Husband and wife Jim and Sandra Peterson of Homade gifts often hear from new customers that they heard about the shop from a friend. Since opening in November 2015, there has been a lot of talk around town about the new gift shop and creative workspace. Homade has benefitted from this small-town, word-of-mouth advertising. With a crafting workshop attached to the back of the store, the Petersons’ shop fills a void in Eden Prairie with an unconventional place to shop and learn a thing or two about crafting.
For the last 20 years, the Petersons have owned multiple successful businesses. They started Homade because they wanted something that was low-stress and fun. Plus, it was a way to give something back to Eden Prairie, the community where they’ve resided for 23 years.
Jim Peterson attributes the store’s vision to his wife, who has been a crafter for more than 25 years. She wears many hats with the business, managing everything from the design to the product buying to the workshops to the birthday parties held in the shop’s crafting space.
“You don’t feel you are walking into a big box store,” Jim Peterson says. He describes it as a quirky and relaxed environment. There are several products in the store that are handmade and unique, but Homade also fills its shelves with everyday products and gift items from brands such as Kate Spade and Corkcicle.
Homade also offers the high-end, luxury candy brand Sugarfina. The store is the only Minnesota shop that carries this particular brand of sweetness. Another item unique to Homade is its customizable gift box. Customers can tailor a special box with gift items from throughout the store.
Of the 2,400 square feet of store space, 900 feet are dedicated to the workshop space in back, where classes, workshops and other private events are held. The classes are not taught by a one-size-fits-all teacher. The instructors, many of whom trained at art school, are selected because they are passionate about their individual craft and want to share it with others. The class types are always evolving, but so far, Homade offers lessons on calligraphy, weaving, sewing, watercolor painting, jewelry-making and more. The lessons are for participants ages 12 and up, but most students are adults. Class sizes vary, but typically host around 12 people.
The workspace is not limited to workshops. People hosting private parties and events can reserve the space. Perhaps the ones who love the room the most are kids, who use it to host their craft-oriented birthday parties. “I think it’s a real hit because it’s different than your Pump-It-Ups or your Chuck E. Cheese’s,” Peterson says of the parties. “It’s a great alternative.”
Homade works with both parent and child to customize the celebration, down to the type of craft, the decorations and the day’s theme. And the creativity for party themes is endless. Peterson has seen everything from rainbows to American Girl dolls to monkeys for birthday themes.
With such a fun store, it’s hard for the Petersons not to enjoy what they do. And they aren’t the only ones. “It’s a neat feeling that we put something out there that people want to shop in,” Peterson says.