These blog posts shine a spotlight on individuals and organizations in our community that are helping make our world a more welcoming place for everyone. Earlier this year, we hosted a photoshoot to celebrate people who embody the All Are Welcome Here message in their lives and work.
Not only was this experience super fun for everyone involved, it also shed light on what the word “welcome” means, the inspiring things happening in our community, and creative ways that we can continue moving forward together. We’re sharing these stories to celebrate our community, inspire others, and show the power of a message turned into actions big and small.
Today’s Feature: Sarah Sweet (co-owner) and Jess Arnold (manager) of i like you
(Photo: Jess modeling the AAWH women’s style tanks, Sarah baseball tee. | By: Shuttersmack Photography + Design)
What does the word “welcome” mean to you?
“It's us saying, 'C'mon in!' to anyone and everyone.”- Sarah Sweet, co-owner of i like you
Sarah and Angela are the very definition of boss ladies. As artists themselves, they saw an opportunity to create a fun, creative environment that promotes the work of independent and local makers. With their knack for creating beautiful brick and mortar stores, Sarah and Angela are pioneers who set up shop in up-and-coming neighborhoods that are destined to become cool places people want to be.
Since launching in 2007, i like you has collaborated with over 200 artists (especially women makers) to provide the most fun assortment of artistic treasures. They also employ a rad staff of kick-ass ladies, like Jess, who connect customers with artists and set the tone of the overall friendly store atmosphere.
(Photo: Owners Angela & Sarah celebrating outside their iconic store in NE Minneapolis.)
i like you isn’t just a store offering unique handmade gifts from local Minnesota artists, it’s an environment that builds community through craft.
Even item in the store has a personal connection to the artist who made it. i like you stores are proud to be the link between artist and customer. Staff can tell you all about the artist who made your sassy earrings, greeting card, cat mittens, soy candle...we could go on!
Sarah: “We really love getting to know our customers and artists, and believe everyone needs to be heard. There is something to be learned from every single person you meet!”
(Note to self: Find awesome yellow jacket — like this one modeled by Sarah Sweet — and pair it with every AAWH tank and tee in existence. | By: Shuttersmack Photography + Design)
i like you is an inviting and open place for all.
Our All Are Welcome signs proudly made their first retail appearance in the windows of i like you stores in 2016 and they have been one of our biggest supporters ever since. They champion the message of All Are Welcome Here by literally carrying it (our merchandise) with them on the road to all sorts of craft markets and events throughout the Twin Cities.
When Sarah and Angela saw the All Are Welcome Here sign for the first time in November 2016, they knew it belonged in their store. They immediately embraced the message and helped distribute signs into their communities by selling them during their busy holiday season.
A welcoming world starts with being open and willing to invite others in, like Sarah and Angela when they didn’t hesitate to bring All Are Welcome Here into their stores. For their customers, i like you stores exemplify the same open arms approach, curating a warm, accessible experience for all. With friendly shopping assistance (all you need do is ask!) and even a whimsical play area for kids in their NE location, so parents can shop in peace, i like you stores provide a welcoming space for anyone and everyone that says… “C’mon in!”
(Photo: Jess Arnold, store manager, proudly holding an All Are Welcome Here sign. | By: Shuttersmack Photography + Design)
This holiday season, you can support the i like you ladies and local makers by buying one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. Right now, shipping is free if you purchase online before Friday, December 20. But to get the true i like you store experience, we recommend stopping in to their Minneapolis or Saint Paul locations.
You can help make our community more welcoming too!
Everyone has a part to play in making the world a more welcoming place for all. How can you embrace this message of kindness and apply it to your everyday life?
Sarah’s recommends starting small because you never know where simple gestures can lead: “It's crazy to me how blocked off we are getting from each other. Even just walking down the street, I am smiling and ready for someone to make eye contact with me. We need to nurture real face to face interactions more and stop ignoring the life and possibilities that are happening all around us.”
Nominate an Ally for All
Help us celebrate the incredible individuals and organizations that are turning the All Are Welcome Here message into action in our community. Nominate as many people as you like (even yourself, we won’t tell). Selected Allies for All receive:
- $100 donation to a cause they love
- An interview and photoshoot to be featured on the All Are Welcome Here blog and social media
- Free All Are Welcome Here swag