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Saturday, November 24, 2018

12 Under-the-Radar Boutiques in the Milwaukee Area

Instead of fighting the crowds at large chain stores this holiday season, pick up a one-of-a-kind gift, from vintage clothing and jewelry to pottery, glassware, and vintage items, at one of these locally-owned boutiques.

This article is part of our Under the Radar series, bringing you the best of Milwaukee that you might not have heard about before. Read our other Under the Radar editions here.

Bay View

1) Plume

3001 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. #A, 414-465-8197

Last January, Sheila Teruty and Maggie Solveson, owners of So Passe Vintage and Brown Cow Vintage, respectively, decided to combine their resources and open Plume in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood. Besides vintage clothing and accessories, the shop sells jewelry made by local artists and offers personalized shopping services.

Plume Interior; photo courtesy of Plume

2) Sparrow Collective

2224 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-747-9229

Sparrow Collective will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Bay View in May, 2019. Besides men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, the gift boutique sells cards, bath and body products, candles, handbags, jewelry and plenty of Brew City-inspired items. “We do a lot of locally-themed jewelry. It’s always a big gift item,” said owner Jessica Franzen.


South Milwaukee

3) Serendipitous Designs and Gifts

907 Milwaukee Ave., 414-306-5851

Serendipitous Designs and Gifts, which opened in downtown South Milwaukee in February, 2018, sells a wide variety of items made by local artisans, including miniature painted holiday houses and ornaments, soaps, sugar scrubs, leatherworks, jewelry, stuffed animals and mixed media art. 

photo courtesy of Serendipitous Designs and Gifts


Third Ward/Downtown

4) Edie Boutique

244 N. Broadway St., 414-509-5852

With seven locations in Wisconsin and Illinois, Edie Boutique offers women’s casual clothing (including lots of winter knits and outerwear), jewelry, headbands, scarves and handbags.

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5) The Sophisticated Man Boutique

322 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-271-4490

The Sophisticated Man sells dressy and casual men’s clothing and accessories, from suits and sports coats and hats to sweaters and slacks. The shop also provides on-site alterations and tailoring services.


East Side/Riverwest/Shorewood

6) Permanent Baggage Studio and Boutique

914 Hamilton St.

Featuring items from more than 50 local artisans, from candles to magnets to quirky crocheted sea creatures, in its boutique, Permanent Baggage is also an accessory fashion label selling bohemian-inspired handbags and jewelry.

The Waxwing (Photo by Dominic Inouye)

7) The Waxwing

1800 E. North Ave.

The Waxwing opened in 2012 at a small storefront in Shorewood. In 2016, owner and artist Steph Davies moved her business into a larger space, its current location at North and Oakland Avenues. The shop carries items made by more than 300 artisans, both national and local, including candles, clothing, candy, bath products and ceramics. The Waxwing also features classes and pop-up stores hosted by local artists.

8) Boutique 801

801 E. Center St., 414-585-0717

Boutique 801 offers women’s secondhand clothing and accessories, including designer brands.

9) Swanky Seconds

2223 E. Capitol Dr., 414-313-4042

Swanky Seconds sells secondhand designer-name clothing (Kate Spade, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Hermes and Chanel, for example) and accessories on consignment. The store is accepting winter consignment items and furs.


West/Wauwatosa

10) Hyde Park Tailors and Cleaners

6728 W. Wells St., 414-258-3892

Besides selling women’s clothing, gifts and accessories, Hyde Park offers extensive tailoring and dry-cleaning services.

11) Salamander

7532 W. State St., 414-259-0970

Salamander offers contemporary women’s clothing made by designers nationwide, from casual to dressy. The shop also sells jewelry, other accessories and baby gifts.

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12) Rochelle’s Fashion Boutique

5717 North Ave., 414-323-7550

Rochelle’s features dressy and casual clothing for women of all shapes and sizes, plus accessories and shoes.

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