New Businesses Revitalize 44th and France

by | Nov 2017

Elissa Bean, partner and buyer at Bean + Ro

Elissa Bean, partner and buyer at Bean + Ro. Photo: Emily J. Davis

The neighborhood around 44th Street and France Avenue is giving and getting support from incoming businesses, including Callahan Framing Co. and Bean + Ro.

As community members continue to evaluate how the area is best served, the neighborhood around 44th Street and France Avenue is giving and getting support from incoming businesses, including Callahan Framing Co. and Bean + Ro. The companies recently relocated to Edina, and both are simpatico when it comes.

CALLAHAN FRAMING

Memories are worth saving. Keep them in focus and on display with the help of Callahan Framing Co., which had its grand opening in June. Edina is the business’ second location; the Minneapolis venue serves commercial clients (with a little bit of retail), while the Edina space appeals to a retail following. (Production work remains at the Minneapolis location.) Between owners Mary Fajack and Cara Callahan, the duo has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. “We do framing, and we do it very well. That’s where our focus is,” Fajack says, noting that framing is a “service and relationship business.”

Services include art consultation and restoration and cleaning; delivery and installation; home staging; and reframing or updating existing work. If you treasure it, Callahan and Co. will find a way to frame it, whether it’s baptism gowns, books, custom mirrors, fine art, musical instruments, posters, sports memorabilia, textiles and dimensional elements, children’s art and wedding keepsakes.

When it comes to framing, artistry clearly can’t be overlooked. Fajack’s degree in interior design certainly lends itself to developing a creative eye, and she has a background in business development, project management and client relations. Callahan is a trained artist (including as a protégé of the former head framer at the Walker Art Center) and she is certified by the Professional Picture Framers Association. “As active members of the Professional Picture Framers Association, we are committed to staying up-to-date with current archival practices, as well as new products and trends in the picture framing industry,” Callahan’s website notes.

Fajack explains they decided to open a second venue in the area since it draws customer traffic from South Minneapolis and Edina. “It feels like a real, cohesive community,” she says. Part of that cohesiveness comes from clients and fellow business owners, who have welcomed the framing shop with open arms. “We don’t feel like we moved in here by ourselves,” Fajack says. “The businesses are also very neighborly and helpful.”

“I’ve always known it to be an established neighborhood and to have a sense of community,” Fajack says, calling the heart of the area a seasoned intersection that offers a variety of goods and services to appeal to a host of tastes and needs.

BEAN + RO

Variety is the spice of life at Bean + Ro, where the retailer offers custom gifts, clothing, wedding and personalized stationery and what-nots ideal for intentional shoppers as well as browsers buying on a whim. Located in St. Louis Park for six years, Bean + Ro opened its Edina doors in June. “We followed our customers,” says Katie Miller, partner and buyer. Elissa Bean is also a partner and buyer.

Sarah Hanlon, Bean + Ro partner, notes that residents are “very involved in the dynamics of the neighborhood.” Miller adds, “I think the area is eclectic and has a little something for everyone.” Hanlon says clientele is varied; young moms, grandmothers, you name it—all are attracted to the unique inventory. “I think they come to us for gifts, and they end up coming back for self-purchase,” Miller says.

Popular items include personalized cups and insulated drinkware from Yeti and S’well. Since the move to Edina, the store’s seen an uptick in jewelry and fashion sales. Other collections include greeting cards, stationery, books, bedding, candles and original art. Merchandise arrives from the likes of 3 Marthas, Aden & Anais, Swaddle Designs for babies, Little Lux and Modern Moose for kids, Kate Spade for gifts, and Sugarboo Designs, Emily McDowell and Haute Papier for stationery.

Items are carefully chosen to reflect not only Midwest sensibilities, but fashion and lifestyle dynamics from other parts of the country, especially with seasonal selections. For example, Bean + Ro lets Southern climes influence summertime entertaining pieces, while the East Coast vibe can be seen in items like leather jackets which add a snap of cool on colder days. “I think the Midwest is great because we can showcase everything,” Miller says.

Miller looks forward to the evolving district. “I think it’s only going to get better,” she says of the area. “We’ve felt very welcome,” Hanlon says. “And,” Miller blithely adds, “We’ve eaten a lot of barbecue from [new neighborhood barbecue spot] Old Southern.”

to views on the neighborhood’s vibe and possibilities.
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