The Store at Mia Gets a Stylish Refresh
The Store at Mia has received a redesign.
by Jahna Peloquin (all images courtesy Minneapolis Institute of Art)
Museum gift shops began as a way to offer keepsakes for visitors to take home with them, often tied to or inspired by their collections and exhibitions. Over time, many major institutions have evolved to become centers for high-design retail goods, from glossy coffee table art books to handcrafted ceramics.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art’s gift store, dubbed The Store at Mia, recently upped its retail game with a stylish renovation along with its first foray into e-commerce. The updated shop, designed by Siri Knutson Design Studio, features a colorful, graphic mural by local artist Ashley Mary, a modern layout—the big, red, traditional cash-wrap is gone, replaced by a more welcoming, informal check-out process—and custom-built shelving to house the store’s broad selection of design and art books, plus furnishings from Minneapolis companies Blu Dot and Danish Teak Classics and iconic designs from Herman Miller, Isamu Noguchi, and Alvar Aalto. While The Store’s broad selection of books remains a focal point of the store, it also carries home décor, stationery, jewelry, accessories, and children’s goods from brands including Rifle Paper Co., Write Sketch &, Polka Dot Club, and Candy Labs.
The changes were spearheaded by Rita Mehta, the store’s new head of retail strategy. Mehta is known for her popular blog, The American Edit, which tells the stories behind American-made brands and champions ethical, sustainable goods (not to mention the fact that it boasts 44.5k Instagram followers). Last fall, she was tapped to lead the transformation of Mia’s museum store. Mehta also brings with her seven years of experience working in global sourcing and merchandise strategies for Target, and has done independent consulting for stores such as Wilson & Willy’s in the North Loop.
For Mehta, the move to the Mia was a seamless one. “In addition to my passion for sustainable, ethical retail, I also have a passion for art, and for non-profits that support our community,” she explains. “So working at Mia is really the best of both worlds for me. Not everything we buy is made here in America, but a lot of it is, and even more is made in other high-wage countries, and we work to make sure that everything else is made by responsible companies.” One thing’s clear: Mehta will no doubt continue to insert her modern, craft-oriented brand of cool to the institution.
The store’s new e-commerce site mirrors the in-store experience with a clean layout and thoughtfully curated product selection, with categories including “Made in the Minnesota” and “Only at Mia.” (Oh, and My Mia members save 20 percent, year-round.) There is even more in store than what is featured on the website, but Mehta promises a more robust site to come. Here are a selection of home goods and gifts featured on the site and available in store:
Write Sketch & Super Tile Notebook Set, $10 @ shop.artsmia.org
Matthew Ward Studio Felix Stoneware Jar, $175 @ shop.artsmia.org
Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture Book by Andreas Marks, $39.99 @ shop.artsmia.org
U-Studio Wink Wink Nudge Nudge Mug, $16 @ shop.artsmia.org
Write Sketch & Super Squared Notebook, $12 @ shop.artsmia.org
Boundless Peaks Ink Paintings Book by Minal Araki, $29.99 @ shop.artsmia.org
Isadore Nut Dark Chocolate Bar, $12 @ shop.artsmia.org
Mademoiselle Miel 70% Dark Chocolate Bar, $12 @ shop.artsmia.org
The Store at Mia is open during regular museum hours. (Closed Monday, January 1, 2018.) Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, 888-642-2787, artsmia.org
More images of the remodeled shop: