Every girl needs a favorite shop – a place where she can stop in, pick up something sweet, and leave feeling accomplished, fulfilled, and uplifted. A shop that feeds her soul through kind and compassionate staff, where small pampering gifts can be purchased for under twenty dollars. Where people know her name and gifts are wrapped with care while the owner politely inquires about her mother.
Every young girl needs that one place where housewares can be purchased in an un-rushed, un-hurried, and enjoyable atmosphere. One that is neither overwhelming or impersonal, nor is it overly fussy or economically out-of-reach. Where small indulgences like beeswax candles, porcelain spoons, and gold-leaf trays are merchandised poetically amidst a backdrop of dahlias and ruff-hewn brick walls. A place where glass bowls, simple oat-blended soaps and beautiful spreaders can be picked up for the cost of a nice supper out, and then brought back to an impersonal and cramped apartment where suddenly – once the bag is opened and the paper un-wrapped – will make her tiny space feel a little bit more like—well …her own.
For me, the Foundry Home Goods has been that very sort of special shop since opening in 2012. It is beautiful, yet simple. Accessible, yet aspirational. There is a distinct sort of compassion and care that emanates from the shop which cannot be ignored. There’s usually some sage burning and Ruby — the requisite chocolate lab shop dog — will be padding around the floorboards. A busy Saturday at the shop means Anna — the owner — will float down the stairs in an ethereal white dress and offer everyone inside a Popsicle — or a beer. Or both. Depending on their age.
What I love about the Foundry is how authentic it is. One can tell from walking inside the door that this shop is not some curated, fussed-over assortment of items meant to bring an affected sort of mood or some disingenious meaning. These pieces – the candles, the spoons, the hand-turned French rolling pins, the linen towels, the elegant bottle openers –they’re all items owner Anna Hillegass uses in her own home. One that just so happens to be located directly above the shop.
I detest anything truly fancy, anything fake, and gravitate toward that which is simple and classic. I prefer the sort of elegance that can be found in an item’s relative simplicity and usefulness. Call it my Capricorn tendency to prefer all things classic — but I like the well-made and the substantial.
Perhaps my age has something to do with why I love this shop so much. Twenty-four, almost twenty-five—this is certainly the time when one begins to think about the home they eventually want. And yet my obsession with this most special of stores might be something entirely different and altogether more meaningful. For the Foundry makes me nostalgic for both the home I had growing up with my mother – an adroit decorator – and the home I dream of one day creating for myself. Beautiful and simple. Clean and sparse — with room for the imperfections that make life beautiful, unique, and textured. The type of place where one can walk inside and feel immediately at home. And if you have a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine on the couch – so be it. Nothing is so precious as to not be enjoyed and lived-in.
the Foundry Home Goods
125 N 1st St
Minneapolis, MN 55401
M-F 11am -7pm
Sat – Sun 10am-6pm