By Paige Kieffer
Gathered Goods Company, which opened earlier this summer, features uniquely crafted gifts from Minnesota artisans.
The boutique is at 5619 Manitou Rd., Tonka Bay, and was founded by friends, artisans and local Lake Minnetonka residents Nicole Lemmerman and Tara Thorn.
“We’re both from the area and wanted to stay in our community so we looked at the western suburbs by Lake Minnetonka and we saw this space and it just worked,” said Lemmerman.
“Lake Minnetonka is such an energetic area and people have been so welcoming,” Thorn added. “It’s wonderful!”
Both are artisans and sold their work at craft shows and online before opening the boutique.
Lemmerman founded Oscar & Olivia, which features jewelry and hair accessories for girls of all ages. Initially, she sold her products at local craft fairs before expanding her store to the online marketplace, Etsy.
Thorn moved to the Lake Minnetonka area after spending five years in Haiti, where she became inspired by Haitian culture. She then founded Cedar & Cypress Designs, which empowers and supports Haitian artisans and businesses. She creates her jewelry with Haitian products, while supporting other artisans from the country. The store also sells home goods, coffee and apparel.
Lemmerman and Thorn said that they were inspired to take the next step in their respective businesses and decided to open a business together. Gathered Goods Company opened in late May.
They also wanted to take the store to the next level and support Minnesotan artisans.
Gathered Goods Company features more than 25 vendors including Soap Girls from Delano, Minnesota Made apparel in Mankato, Baubles and Bobbies jewelry in Mankato, Skyline Specs in Minneapolis, Uplift A Box in Minneapolis, and Fashionable Farmgirl in Minneapolis.
Lemmerman said she recruited many of the vendors from Etsy, local craft fairs or even found them through word of mouth.
“It’s important for us to help support other artisans because were artisans ourselves,” she said. “We named it Gathered Goods for a reason. We wanted to gather artisans together and help them, but also we wanted to gather people when we do our classes and our workshops so they can meet new people and create new things.”
The shop not only features artisans, it has a workplace where visitors can learn how to make crafts themselves.
From 6-9 p.m., Thursday, June 19, the store will feature a do-it-yourself class on how to make a farmhouse clock. Also from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 13, visitors can make gift boxes with Uplift A Box, which sells handmade gift boxes. With a purchase, another box is donated to an organization that is rescues women from prostitution and sexual exploitation.
Many of the vendors give back to charity, including True Ethic, which gives 10 percent to the nonprofit Freedom Firm, which helps sex trafficking victims in India. Sonshine Candles is faith-based and helps send people on missionary trips and Lemmerman gives 10 percent to a selected charity every quarter.
She said, “It’s important for us to have that charity aspect with our vendors and giving back to the community.”
Gathered Goods Company also features gifts for everyone including men, women and children.
Some of the artisan products include jewelry, hair accessories, pint glasses, hats, t-shirts, sweaters, bags, sunglasses, wallets, candles, Vegan products and artwork.
“There’s something in here for everyone, and I feel that the local aspect of it – people really like and are supporting it,” said Lemmerman. “Here you’ll find uniquely made things that you can’t find anywhere else, while at the same time you’re supporting local vendors. Everything here’s made with love and it takes a lot of time.”
Gathered Goods is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays.
For more information, visit gatheredgoodscompany.com or call 952-607-5964.