C.J.: Jessica Biel’s stop to shop leaves Minneapolis merchant red-faced

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 13, 2014 - 2:13 PM
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Ely native Jessica Biel says she gets called Jessica Alba a lot.

Photo: Evan Agostini, Associated Press

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Jessica Biel may have bought Justin Timberlake’s Valentine’s Day card at Greater Goods on Eat Street.

It was a slightly embarrassing Sunday afternoon transaction for Joel Gryniewski. He owns the new card and gift store with his wife, Lauren, who added to his shame with a posting on Facebook. They opened the store about two months ago as a storefront for their line of greeting cards, Old Tom Foolery. They write and design the cards, which are printed locally and sold wholesale to places like Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and other stores around the country.

“My wife was actually working the front. My wife had called me up for a completely separate thing. She was distracted by some other things going on in the store; she didn’t even recognize that it was Jessica Biel,” he told me Tuesday. “So when I came up she was already at the register. I looked at her and was like, ‘I definitely know who that is.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you Jessica Alba?’ As soon as it came out of my mouth I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I know who she is — I know who they both are. She graciously said, No, I get that a lot, but I’m Jessica Biel.

“I just wanted to crawl under a rock. We talked for a little bit, and I was like, ‘Oh, thanks for stopping in.’ Then I went in the back and just slapped myself in the face. I totally blew it. Such an idiot!”

Biel, an Ely, Minn., native, was in the metro because her husband’s “The 20/20 Experience Tour” made a stop at St. Paul’s X.

“It seems like she maybe had a bodyguard with her. She had a big guy with her,” he said. “You can imagine how excited Lauren is to know she’s only two degrees of separation from the man who brought sexy back.”

They were also excited that she bought their cards. “Cards we designed. Two general love cards, I guess I would say. Kind of Valentinesy.”

Lauren posted this on Facebook: “omg, omg, omg. Jessica Biel was just in the store and bought 2 Footnotes cards that are probably going to be given to her husband JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE! And … Joel Gryniewski asked her if she is Jessica Alba!?!?!”

Joel’s Facebook post: “I’m the world’s biggest idiot.”

Not in my book. The man listens to his dad, my 2014 valentine, Ron, a former Strib employee.

“I told my parents about it yesterday, and my dad’s like, You should tell C.J. I said, ‘That’s a pretty good idea.’ ”

Warm feeling for Clooney

George Clooney reportedly did something nice that’ll keep the cast and crew of his movie “The Monuments Men” cozy while bringing a warm fuzzy feeling to the bottom line of a Minnesota company.

“Clooney personally ordered a special run of blankets from Faribault Woolen Mill (in Faribault, Minn., natch). These are beautiful, all-wool blankets that retail for over $200 apiece. On each one, ‘The Monuments Men’ is stitched near the hem,” said John Reinan, media guy at Fast Horse, which handles PR for the mill.

 

Slate gets in Prince’s hair

Looks as though Prince changes his hair as often as former and current First Ladies Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michelle Obama.

“Over the course of his 35-plus years in music, Prince has found a lot of ways to be funky. Case in point: His hair, which he’s changed just as often as his sound and even more often than he’s changed his name,” wrote Slate.com’s Forrest Wickman. To illustrate the point, Slate reprinted a chart that illustrator and set designer Gary Card whipped up for the Beat (http://slate.me/1jr13Vi).

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