Just in time for the holiday shopping rush, the 2014 Maiden Minnesota event will feature 35-plus fashion, food, and home décor vendors for a night of boutique shopping, wine sipping, and celebrating locally owned, women-run businesses in the Twin Cities. Now in its eighth year, Mpls.St.Paul Home & Design spoke with co-founder Jen Stack about what attendees can expect come November 7.
Mpls.St.Paul Home & Design: What is Maiden Minnesota?
Jen Stack: Maiden Minnesota is an annual event that takes place to showcase local companies that are owned by women. Tracy Dyer of Urban Junket and I started Maiden Minnesota eight years ago with 10 Maidens—now we have close to 40!
MSP: Wow—eight years! What can attendees expect this year?
JS: We want it to have a boutique feel. We want to keep it small so it’s the feeling you get when you walk into a special place. We want women—and men!—to come down and enjoy their evening at a nice hotel, without time or space restrictions. We take over the whole fifth floor of the Loews, which includes their ballroom, where you can meet, buy from, and talk to our Maidens. We also have a really great silent auction featuring not only our Maiden products, but products from companies all over the nation. Our charity partner, Project SUCCESS, is there too. They have a really strong presence so people can find out what they do and what they stand for.
MSP: With more than 35 vendors, how can we possibly see it all?
JS: Just give yourself time to wander. Grab a glass of wine, wander, and get to meet people. It’s not a fast event; it can get really crowded, but give yourself time to really enjoy it.
MSP: For home and design fanatics like us, whose booths should we be sure to visit?
JS: New this year for home and design, we have Good Leaf Botanicals. They make beautiful candles and home fragrance products. Also, Jaguar Blu has its handcrafted frames, artwork, and photography. Belle Vache will be there—they make a lot of cool home décor. We’re excited to have Jeanne Beatrice join us with her French market baskets. In addition, Julia Knight is returning with both her new jewelry line and her homeware.
MSP: Why is an event like this so important for women entrepreneurs?
JS: An event like this really showcases the ingenuity and the strength of the female entrepreneur community in the Twin Cities. That’s exciting for not only the companies that participate, but also the women who come out to support them. They get to see the amazing companies that are in our backyard.
MSP: What does a charity partner add to the event?
JS: We always like to give back to the community—that’s our mission. We team up with a different organization every few years and give them the opportunity for the exposure and to reap the benefits of being a part of Maiden Minnesota. The silent auction completely benefits Project SUCCESS and $5 of every ticket sold is given to them as well.
Nov. 7, 2–9 p.m. Loews Minneapolis Hotel, 601 1st Ave. N., Mpls., maidenminnesota.com