Friday, December 14, 2012

Shopping Local: Waukesha Edition

This year, I am making a very solid effort to SHOP LOCAL for Christmas. I would say about 90% of my items for Christmas were purchased at local stores in and around Waukesha/Milwaukee. I have had a few of the items for a few months now in preparation for the holidays. But I'm still finishing up in the next few days finding that gift for the hard-to-shop for. I'm hoping tomorrow I can find some goodies at the Indoor Waukesha Farmer's Market held at Montecito Restaurante.

So are you trying to shop local this year? When you shop local, more of you dollars stay in the community and help that community grow. Downtown Waukesha is an excellent example of shopping local. The shops, restaurants and businesses all have many options for gifts and buying these gifts will keep Waukesha prospering. And we all want that!
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If you aren't familiar with Waukesha - let me do a brief breakdown of the types of stores that I am familiar with. (I'll be missing a few most likely as the list is long, so please don't be mad if I forget a few).

For the food lover, there are so many options, restaurant gift certificates, food items, kitchen accessories and more. Some of my go-to shops for my foodie friends:
-Poppin On Broadway - gourmet popcorn (more on this shop after the holidays, but you must get in here!)
-Allo! Chocolate - chocolates and candies
-The Steaming Cup - tea
-Cafe de Arts - coffe
-RiverMill Foods - breads & cheesecakes 
And then a gift certificate to one of the restaurants is always a great option (People's Park, Magellan's, Sprizzo's, J. Lotti's, Bernie's Tap Room, Divino Gelato - the list goes on and on)

For the accessorizing friend, there are many shops with purses, scarves and jewelry. Some of my go-to shops to glam it up:
-Bangles & Bags - purses, scarves, jewerly
-Plowshare Gifts - scarves, purses (fair trade)
-Restyle Studio  - scarves, jewelry
-Copacetic - hats & shirts

For the cocktail connoisseur, Waukesha has watering holes to wet everyone's whistle. My favorites are:
-Nice Ash Cigar Bar - new expanded whiskeys and great cigars and hookahs
-Boscos Social Club - nice lounge bar with a little bit of everything
-House of Guinness - Irish bar
-Discount Liquor - support the independently owned shops. It's not Wal-Mart! Get personal service and help picking out the right wine, beer, liquor for that loved one. The staff is spectacular with this (especially Tiffany!!!).

Image from Exceptions to the Rules
For the art lover, Waukesha has a million art galleries! Ok, not a million, but they have a gallery for everyone's taste.
-Almont Gallery - really cool salt & pepper shakers on cars to zoom down the table
-Clinton Street Gallery - great Raiku pottery
-River's End Gallery - Beautiful paintings and glass art

And then there are a few more shops that fit into categories all on their own.
-Waukesha Tattoo Company - although I am un-inked still, there work is so beautiful from what I have seen. The team over there is really active in the community and the company shows great morale amongst the staff by going out together.
-Martha Merrills - for the book lover in everyone, this shop features stories by many local authors.
-Beading Hearts - a bead store, recently expanded to offer yarn and classes

There are sooooo many more shops in Waukesha that I cannot list them all. So if you have time, take an afternoon to stroll the streets. Waukesha is even offering horse-drawn carriage rides on the weekends to get you around town.

Hope this list helps you out and maybe tempts you to come visit my town - I hope so!!! Happy Shopping!

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