Minnesota Blog Moms Expose One Towns BIG Secret

A evening of shopping that starts out with pickle poppers is destined to be an excellent time. Last Thursday evening Minnesota "blog moms" had a night out in Zimmerman touring the fun shops, sampling food at the restaurants and meeting the enthusiastic and fun-loving shop owners. 

The evening began at the The Whistling Pickle, where the bloggers visited over complimentary pickle-themed appetizers and green pistachio cupcakes.

Our group then meandered down Fremont Ave, led by our tour guide Stacy McDevitt (owner of Ramshackled Treasures) to ZoChic Boutique. ZoChic is different than other shops in that as well as having a physical store, it is also a traveling boutique that brings the store to your door. Owner, Megan and business partner Becky, are busy ladies between booking 100 shopping parties a year and running a shop, but their enthusiasm for fashion and retail is apparent in their smiles. 

Owner, Megan and business partner Becky

Owner, Megan and business partner Becky

Bloggers shopping!

Bloggers shopping!

The Tattooed Lady's shop neighbors ZoChic. At first we were surprised, a tattoo parlor? But the instant we walked in all presuppositions were ended. Sonia, tattooist and artist, had an amazing shop, every wall was covered in interesting art (the majority of which was created by her). 4X4 pencil drawings that looked as realistic as black and white photographs. There were even cabinets with fantastic decoupaged shoes. "We are a little unique," Sonia said with a smile, her hands in the pockets of a gingerbread apron. 

IMG_2750.JPG
The Tattooed Lady's owner Sonia

The Tattooed Lady's owner Sonia

Sonia explained that her fascination with tattooing began at a young age. Her dad had a tiny, poorly done skull tattoo..."It was tacky and I loved it!" She went to school for fine art and later worked for a year (for free!) for a tattoo artist who taught her about tattooing. It was a treat to meet her and see her art and defiantly worth stopping in.

Next stop--The Shoppes on Fremont! Andrea, the pretty owner, greeted us with enthusiastic smiles. She explained that she loves her vendors to embrace their unique styles and so here "anything goes!" There we wandered around the massive shop, discovering a range of prices points, from rusty and junky, to mid century, to elegant or happy chic. 

Owner Andrea

Owner Andrea

By this time we had been plied with wine and chocolate at nearly every stop, but we meander down the street to Ramshackled Treasures and stuffed our faces with cream puffs anyway.

Ramshackled's quality never ceases to amaze. You wander in and the first thing you notice is the crystal chandeliers and the light filtering through the large street-facing window. Everything around you is just sweet and lovingly done. 

Ramshackled's Owner, Stacey

Ramshackled's Owner, Stacey

Sassy Bean Boutique was up next and offered a wide range of styles from French country upholstery, Minnesota-themed items, to "things found." Owner Tammy, is also a graphic designer and explained that her friend helped her come up with the name, "Because I'm sassy and I'm small like a bean," she explained with a laugh.  

Zimmerman Gifts and Floral was a rammed to the rafters with live and fake floral arrangements and cute gifties. It's one of those easy stops if you need to find a quick but unique gift. It's owner, Ruth, has been busy creating gorgeous arrangements for upcoming summer weddings, but her chihuahua keeps her company during the long hours on her shawl wreathed thrown. ;)

IMG_2807.JPG

We then climbed into a "party bus" also known as "the window licker express" and were driven to our next destination by Greg, owner of Ridgewood Bay Resort

Ashley Taylor Salon and Spa was another pleasant surprise and bloggers were introduced to owner, Caryn. The salon has won awards in 2013 and 2014 and prides itself on excellence and artistry with a wide-range of offerings in one location, such as, hair, nail, massage, facials, tanning services and more. 

Owner, Caryn and Julie, Front Desk

Owner, Caryn and Julie, Front Desk

Then we climbed back on the "party bus" and onward to Nelson Nursery which has been in Zimmerman since 1979. We stepped into the balmy greenhouse, inhaled the sweet smells and were surrounded by ruffly delicate color at every turn. 

Interestingly, the Christmas wreaths/swags that the Boy Scouts sell for their seasonal fundraiser are created at Nelsons Nursery and are shipped all across the country. 

To end the night we landed at ZBG Grill and ate pizza, cheesy bread and house famous strawberry margaritas on their outdoor patio.

We were given "Ladies on the Loose" gift bags by the shop owners which contained free paint, Aveda lotions, an audio book, cookie, scarf, mini chalk board and a flower pot butterfly.

We were given "Ladies on the Loose" gift bags by the shop owners which contained free paint, Aveda lotions, an audio book, cookie, scarf, mini chalk board and a flower pot butterfly.

The bloggers parted ways with smiles, arms full of purchases and surprised by the secrets we'd discovered in the small town of Zimmerman. 

A special thanks to all the amazing bloggers who attended this event!

Ashley Sears quirkyinspired.com facebook.com/quirkyinspired1 Instagram: @quirkyinspired

Chrysa Duran thriftyjinxy.com facebook.com/thriftyminnesota Instagram: @thriftyjinxy

Daphne Christensen firsttimemommn.com facebook.com/firsttimemommn Instagram: @firsttimemommn

Samara Postuma from simplicityinthesuburbs.com

Debbie McLoughlin: africasblog.com

Gianna Kordatsky familyfuntwincities.com 

If you liked some of the things you saw today, the next "Ladies on the Loose" Rustic Whimsical Sidewalk Sale is on July 9th! Bring a friend--there will be special sales, freebees and door prizes! 

 

Trade Secrets that We're Only Telling YOU

Often we meet customers who are intrigued with the idea of painting their own furniture, but haven't yet taken the plunge. First, if that's you, let us assure you that it's not as hard as it looks!! And once you've seen the results of your handiwork--you'll be hooked! 

Gorgeous dresser painted with Country Chic Paint by our lovely vendor Tammi!

Gorgeous dresser painted with Country Chic Paint by our lovely vendor Tammi!

Painting is kind of an addiction for us--it's in our blood! Today, we wanted to take a few minutes to answer questions that beginner painters may have and explain the process of prepping and painting your first piece of furniture. We hope it gives you the courage to roll up your sleeves and paint something amazing! 

How do I prep a piece of furniture for paint?

If you are using Country Chic Paint (our personal fav) little to no prep is needed, however, it is advisable that you clean your piece of furniture thoroughly with a rag and soapy water because residue or dirt may compromise the perfect adhesion of the paint after it dries. 

AnnieSloanChalkPaintBeginners-11 (1).jpg

The piece I have was already painted once. Is that okay?

The short answer...yes! However, if the previous paint is chipping off in nasty flakes, you will need to sand it.

 Does it matter if the previous finish oil or water based?

If the piece was previously painted it is helpful to know if the old finish is water based or oil based paint. You test this by taking a q-tip dipped in acetone nail polish remover rubbing it on the piece. If you see color coming off and staining your q-tip then you know it is water based and you can go ahead and paint over it. Oil based paint will not show any color on the q-tip. If a previous oil base paint finish exists, it is recommended to lightly sand the surface with a fine grit sandpaper. 

Okay, my piece is clean, now what? 

You're ready to rock! If you use Country Chic Paint there is little to no preparation required. Next you will need: 

  1. A synthetic bristly brush
  2. Country Chic Paint (low VOC and safe to use indoors!)
  3. A stir stick 

Give the paint can a good shake, remove lid and then stir for 2 minutes. 

How do I hold my brush?

For best control of your brush hold it on the ferrule (the metal part of the brush). With your thumb on one side and the other fingers holding the other side. 

Dip about half the bristles into the paint. Don't over dip the brush otherwise you may experience drips. 

Does it matter what direction I apply the paint?

When painting your piece, always paint in one direction otherwise you may experience too much texture in your finish. You want your piece to be smooth--like frosting on a cake! 

Don't paint over sections that have partially dried already. You can always go back and fix it once it is fully dried. Avoid painting in direct sunlight or when the humidity is more than 80%. 

Paint your furniture in your favorite Country Chic color and you'll be hooked! If you have questions regarding a current project feel free to ask any of us at the shop, or leave a comment, we'd love to help! 

Recent Country Chic Beauties by our Lovely Vendors!

by Michelle

by Michelle

by Deb

by Deb

by Aimee

by Aimee

by Aimee

by Aimee

Check out Our Classes!

If you're interested in painting like a professional and would like to be apart of a fun group environment we offer classes! 

Painting 101

June 11th 10a-1p

Cabinet Painting Workshop

May 26th 5p-8p

June 5th 2p-5p

Click here to learn more!