BEST BOUTIQUE - 2005
When the afternoon sun shines into the windows of this new venture, it's hard to tell whether Nico is a gift shop or an art gallery. Locally made jewelry is laid out on crisp white pedestals, while sparsely filled shelves along the back wall hold other Twin Cities originals--hand-painted plates, coffee-table books, and homemade textiles. Even the smiley-faced plush toys imported from Japan have that pristine Do not touch look. But like the hard-to-miss cube-shaped creature that wants nothing more than to sit on your shelf and hold your cell phone, Nico is a friendly place. Not only does the shop carry the eclectic one-of-a-kind couture you expect from an Uptown boutique, it also carries equally chic T-shirts designed by Djai, Creative Printed Apparel. Each shirt is decked out with a variety of hip-hop characters or--in classic Minnesota fashion--woodland critters.