Marigold Way recently opened in the Sheridan neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis. Photos by Sonya Chechick

Marigold Way brings artisan designs from India to Minneapolis

Updated: June 11, 2018 - 9:59 am

Co-owners Katrina Ulrich and Jenny Loomis recently celebrated the grand opening of Marigold Way, their boutique in Sheridan’s 13th Avenue Business District.

With cloudy sky-blue wallpaper covering the ceiling and colorfully patterned quilts and clothing displayed around the store, the two say the store is warm and welcoming.

“I love how all of our products make a beautiful connection and you walk in and everything sort of moves well together,” Ulrich said.

Marigold Way’s products are handcrafted by artisans from across India and range from soaps to tunics to children’s stuffed animals, all supporting fair trade and sustainable materials.

Ulrich got her start by helping market products made by Blue Mango Trust, her older sister’s business run by and for marginalized women in India. Over the past 15 years, she has expanded into her own business to feature products from Blue Mango in addition to those from other artisans across India.

MARIGOLD WAY by Sonya Chechik 9 web

MARIGOLD WAY by Sonya Chechik 7 webUlrich previously ran her business out of outdoor markets. Then last summer she realized she was ready for a change from the heavy physical labor and early hours that they require.

“About the time I sort of threw it out to the universe, like, What’s my next step?” Ulrich said, “Jenny approached me and said…”

“Hey, we have a storefront!” Loomis said from behind the counter.

Loomis owns the building and has been close friends with Ulrich’s younger sister and family for many years. She offered to partner with Ulrich and open the store.

“I’m really happy to have a business partner after so many years of being alone,” said Ulrich.

The daughters of Lutheran missionaries from Minnesota, Ulrich and her two sisters spent their childhood in Madagascar and India. She has returned to India for a few months nearly every year for the past two decades.

MARIGOLD WAY by Sonya Chechik 1 webShe uses these visits to find and build strong connections with local artisans, looking specifically for businesses similar to Blue Mango Trust that aim to empower local communities. She buys the woven rugs sold at Marigold Way from Jaipur Rugs, which provides an education to women who didn’t have a chance to go to school.

When asked about their favorite product, both owners point to the brightly colored quilts. Marigold Way, at 1228 2nd St. NE, is open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon–6 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Monday.

Ulrich said she is “really happy to be here in the Northeast neighborhood.”