Celtic Moose, Scaws Ink join South End businessesA kilt-clad moose has moved to Superior’s South End. The critter, seen playing the bagpipes, is the logo for Celtic Moose Gift Shoppe, which features handcrafted quilts and gift items. The business recently moved from a garage along Tri-Lakes Road to a Superior shop. It opens May 11 at 5907 Tower Ave., nestled next to the new tattoo parlor Scaws Ink.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
A kilt-clad moose has moved to Superior’s South End. The critter, seen playing the bagpipes, is the logo for Celtic Moose Gift Shoppe, which features handcrafted quilts and gift items. The business recently moved from a garage along Tri-Lakes Road to a Superior shop. It opens May 11 at 5907 Tower Ave., nestled next to the new tattoo parlor Scaws Ink.
“It was time to move, time to grow, time to expand my business,” said owner Kim Nygaard. “I just felt like it was the right time to relocate in Superior.”
Lawrence Kallberg, owner of Scaws Ink, wasn’t sure if a gift shop and tattoo parlor would blend well at first. Then he stopped by Celtic Moose Gift Shoppe.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” he said. “She’s cool over there.”
Nygaard’s goal is to put a smile on people’s faces with her work — quilts, towels, runners, placemats, napkins, tapestries and more. The Superior woman has been working with fabrics since junior high and it became a lifelong passion. She was executive director of Kinship Mentoring of Superior until it closed its doors in 2005. Soon after, a neighbor asked Nygaard if she had any baby quilts for sale. That request launched Celtic Moose.
“I walk into my shop every day and can’t believe it’s mine,” she said. “I’m living my dream.”
The shop specializes in cabin décor and Celtic knots, with moose pieces being a top seller. Many of the items Nygaard creates are quirky — a towel featuring a loon and the saying “From your loony friend,” pillows with pockets or a towel sporting the words “I’m a quilter so my house is in pieces.” She offers pieces printed with the Finnish phrases “Sisu” and “Takk for Maten” as well as “Merry Christmas” towels in a host of languages. Along with ready-made gifts, the seamstress offers custom-made quilts and fabric work. She has made quilts out of T-shirts as graduation presents or out of a loved one’s clothing.
The name for the shop, which opened in 2006, blends Nygaard’s roots and her Northland home. Celtic is for her heritage, which holds a wee bit of both Scottish and Irish. She also plays the bagpipes. The moose is a nod to the region, from Lake Superior to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Celtic Moose also features the work of 12 local artists — Celtic knots carved out of stone, whimsical pottery, cutting boards with built in bread knives, candles and more. Kallberg has plans to purchase one of the stone carvings.
“She’s got her first customer already,” he said.
Neighboring businesses were glad to see the moose take up residence.
“Her shop is very small, but it can only help,” said Lorraine Peterson, who runs Shabby Shed two blocks away. “When people stop to my place now they ask where else can they go. My goal is to start a South Superior business district again, and get a Shop Hop ready for the fall.”
Kallberg, who grew up in rural Douglas County, said he couldn’t imagine setting up a shop anywhere but South Superior.
“I love it out here,” he said. “It’s quiet; it’s great.” And, he said, it’s warmer than downtown Superior. The south end of town has been seeing a steady influx of small businesses this year, as well.
“South Superior is going to be happening in another year or two,” Kallberg predicted.
Scaws Ink opened on Feb. 1 at 5905 Tower Ave. Kallberg brings six years of experience as a tattoo artist to the business and said he plans to add another artist by the end of the month. The Douglas County man specializes in color and black work. He also does custom pieces. The tattoo parlor is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Although walk-ins are welcome, Kallberg said it is best to call ahead for an appointment at (715) 718-2228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nygaard originally planned to sell some of her fabric works at Shabby Shed. After visiting the upscale resale store, she realized she wanted a shop of her own. There was a sign in a nearby window and the price was right. Like other area business owners, she hopes to see a growth spurt in the area.
“There are a couple of other places still open for rent,” she said. “We would love to see more small businesses move in. There’s room.”
Celtic Moose Gift Shoppe will be open three days a week, noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For information, go to http://celticmoose.net.