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Afton resident Ross Sveback said his Heirloom Entertaining Collection was inspired by his grandmother's dishes.

Kon-tent products now for sale

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Food Woodbury,Minnesota 55125 http://www.woodburybulletin.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/41/0612/kon-tent-2.jpg?itok=2CMc8kXU
Woodbury Bulletin
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Kon-tent products now for sale
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Afton resident Ross Sveback, who knows all things lifestyle, is branching out from his cooking classes and lifestyle tips with his business Kon-tent to actually sell what he preaches.

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Sveback has recently started selling a variety of handmade and self-designed items such as soaps, cookie cutters, dinnerware, dishtowels and jewelry.

"It's one of those weird things where you throw something against the wall and see if it sticks," he said. "People are always asking me about products, so I just figured I'd start offering the products I actually use --the products I would actually like for myself."

All of Sveback's products are available through his website, however his dinnerware can also be purchased at the Ampersand Galleria in Edina.

Personal dinnerware

Sveback has been selling his Heirloom Entertaining Collection dinnerware for the past two months, and it was all because of a suggestion by a friend.

Over a year ago, Sveback had begun designing dinnerware, to have made, for his own personal use when a friend told him that his designs were so great that they needed to be sold in the store.

"I was going to just have it made for myself, but a friend said 'You have to get these in the stores,'" he said. "So I made some calls."

Sveback said he decided to try his hand at designing dinnerware because he was having trouble finding pieces that were versatile and durable enough.

So Sveback turned to his grandmother who was the inspiration for the pattern on the plates. Sveback describes the patterns -- tweed, faux boix and Danish fern -- as timeless and simple.

The dinnerware is made in England.

Already, Sveback's dinnerware has sold out of the stores.

"It's very flattering that people trust your brand," he said.

A gift for the holidays

Following the success of the dinnerware, Sveback said he decided to try his hand at handmade soaps.

"I wanted to come up with an idea where people could buy handmade soaps that didn't cost them a arm and a leg," he said. "Plus, I wanted to create a scent that I would like as a guy because most soaps are marketed more towards women."

For his soaps, Sveback said he decided to take a more "green" approach since he chose to sell the soaps in two pound bars, which meant that people could cut soap, as they needed it, instead of wasting everything they don't use.

Additionally, the soap is packaged with eco-friendly wrapping and hemp twine.

"Why not help the earth and pamper yourself with a bar," Sveback said on his website.

Sveback's first batch of soap is called "Magi" and contains the scents of frankincense and myrrh with a little gold powder added.

"I wanted something a bit more masculine, and I've always enjoyed the scents of frankincense and myrrh," he said. "So of course I immediately started thinking of the Magi and the gifts of the holiday season.

"You can wash with the gifts of the Magi -- how cool would that be."

The soaps are made with all natural ingredients.

"This is what I like and my first two batches are already sold out," he said.

Sveback said he is intending to expand his dinnerware and soap products as well as add in new products with hand-embroidered dishtowels, handmade jewelry and handmade cookie cutters, while still continuing his cooking classes and his lifestyle tips.

"It's a little bit of work, but I love doing it," he said. "Sometimes, you just get pulled in so many different directions."

Visit http://kon-tent.blogspot.com/ for information on Ross Sveback's handmade products.

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
(651) 702-0976
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