November 27, 2019
Mounds Park Academy boasts more than 1,600 accomplished alumni who have gone on to pursue all types of careers, including a disproportionate number who have founded their own companies that directly advance social causes.
Our impressive entrepreneurs demonstrate how MPA students make their mark on the world as dreamers and doers, turning big dreams into unique businesses that do right socially and economically for their communities.
For MPA’s inaugural Alumni Holiday Gift List, we’ve compiled a list of five alumni who represent the many MPA graduates who have built businesses from the ground up—and, they’re offering some exciting discounts and special offers to the MPA community this season. Please consider putting these companies at the top of your shopping list, today and all year round!
Hippy Feet: Sam Harper, Class of 2012
Hippy Feet is a Minneapolis-based sock and apparel company on a mission to help the homeless, providing transitional employment to young people ages 16 to 24 who learn skills and work in packaging, embroidery, and screen printing operations. By strategically partnering with local non-profits, Hippy Feet helps provide income, opportunity, and job training in a way that is both earned and respects human dignity. All products are American made and eco-friendly.
Sam’s experience at MPA was central to his sense of social responsibility. “MPA equipped me with the tools to be successful after graduation,” he says, “but also challenged me to use these tools in a way that had a meaningful, positive impact on others.”
Help support homeless youth this holiday season by shopping at Hippy Feet with the MPA coupon code MOUNDSPARK15, for 15 percent off your entire order. The code is active until January 1, 2020.
Pryes Brewing: Allan Flinn, Class of 1993
Pryes Brewing is a brewery that has won national and international awards since their opening in 2017. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, the brewery’s taproom reflects the industrious aesthetic of craft beer production while combining the natural elements of the surrounding area.
Pryes Brewing is a hub of entertainment, featuring a wide selection of beers and delicious pizza, a unique Feather Bowling game, a dog-friendly patio, growlers to take home, and event space rentals. Their beers can also be found at more than 150 premier bars and restaurants and at 200 liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities.
Pryes Brewing is offering holiday gift cards through Giftbomb. Just download the Giftbomb app, where you can purchase gift cards through your phone and text them to their recipient. Current offers include:
- Buy $500, get $100
- Buy $250, get $50
- Buy $100, get $25
- Buy $25, get a free pint
The holidays get even merrier at Pryes Brewing when the Minneapolis Craft Market sets up shop in the taproom. On December 5, 12, and 19 you can enjoy a pint while browsing handmade gifts from local makers, who will be on site with their wares from 6-9 PM.
Arbeit Opera Theatre: Kelly Turpin, Class of 2004
Arbeit Opera Theatre (AOT), was founded in January 2018 by Producer and Artistic Director Kelly Turpin and has already captured the attention of not only the arts community, but the attention of human rights non-profits. Their inaugural production of “The Consul” received praise from the Star Tribune for having “thrown down a gauntlet to those inclined to think opera consists mainly of prima donnas, pretty tunes and preening.”
With a mission of producing socially-relevant works to break down the barriers of the classical art form and bring communities together, AOT strives to inspire and inform their audience on the issues that surround them, provide an artistic voice for the people those issues affect, and to do so with as many Minnesota artists as possible.
Upcoming productions include “The Rape of Lucretia” by Benjamin Britten (March 20-22, 2020) and “DIVAS & DRAG 2020” (June 19-20, 2020). Suggested ticket donations are $20 for these productions; to learn more about ticket availability and pricing, visit the AOT website.
“I would not be on the path I’m on if it hadn’t been for MPA’s commitment to the arts and upholding these studies at the same level of importance as other academia,” says Kelly. “The expectation of work ethic I had instilled in me at such a young age is what keeps me forging ahead each day.”
OPEX Woodbury: Ralph Dunn, Class of 2014
OPEX Woodbury provides clients with the tools to live an inspired life through fitness. Using an individualized approach, personalized consultations align goals and lifestyle by meeting clients where they are right now in their fitness journey, and by creating a unique workout program to achieve a lifetime of well being. OPEX Woodbury is focused on providing clients with results, relationships, and fun as they learn how to move better, feel better, and live a larger life.
Ralph explains that establishing a fitness business took much more than time in the gym. “MPA gave me the skills to succeed in college so that I could pursue my passion for exercise science,” he says. “The writing skills I learned at MPA were invaluable, even within a science discipline.”
Stay healthy during the holidays with a special four week OPEX trial, priced at only $225 with this offer. Visit the OPEX Woodbury website to learn how you can get the full OPEX experience at a discount.
Love Your Melon: Zachary Quinn, Class of 2011
Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer while supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer. To date, Love Your Melon has contributed over 175,000 beanies plus more than $6.2 million to fund cancer research and therapeutic experiences.
Zachary sees a direct connection between his MPA education and his success as an entrepreneur. “MPA taught me how to write; this was specifically useful in conveying the work that we were doing to people over social media and emails. It’s also an incredibly philanthropic community and a part of what inspired me to make a difference,” he says. “Teachers like Maureen Conway, Barbara Bradley, and Richard Meacock left lasting impressions.”
When you shop at Love Your Melon, 50 percent of profits from the sale of all products is given to Love Your Melon’s nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer.