Image by Kathryn Sterner Sieve

Image by Kathryn Sterner Sieve

“I think what’s really unique about Minneapolis … is that in the creative community the answer is always, ‘Yes.’” I met up with Kathryn Sterner Sieve, the lead lady behind Winsome Goods, last night at the new Urban Bean. Light streamed in through those tall, summer soaked windows, and we connected over drinks and creativity.

In a quick 30 minutes, Kathryn touched on a hugely meaningful cultural impulse that I can’t stop thinking about. In Minneapolis, the answer is truly always, “Yes.”

Since Emy and I started SPRUCE, we’ve met brewers, designers, eaters, dreamers, thinkers. We’ve introduced ourselves as writers and researchers, and we’ve always been accepted as such. Can we take your photo? Wanna teach us how to make bagels? Do you mind if we touch everything and spill coffee in your studio? We’ve never heard, “no.”

Is agreeability unique to our region? Does it have something to do with that thing we call Minnesota Nice? I want to reinterpret that phrase, because it often feels a little tongue in cheek. Can we forget we ever tied it to passive aggression?

I'd like to call it openness—really, it’s excitement about what’s going on in this lake city. We have new restaurants, designers, non-profits, you-name-it, popping up all the time, on every corner. Here, “yes” allows us to pursue our passions. It leads to delicious collaborations between sandwich artists and craft brewers. It connects beautiful jewelry and social responsibility.

I can’t describe how grateful I am for “yes,” for this city’s acceptance of self determination. It’s hugely liberating and inspiring to be whoever you say you are.

Words by Diana