Uptown MN is proud to be partnered with Etsy! Throughout the year we will be putting the spotlight on a rotating selection of artisans who are not only part of our Uptown MN store but also host their own shops on Etsy.
Nicole Aufderhard was born and raised in rural Minnesota. She draws inspiration from her immediate surroundings as well as adventures along the north shore of Lake Superior. Nicole creates books that not only have the look and feel of a rustic adventure but can also be taken on one. She hopes that people will hold one of her handmade leather journals and be taken back to their favorite place or be inspired to go out and find a new one.
Nicole crafts all of her journals and jewelry with her own two hands. Her line is also eco-friendly. All of the leather used in her work is scrap leather, and all of the leftovers are processed into mini book jewelry, making sure nothing goes to waste.
Angela Valentine Handbags
New Ulm, MN
Angela Olson launched her brand, Angela Valentine Handbags, in 2013. Angela started out as a graphic designer and a collaborator with the brand ao3designs. Now she designs, patterns, and makes all of the genuine leather goods for her line in her studio based out of her 1870s home in New Ulm. The line is composed of a stylish yet utilitarian collection of totes, clutches, bucket bags, wallets, and hobo bags. Angela recently took home a Best Handmade Handbag award in a competition sponsored by InStyle magazine.
Whirls & Purls
Jenny Banyard first learned to knit when she was 8 years old. Growing up she dreamed of becoming a seasoned knitter. Her mother owned a small gift shop for over 12 years, and Jenny would spend the weekends working behind the counter. When it was slow, she would knit.
It wasn’t until Jenny went to college that Whirls & Purls first got started. As her friends learned that she was an accomplished and passionate knitter they began to ask her to knit accessories for them. Her knitted hats and scarves were such a hit that they all encouraged her to open her own shop. Now that Jenny is a college graduate she has taken Whirls & Purls and turned it into a small business. She knits all items at her home in Minnetonka with a wool-blend yarn, 80% acrylic and 20% wool.