Step inside The Foundry Home Goods, and you'll instantly notice a lift in spirit—from the exposed brick walls to natural sunlight pouring in during the day and the warm glow in the evening, it’s an atmosphere that’s both approachable and elegant, almost mystical. And while almost all beautiful shops have interesting and special origin stories, The Foundry Home Good's is particularly so.
"I started to make-believe the idea of a shop in my head when I was living in New York, working for Holly Hunt, which was an amazing high-end, perfectly executed design showroom open only to the trade. It was this very elevated environment; a lot of polish and a lot of glamour," founder and owner Anna Hillegass tells us. "The spaces we were working with were just the most gorgeous apartments you can imagine. It was a strange experience to be in these shiny perfect penthouses that had this hush and then take the elevator down to the street and all of a sudden be surrounded by the rhythm and noise" of the city, she explains.
And while she felt nourished and excited by both of those world's, Hillegass was also compelled to reconcile their distinct and stark contrast with something that captured the beauty of those apartments but felt as alive as the city and spoke to a wider spectrum of humanity. Meanwhile, at the same serendipitous moment back in her hometown of Minneapolis, her father's foundry in the warehouse district had a vacancy. "I basically grew up toddling around that building and always loved the feeling of it. I spent a lot of time visualizing what this world could be. A place for staples, a place for making everyday living easier and more beautiful," says Hillegass . The timing could not have been better, though it all happened very fast from there.
When she heard the foundry was available for rent, she packed up her life in New York and headed to Minneapolis with six months to actualize her dream career. "It was a huge leap. That feeling in your throat where you just have no idea what's going to happen," she says. The quick turnaround and tight budget ended up working in Hillegass's favor. For example, the signature branding came out of necessity, so The Foundry's organic and bare packaging is as genuine as it is unplanned.
"I found a bunch of index cards and loose-leaf paper around, and I figured out a way to print receipts on notebook paper so I didn't need to buy a receipt printer. And there were a few rolls of brown paper and one giant spool of packing twine left over from the old shipping center that used to be in the space leaning in a corner in a back room. That's what started the brown paper and twine. We still have that spool, it's amazing how long it lasted," she explains.
And while The Foundry has since moved from the North Loop to South Minneapolis, the atmosphere and the goods are the same (and Hillegass chose a spot that she feels equally as connected to—this one reminds her of living in the West Village, where she'd be comforted by the lives quietly unfolding in brownstones and apartments while she walked through the heartbeat of the neighborhood). Like the found objects used for the packaging, the items in stock are also staples and everyday essentials. You’ll find everything from utilitarian cleaning products, office supplies, and kitchen tools to decorative objects, textiles, and furniture, but they’re all artisanal and simply pretty to look at.
"I wanted the shop to be filled with staples, things that people would use every day. Like how in France everyone buys a single baguette from the bakery every day, I wanted people to come by to get beeswax for their dinner table that night from us in the afternoon," she tells us. At the Foundry, you’ll find well-made versions of staples like dishware and cleaning tools, all meant to elevate daily living to something more beautiful and intentional. It’s pretty impossible to visit this glowing little store without finding something you suddenly can’t live without.
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