New-to-town Lake Elmo businesses spur wedding fair

When a flower shop, a hair salon and a wine store ended up along the same block in downtown Lake Elmo late last year, their next move was almost predictable: They launched a wedding fair.

"We have everything right here; all the wedding ingredients in one place," said Gaby Rosenthal of establish salon. "It was a natural decision to put something like this together and be a part of it."

Along with several other bridal- and event-related local and regional vendors, the salon will join Henry Girls Floral & Garden and the Lake Elmo Wine Company from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the two businesses' shared building at 3511 Lake Elmo Ave. N.

The entrance fee is $5. All proceeds will be donated to Stillwater-based Valley Outreach, a human service organization that provides clothing, food and emergency assistance to people in need.

It's not the first time Nola Wilkens and her husband, Cal, have partnered with other businesses since they took over management of the wine store in May. The Woodbury couple has collaborated with Hagberg's Country Market on monthly tasting events, and continue to look for other ways to work with local business owners.

When the floral shop opened in the same building, the joint tenants brainstormed ways to encourage residents to shop locally, and create a network for referrals. A bridal fair came to mind.

They invited establish salon to participate, and it snowballed from there.

"It's a little bit of a spider web," Nola Wilkens said. "As we team up with other businesses, they're patrons would maybe come to us. ... It's about building community."

As word spread of the event, more vendors were eager to be a part of it, including Tracy Jean Photography, PartyOnStillwater, which offers personalized party services and products, and Fannie Mae.  There'll be chocolate tastings, tips on making a good toast, a Lake Elmo harpist, a chiropractor, a travel agent and three raffle drawings.

Henry Girls started as a garden service in 2005 and moved into its downtown Lake Elmo storefront in November. About a month later, co-owners Patty Henry and Jessica Henry Westin started planning the wedding and event fair.

Patty Henry hopes the fair attracts shoppers to the city's downtown. "People need to be more aware of all of the great small businesses that they have right in their area."

"I think by having the wedding fair, that's going to help people a lot," she said.

The owners of establish salon also celebrated their grand opening in November.

In an e-mail, Gaby Rosenthal, who runs the shop with her sister Ninna Rosenthal, described Lake Elmo as "a unique city: quaint, not over-developed, yet slated for growth and has room to grow."

She said she and her sister are passionate about contributing to the community, and she's gotten involved with NextGen, a group focused on making Lake Elmo great.

For more information on the wedding and event fair, call 651-783-6113.

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7814 and Follow her at

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
Article category: 
Comment Here