Meet Linda Schneewind. She has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Minnesota, a degree in upholstery from MCTC, and a resumé of furniture design coursework at MCAD. Linda and a friend even built the keyhole table and banquettes at Uptown’s lauded French brasserie, Barbette. Now meet her husband, Eric Hope, a former auto mechanic. Together they live on a farm in Nerstrand, Minnesota, and own a home décor and gift shop in Northfield. (We’re not kidding.)
A haven for crafters, decorators, and artisans in a place that is oft dismissed as a college town, Digs (310 S. Division St., Northfield, 507-664-9140) is one of the happy little places you discover on accident (as we did last summer) and can’t stop talking about. The second you walk into the store, the artistic wheels in the brain can’t help but turn. There are embellishments galore—skein after skein of ribbon (new and vintage), bolt upon bolt of fabrics (designer and artisan), buttons, handcrafted jewelry, and tons of paper goods, giftables, and even a dash of organic clothing.
Digs is not for anyone with beige tastes (although they have plenty of beige). The colorful fabrics come from such little-known lines as Alexander Henry and Kokka, as well as big textile houses Romo and Lee Jofa; the lushly colored skeins of yarn come from fiber vendors such as Be Sweet and Habu; and the cases of ornamental jewelry range from limited-edition vintage styles by Brooklyn–based Joli Jewelry to locally designed pendants by CeCiCeLa. Rounding out the collection of home textiles are gift items, lovely cards and stationery by artisan designers, notebooks by Suji of London, kitchen accouterments, and home cleaning products from Cucina and Mrs. Meyers.
But a stroll through the store is only scratching the surface of what Digs has to offer. Scheewind’s background in interior design and furniture makes her one of the town’s best-kept secrets. Her custom and furniture refurbishing work and interior design services range from big (entire spaces) to small (simple in-home color consultations). With growing demand for her custom work and the launch of her Miss Clickety-Clack collection for Seasons of Cannon Falls, Schneewid’s creative reach extends well past the city limits of tiny Northfield.