Soaked from the State Fair downpour and in search of cute flower headbands for my brand new, balding baby niece, we headed into Merchandise Mart on Dan Patch (I think that’s where it is). Not far into the building, we came upon the perfect booth: Fairy Finery.
The display was filled with doll clothes, princess dresses and pirate wear, capes and tiaras, swords and shields, fairy wings and wands. It was a mecca of discovery and of imaginative play. I was completely and utterly sucked in. It was like a vortex. The State Fair faded away and I was swirling in fairies and flowers.
Aaah. Fairy Finery, it was.
It was beautiful, wonderful, fanciful. It was a full experience for me. Once I was able to put my feet back on the ground, we struck up a conversation and suddenly, I found myself touring Fairy Finery’s studio in Golden Valley–the basement of Fairy Finery’s owner–Susan Berns.
Susan Berns can’t remember a time when she wasn’t sewing. She has always been making and designing something. Sixteen years ago, she began a company designing playtents and puppet theatres. A few years later, that morphed into dress-up and doll clothes, and Fairy Finery has been thriving as an enchanting enterprise of high-quality toys.
The great thing about dress up clothes is that they turn you into a new character. Susan states, ” Imaginative playtime gives children a chance to write their own story. They have the chance to enjoy the act of creating things.” And they do. They can face the imagined terrors of the sea. They can be a kind princess. They can fly. A little magic fairy dust can change their surroundings.
Fairy Finery offers that to your children. Their products are made to be durable and washable because they know that kids can be tough on clothes. As much as they are able, they try to buy supplies that are made in the USA keeping in mind that some of the best, most durable and beautiful fabric is found outside the United States. With the exception of the doll shoes and tiaras, Fairy Finery handcrafts each item.
With a staff of six, Fairy Finery is kept busy tweaking the classic line of products and developing new designs. Each year, they introduce new products based on their customers’ suggestions and what is fascinating to the children. Tried and true products include fairy wings, princess dresses, knights and pirates as well as many other fantasy-based costumes for kids .
Their busiest time of year is from the State Fair (end of August) through Christmastime, so currently, you can find Susan and her staff working steadily in their studio. However, they are occupied year round since there is a birthday each day of the year. We watched as four women sewed items for the 75 stores across the country that carry Fairy Finery.
I know that I have said that their costumes are durable, but let me reiterate that again. These are the most well-made costumes I have ever come across. With precision and care, each seamstress works diligently. They are artists, but they are also construction workers — making something that will stand the wear and tear of kids.
Susan takes delight in the wonder of children. She loves to watch them develop their stories and revel in their imagination. Watching children enjoy her costumes and enter into the magical world of imaginative play thrills her.
If you are interested in discovering the fantastical world of Fairy Finery, you can find their products at Heartfelt in Minneapolis and Peapods in St. Paul. You can also find them on the internet at www.fairyfinery.com.
Their price point is a little higher than what you will find at Target, but please know that each toy has been made lovingly by hand and will last long enough for your grandchildren. These toys are so beautiful (and practical) that they will take your breath away.