability and reusing quality materials for an entirely new, artistic purpose that makes Makeshift Accessories truly one-of-a-kind. Having a background in and passion for both history and journalism, Devin takes his pieces a step further—or maybe back would be more suitable—than most, putting a strong emphasis not just on the final product ready for sale, but on the history and life of the physical object as well. For Devin, the past life of a material is just as important as the final product; and as he describes it, “the experience of working with a raw piece of history allows me to take an intimate view into the moment in time when that material was first created or altered to its present state.” By putting so much attention on the history of the materials he works with, Devin explains that he is able to come away with, “a better understanding of the people that came before us and of the experiences they had and the decisions they made, which now shape our lives today.” To give me an idea of how deeply he researches some of the materials he uses, Devin showed me an old part he recently got that came from an aircraft that flew in WWII. He explained that with the standard military dated plate stamped onto it, he is then able to go even deeper and look into part catalog archives to find out exactly which aircraft the part came and what the specific part is. This kind of dedicated, tedious curiosity obviously creates a deeper value to the product—either emotionally or monetarily— but to Devin, his own fascination and admiration of the stories that 6 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
objects carry is what drives him, not a larger profit margin. Holding up another piece of metal that also came from a WWII aircraft, Devin explains, “it’s just brass. I can get this at a scrapyard from a door or something like that and it’s structurally the same, but it doesn’t have the story. Where as this—I know when I’m holding this that this was in the air, it was transporting people and this is the time period it was occurring. So that’s the intrigue to me.” The history behind a material and the process of creation go handin-hand at Makeshift Accessories. Inspired by pieces of art crafted by unknown soldiers/artists in the trenches during WWI and WWII, Devin tries to bring a lot of the same hands-on methods to his own creative process. “One of my fascinations with trench art,” says Devin, “was the ability to create these beautiful pieces using only rustic tools and materials available to them in a battlefield or war time setting. It was almost like the limitations of tools and materials actually fostered creativity.” Carrying this idea into his work at Makeshift, Devin and his team uses only a few different machines to help cut, stretch or bend larger pieces of metal, the majority of the work is done by hand (and hand tools). And because there are no high-tech machines or fancy equipment designed to simplify the process, each piece—whether it be a money clip crafted out of a piece of metal that came from a WWII bomber or a chess set with the pieces intricately created from many, many tiny metal parts— demands its own deeper level of respect. Even before getting a glimpse into Devin’s process, when I simply held a piece of his jewelry in my hands, I felt a different and somewhat indescribable sense of appreciation for it. It was as though, without having any prior knowledge of how the piece was crafted, I could see and feel the level of passion and effort that went into its creation. It is Devin’s passion for the past while creating something completely new that makes Makeshift Accessories stand out as a unique gallery and workshop within both the Minnesota arts community and the arts community across the country and world. There is nothing created by Devin in his Northfield shop that is subpar or hastily finished. If it is not up to the Makeshift standard, it will never bask in the warm lights of the front-of-house gallery; and instead may again be salvaged for another purpose to continue the life of a metal object that will never know its own tale. And in this way, Devin Johnson is able to intertwine the preservation of the past with the evolution of the future, creating an intricate timeline and tale for an individual to find connection in. As Devin puts it, “I enjoy being, and am proud to be, a link in the chain which moves each piece and its rich history into the future for others to experience.” DRIVEN - VOL 2, NO. 2 - 2017 7
Kate Arends Peters F ounder
W i t & D el i gh t
Wit & Delight is an ongoing project created by designer and brand strategist, Kate Arends Peters. Kate is a St. Paul-based creative and multichannel marketing consultant with extensive experience in the design industry. In addition to running Wit & Delight, Kate creates award-winning strategic design, marketing, and product solutions for nationally renowned brands including Target, 3M, Fossil, and Red Wing Heritage. Her design work has been published in AIGA 365, Communication Arts and Print Magazine. Wit & Delight was created in late 2008 while Kate was working as a graphic designer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The name “Wit & Delight” was derived from Kate’s experience of discovering and developing her own personal style—“Wit” is a sharpness and quirkiness to the process, while “Delight” is finding the joy and the humor throughout each step. Kate started Wit & Delight to discover how style fit into her life. At 24, she had a love for beautiful things, but wasn’t sure how to harness it into a distinct sense of style. Wit & Delight became Kate’s way of considering all areas where style is concerned, serving as a platform for her thought process in developing her own personal style. Since its inception, Wit & Delight has evolved into a brand that celebrates a combination of veracious expression and simple elegance with an approachable, yet edited point of view. Above all, the lifestyle website is dedicated to the development of its contributors and readers, promoting self-discovery, mental health advocacy, and wellness topics as the foundation of a life well lived. Wit & Delight reaches a million readers everyday, and has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Women’s Wear Daily, Fast Company, New York Times, and Elle Decor, among other national publications.
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Whenever I need a jolt of inspiration, I head over to Mia. With galleries spanning from Renaissance to Modern Art to interiors, I always leave feeling the creative juices start to flow. I’m really excited about their new Guillermo Del Toro exhibit currently at the museum.
Can Can Wonderland
St. Paul is starting to get some really exciting eateries and spaces, which I’m personally thrilled about. We live just about halfway between Minneapolis and St. Paul, but it’s nice to not always have to cross the river to find a new spot to explore. What I love about Can Can Wonderland is that it’s a living art installation. It’s indoor mini golf designed by artists. They also have some pretty fun cocktails.
Forage Modern Workshop
One of my favorite spots in the cities. They have an amazing curated collection of modern furniture and accessories from small brands and craftsmen. They have a seemingly endless rotation of amazing pieces nestled in their space off of Lake.
This restaurant is home to probably the best burger I have ever had and the Tennesse hot chicken is out of this world. If you are in the mood for some southern food done right, Revival is your spot.
Alma Hotel & Cafe
We recently stayed in this urban oasis a few weeks ago. If you’ve eaten at Alma (if you haven’t, get over there now!) you know the level of quality and craftsmanship that goes into their food. This same attention to detail is applied to each of the seven guest rooms. Highly recommend Alma for a vacation or a night away.
This is a great holistic spa for those interested in getting a massage, facial, or sugaring the natural way. This spa encourages relaxation inner peace and well-being. Estrella also has a fantastic selection of all natural and organic beauty products that I keep coming back to.
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Photo credits: Revival - @burgerapolis | Alma - Bodega, Ltd. | Young Joni - Eliesa Johnson Sea Salt - Anthony Holznagel | Kyatchi - Sharolyn Hagen
When you walk into Young Joni, you are immediately taken aback by the sexy and rustic interior of the pizzeria. Even though the space is quite large, it has an intimate feel to it. With wood tables throughout and large wooden beams overhead, the dim lighting and light music playing sets the mood. As you sip on a craft cocktail or yummy glass of wine, you can watch your pizza being made right in front of you if you are sitting near the bar. It’s a great spot for a date night, girls night out or even a family pizza night.
Honey & Rye Bakehouse
I love their coffee (so much) and baked goods. Also, you can order their $28 amazing pies for special events.
Delicious sushi spot that tastes authentic and prides themselves on using all natural ingredients. I love the intimate space; they also have a great happy hour as well as some fun non-sushi items on the menu like hot dogs and ramen.
Sea Salt Eatery
This is one of my favorite summer spots. The tacos, po’ boys, oysters and calamari are out of this world; it is fun to grab a carafe of wine and enjoy the sunshine in Minnehaha Park.
I love Spyhouse coffee and their swiss mushroom croissants—every time I am near one of their four locations I try to stop in.
Spot Spa Boutique
Everyday rejuvenation is what I think of when I hear Spot Spa. They have a location in NE Minneapolis, as well as Uptown—the team offers massage therapy, skincare and sells products like Sun Potion tonics, which can be used to improve everyday health. The Spot Spas team is incredibly knowledgeable, listens to your needs and is completely authentic in their recommendations for product or services. A go-to when I need a pick-me-up or an adjustment to my everyday self-care.
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Maker Workshop Series
Amara Hark Weber, St. Paul Shoemaker By Kara Larson
It’s a cozy studio, lined with beautifully constructed shoes and hearty tools and two friendly dogs. Custom-made lasts hang from the ceiling like a fixture, diffusing a fluorescent light and begging to be tapped to incite a slight sway. In the rugged details of this workshop, there’s something real and honest—a palpable dedication and reverence to the exacting craft of shoemaking. It is here that Amara Hark Weber spends a good portion of her day meticulously patterning, skiving, soaking, cutting, poking, trimming, inseaming, hammering, and a million more –ings that transform her innovative designs into tangible, impeccable shoes. The beginning of Amara’s shoemaking endeavors came about as a solution to an unexpected accident. Two years into attaining her MFA in Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, Amara was in a car accident that resulted in a head injury. Finding it difficult to do the work she was doing at the time, she took a shoemaking class—and simply kept going with it. She learned quickly in her new venture, working long hours and dedicating herself to her craft. Making has always come naturally to Amara, but more than that, she aspires to never stop learning, expanding her skillset, and looking for opportunities to improve. She aims to embrace the feelings of overwhelm that a new technique or material can inspire, knowing that she’ll be better for it in the end. “The trick is keeping your eyes open to the problems,” Amara begins. “If you see your
mistakes, no matter how small, the next time is going to be a little better. I think progression will stop if you’re not seeing where improvement can be made. And that means maintaining a critical eye, which is kind of painful, but also totally necessary. You can’t be too proud to identify and acknowledge the problems in your work.” Amara’s heightened awareness of mistakes is also a response to the permanence of working with leather. The longer she works on a shoe, the more is at stake—the more time, money, and materials. At present, Amara is making between two and three pairs of shoes a month for clients and each pair has around 40-60 hours of work invested in them. Beyond the custom-made pairs for individual clients, Amara always has a designated practice shoe in the shop that takes on an assortment of new techniques and unfamiliar materials. She explains, “I’m not going to give a client
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something I haven’t done successfully first. I can’t talk about the shape of a last if I don’t know what it feels like.” Nearly four years into making and selling custom shoes and teaching shoemaking classes all around the country, Amara is finding the balance between running a successful business and making shoes of the highest quality. Amara refuses to compromise on the quality of her materials, placing great importance on the fact that she uses only first and second grade leather from a variety of established tanneries. For every pair of shoes, the materials alone typically range from $200-300, so even though her shoes are costly, for the amount of work she invests in each pair, Amara is hardly paying herself properly. She offers, “Handmade shoes are really expensive, but there is a reason for it. It’s a laborintensive process that uses expensive materials. The more people know about the materials and process, the better they can understand the price point and nuance of the product.” Amara recognizes that custom shoes are unaffordable for a lot of people, but poses the question, “By the same token, how many shoes do you have that you don’t wear? You can take all of those shoes that you don’t really wear because they fit weird or you kind of like them, but they pinch your toes, or they feel good, but they’re too ugly, and instead just buy one pair of shoes that you really like, that fits you properly, and they’re going to last as long as all of those combined.” This is the real intention of Amara’s work—to design and make quality shoes that fit and last. Her demanding work is only the beginning of the shoes’ journey; once her process is complete, her shoes can realize their true purpose as stylish protectors and adventure facilitators. And yet, the final step of the process is one comprised of equal parts satisfaction and nervous anticipation for the foot it was created to envelop. Amara admits that custom shoemaking is unpredictable and unnerving in that she can never be 100% sure that the shoe will fit in the way that she anticipates and in the way that the client expects. She explains that each person’s body changes and has sensitivities that she can’t know or predict. Converging with these anxieties is the satisfaction of the moment when the shoe goes on and takes its first walk around the shop. Amara shares, “There is this sequence that happens where the shoe usually goes on a little tight, much tighter than a manufactured shoe because it is made to fit. This is scary for both the client and for me. Then it pops on. The client takes a moment just to feel. They kind of retreat into their body just for a split second. Then they stand, take a lap around, and nod. It’s a really special moment for me, and makes me incredibly happy.” No matter how many pairs made, for a custom shoemaker, this nerve-wracking reveal is one that never really lessens in intensity. Amara shares, “I talked to my Swedish teacher Janne about my nervousness before a client comes, and he
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said that even after 45 years in the trade, he doesn’t sleep the night before shoes are picked up.” Amara finds it important to keep in contact with her teachers and credits them for instilling in her the necessary skills and techniques to set her on a proficient path. She continues to tailor their insight to inform her own style, both in her approach making and to teaching. “Two of my teachers are European—one is Swedish, one is Hungarian…I’ve been super lucky in that I’ve been taught by some of the best shoemakers who teach. One of them was very sweet, like, “well, if it works, it works.” And one of them was stern and direct, like, “that is wrong.” So, when it comes to teaching, I’m always really clear my process is just the way that I do it, but there are so many ways. Because I’ve had multiple teachers, I’ve learned many different ways, and then I’ve taken them all and kind of meshed them into the Amara way.” In her own shoemaking classes, Amara allows this openness to different perspectives to permeate into her approach to teaching. Though she is hoping to scale back, Amara spends about half her time teaching at various colleges and folk schools around the country, and in every class taught, her objective is to allow the students to be as involved and inventive as possible. There is no set plan or kit or pre-cut pieces—from design to execution, every student has the opportunity to genuinely absorb the art of shoemaking. Even when teaching larger classes, Amara welcomes the chaos of creative freedom. “I have taught classes with twelve students where every student designs their own completely
“That’s the exciting part about designing and making—it gets to be all yours.” - AMARA HARK WEBER different shoe. For me, as a teacher, holy smokes,” she laughs. “By the end, my brain is about to explode, but every student sees all of these different constructions and then they can ask each other questions and discuss and that makes for a way stronger learning experience. And also, you’ll walk away with something that you actually feel like you made. You know, that’s not my design. That’s the exciting part about designing and making—it gets to be all yours.” This lack of restrictions in a shoemaking class isn’t a common experience, especially in the United States. In fact, Amara knows that in general, there are very few people who make shoes—and even fewer people who do it well. “I know of makers who are promoting themselves as professionals, but whose work is not ready to come out of their shop and be sold. They haven’t developed as craftsmen or artists. But, with more interest in the trade, there will be more support for all of us. Because there are so few shoemakers, one of the battles is letting people know that we actually do exist, and are doing good work.” Amara adds, “I am a naturally optimistic person, and am eager and happy to share what I do. My mom always told us that a rising tide raises all ships. But, when I see weak work being promoted, it kind of saddens me because if someone who is unfamiliar with what a handmade shoe can be sees a half-baked product, it lowers expectations.” When it comes to sharing the magic of shoemaking, Amara is authentic, straightforward, and uncompromising to the craft. There’s a purposeful tenacity to Amara—a dogged creativity that pushes her past any unexpected hiccups and hindrances. This drive is embodied in her shoes. They are flawless—not a wrinkle or inconsistency in sight. Clean and meticulous, yet, they are the product of a messy, complicated, and arduous process. Amara admits, “I will say, this is generally a men’s trade. But you don’t have to be particularly strong.” She’s sitting on her work stool, wrangling with the leather outsole on her practice shoe to make a tiny hole. “I’m not a large person, but I have strong hands. And if you’re doing things correctly and using the right types of leather and your knives are properly sharp, it’s not that demanding. I mean, it is demanding, but it’s your job, so you have to get used to it. It’s not like you’re so special or anything,” she laughs. In watching her work, getting a taste of what it means to be a real shoemaker, and learning about who she is and how she fits into the world, there is no denying the existence of something special in Amara’s St. Paul studio. Some serious
making transpires here and that’s a captivating thing to witness firsthand. The true sense of purpose in Amara Hark Weber’s craft evolves in her time spent designing, experimenting, and making, which adds up to one thorough creative process. Though most parts of the shoe will never be seen, Amara finds fulfillment in making each step of the process as strong and as beautiful as possible. “This may sound odd, but the inside workings of my shoes are usually as beautiful, if not more beautiful than the final product. I find this incredibly gratifying. It’s almost like I go on a journey with each pair, and it’s just between us. The final product is a result of this journey, but most of it is really only a moment. It’s kind of like memory. We are the result of the actions that we take, but these actions are just moments that pass.”
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Powderhorn Feed Co.
100% Organic, Non-GMO, MN Sourced, Whole Grain Poultry Feed By Matt Frank, Founder of the From the Ground Up North Photos by Ryan Nelson
Chickens in the city? Eggcellent! Raising your own chickens in an urban area provides immediate access to fresh eggs and a direct connection to healthy food. Plus, you get the added benefits of knowing exactly how the chickens are being raised, that they’re being treated humanely and what they’re being fed. What’s better than flavorful, freshly laid eggs from your own organically fed backyard chickens? Powderhorn Feed Co., a homegrown business based in Minneapolis, produces 100 percent organic, non-GMO, Minnesota sourced whole grain poultry feed and provides on-site consultations to backyard chicken owners. I recently sat down with owner Rob Czernik to talk about the origins of the company, the product and services they provide, and the role you can play in supporting local urban chicken keeping efforts. Powderhorn Feed Co. is a small, independently run business that partners with locally owned garden centers and hardware stores to sell their feed.
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ORIGINS Rob Czernik is an urban chicken advocate who walks the walk and talks the talk. His business grew out of a personal interest in backyard chicken keeping, the want for unprocessed chicken feed, and a yearning to educate others on the benefits of urban chicken keeping. Rob began raising chickens in the Twin Cities eight years ago and became involved with a poultry feed operation being run by Minneapolis urban agriculture enterprise Growing Lots Urban Farm. At the time, Growing Lots was running a small feed operation out of a warehouse space in the Seward neighborhood and was selling their product to individuals within the city who wished to feed their chickens whole grains instead of processed premixed feed. Rob began buying his poultry feed from Growing Lots, and in the process, became acquainted with their farmers and business. In 2011, the partner in charge of Growing Lotsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; feed operation moved out of the country, providing an opportunity for Rob to step in and take over. He picked up where Growing Lots had left off, producing the organic whole grain poultry feed and selling it to existing customers. In 2012, Rob officially incorporated the feed business as it continued to grow, naming it after the neighborhood where he lived, giving birth to Powderhorn Feed Co.
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PRODUCT & SERVICES Powderhorn Feed Co. poultry feed contains a mixture of nine whole grains from Minnesota-based distributor Whole Grain Milling Company, a third-generation family operation. Feed ingredients include high lysine corn (a nutritious hybrid variety high in protein), buckwheat, oats, brown flax, white sorghum, green field peas, winter wheat berries, spring wheat berries, hulled barely and rye berries. Unlike conventional premixed poultry feed, the Powderhorn Feed Co. mix doesn’t contain any soy products, additives or chemicals. Oyster shells are added to the mix as a source of calcium for the chickens. All poultry feed is mixed in small batches by hand to ensure proper whole grain ratios and is certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The mix resembles a diet that chickens might eat when foraging for food in a more natural setting as opposed to the typical GMO grain diet that they are often fed in industrialized agriculture systems and feedlots. Rob describes his product as a regenerative feed since it contains living grains that can be sprouted and grown perennially. In this way, the feed not only provides sustenance to chickens, but also continues producing additional feed resources on an annual basis. Powderhorn Feed Co. is a wholesaler of 40-pound feed bags which are available for sale at seven local retail locations, including Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply in St. Paul; AnokaRamsey Farm & Garden in Anoka; and Mother Earth Gardens Northeast, Welna Ace Hardware (both the Seward and Phillips locations), Nicollet Ace Hardware, Urban Tails Pet Supply, and SouthSide Farm Store in Minneapolis. Rob is currently developing 20-pound bags for wholesale distribution through Co-op Partners Warehouse in order to sell the feed at local Twin City food co-ops. Individuals interested in purchasing directly from Rob, or wanting to buy smaller quantities, may contact Powderhorn Feed Co. 20-pound bags of feed are available for delivery and feed may also be purchased in bulk. Individuals who purchase directly through Powderhorn Feed Co. are provided with a free 15 minute on-site consultation from Rob regarding backyard chicken keeping basics, how to’s, and chicken coop siting and design. Consultations include a walk-through and questionnaire detailing the wants and needs of interested chicken owners.
people about raising chickens within the city as a way to step away from industrialized farming. In addition to selling poultry feed and providing urban chicken keepers with consultations, Powderhorn Feed Co. teaches urban chicken keeping classes around town through various outlets such as at food co-ops, libraries, civic centers, and public schools. So far, in 2017 Rob has taught over a dozen urban chicken keeping classes in cities including St. Paul, Minneapolis, Stillwater, and Hudson, Wisconsin. The money that Rob makes selling Powderhorn Feed. Co. organic poultry feed and teaching classes is reinvested locally through the development and maintenance of Twin City community gardens that support growing healthy foods.
THAT’S A WRAP! At the end of our conversation, Rob left me with some parting advice: “Talk to your neighbors, plant a garden, raise chickens, be conscious of what you’re feeding them and yourself, work a little less and love a little more.” Fitting words as we celebrate spring and the annual growing season kicking into high gear!
Currently, the business is focused on the Twin Cities metro, but Rob is interested in distributing his poultry feed to other parts of the state as well. However, he’s content with the current manageable size of his one-man operation and views the business more as an educational and advocacy tool to teach DRIVEN - VOL 2, NO. 2 - 2017 19
The No Apologies Project By Diana Crane
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“When I think about the way we use social media today, I think about the way my grandmother was in the 50s…how much of her time was spent in the presentation of herself. She would never come out of her bedroom unless she was fully dressed, perfectly coiffed.” Bernadette Pollard pauses in disbelief. “How did we get back there?” The No Apologies Project, a podcast dreamt up by Bernadette and longtime friend Steph McCoy, was born out of a desire to strip away appearances, and uncover what lies beneath— to confront darkness and recognize it as part of a complicated, beautiful whole. Behind the hair curlers, pressed skirts, and pearls, Bernadette’s grandmother carried incredible business savvy, a passion for the arts, and a heart still scarred from the loss of her first child. “There was so much depth to her.” Bernadette explains, “But this…we’re not just talking about my grandmother. We’re talking about a lot of women. What’s really the forefront of who you are?”
“How did we get back there?” Last Spring, Bernadette and Steph started hatching plans to create a series of mini-documentaries exploring pivotal moments in women’s lives. The concept felt like a perfect fit for their backgrounds and interests. Bernadette works as a professional photographer and spent time studying filmmaking after college, while Steph is a nurse who cultivates her talents for writing and styling through her blog, A Girl North. The two grew close after being introduced by their mothers— friends, and partners at a health and wellness coaching practice. “We’d been orbiting around each other for awhile, and the first time we met it was like, kaboom, soul sisters.” Steph laughs and looks over at Bernadette for her thoughts. “Yes! I knew there was something bigger that we were supposed to be doing together but I just didn’t know what that was at first.” Bernadette affirms. Though their passions and professions rely heavily on visual media, the pair ultimately decided to learn how to Podcast. They hoped that by eliminating all orchestrated lighting, angles and images, women— their voices and their stories— would radiate through. Bernadette
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explains, “It’s really about the story, and the characters, and the relationships…it’s the opposite of everything that’s being pushed by Amazon and Netflix, where it’s so glossy and quick to digest.” “I also just love the human voice,” Steph adds, “It’s so different to read someone’s story versus hearing their voice… their personality, their emotions come through.” So far, Bernadette and Steph have covered themes ranging from coming out as transgender, to surviving sexual assault. At a time when the world still insists on policing women’s speech— their likes and their justs, their vocal fry— and often dismisses their memory of lived experiences, making space for these voices feels critical, almost defiant. The two friends help guide these complex stories through thoughtful, incisive questioning, but ultimately allow each guest to arrive at their own conclusion, their own truth. “Every person, at one point or another has said,
“We shouldn’t be apologizing for talking about parts of us that make us who we are…” ‘I’m sorry, I feel like I’m just rambling.’” Steph notes, “But we’re enthralled, we love that. We’re like, ‘Just go!’” With The No Apologies Project, Steph and Bernadette offer women the space to reflect on their most meaningful struggles without judgment or shame. “We shouldn’t be apologizing for talking about parts of us that make us who we are… that make us these really great, complex individuals.” Steph insists. Indeed, perhaps if we uncover what aches inside, we can move forward feeling fuller, and a little bit less alone. The No Apologies Podcast will be released for the broader public early summer, 2017 22 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
BEHIND THE LENS:
A CONVERSATION WITH BETHANY SCHROCK By Colby Wegter
Conversations aren’t like they used to be. How have we digressed from it being the most important part of the day to a simple, “How’s it going?” Which prompts a formulaic, “Good.” It’s like we’re guarded. Thinking this person doesn’t really care how I’m doing anyway. Or we’re simply too distracted with the infinite voices amassing into an endless scroll on our phones. Siri is great, but she still doesn’t navigate to the Boundary Waters when I say, “Directions to the most beautiful place on earth.” Conversations that teach you things, inspire new ideas and leave you with a sense of good feeling, well, they just don’t happen that much anymore and that’s a shame. When I sat down with Bethany Schrock, the photographer known as BethCath, it was midSeptember. We were sitting at Spyhouse in the North Loop surrounded by the minimal aesthetic of the coffee shop. Clean lines, crisp whites, and heavy blacks. As black as the dark roast coffee I ordered. It was that same clean and minimalist aesthetic that made me want to chat with Bethany. I loved her work shooting for Bogart’s Doughnuts, Gatherware, and Coffee Cart Mpls particularly, and asked her to meet up. Conversations are how the stories we write happen, but her energy across the small circular table we placed ourselves at made this discussion feel different than an everyday conversation. It had more life, it was easy, and I learned a hell of a lot.
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It was the kind of conversation I imagine to be commonplace years before our time. “Never ask a woman her age,” I’ve been told by older and wiser people in my life. And I didn’t ask Bethany. But she is young. So, when I asked her about where her photography career got started, it wasn’t surprising that it began when she was in sixth or seventh grade. “My first shoot was on an exit ramp,” she said to shoot senior photos. “Like when you exit off the highway, there’s that tall grass. So, I brought my friend there because I wanted the tall grass and sunset. There were cars flashing by but I was like, ‘This is so cool!’ I got to make it look the way I wanted it to look and no one knew we were on an exit ramp.” She did quite a few senior photos and at 14 she was asked to shoot for a wedding. What an awesome move by the wedding couple to give a kid a shot, I’m thinking as I ask her how it went. “I did such a bad job. My settings were totally off and I didn’t know what I was doing but it was really fun,” Bethany says. “How did the wedding couple feel about them?” I ask. “They didn’t like the photos. They were so bad. So bad. They were blurry and I failed so bad but my parents were always so encouraging. So that’s kinda how I got started.” Yet, as she’s admitting where she fell short, strong points and career aspirations sprout up just as quickly. A minute or two later she’s telling me how the dream is to work for Design Sponge or do a styled photo shoot for Martha Stewart or shoot lifestyle images for Madewell or Nike. And while she calls it an unachievable goal right now, she’s already shown, at such a young age, that she knows how to fail. “How did you decide on those goals?” I ask. “I didn’t want to get to an achievable goal. I wanted a goal that was unachievable so I would never feel like I had made it. And I don’t think I have made it and I don’t think that I ever will make it. I know I’m not the best and don’t think I’ll ever be the best but I know that every shoot I’ll be a newer, better version of myself.” She credits her constant drive to improve herself to those she surrounds herself with. Her parents were the inspiration in the beginning. Senior photos, weddings where her dad was her second photographer and random portraits with her friends back in grade school. Now, it’s her friends. “I have really incredible friends,” she says. “One of my friends started a non-profit and bought a house at 19. Another started a custom pottery company. My husband is a songwriter. So it’s like ‘I gotta get myself in gear.’ Whoever you surround yourself with is who you’re going to become so I’ve surrounded myself with some pretty amazing people.” “So are your conversations a bit loftier in nature?” I ask jokingly. “I wouldn’t say loftier,” she says laughing. “But some of our Friday night conversations are like, ‘You know what would be the coolest business strategy ever?’” We both laugh a bit at the idea. “With all these encouraging people, are there an equal amount of judgmental people telling you you shouldn’t do this full time?” I ask. 24 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Top Left: Makers Collection TopRight: Loon Slipper Floral Middle Left: Coffee Cart MPLS Bottom Left & Right: Sebastian Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
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“I wouldn’t say I’ve had anyone be like, ‘Oh you should stop shooting.’ I’ve had disappointed clients and that could come from taking on too much. I have that problem where I say, ‘yes yes yes’ and I just work until 2:00 a.m. and then wake up at 7:00 a.m. and work until the next morning. Being a people pleaser has been kicked out of me,” she says with a laugh. “And I still struggle with it because I want to do it all. If people are reaching out to me asking me to do something, I’ll say, ‘Yes I’m honored. Of course I’ll do it.’ Even if I don’t have time. So, I’ve had disappointed clients but that’s helped me every single time to refine how much I can really do. And I’ve learned to say no to projects that I’m not passionate about. I used to say yes to everything because I was like, ‘Oh it will stretch me even though I hate doing family shoots or newborn photos.’ I could shoot 15 products in the time it took me to relax a baby. So I’ve learned to say no to projects I’m not passionate about because I get burnt out.” It’s the simple growing pains of building a business at such a young age, but her awareness of her capabilities is pretty inspiring and people have noticed. Recently, she’s completed work for Cheerios, Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream, and a whole host of others. By this time in our conversation, sitting in Spyhouse with our drinks almost gone, half an hour has already passed. And yet, it feels like it’s been five minutes. How does she make the pastime of good conversation so natural? Which gets me thinking. “When you’re doing a shoot with people, how does it go?” She responds with, “Usually the first five minutes, it’s kind of awkward because they’re uncomfortable, but by the end of the shoot they’re like hanging out. They feel so good, their personality starts to come out and then we get to do all these crazy, weird ideas that normally they wouldn’t think of.” “How do you get them there?” “Making them feel really comfortable and making them feel really confident. In my shoot, I’m pretty verbal so I’ll be like, ‘Oh that looks awesome. I love that. Now let’s have you turn.’
I love reminding them that they look killer, that I’m doing a good job and that these photos are gonna be awesome. So I feel like whenever I’m done, I hope that they feel ten times better about who they are and their unique qualities with what I did.” “My friends kind of joke that BethCath is my Beyonce/ Sasha Fierce. When I’m on a shoot, I get in this work mode where I have a structure and I have a flow and I’m like on it,” she says snapping her fingers. “Which I need to be.” “So is it just as much about the experience as it is the end result?” I ask. “Oh totally!” she responds. “After all my shoots people are like, ‘I had so much fun, thank you!’ Which is super cool and affirming. Like I’ll shoot you,” she says to me, “and you’ll see what I mean.” And she’s serious. Normally shy on camera, it seemed remarkably normal that we were going to have a mini photoshoot once the conversation in Spyhouse was done. Outside we went. I listened attentively to how I should stand, what my facial expression should be and where I should look. Weeks later, the result was fantastic and I couldn’t believe how well done the photos were. But the experience was the highlight. She made jokes the whole time and I couldn’t keep from laughing. The entire time she was behind the camera, all we did was talk. When we sat down, neither of us had an intention of having the photo shoot. At least I didn’t. But I walked away feeling ten times better about who I was and the decision to approach her for a coffee and a chat. The amount of fulfillment from a conversation like this is a rare thing these days. But when you talk with Bethany, it’s as commonplace as the air we breathe. All you have to do is appreciate it.
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Instagram Contest: DRIVEN #MAKEITMN_DULUTHFOLKSCHOOL proudly sponsored by In collaboration with the crafty and determined creatives at Duluth Folk School, we set out to learn what our fellow Northern folk are driven to do at a time of year that encourages cozying up indoors with hearty meals and hot tea. To locate the source of creative drive around us, we asked our Instagram followers what they are driven to create, explore, cook, paint, and more once the bravado of winter begins to soften into spring. We are excited to share that the Driven Instagram Contest gathered over 100 entries! In these photos, we saw an incredible range of uniquely ambitious and inspiring Minnesotan activities. From artwork to adventures, tiny gnome homes to picturesque lake views, we found ourselves deeply influenced by the photographyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; driven to act upon our own creativity with a renewed sense of purpose and promise. What a beautiful feeling that is! To view all of the superior submissions, follow the Instagram tag #MakeItMN_DuluthFolkSchool. From this large group, we narrowed the pack down to the Top 20, which are featured at makeitmn.com, and then, the Top 10, which you can enjoy in the upcoming pages. As for the #1 winning photograph, beyond bragging rights and the seeing their photo on the cover of Make It Minnesota, this photographer will receive two $60 gift certificates for classes at Duluth Folk School! This #1 photograph was taken by Jess Berglundâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a big congratulations to Jess!
WINNING IMAGE: Jess Berglund - @jlbergie5
2ND PLACE: Joshua Gorham - @josh.up.north 28 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
We are so grateful for the efforts of our fantastic partner on this contest, Duluth Folk School. Their mission is to bring people together to work with their hands, and to learn skills, arts, and crafts that help build a healthy, sustainable community through experiences that are stirring, long lasting and fun! Check out their amazing class line up at www.duluthfolkschool.com.
3RD PLACE: John Rajtar - @rajstyles
HONORABLE MENTIONS From left to right, top to bottom: Grace Cooper - @eyesof_grace John Yuccas - @ john_yuccas Ann Chisnell - @annchisnell Katie Galbraith - @katieg.artwork Margot Welshinger - @margot_ann Samantha Nielsen - @sj_nielsen Greta Alms - @gretcholi
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minnesota Style Jen and Michael Bouchard Jen and Michael met at an Italian bakery in Los Angeles and immediately bonded over their love of language, culture, and travel. A decade and many adventures later, they are pursuing their dream of designing and collaborating beyond borders. Jen’s academic background in international aesthetics and literature and Michael’s unconventional understanding of art and invention inform their design process. Bouchard Design Co. collections are an amalgamation of their experiences observing, connecting to, and allowing themselves to be changed by the places they’ve been and yearn to go. Bouchard Design Co. pieces are imbued with personal value, cultural significance, and aesthetic appeal. Created with internationally sourced vintage and antique elements, each one-of-a-kind piece reflects the interplay between past and present, here and there. These custom pieces for individual clients and capsule collections for boutiques are carefully and imaginatively handmade by Jen and Michael Bouchard in their studio located just outside of Minneapolis, MN. Through product and financial donations, Bouchard Design Co. is committed to supporting organizations that facilitate international education, work to ensure human rights, and help our fellow global citizens thrive. We had the opportunity to talk with Jen about her and Michael’s experiences through Bouchard Design Co. Read on to learn about her unique design perspective, tales of acquiring elements around the world, and their appreciation for history and culture along the way.
Photos by Lydia Jane Photography
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Jen and Michael Bouchard
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Q & A
Talk about the beginnings of Bouchard Design Co. What inspired you to begin this endeavor? Bouchard Design Co. evolved out of my solo jewelry business (Litany) as Michael and I began to collaborate more on design and product development. The origins of this collaborative endeavor are rooted in our travels together and long conversations at the dinner table. Bouchard Design Co.’s products reflect our passion for discovery, both at home and abroad. It sounds like travel, and all of the self-reflection and growth it inspires, plays a significant role in your creative process. Can you speak to that a bit? Absolutely—Michael and I are very curious people (in both senses of the term!). Any chance we have to discover a new place, a new design concept, or a new way of thinking, we go for it. Our most recent trip to Chile provided plenty of opportunities for cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic awakenings—from pouring over the stylistic details in Pablo Neruda’s homes to discussing the relationship between oppression and the creative process with Mapuche artists to scouring flea markets for unexpected elements to use in our design work. That sounds incredible. Are you seeing the influence of that trip in your work now (either thematically or literally in the elements you acquired)? Yes—we sourced some wonderful antique hardware components—keyholes, drawer pulls, etc. at a flea market in Santiago and we’ve been incorporating those into our spring collection. Malachite and lapis can be found throughout Chile as well. We’ve been pairing those stones with toned-down neutrals (creams, tans, browns) to reflect the contrasting landscapes found throughout the country. What do you find special about using internationally sourced vintage and antique elements? There’s something exciting about merging time periods, cultural references, and aesthetic elements into a piece or collection—it keeps things current, yet rooted in history. Each collection opens up a dialogue about the interplay between past and present, here and there. Is that a goal of yours through your pieces—to open up a dialogue on our preconceived ideas of past and present, here and there? When I first started creating, there was definitely a lot of nostalgia present in my designs. In addition to making pieces with elements I’d collected over the years (each one containing a memory), I had the chance to work with clients on transforming heirloom pendants, chains, etc. into more contemporary, wearable pieces— so yes, the goal there was to bring pieces of the past into the present. Collaborating with Michael has been good for me and opened up my aesthetic vocabulary quite a bit. We’re both excited by the idea of merging materials and references from different areas and time periods to push that discussion even further. A year ago we fell in love with the antique and vintage tile patterns we saw throughout Barcelona (on the sidewalks, walls, etc.). We’ve been working on a way to incorporate those motifs into our leatherwork (which tends to be pretty simple and modern). Adding this aesthetic reference from another time and place to a belt or bracelet you wear everyday reminds us of all there is to see, do, and connect to in the world. Being a language and literature aficionado, I also look for ways to incorporate text into our work. Our new mirror image rêve/réalité tees play with the 1920s surrealist idea of merging dream and reality. We used a contemporary font to bring that concept to 2017. Does the creative process you experience in making Bouchard Design Co. pieces call upon a certain aspect of your creativity? Do you find the process satisfying? Absolutely. We both find a lot of peace and enjoyment in working with our hands. When we’re working on a new collection, we’ll each go into our own studio space and experiment with combinations and techniques and then meet up a couple of hours later to talk through ideas together and play off of each other. This collaborative process, the ebb and flow of working individually and as a team, is really satisfying.
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Have you always been creative? What forms or channels have you explored in your creative journey? Michael comes from a family of visual artists, scientists, and engineers, so his creativity manifests as functional and design-friendly solutions around our quirky midcentury house and beautifully handcrafted surfboards (he’s originally from L.A.). I come from a family of musicians, community builders/activists, educators, and writers, so my mind is constantly at work looking for ways the arts and language (verbal or text-based) can open up pathways of communication, reveal our differences and similarities, and build a greater sense of community. In terms of living and making in Minnesota, do you feel connected to this place? After living together in L.A. and traveling a lot in the early years of our relationship, we decided to make a permanent home in Minnesota. We’re now raising our daughter and housing our studios in a home that’s been in my family for three generations. There is so much creative energy in Minnesota that inspires us and keeps us going. We’ve also found there to be an openness and collaborative spirit between artists and entrepreneurs in this area—this creates synergy that’s really exciting and we’re grateful to be a part of it. Why is local important? Every city in the world is unique in terms of how its history and culture(s) have shaped current realities, and the Twin Cities are no different. The small business owners, artists, and designers in this area are an essential part of what makes Minnesota unique. One of the things I love about the Twin Cities area is that our local is global—this convergence of cultures drives innovation in all sectors, and it’s especially noticeable in our small businesses. How has Bouchard Design Co. evolved? How have you evolved alongside it? We enjoy working closely with boutique owners and individual clients to create unique collections for them. This approach allows us to evolve organically in our aesthetics and in our relationships with our clients. There have also been opportunities along the way that have required us to rethink the way we design and produce. One of the first large-scale projects we worked on together was a collection for Jack White’s Nashville-based label, Third Man Records. In order to produce 1000 custom leather bracelets in two months, we hired on eight wonderful contractors to help us complete the project. It was a learning experience for both of us, and one that we definitely welcomed. What do you see for the future of your business? In addition to product expansion in our leather accessories and t-shirts, we hope to continue to work closely with museum shops and boutique owners across the country to create capsule collections comprised of one-of-a-kind pieces. We’re excited about upcoming research and sourcing trips to Dakar and Paris. Do you feel like making and creating through your business allows you to contribute to something larger than yourself? I’m incredibly grateful for all of the people we’ve met around the world and in our local community through our sourcing and design projects. The nature of this work is very interconnected, and we enjoy establishing and growing these relationships. We also use BDC as a vehicle for supporting initiatives that shape a more just and equitable society. Each year, we donate a percentage of our profits to organizations that facilitate international education, work to ensure human rights, and help our community members thrive. The future of our communities and innovation within creative industries depend on diverse perspectives. To that end, we are thrilled to be involved with organizations like Minnesota Youth Community and Young Fashion Fund that foster creative development and access to educational and professional opportunities for our next generation of innovators.
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Kitchen Fermented Strawberry Chutney By Stephanie Thurow, Author of Can It & Ferment It The daffodils are peeking through the dirt and the rhubarb is beginning to sprout. The snow is long gone and has little hope of reappearing at this point. The cardinals chirp at the brink of dawn and with the sight of my first Robin of the season, I know: spring is here. With the excitement of the changing season, I begin to sketch my 2017 garden plan and determine which seedlings I will start growing. I make a wish list (more of a goal-list) of all the different fruits and vegetables I intend to preserve throughout the year. I originally started canning because I wanted to make a perfect tasting pickle to go along with my favorite drink, a Bloody Mary, which after years of experimenting I finally mastered. But I was truly driven to continue canning and fermenting to the extreme I do because I find it incredibly satisfying to preserve local, organic food that I have either grown personally, or purchased at one of the fantastic Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Markets we have throughout the state. I love knowing what ingredients are in my food and when I became a mother, cooking from scratch became even more important to me. Simple water bath canning allows me to make jams, jellies, pickled vegetables, salsas, spaghetti sauces, etc. shelf-stable so they can be enjoyed throughout the year. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little mini mind-vacation to open a jar of strawberry-rhubarb jam that I preserved in the spring of the year prior when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s below zero in January. The process of fermenting food breaks down the produce, which makes it easier to digest, as well as makes it more nutrient-rich and full of healthy-belly probiotics. We constantly have fermentation crocks and other vessels full of sauerkraut, kimchi and other bubbling goodies filling up the counters of my kitchen. Both preservation methods offer benefits, and that is why I wrote a book that offers a canning recipe and a fermented recipe for each fruit and vegetable in it. I want people to experience the best of both worlds and taste the difference in flavors; the taste of a fermented pickle versus a canned offers completely different outcomes, but both are delicious. The recipes in my book are written with ease because I want portray the simplicity of the processes to the reader in hopes that any hesitation they have about food preservation will be at bay. Here is one of my favorite recipes from the spring section of my book, Can It & Ferment It (now available for pre-order): DRIVEN - VOL 2, NO. 2 - 2017 35
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Fermented Strawberry Chutney
This strawberry chutney is fantastic paired with spicy foods, such as jerked chicken as well as with curried foods. A friend that test-tasted my recipe said it would even be good muddled in a mojito. Enjoy!
Ingredients: 2 cups fresh, organic strawberries, stems removed, halved 1 cup (about ½ of 1 whole) red onion, chopped ¼ cup raisins, red or golden ¼ cup dried apricots
1 tbsp. (about 1-inch piece) fresh ginger root, peeled 1 garlic clove
1 tbsp. raw honey (local preferable)
2 tsp. unpasteurized apple cider vinegar ½ tsp. kosher salt
Directions: Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency you desire. I personally like the raisins and apricots to retain chunkiness. Transfer mixture into a clean pint canning jar. The chutney is full of flavor immediately but as it ferments, the intensity of the onion will fade and it turns into a delicious ferment. Use a clean canning jar lid and ring to tightly close the jar to keep the air out. Store at room temperature, ideally between 60–75°F. Keep out of direct sunlight or wrap a dishtowel around the jar to keep light out. Ferment 3 to 4 days. I recommend taste testing it daily to see how the flavor changes during the fermentation process. Once fermentation is complete, store in an airtight glass jar and refrigerate for up to two weeks. DRIVEN - VOL 2, NO. 2 - 2017 37
+ OFFICIAL SHOPPING EVENT OF MINNESOTA FASHION WEEK
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mandybymandy Mikaela Youngblood Mona Nunez MY SISTER Org nine56 studio Ruby3 Scott J Lehmann Strey Designs Sven Original Clogs Tessa Louise The Elixery Urbain UrbanUndercover Vikse Designs WAY the label + more!
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