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Heidi Shaffer and Dave Olson, Published October 28 2011

Trade Talk: New Willi Nilli bags to debut

Willi Nilli handbag designer Susanne Williams hopes to clutch a captive audience at her holiday trunk show on Friday.

Williams will reveal her latest individually designed bags – including “murses,” aka handbags for men – as well as her never-shown jewelry line at Ecce Gallery, 216 Broadway.

But it’s not all about the shopping, Williams said.

“It should be just an incredibly wonderful party, too,” she said. Last year’s show brought out about 200 people.

Williams specializes in manipulating leather for the unique pieces that range from $39 to $1,200.

“I’m fascinated with how leather can take on different attributes and design elements that would be very unexpected,” she said.

Most of the work is very structured, but Williams recently introduced some soft-sided bags and messenger-style “Jack and Jill” totes suitable for men or women.

Williams was recently accepted into the 2012 American Craft Council shows, a very competitive group of artisans in which to be included. Her work will be shown in February in Baltimore, but not before Fargo shoppers get a first peek at the pieces.

Friday’s live fashion show, including drinks and small For more information, call Ecce at (701) 298-3223 or visit ecce216.com.

Pizza, pizza everywhere

The proliferation of pizza parlor openings in the metro appears to be extending to south Fargo.

An eatery by the name of Thatzza Pizza, to be located at 3241 42nd St. S., has a pending building permit with the city.

The owner is listed as Henry Carlson Co., a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based contracting company with offices in Aberdeen, S.D., and Fargo.

A call seeking more information on the new restaurant was not returned Thursday.

In other pizza-related news, Fargo-based Spicy Pie opened a new store at Minot (N.D.) State University this week.

Making the cut

Carrie Horton is getting another whack at a possible $20,000 grand prize in a competition against fellow meat cutters.

Horton, who works at the Fargo Texas Roadhouse restaurant, competed in February in the semifinals of the Texas Roadhouse Meat-Cutting Challenge in Louisville, Ky., but fell short of advancing to the finals.

However, at a competition earlier this month in Littleton, Colo., Horton earned a berth in the semifinals of the latest Meat-Cutting Challenge, which will be in January.

If she wins the semifinals, she will compete at the 2012 Texas Roadhouse national conference in Florida in April. A $20,000 grand prize and the “Meat Cutter of the Year” title will be up for grabs.

Readers can reach Forum business editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511 and Forum business reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555.