When brothers Eric and Andrew Dayton opened Askov Finlayson in 2011 next to Bachelor Farmer, their successful farm-to-table restaurant, they knew they wanted to create something to celebrate their home state. They combined the names of two remote northern Minnesota towns near their family cabin and hung the new moniker above the door. Then, like dutiful North Star staters, they looked to Scandinavia for inspiration.
Askov Finlayson began by carrying sportswear brands previously unavailable in Minneapolis, including Norse Projects, Han Kjøbenhavn denim, Fjällräven, and Jungmaven. Not content to run a Northern European specialty shop, the Dayton brothers also offered Unis pants, Momotaro jeans, Rancourt shoes, and Howlin' by Morrison sweaters.
"We draw on Minnesota's traditions of exploration and being active in the outdoors year-round," says Eric. "But then there are also very strong creative and design communities in Minneapolis, so we try to honor and represent that, too."
The Dayton brothers have also had success with a new line of their own devising that makes well-tailored clothes designed to take a beating. Still, this being Minnesota, the most popular item in Askov Finlayson is a Team North hat made in the Cloquet, Minnesota, factory that produces caps for all the youth hockey teams around the state.