Rose Mille in Stillwater long has been a destination for vintage papers and trims, crafting supplies and—truly—a little bit of this and that and everything in between. In 2012, the business moved up the hill and off the main drag, into a repurposed space with elbow room and inspiring plans for its next act.
Owners and serial entrepreneurs Michelle and Bob Jorgensen started the company in California in the late 1990s with classes on millinery (that’s hat-making), sewing and jewelry-making. They moved their retail shop to Stillwater in 2002; Michelle is originally from the area, and after Bob received a job transfer, they moved back to Minnesota in 2001. They’ve done trade shows and vintage events—including Shakopee’s famed Junk Bonanza—and even did a stint in a Mall of America storefront during the 2004–2005 holiday shopping season. Following a successful run in downtown Stillwater, the couple decided to take the business to the next level by focusing the inventory—sorry, no more clothes—and launching a brand of packaged, vintage-style craft materials, which debuted internationally last month.
Rose Mille—after Michelle’s maiden name, Rose, and her grandmother Millie—specializes in imported embossed foil paper trims, glass glitter in a bevy of colors and an ever-evolving collection of vintage ribbons and assorted baubles. There’s furniture, décor and handmade products, all with a decidedly French-country, shabby-chic feel. Even a collection of old bowling pins recently found new life as objets d’art, with monogrammed letters and numbers adding striking visual appeal.
It’s all because of Michelle, a do-it-yourselfer through and through, who’s constantly dreaming up new products and combinations for her store and blog. Bob helps with carpentry. He’s been integral to the complete renovation of Rose Mille’s new home in the old co-op grocery store building on William Street North. The space includes creative space, plus assembly and packaging areas to support the company’s booming online retail shop. The brand’s flagship showroom, in the front of the building will have limited hours, but feature project-specific events and studio space.
“It’s been a winding path, clearly, from California to Minnesota to the Mall of America. Here we are back here, with a new vision for what we hope people see and feel when they come into the store,” Michelle says.
“It revolves around elegant, vintage, upscale European craft supplies. We’re elevating craft.”
The periodic creative workshops she plans to host will allow visitors to browse the store’s inventory at their leisure and complete a project right there, with professional help, of course. Plans include a café so patrons can enjoy a coffee, tea or
a pastry while they craft.
“This will be a special place where you can come and make what’s on the menu—and where we can showcase our signature products. The hope is that we can introduce our products, show how to use them and inspire people,” Michelle says. “We also hope to be inspired by our customers and what they’re making.”