Photos courtesy Heidi Derner
The journey of Fox Run’s new brick-and-mortar flagship store in Arbor Lakes may be somewhat prototypical of a Minnesota maker and ambassador, but it has a few bells and whistles to its story that make it shine.
The Minnesota home decor and lifestyle brand, run by husband and wife Aaron and Tia Scott, first began when the two started buying and restoring vintage and antique furniture, but entering the Minnesota maker community made them realize their real passion was providing a platform for other artisans. Not so abnormal.
What is abnormal, however, is their 240-square-foot ex-military truck that they turned into a literal mobile marketplace in spring 2019. It—and the 13 makers that it showcased—snagged attention from the Minnesota State Fair, which invited them to have a booth that year, and that launched Fox Run’s long-term pop-up formula, the Market, complete with homey wooden shelves, white-painted farmhouse tables, and modern styling accents. The momentum those two experiences created (plus some perseverance during the pandemic) led the Scotts to open a 1,400-square-foot space with retail room for 25 Minnesota makers and a soon-to-come classroom space for 50 (12 during social distancing protocols) on June 18.
“Retail isn’t the base of what the store is supposed to be: It’s a place where people can come to do crafts and projects and hang out, and the retail is sort of a fun perk, basically,” Tia Scott says. “Retail and the retail climate is changing so quickly, so what is the best way to captivate your audience? I think that’s why we tried to diversify so quickly.”
And while they have always kept the customer experience at the forefront, equally so has been their vendor relationships. Each maker has their own product niche at Fox Run, and only when the Scotts get permission from the original vendor of that product can another vendor overlap in that area, whether it be totes or candles. Fox Run isn’t a space for intra-store competition and price wars—it’s a place for symbiosis, collaboration, and trust; showing the best of each possible product category. The environment has even been able to spawn some product development based on the insights the Scotts gained from their customers (see an ASpire/Grandma Skills crossover for “Hotdish” hotpads or Lower Woodland’s Paul and Babe prints).
Currently, the Fox Run store is open select weekends (follow them on social media for the latest), and make sure to stop by for their curation of pottery, hand-painted signs, art, accessories, apothecary items, and more. “People often say, ‘Oh, you’re a really cute gift store,’” Tia says. “I want people to be like, ‘This is a store I can come and find something for myself to enjoy’ rather than needing someone’s permission to buy a gift.”
Check out a few of the home decor makers you can find at Fox Run, or hop over to our sister publication Minnesota Monthly for apparel and accessories you’ll want to bring into your closet.
8th Avenue Market
8th Avenue Market was the first maker that Aaron and Tia Scott connected with, and it’s easy to see why they can’t get enough of the pottery. While many of the designs feel inspired by the atmosphere of Minnesota’s North Woods and lakes, they can fit in any home.
Artifacts of Joy
Fox Run has a little of everything from Lauren Strom’s Artifacts of Joy: her sassy stickers and prints, tiny paintings, and of course, some her brightly painted tables and wall hangings.
Depending on which pieces of art or home items you see by alcohol ink artist Heidi Derner, you might feel like you’re submersed in water or looking at a beautiful geode.
Credit: Source link