The Queue: Margo Roberts
Get to know the people featured in the pages of our magazine as they share what's inspiring them right now.
A biweekly roundup for and by the craft community, The Queue introduces you to the artists, curators, organizers, and more featured in the pages of American Craft magazine. Our Winter 2023 issue is centered on the theme inhabit and is out now! In The Queue, we invite the inspiring individuals featured in this issue to share personally about their lives and work as well as what's inspiring them right now.
Margo Roberts co-owns Hotel Alma in Minneapolis with her husband Alex, where the pair create a sumptuous guest experience encompassing lodging, food, and a shop full of craft treasures. The small—seven rooms—boutique hotel showcases makers from Minnesota and beyond. Roberts herself creates the entire apothecary line. Jennifer Vogel wrote about Hotel Alma in “Craft Stays” in the Winter 2023 issue of American Craft.
How do you describe your work or practice in 50 words or less?
My role is creative director of the Alma Apothecary and retail line. I create a seasonal line of clean, plant-based bath, body, and home products and perform every task involved in bringing products to our shelves. Everything is formulated with the belief that what goes on your body is just as important as what goes into your body.
What inspired you to invite craftspeople to play such a significant role in the creation of Hotel Alma?
Alma has always been a place that partners with local farmers, vendors, and craftspeople. Doing the same with the hotel was the most natural direction to take.
What are your favorite materials to use in your apothecary products?
My favorite materials are always essential oils rich in healing properties. Currently I’m having a moment with the scent of neroli when you infuse it with a little bit of marjoram. There’s an invigorating, magical thing that happens every time that literally always makes me sigh, “yeahhhh…”
Who and what—craftspeople, artists, ideas, books, music, nature, etc.—inspires your work?
Always the change of seasons! And lately the simple, natural things created by craftspeople. Christine Hoffman from Foxglove Market and potters Alana Cuellar and Guillermo Cuellar have inspired me. They remind me our work as craftspeople makes life a little more beautiful and pleasant for others every day.
If you could have any craft artists decorate a room in your home today, who would they be and why?
Easy! It would be my bedroom. I would copy room 5 of Hotel Alma by having Spring Finn & Co. design and decorate, Marvin Freitas handcraft a new bed frame, Gomez Whitney build a bookshelf and armoire with brass shelves, and I’d finish it with art on the walls by Mary Jo Hoffman.
Which craft artists, exhibitions, or projects do you think the world should know about, and why?
Recently, I was inspired by all that’s happening in the Food Building in Minneapolis, particularly the work of Marco Zappia and his partners at 3Leche. Their “laboratory” is a place that literally distills the essences of the natural world into flavors that surprise, delight, and intrigue the senses.
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