Ckwestend Creative Kidstuff opens a flagship store at the new Shops at West End in St. Louis Park on Friday. Expect "more things for kids to do and touch," said Happi Olson, director of sales and marketing. The store also marks Creative Kidstuff's first foray into the birthday party business: there's a party room filled with interactive playthings. The company is currently developing a menu of party themes that can be tailored to kids ages 3 to 10. Parties will start in January. Olson estimated the price will be around $225. When not in use for parties, the private room may be rented out to mom groups. (Taking a cue from Kiddywampus, it sounds like.) With the SLP opening comes the closing of Creative Kidstuff's Minnetonka store on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Check back for updates on other West End stores opening this month. And visit Sales/Specials for special shopping days and discounts coming up at Creative Kidstuff.

Leave it to Lisa Roberts and Annie Hendrickson, the tireless creators of The Find, based in Eden Prairie, to make the decision to open a second location – and do so within nine days. The Find at 50th & France opens in the Edina 5.0. building (you know that glass-enclosed space that has been one failed coffee shop after another?) Saturday, Nov. 7, breathing some much needed energy, disco dancing and bling into the quiet mall. The shop will be packed with the best of The Find's many brands and breadth of products, from lamps to camera bags to fashion accessories. There are sure to be a few home vignettes thrown in for good measure, but the bulk of their furniture/home design business will remain in Eden Prairie. One big attraction at the Edina store: "Project Runway" designer Christopher Straub's handbag and accessories collection, co-produced by The Find. Roberts said she expects Straub, a longtime friend,, to put in some time at the store – right after he finishes his post-show New York press junket (read about that in the St. Paul Pioneer Press). And learn more about The Find here.

Shaping a brand

Shapewear is designed to give women confidence, but Hollywood Fashion Tape took it to a whole new level Thursday night at Maiden Minnesota. Their shapewear model had no trouble attracting attention in the crowded ballroom of locally made products and eager shoppers.

Jeans are only half of the equation


A dramatic attempt to get shoppers thinking about what to wear on top. Or, new 50th & France retailer House of Amore & Fede has lost its bottom.




"Are you going to take a picture for the website?" my 5 year old asks whenever we walk into a new boutique, like LD – Len Druskin. Trying to explain that the longer he stays in my shot, the longer we will have to spend shopping is about as meaningful as telling him he won't keep his good eyesight if he doesn't eat carrots. So the work takes twice as long. But how lucky to be able to play while we work.