Stylish Person Feature: Kyle Wilson

Stylish Person: Kyle Wilson  -  via Style-Architects

It's time we shared a dapper dude with you all for this month's stylish person feature {no offense ladies}. Meet Kyle Wilson, manager of Shinola Minneapolis and creative force + owner of Stewart James {we highly suggest you check this hip, nautical line out}. Sit back, enjoy your Tuesday morning cup of jo and take notes from this "Made in America" retail genius. 1. Tell us about your position as manager of the Shinola Minneapolis store?

As manager of Shinola MPLS I love each and everyday. I get to work with incredible employees who were all willing to give up stable jobs to come work with me at Shinola. Everyday is exciting and new at the Store. Since my very first day with the company, I have been extremely passionate about the brand and the “made in America” story behind it.

2. What do you like best about your job?

Being able to meet new customers everyday. We get everyone from young hipsters loving the north loop vibe, to mature customers who love our products and want His and Her Shinola bikes! I love to hear customer’s unique stories about how they heard about Shinola and their passion for the brand.

3. We've also heard a bit about your company, Stewart James. Tell us more!

Stewart James was created from a vision of a nautical apparel clothing line, where all the pieces would only get better with age. Our first item in the collection was a collaboration with Ebbets Field; an anchor hat.  The hat symbolized the classic, effortless feel that can be so hard to achieve.  I wanted to bring the nautical feel back to the Midwest with the “made in America” added benefit.

Stewart James is an inspirational outlet where I can create great product made in America. Red, white, and blue are always a classic pairing of colors, which Stewart James tries to emphasize in each individual item.

4. How do you like to spend your weekends?

My wife and I both love to get up early to get coffee and explore the beautiful locations here in Minnesota. We live and hangout most of our time around the lakes, we enjoy biking on the Green Way, exploring new shops and trying out new restaurants (mostly pizza joints!)

5. How would you describe your personal style?

"Ivy Prep." I love wearing oxfords, chinos, sneakers and chukka boots. I get inspiration on my preppy style from brands like; Grayers, Todd Snyder, Gitman Vintage, and Jack Spade.

6. What adds pep to your step?

Brand new sneakers. There is just something about getting a new pair of shoes that makes all my worries in the world disappear!

Stylish People: Michele Gudmundson & Wesley Uthus

Say hello to Michele Gudmundson & Wesley Uthus, the sharp + stylish brains behind Primp Boutique, the "cheap chic" Twin Cities boutique chain we all know and love. With four stores in the metro area (and a fifth Excelsior store to come!), Primp has quickly made itself the one-stop multi-neighborhood shop for ladies looking to find on-trend clothing at affordable prices. We had the opportunity to interview these lovely ladies' and hear about their success story as shop starters. Enjoy!


Tell us a little bit about the philosophy of your business?

We are a cheap-chic boutique, meaning we fill our stores with fashion forward clothing, shoes and accessories at an affordable price.  “Affordable” means something different to everyone but to us it means everything is under $100 {but most things are under $50}.  We feel strongly that price should not compromise customer experience, so despite our cheap price point, our boutiques are clean, bright and chic.  Our lovely stylists are up to date on the latest trends and are aways available to help you find the perfect ensemble.

Most importantly, we believe shopping should be fun and stress-free.  So come on in and our stylists will provide you with a glass of wine, options that have yet to hit the sales floor, and an honest opinion on what looks best!  Most importantly,  if you’re not shopping alone, all of our locations are dog-friendly and we provide comfy chairs and craft beer for male companions.

How did the two of you decide to collaborate?

We were introduced through a mutual friend that knew we had both studied apparel design in undergrad. We hit it off instantly and started designing custom handbags together. It was on a sales trip to Duluth that we came up with the concept of PRIMP. After a few hours in the car we had a name, concept and theme nailed down. Three months later we signed a lease for our Selby store...and the rest was history!


Where do you go for inspiration?

In order to maintain our fast turnover and the most fashion forward pieces, we travel frequently to Los Angeles and New York City.  Often times we leave feeling so inspired by the people and trends- not only for our merchandise but also for PRIMP as a whole.  We are also extremely inspired by our customers and stylists. Hearing about their wants and needs for the upcoming season or the functionality of a garment makes us not only better buyers but adaptable designers for our Henry + Martin line.

You started your own line, Henry + Martin.  Tell us a little more about it.

Henry + Martin, our maiden names, is a casual chic line we created in 2013. Our goal was to create a line of basics that could be dressed up or down all the while still priced reasonably. Rouched knit dresses, loosely draped tops and long maxi dresses are just a few garments that encapsulate our collection, all of which retail for under $50 and are manufactured in the United States.


Where do you see your shop in 5 years?

We’ve been overwhelmed by the customer response to PRIMP and as long as that continues we will continue to grow our business!  We’re excited about expanding through additional boutique locations and online.


What have you learned about yourselves and business, thus far?

We have learned so much in the past 4 years of PRIMP, it’s hard to narrow it down!  But it’s pretty safe to say among the most important things we’ve learned, being frugal tops the list.  We started PRIMP on a dime because we had to, but looking back we wouldn't have changed a thing. It's because of our thrifty beginnings that we have been fortunate enough to maintain our business debt-free since then.

A close second on that list is to always listen to the customer.  We’ve had a lot of ideas over the years and some have been good and other have been bad.  It’s disappointing when the customer doesn’t love what we love but it’s not worth pursuing it if it just doesn't work.  Rather than wasting time and money we let it go and move on to the next idea!  It makes ideas that do work so much more rewarding and inspiring!

When you are not working, what are some of your favorite twin cities hangouts?

Our studio warehouse space is in Northeast so we find ourselves frequenting the restaurants and coffee shops in that area: SPYHOUSE is one we are in all too often!  We also love supporting the local eateries near our boutiques.  Rojo, Town Hall, Muddy Pig, Lago Tacos and Washington Square are just a few of our favorites!

Stylish Person: Katie Ryan

If you haven’t heard about Katie Ryan {or better known as QueeniKathleeni} yet, she is most certainly one to keep on your radar of Minneapolis creatives! Miss Ryan is a fashion illustrator and entrepreneur based here in the Twin Cities. Just three months after graduating from the University of St. Thomas {and after a few interviews which brought her true passion to fruition}, Katie started her own illustration company called QueeniKathleeni Designs. With an effortlessly cool demeanor and some serious talent, Katie and her designs are making a wave in the online style community... and she is just getting started! What first sparked your interest in illustrating?

I loved creating beautiful things from a very young age. It comforts me to know that I can sit down and create something new everyday.


How and when did you start Queenikathleeni Designs?

The idea for queenikathleeni Designs came to me in June of 2013 right after I graduated from the University of St. Thomas. I had no intention of starting my own design company until I started interviewing with advertising agencies and in every interview I said that my dream was to have my own illustration company so I didn’t get hired anywhere. I stopped interviewing, started sketching and three months later, I opened my Etsy shop.


What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?    

I can’t pick just one. I love bringing joy to people and I’m thankful that my job gives me the opportunity to do that through using a talent I’ve been blessed with. Recently, I have taken on some branding projects for some of my favorite companies and bloggers and that is incredibly rewarding to have my illustrations on their sites and products.


Where do you turn for inspiration?

When I’m lacking inspiration in my life I escape to my farm in the middle of Wisconsin. It is quiet and the most beautiful place to refocus. I have dreams of moving there someday and being a fashion illustrator living on a farm.  For my illustrations, I look to fashion bloggers for outfit inspiration. I’m also very inspired by beautiful packaging and the small design details that go into making a package special.

What adds pep to your step?

Iced coffee with an extra shot of espresso, pink, glitter, donuts, Beyonce and wearing lipstick to bed.


How would you describe your personal style?

Grungy with feminine touches.

Do you have a go-to look?

I definitely gravitate towards illustrating grunge style because I love wearing that style myself. This has a lot to do with the styles I gravitate towards.

What do you never leave the house without?

A beanie, lipstick and a cup of coffee.


How do you spend your free time? Any Twin Cities hot spots that you frequent?

For the most part, I am a homebody because that’s where I illustrate from. Working is fun for me because I’m fortunate enough to be doing my dream job so I often work on personal illustration projects when I have free time.

When I do get out and about, I love stopping by Hunt and Gather. I just moved into my own apartment so I’m in a decorating stage and I always find antique treasures there. I’m also a huge Parc Boutique fan. All of my favorite pieces are from Parc and sometimes it's clothing makes an appearance in my illustrations.