Best of Shopping 2013

Best New Store: Foxglove Market & Studio


Best Boutique to Follow on Instagram: Parc Boutique

A couple of years ago, Parc Boutique was an under-the-radar Northeast Minneapolis store trying to connect with young shoppers. The ease of digital media inspired owner Thao Nguyen to elevate her game. With the help of some of the best young stylists and photographers in town, Parc is now putting out online look books and a steady steam of art-directed Instagrams that rival many larger retailers and fashion blogs. It pays to become a digital darling. The numbers show that people are watching—and shopping. 320 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-353-4966, parcboutique.com, @parcboutique

Best Kept Secret Boutique

We thought about keeping designer resale store Mona Williams to ourselves, but it’s impossible not to brag about scoring Jimmy Choo shoes and Jason Wu dresses for a fraction of their original prices. Owner Patric Richardson knows a timeless piece when he sees it. 18 University Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-331-4493, monawilliams.com

Best Airport Store: Uptown Minnesota

You’ll never again have to settle for a stuffed loon or bag of wild rice on the fly, thanks to Uptown Minnesota, the new store on the G Concourse of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It showcases local brands, from Itasca Leathergoods moccasins to J.W. Hulme bags and Thymes bath and body products. The desirable array of goods is a testament to Minnesota’s talent pool. shopsatmsp.com

Best Splurge

The in-store high-end toilets at Mingle Showroom are a space-age sign of the future—they talk to you.

Best Chain Store Arrival: Madewell

It’s been a decent year for national retailers setting up shop in the Twin Cities, but the one that has fast become our go-to—for jeans, those essential denim shirts (how we love them with pencil skirts!), and leather bags and shoes that look more expensive than they are — is J.Crew spinoff Madewell, now open at Mall of America and Southdale. madewell.com

Best Fitness Store Revamp: Steele Fitness

After struggling with retail concepts, Steele Fitness started over at its 50th & France location and relaunched its retail area as Under Armour for Steele. Under Armour, you’re thinking? We were, too. But the brand has stepped up its look and collaborated with Steele on exclusive merchandise, including the essential Edina 55424 tank top. The shiny white floors and new fitting rooms add to the appeal. Look for retail makeovers to come to Steele’s other locations, too. steelefitness.com

Best New Store: Foxglove Market & Studio

Anyone can pick out a few nice products. But displaying them in such a layered, original way that shoppers want to move right into the space—well, that’s what distinguishes a good store from a great one. With longtime stylist Christine Hoffman at the helm, Foxglove Market & Studio had that enviable polish right out of the gate, offering fresh, locally sourced flowers as well as a mix of modern and vintage gifts, accessories, and elements for entertaining. 792 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-214-4247, foxglovemarket.com

Best Inspiring Home Brands

Loll Designs (lolldesigns.com)

Eastvold Furniture (eastvoldfurniture.com)

BluDot (bludot.com)

Faribault (faribaultmill.com)

Best Minnesota-Made Shopping: Showroom

If you’ve yet to experience the Twin Cities’ evolving fashion design scene, check out this new LynLake boutique, which showcases a modern mix of apparel, accessories, and art. The fact that it’s all made locally is merely a bonus. 615 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-345-7391, showroommpls.com