Store Spotlight: Primitiva Collective – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

A shop worth adding to your next Uptown visit is Primitiva Collective, a co-op style retail store in the Seven Points Square that brings together handmade works from 40 local women artists.

The concept is the brainchild of Colombia-born Laura Merino-Franco, owner of local jewelry business Primitiva Jewelry, a line inspired by her heritage and created in partnership with women artisans in rural Mompox, Colombia.

Fast forward two years and Merino-Franco launched the collective in effort to create a network of like-minded makers looking to connect their community with their craft. “It really started with this dream of mine for creating a home for my products and women like myself—female entrepreneurs and artists of color,” says Merino-Franco. Currently, 60 percent of the makers within the collective are women of color. 

In addition to the retail component, Primitiva Collective also offers private events and hands-on workshops, allowing anyone to play artist and learn from craftspeople first-hand. From candle-making to jewelry design to ceramics, “all of our makers want to connect with their neighbors and share their respective gifts,” says Merino-Franco. 

The group of women wear many hats when it comes to operating the collective, from manning the store’s floor to marketing and events to social media content creation. “We all have skin in the game and contributing to something greater than our own,” says Merino-Franco. “It’s more than just a brick-and-mortar space, it’s a true community and what we describe as a sisterhood.

Next steps for the concept include new digs. Merino-Franco reports plans to move the collective into a bigger and better space just a few doors down from its current location, which will include a larger storefront and coffee lounge in partnership with local roaster Curioso. 

“We feel like we’re contributing to this renaissance of Uptown,” says Merino-Franco, of the neighborhood that was hit hard by both the impacts of the pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd. The second iteration of the store will open in the space previously occupied by H&M, who exited the neighborhood last summer. 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls.,, @primitiva_collective 

March 8, 2023

12:00 AM

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