By Peggah Navab
As much as I love reaping the rewards of a shameless shopping binge, the truth is the process itself is fairly taxing to me. I think of it as a weekend affair not a Friday night out. Shopping is something you should take on when you’re well rested, armed with the mental and physical dexterity needed to beat other insatiable spendthrifts to unique finds. But the Maiden Minnesota event last Friday turned out to be a great way to unwind.
The fifth floor of the Graves 601 Hotel was brimming with energy. I found myself in the throes of a shopping frenzy, only everything was kept in order. Clothes weren’t carelessly strewn about the floor. There was no pushing or shoving. Instead there was an atmosphere of female camaraderie. The event was high-energy without being overwhelming, and it showed the healthier side of consumerism.
Project Success staff members stood at the entryway to give guests a warm welcome. From there, women of all ages huddled together in groups, mingled, and slowly made their way through the congested rooms, perusing the vendors’ stands with enthusiasm and care. Some were local designers or business owners, or friends of local designers, and many were working professionals just looking for a fun Friday night out. Most everyone had a drink in hand.
All the maidens had items worth sifting through, but among my favorites were J.W. Hulme Co.’s artisan handbags, regionally-inspired paintings by the mother/daughter artists Rachelle and Terri of Mayhar Art, Greenbody Greenplanet, and Mitra Vahhaji jewelry.
Based in St. Paul, J.W. Hulme has been around for more than a century, originally making a name for itself as a quality producer of tents and awnings for wealthy homeowners. These days you can find Brooklyn hipsters donning these handbags, one of the most notable being Lena Dunham in the pilot episode of her HBO hit series Girls.
Around the corner Lorrie Weisen was busy explaining how her organic hair care line Greenbody Greenplanet strikes the perfect balance between Aveda and co-op brands. On the opposite end of the hall Rachelle and Terri Mayhar had their mixed-media paintings for sale, while Mitra Vahaji’s jewelry, made of silver, colorful gemstones and crystals, and pearls, stood out for its delicate and tasteful designs.
If you missed the event, be sure to mark your calendar for next year. And check out our Party Patrol pics from the event!