Mary Sarah Ivers, owner of new storefront The Olive Branch, attributes her love of beautiful household objects to her grandmother and mother, both avid collectors of artisan-made home goods that blend form and function.
Take Ivers’ best-selling pine needle baskets, for instance. “Not only are they beautiful and functional, but they also represent this deep tradition of the Mayan community,” says Ivers, a Colorado native who relocated her Littleton-based brick-and-mortar to St. Paul’s Mac-Groveland neighborhood last month. “They were always staples in my house growing up.”
Items like the hand-woven baskets helped set the stage for her store’s bread and butter. Ivers takes her time sourcing a small-but-mighty assortment of thoughtfully-made, beautiful-yet-practical handcrafted goods for the home—hand-woven-and-painted textiles, ceramics made in Scotland, small-batch candles, and hand-carved wood vases and cutting boards. Plus, a selection of apothecary, and one-of-a-kind vintage-and-antique pieces,
“I find that too often items are either overpriced and unessential, or mass-produced and undervalued,” says Ivers, who makes it her goal to cut out the middle person as much as possible and find direct, fair-trade companies and brands to represent in her shop, which marries minimalistic and Southwestern vibes.
Before entering the world of retail, Ivers worked as a photographer for a variety of small brands and makers. “I grew to love that world and connecting and getting to know their unique and individual stories,” she says.
The blended brick-and-mortar and e-commerce concept is now open on St. Clair Avenue, next to beer-and-burger joint Groveland Tap. 1832 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, olivebranchshop.co