Mina Branch knows the challenges of shopping when you’re a shorter height. The 4’11” tall co-owner and curator of the Sweet Collective, a new Twin Cities brick-and-mortar fashion shop curated for shoppers 5’3″ and under, has gone through the struggles of finding garments with the correct inseam and torso length for years. Her and her husband Matthew’s brand aims to take the battle out of shopping for shorter figures and replace it with an effortless and easy fashion-forward style and shopping experience.
The Sweet Collective opened its Como neighborhood door in Minneapolis over Thanksgiving weekend with an in-store shopping experience, but the brand has been making a name for itself since 2018. The Sweet Collective started as an online-only brand, providing pieces and looks through its Facebook page and via Facebook Live videos and online chats. A brick-and-mortar store was never in the plans, according to Mina. Through word of mouth of their family and friends, their online presence blossomed beyond any of their original expectations, and still today, about 80–85 percent of the Sweet Collective’s sales come from online business from all over the country, while 10–15 percent comes from in-store sales in the Twin Cities.
“It’s crazy to think about the amount of people we’ve met, and how so many of them started as customers and have turned into friends,” Matthew said. “Through watching Mina on Facebook Lives, our customers see her as a friend. It changes the dynamic of our shop and turns it into a more comfortable space.”
Every piece sold through the Sweet Collective comes directly through Mina’s vision. The couple travels around the country to visit wholesale market convention centers with a tape measure in hand, ready to individually measure the torso, inseam, bust, shoulder, and leg lengths of all of the garments they’re interested in purchasing for the collective. Mina explained that because the pieces for sale are modeled on figures that tend to be 5’9″ or 5’10”, their shop offers clothing that fits all heights, but that they always take the time to make sure that the pieces will fit shorter heights correctly.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve always loved fashion and the idea of having my own store, selling things that I personally love and wear,” Mina said. “Everything is based on a reflection of what I would want in my own closet. We really do our best to find pieces that look great and work for our clientele.”
The Sweet Collective curates styles for any occasion or event spanning from a downtown gala or work event to a night in with a movie and popcorn. The brand sells clothing items to fit into any nook of a closet, with shoes that are perfect to take a walk around Lake of the Isles or catch the latest show at the Guthrie. Taking the struggle out of shopping for shorter figures, the Sweet Collective offers trendy style without the hassle.
2010 Hennepin Ave. E, Mpls., thesweetcollective.com