Former allen edmonds ceo opens menswear store in linden hills

by MR Magazine Staff

Paul Grangaard always found himself looking at people’s shoes. A college stint studying in Florence, Italy, sparked his interest in leather goods. And from then on, Grangaard paid more attention to how people dressed, right down to their shoes. That served him well when he was asked to step in as CEO for Allen Edmonds, a Port Washington, Wis-based shoe company. Now it will come in handy at a startup menswear company he’s founded called CircleRock, which recently opened its first store in Linden Hills called “CircleRock’s House of Style” at 3413 W 44th St., formerly a boutique called Lily & Violet. With most of the clothing bought in the U.S. imported, primarily from China, the few remaining U.S. suppliers had to be “really good to survive,” Grangaard says. CircleRock partners with American artisan manufacturers to create apparel and accessories, including Oxford dress shirts made in North Carolina and sweaters knit in Winona. But they also sell pants from Turkey, because Grangaard feels his customers believe “A little bit in Europe is OK.” Read more at Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.