Now Open: Houser
Since its 2017 inception, the brand has been deeply committed to ethical, fair trade practices. Most recently, Houser has teamed up with a rural village in Thailand (the Lawa Hill Tribe). She creates pieces with semi-precious stones, leather, crystals, and artifacts from around the world, in addition to fine silver and brass made in direct partnership with the Lawa Hill Tribe’s silversmiths.
Jewelry wasn’t always Denise’s “calling.” In fact, Houser didn’t find her creativity until her children were in school. The empty nester felt a void and turned to jewelry making, and eventually pivoted from the corporate insurance world to pursue her newfound creative skill full time.
But the hobby soon flourished into something deeper. To Houser, it became more about providing jobs, making connections with and giving hope to the people. “We have changed these people’s lives in a lot of ways.”
Through her partnership with the Lawa Hill Tribe, HOUSER provides people in Thailand with fair wages, and also works with the Raintree Foundation—an Chang Mai organization dedicated to educating those in rural and underdeveloped areas.
The store serves a unique blend of purposes. The floor showcases a collection of HOUSER jewelry. Plus, other great lifestyle brands and products, many of which share a like-minded business model dedicated to helping others and giving back. Other brands carried in the store include Lalela Scarves, Think Royln, Frances Valentine, and Bitchstix.
According to Houser, everything sold in the store focuses on beauty and wellness—both inner and outer—from wearable goods like jewelry and handbags to wellness products like candles, incense, sage, essential oils and diffusers, and healing crystals.
The retail space also features a design workshop. Houser is a motivator and proponent of helping people find their own creative expression. “The design workshop is a space to allow people to roll up their sleeves and have fun, communicate with our staff, fool around with designs, sketch, and customize a piece that is uniquely them,” says Houser.
photo courtesy of HOUSER
The new store mirrors the same aesthetic of Houser’s jewelry—natural, organic, and nature-inspired. Queue: her signature Thai metal and leather accents, which are used intermittently with stones and beads. “We wanted the space to be as natural and true to the history of the building,” says Houser. During the construction phase, it was important to Houser to keep the original wood floors and brick walls. Inside, you will also find dark metal and other natural materials, including driftwood and quartz, and seven hand-blown light fixtures from local lighting company Hennepin Made.
Houser confirms that the Nolo store is just the beginning of the journey into brick-and-mortar. She says, “The bigger I get, the more people I can help.”
The store is located at 212 N. 2nd St., Mpls., in the same building as Mulberry’s Garment Care and Parc Boutique. Mark your calendars for HOUSER’s grand opening celebration on Thursday, December 6. Between 6–8 p.m., receive 15 percent off, plus a 5 percent donation to the Raintree Foundation for every purchase, and BĒT Vodka cocktails and other celebratory bevvies. denisehouserdesign.com