There were definite clues that new boutique Hazel & Rose would be a standout from day one. Proprietor Emma Olson is a Target alum, with six years of buying experience and project management under her belt. She left her corporate job last June with a clear vision of what her own dream boutique would feature: sustainable, ethically sourced fashion and accessories….that wasn’t all beige, nor made of hemp. She hired Instagram rock star Martha McQuade and Dan Clark of MAD studio to design her raw space within the Broadway building at the corner of Broadway and Central, which houses Spyhouse Coffee.
All this suggests a retailer with a clear vision. And the first visit to Hazel & Rose does not disappoint.
Olson told me months ago that she was going to open on March 18, and that is exactly what she’s doing—opening right on schedule today, which almost never happens.
The space, despite its lack of windows (skylights help), is striking. From the gold leaf wall behind the white counter to the low, modern display tables made especially for the store. Olson knew she knew she didn’t want to obstruct the space with makeshift walls, so McQuade and her partner designed fitting rooms that hang from the ceiling like modern lampshades on steel frames designed by local furniture maker Marvin Freitas.
The assortment, organized by color and potential outfit rather than brand, is surprising and exciting—lots of boxy shapes similar to those you’ll currently find at the coolest minimalist boutiques, but with more pops of color and pattern. And chocolate. In addition to clothes, leather goods, and jewelry, Hazel & Rose—named for Olson’s great grandmothers—offers confections from Minnesota’s bean-to-bar producer, Meadowlands Chocolate along with skin care, lingerie, and cards hand lettered locally by Hello, I’m Kate! Apparel brands include locals Hackwith Design House and Winsome as well as imogene + willie, and other established and up-and-coming indie lines from around the country. The only synthetic materials you’ll find in store have been recycled. Nothing here was made in China.
Of course, those ethics do come with higher price points. The clothes range from $150 to $300.
“It takes a bit of getting used to, but I find I’m buying less and spending more individual pieces that are higher quality,” says Olson, sounding every bit the millennial. “The focus is on doing things mindfully.”
If you go: Be sure to pop into Hazel & Rose’s neighbor, Flaunt Accessories. It’s a totally different vibe— if Hazel & Rose is like a downtown loft; Flaunt is more the cabin at the lake. But Flaunt, owned by the always enthusiastic Melissa Hardin, is equally confident in it’s own style, and full of great gifts with Minnesota pride. More than 25 local makers are represented here. In addition to trendy apparel and accessories available on the Flaunt fashion truck, the store offers home décor, gifts, and baby goods.