Shops that offer rare, unusual, and truly unexpected finds in the Twin Cities


There’s an aspect of comfort about visiting your favorite stores and knowing exactly what’s going to be there — you know you’ll find something you love, something you’ll want to wear over and over or place in a spot of high honor in your home. But it’s also kind of fun to pop into a store and have no idea what you’ll find, or to be surprised by the contents therein. A few Twin Cities locations have embraced this, offering items that may surprise and delight you when you stop in. Here are a few examples.

A wonderland of oddities at Isles Studio

Isles Studio is a store for your kooky friend. You know, the one who has excellent taste, but it's just a little odd. Think taxidermy, skull-embossed dinnerware, crystals, and all sorts of tiny treasures. That’s Isles Studio, a jewel box of a store that consistently surprises with its offerings. There are peacocks, candles, fancy coffeetable books, and flamingos. It’s a little dose of magic right in Uptown. (Isles Studio, 1311 W. 25th St., Minneapolis.)


RODIN skincare and cosmetics at HAUS Salon

HAUS Salon is one of the best and brightest salons in the Twin Cities. It was one of the first places to offer a blow dry bar in the Twin Cities. While they’ve always offered beautiful product lines, like Kerastase and No. 4, a few weeks ago HAUS added RODIN to their lineup. What’s RODIN, you ask? It’s a luxe, expensive, gorgeous line of products by Linda Rodin that celebrities love and magazines swoon over. The line's face oil has become iconic, and the jasmine fragrance is to die for. None of it is cheap, but if you have a taste for the finer things, you can’t get much better than RODIN. HAUS offers RODIN’s beautiful, bold lipsticks, which ring in at a more palatable $38, and has even designed a facial using the RODIN line. No one else in the Twin Cities carries the line except the Cos Bar in Edina, so it has an aura of exclusivity that befits its luxury products. (HAUS Salon, North Loop and Nicollet Avenue locations,

goGLOW’s new eponymous product line

It’s no secret that goGLOW is a favorite spot to get a sunless tan. They’ve long offered products from lines like COOLA and rms skincare, but they’ve recently launched their very own line of sunless tanning products, including a cleanser, a touchup spray, and a tan extender. It's great to see a local business like goGLOW blossom and grow, and their success is well-deserved. Plus, it’s not every day you create your very own product line. (Locations include Edina, Uptown, and Chicago River North.)

A store full of surprises: Mustard Moon & the Rider

Love Hunt & Gather and the antiques corner on 50th and Xerxes? If you walk up the street, you’ll notice a new member of the club: Mustard Moon and the Rider, a teeny little shop full of big delights. Mustard Moon offers antiques and collectibles in the Hunt & Gather vein (with a great price tag), while its companion, the Rider, sells vintage denim, army jackets, Western-inspired design, and more. Their selection is beautifully and thoughtfully curated, and you truly never know what you’ll find when you pop in. (Mustard Moon & the Rider, 5014 Xerxes Ave. S., Minneapolis.)