As I write this letter, we are experiencing a very cold and snowy week in Minnesota. Even though
I have called this place home forever, I have to say I am in the group of fair-weather midwesterners
that start wondering “why”. In the midst of icy roads, snowy windshields, and blistering windchills, I
question the sanity of my life, and start dreaming of sunshine and warmth.

To make myself feel better, I did what all sane people would do; I started looking for other places
that have it worse. I discovered that the country of Denmark has up to 17 hours of darkness per day!
Yikes!! My first thought was “how in the world” do the people of Denmark survive. Much to my surprise
I learned that Denmark, in spite of their cold and darkness, has been identified as the world’s happiest
country. Ok, that caught my attention.

It seems like the enterprising Danes have come up with what they call “HYGGE” (pronounced hoo-ga).
Translated it means “coziness”. The blogger Anna Lea West has offered cosiness of the soul” as an
English definition of “hygge.” “Hygee” has been described as families and friends getting together for
a meal, or time spent reading a good book; relaxing and feeling at home, being kind to oneself, or
creating a restful atmosphere with candles and music.

So what in the world does this have to do with our tribe of reps, buyers, and store owners that call the
midwest home? My first thought was how a consumer feels when they walk into a beautiful store. As
they are greeted by a friendly and knowledgable employee they can immediately feel the “hygee” of
warmth and friendship. The store can provide a respite from the stress of their day, and give them a
few minutes of calm. I think the uniqueness of our brick and mortar stores, in this digital age, is that we
can speak to the five senses and create an experience that not only provides a service, but makes our
customers want to be a part of what we are offering.

At the MinneapolisMart we also want to create a “hygee” experience for you. First, we want you to
be more than a customer, but a friend that knows we have your best interest at heart. As we prepare
our showrooms to make shopping efficient and inspiring, we hope you will really feel at home at the
mart. And, secondly, we hope you will find products that you can bring back to your stores and create
the very best “hygee” experience for your customers.

As you read this letter, I hope the bitter cold has disappeared and the signs of spring are on the
horizon. I hope your stores are full of the spirit of “hygee” and that you are looking forward to enjoying
a glass of wine on us during the March market. We are looking forward to seeing you.

Linda Atherton
President Board of Directions
Minneapolis Mart