A bounty of boutiques

Boutique crawlA boutique crawl at 50th & France yields a multitude of gift ideas, home inspirations and wardrobe options. More than 175 retailers and services are packed into the district, providing a classic window shopping experience.

“Spring has definitely hit the boutiques,” said Jodi Mayers, owner of Corset Styling & Fashion Boutique at 5400 France Ave. S. “There is a huge explosion of color.”

She said spring merchandise always arrives well ahead of the warm weather in Minnesota, so anyone thinking ahead to Spring Break or the Kentucky Derby enjoys first pick of the spring looks.

Here’s a peek inside some of the many boutiques at 50th & France.

Burlap & Brass is the district’s latest addition at 5013 Ewing Ave. S.

Owner Rena Lindberg stocks sassy Muddy Mouth Cards, necklaces made from antique horse bridle rosettes, and nostalgic pieces including a retro vintage barber chair. There is plenty of Minnesota gear here — Babe the blue ox appears on onesies, T-shirts and candles. And there are lots of easy gifts for guys: Blue Planet sunglasses are buy-one-give-one and made of recycled materials, wooden bow ties are handmade, Napa shaving soap is designed to last a year or more, and shoehorns read “No one can fill my father’s shoes.”Burlap & Brass 1

“It’s an eclectic mix,” Lindberg said. “There is variety for everyone.”

Burlap & Brass 2Lindberg lives in Fulton, and said she greatly appreciates the proximity after commuting 90 minutes to work in California.

“I wanted to work and live nearby,” she said. “I fell in love with this area.”

Lindberg has worked in retail for the past 16 years, spending nearly half of that time at Anthropologie. She said the shop’s first month has been a whirlwind, and she’s loved bringing in new merchandise.

“Every week it’s Christmas,” she said.


Heinrich+Schultz sells ceramics by Montes Doggett and unique photo frames by airedelsur at 5047 France Ave. S. (They love the new chair in the window.)

“We like to mix things,” said co-founder Liz Schultz. “It’s not one look.”

La BratiqueNo one is shopping for lingerie off the rack at La Bratique at 5049 France Ave. S. Instead, consultants are helping each woman find the perfect size, fabric and seam. Owner Tracy Anderson said there are many ways women might unknowingly opt for a poor fit. They might select a large band to avoid back bulge, creating other problems with the fit. Or they might opt for a minimizer that erringly gives them a heavier, bustier appearance.

“Our goal is to save them money in the long run,” she said.

Bone Adventure at 5045 France Ave. S. is known for its dog bed selection and all-natural food and treats.

IMG_2176Dead Sea bath salts and coconut water hydrating face mist are available at Parc at 5023 France Ave. S.

The consignment shop Fashion Avenue at 4936 France Ave. carries a long list of well-known designer brands including Kate Spade, Cartier, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada.

Live, Laugh, Love at 5019 France Ave. S. offers Pandora jewelry, handbags and Lampe Berger lamps and fragrances. Lampe Berger is a catalytic combustion process (reportedly used at hospitals during World War I) designed to purify the air and neutralize odors.

“Every home in Paris has it,” said a staff member.

Paper SourceOne-of-a-kind cards at Paper Source are made by local letterpress offices and in-house designers based at the Chicago company. Designs are replicated in everything from cards and notepads to journals and handmade paper. The shop at 4954 France Ave. S. also offers crafting classes in creative hand-lettering, card-making, watercolors and marbling.

Grethen House 1

Designers available at Grethen House at 4930 France Ave. S. include Raquel Allegra, Isabel Marant and Comme des Garçons.

Gather at 5041 France Ave. S. is selling lots of mini collectible nora fleming pieces that decorate a single platter and change with the seasons. Owner Michael Hagie said they’re an easy gift, and Gather is one of the few South Minneapolis spots that carries them. He also carries pillows printed with local zip codes and landmarks like “Bde Maka Ska.”


FYI: Style Edina

A fashion show featuring many of the boutiques at 50th & France

Saturday March 19, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Edina Country Club, 5100 Wooddale Ave. in Edina

Tickets $25 at exploreedina.com