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Homespun Events

Building Community through Art

Meet the Team

Homespun Events is a Minneapolis-based events management company specializing in art fairs and markets.

About

Ben Cooney,

Co-Founder & Director

Emma Engeldinger,

Event Specialist

Jill Hayes,

Co-Founder & Director

Peter Mielech,

Wholesale & Production Manager

Maceo Young,

Event Staff

Meet the Team

Co-Founder & Director

Ben Cooney

Event Specialist

Emma Engeldinger

Co-Founder & Director

Jill Hayes

Wholesale and Production Manager

Peter Mielech

Event Staff

Maceo Young

Our Values

At Homespun Events, we believe that artists make our world a more vibrant and beautiful place to live. We believe in the power of building community through art and the importance of meaningful shared experiences. And we believe that environmental sustainability is a responsibility that belongs to us all.

ARTISTS

At Homespun Events, we hold a deep appreciation for artists and their creative journey. Our commitment to artists goes beyond merely showcasing their work; we strive to create a platform that celebrates diversity, innovation, and artistic expression. By fostering a collaborative environment, we empower artists to thrive, ensuring their voices are heard and their visions are brought to life in the most impactful and authentic way.

COMMUNITY

At the heart of every successful event lies a strong and vibrant community. We prioritize forging connections and creating a sense of belonging among our attendees, partners, and collaborators. Our events are not just about showcasing art; they are a celebration of the diverse communities that come together to appreciate and support the arts. By fostering an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, we aim to strengthen the bonds that tie us all, creating a lasting impact that extends far beyond the duration of our events.

SUSTAINABILITY

We are dedicated to organizing events that leave a positive impact on the planet. From minimizing waste through eco-friendly practices to sourcing locally and utilizing renewable resources, we strive to set a new standard for environmentally conscious events management. By blending creativity with sustainability, we aim to inspire both our audience and the industry at large to prioritize the health of our planet.

Our Impact

In 2023, Homespun Events

  • Partnered with over 300 individual artists

  • Welcomed an estimated 108,000 total attendees to our events, and

  • Generated an estimated $1,215,000 in revenue for artists and small businesses

Ben and Jill are a husband-wife team who have worked as partners in life and work since they met in college.  The evolution of their company has taken several twists and turns through the years as they have honed in on their passions and skills as well as adapted to external factors such as changing needs from the artist community and pandemic-caused variables. 

But it all started back in 2014 with a joint New Years Resolution: to be more creative.  Ben and Jill took turns each month planning a creative date day.  One of their creative endeavors included photographing some of their favorite locations around Minneapolis and St. Paul and then attempting to transfer their photographs to wood.  Friends saw some of the wood photography pieces on display in Ben and Jill's home, and requested custom pieces for heir own homes.  Next, Ben and Jill began selling their wood photography at local art fairs under the name Lucid Wood.  The line expanded to include North Shore and Chicago images and Lucid Wood  products were carried at specialty stores across Minnesota and Chicago.

As Lucid Wood took off, the operation quickly outgrew the couple's home studio.  As they explored acquiring a studio space, they decided to find a dual space that could serve as both a studio production space and a retail space.  And if they were selling their own artwork out of the new retail store, why not partner with other local artists to carry a variety of locally made art and gifts?  In 2017, Homespun Gifts and Decor opened in the Keewaydin neighborhood of South Minneapolis and featured not only Lucid Wood products, but also the work of nearly 100 other Minnesota artists. In 2019, Homespun Gifts & Decor moved to a larger retail space in the Erickson neighborhood, about one mile North of their original location.  In November of 2020, Homespun Gifts & Decor opened a second retail store location in Ridgedale Mall.

Witnessing the growing enthusiasm for locally produced art and gifts through their retail ventures, Ben and Jill aspired to provide artists with an even broader platform. This vision led to the inception of the Minnehaha Falls Art Fair in 2019, which, in just a few years, experienced remarkable growth, attracting an estimated 80,000 attendees and featuring nearly 200 artists in 2023.

In 2022, Ben and Jill decided to close their retail stores, focusing instead on expanding their events business. The subsequent year saw the launch of two new arts-centered holiday events in the Twin Cities: the Palace Theatre Holiday Market and the Minnesota Merry Market at the State Fair, drawing thousands of attendees to support local artists.

 

Looking ahead to 2024, Homespun Events is set to unveil the inaugural Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Art Fair on Mother's Day weekend, May 11 and 12. This exciting event will feature approximately 150 artists in the iconic sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center. Stay tuned for more details and join us in making these annual events a celebration of art, community, and creativity!

Our History

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