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Filigree Jewelers Featured in Minnesota Monthly

October 30, 2015 at 8:26 AM

Republished with permission from Minnesota Monthly Magazine

Catherine and Brent Thies's At-Home Style

The owners of Filigree Jewelry give mid-century style a modern twist



The Look

On him: Rodd & Gunn jacket, $295 @ MartinPatrick3,; Engineered Garments cardigan, $372, Hope shirt, $198, Left Field jeans, $180, Red Wing Heritage boots, $340, all @ BlackBlue,; Warby Parker eyeglasses, Brent’s own

On her: Shoshanna dress, $398 @ Stephanie’s,; Vince Camuto suede pumps, $129 @ Nordstrom, Mall of America,; 1940s green-gold and rose-gold chain link bracelet, Catherine’s own; 12.42k gold and rose-cut diamond bracelet, $8,150, and Art Deco diamond and 2.37k platinum drop earrings, $7,950, both @ Filigree Jewelers, 

Catherine and Brent Thies’s business, Filigree Jewelers, specializes in sourcing and selling unique antique and vintage jewelry finds. That includes such gems as a Victorian-era diamond snake bracelet and a 1920s ruby-and-diamond Art Deco ring—as well as creating their own vintage-inspired designs from recast materials.

Since they’re in the vintage business, it’s no surprise that their Golden Valley home is furnished from a bygone era. It’s filled with the kinds of furnishings that would make a mid-century modern enthusiast faint into one of their Mies van der Rohe–designed Barcelona chairs. That includes an ambient-sound sculpture by renowned designer Harry Bertoia (creator of the Diamond Chair) and a large paper pendant lamp by Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi, another icon of 1950s modernism. 

There are also plenty of contemporary touches, such as a Room and Board tabletop retrofitted with a pair of pin legs and an original Shepard Fairey—illustrator of the iconic Obama “Hope” poster—painting of DJ Grandmaster Flash in their kids’ room. To further personalize the space, the Thieses also have a few eclectic accessories, including a large turtle shell passed down from Brent’s family and an unusual cork floor lamp discovered at the couple’s favorite San Francisco flea market.



Despite its polished appearance and wealth of modern design treasures, the mid century–era, split-level rambler is hardly precious. “This house is never quiet, even without children and a dog,” says Brent, referencing the couple’s two sons—Mason, 5, and Elliott, 18 months—and Wheaton terrier, Winston. “We have a storage unit that’s full of furniture. I take things that I really like out of the house, so I can bring them back five years later, because otherwise they’re just going to get ruined.”

With its open floor plan, floor-to-ceiling windows, and relaxed vibe, the home has the feel of a California beach house—which is no coincidence. After meeting in college, the two lived in California where they helped run a large jewelry retailer before founding their own jewelry business in 2007 and subsequently moving to Minnesota.

This month, Filigree—which is located in a third-floor showroom in the North Loop—is opening an additional shop inside the space operated by its downstairs neighbor, retailer MartinPatrick3, that will showcase curated collections of vintage men’s watches, antique engagement rings, and statement jewelry pieces.  

Catherine has a long history in jewelry, having grown up in a family of vintage and antique jewelry sellers. Vacations often doubled as buying trips, as her parents would make a point of stopping at small antique shops during their travels. “I fought being in the business for a long time,” she says with a laugh. After the dotcom bubble burst in the 2000s, she took a job working for her family. “I was surprised by how much I loved being in the family business.” 

Today, she understands firsthand the importance of all those trips to antique stores. “With our industry, there’s not a reordering process,” she says. “You have to seek inventory out and have the connections to know where to find the next piece.” 

While Brent sources most of the inventory and does the custom design work, Catherine meets with clients and curates what her husband acquires. “Catherine and a client will come up with an idea, and I’ll find out if we can make it work,” Brent explains. It’s a good marriage in more ways than one.

Catherine Thies's Style Crib Sheet

On Her Beauty Routine
When it comes to getting ready, the busy mom prefers the quick and easy route. “I am a big fan of the ponytail, mascara, and red lipstick combo,” she says. “I think a new lipstick lifts your spirits and brightens your face,” she says, adding that she wears everything from Revlon to Chanel and is positively “obsessed” with Lancôme Définicils. 

On Her Skincare Routine
She says, “I’m big into moisturizing right now, as I’m getting older, and my skin is showing more age after having kids and being in the sun.” Recently, she has fallen in love with VivierSkin from LifeTime LifeSpa & MediSpa with SPF. 

On Her Accessorizing Style“I love accessories,” she says. “They make an outfit.” She likes to wear big earrings and bracelets with a simple but interesting black dress. “I have to have on more than one bracelet,” she says, “I’m a stacker.”

See more photos of the Thies's vintage style at work and at home:





















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