Maxine Closner started swag – fine & funky art in 2002 with the premise that art should be accessible to everyone! Stuffy galleries filled with bronze sculptures & whispering clients weren’t her sorta thing.


Maxine had 13 years experience with a seasonal store in Cable, Wisconsin (Cranberry Max) before she decided to open a year-round storefront in the college town of Northfield, Minnesota.

After years as an art appreciator & avid collector, Maxine decided to renovate a 2,000 sf historical space that was once the home of the Lockwoods Opera House. Swag now stands in the same space that once housed the horses and carriages for opera guests at the turn of the century.

After almost 10 years as Owner, Maxine handed the reins to her (favorite) daughter, Mary. The two completely different personalities manage to work together on a daily basis and still actually like each other. Maxine is a big believer in “less is more” and Mary prefers the “more is NEVER enough” style of design. Luckily, they both believe that art can be found in everyday things like beautiful soaps, colorful dog leashes, gorgeous letter-press greeting cards, & big rusty sculptures!