For Araya Jensen, founder of Willful, a line of modern home goods, style is all about comfort. In fact, it’s comfort (and beauty) that brought the former interior designer from her small hometown in rural Minnesota to Minneapolis where she set up shop. Willful: Goods with Intention encompasses a broad selection of wooden home essentials, like utensils, cutting boards, and bowls, all hand-dipped to add colorful accents for a simple, but stylish touch.
Just like the textures she blends in her designs, Jensen loves Minneapolis for its mixture of styles and cultures. Here, the designer talks simplicity and why it’s hard to define style in the Twin Cities.
What is the most stylish street in your city?
I would say “Eat Street,” Nicolette Avenue. I love this area for it’s eclectic mix of independent restaurants and theaters. And where you find good food and great culture, you find style.
What’s a perfect Sunday afternoon in your city?
Meandering through the Walker art museum, a late lunch on “eat street,” then catching a Sunday night show at First Ave. (because there is no better way to make a Sunday feel like a Saturday).
What do you love about fashion in Minneapolis?
I truly love how diverse it is. There isn’t one particular style that you can say is “Minneapolis/Twin Cities.” I feel like the fashion pulls from our diverse mix of cultures. I also think it has a lot to do with function, always in layers!
When you can’t think of anything to wear, what’s your go-to outfit?
My most comfortable pair of jeans, a cotton t-shirt, and some bright earrings.
The first thing I do in the morning is…
Eat breakfast with my kiddos. It’s my favorite meal of the day.
What is the best piece of style advice you ever received and from whom?
Edit. Less is more. From my grandmother and Tim Gunn.
What are your top three beauty essentials?
1. One of my favorite local beauty brands, Worker B, has an amazing Dawn Serum that I use after my shower every day. It makes my skin soft and bright and is made with all natural ingredients.
2. The only makeup I cannot leave the house without is mascara and my favorite is Lancome Definicils.
3. NYX Butter Gloss, It feels, smells, and tastes amazing and has the best natural look. Plus, you can’t beat the price.
Describe your personal style in three words.
Comfortable, Simple, Color or, as I like to call it, Workshop Colorblock