“Must be rough – shopping for a living,” the woman behind the counter at the post office said to me the other day. What could I say? It’s a dream come true. When I tell my boss I’ll be at the mall, she nods approvingly.
As shopping columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, I pride myself on staying on top of the ever-changing Twin Cities retail scene. New stores, cool trends, hot concepts. I’m constantly impressed by the many enterprising people in town who are willing to take a risk and open a store to bring us more clever stuff to ogle. I write about such shops and products in the Pioneer Press every week.
And then the information disappears with the recyclables.
I’ve long thought it would be great to have an online resource at my fingertips to help me find the newest shops, to remind of the boutique names I can’t recall, to steer me to the best shopping within a particular town or product category. There are a million websites that tell you what to buy, but first things first: you’ve got to know where to shop.
So I created a website that will do all that – without any influence from retailers. What’s the use of a guide that says every store is wonderful? I’m not out to slam anyone (mother always told me: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all), but I am hoping to provide some color, so you'll know whether each store listed is your kind of shop.
I hope you’ll find this guide useful, and I hope it leads to new discoveries – because shopping is all about the hunt.