Two years ago, a pair of tattooed waitresses and amateur jewelry-makers opened a tiny shop near 43rd Street and Nicollet Avenue in south Minneapolis. Their inventory of crafted merchandise ran the gamut from cheerful to cheeky—knitted doggie sweaters, journals bound with the covers of old storybooks, even cross-stitches with brassy slogans. But the store’s most remarkable quality was that everything—from the screen-printed dishtowels right down to the whittled wooden spoons—was made by local artisans and crafters.
That store, I Like You, became a satellite of the local craft movement, so naturally it was quick to outgrow its starter home. In April, owners Angela Lessman and Sarah Sweet (pictured at right) moved the shop to a sleek new storefront in the burgeoning East Hennepin neighborhood. It now lives in the thick of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, just a stone’s throw from the fashionable Red Stag Supperclub and Fox Tax Service (accountancy for rock stars). Its upstairs neighbor is Amy Rice, whose feel-good stencil paintings feature flowers, toys, and cupcakes. I Like You now carries Rice’s work; check out the selection of Gocco prints starting at $40.
The new store has the same irreverence as the old, but the newfound expansiveness makes it feel almost like a playground or park. An enormous space at the back of the store is reserved for classes in knitting, collage, Polaroid transfer, and more. There’s also a giant swing and plenty of room for customers to stretch their legs as they glide to and fro. If that doesn’t compel a shopper to kick off her shoes, then surely the Astroturf carpeting will (especially since it makes for treacherous walking in heels).
The homespun merchandise was somewhat better suited to the former space, a quaint residential house, but increased elbowroom means the store stocks even more adorable handmade gift items—most of which are affordable. Adventurous shoppers will love the floor rugs made from recycled sweatsuits ($25–$50) and the jewelry made with vintage buttons ($6–$18). I Like You is also a fine place to find one-of-a-kind greeting cards, from the artful letterpress designs of Minneapolis-based Zeichen Press to cards embellished with teensy felt cutouts. 501 1st Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-208-0249, ilikeyouonline.com