While boutiques and entrepreneurs have made Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward the premier shopping destination near Downtown, non-profit icon Goodwill Industries is ready to also call the neighborhood home. Its Retique will open in May.
Goodwill, as a part of its continued store growth in Milwaukee and Chicago, will open a 5,343-sq. ft. retail outlet 190 N. Broadway, the site of former high-end florist, Private Gardner. Goodwill, at the end of February, opened a similar concept store in Carol Stream, Ill.
Like many of Goodwill's newer retail stores, it will target a more middle-class shopper with a clean, bright, well-organized layout and merchandising flair that rivals fashionable chains and boutiques.
"Retique will be Goodwill’s first boutique featuring some wonderful designer fashions, vintage items and brand name accessories," said Pat Boelter, vice president of marketing for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin.
"Opening a boutique is a new business model for us, but one that certainly supports our mission. While this is the first boutique for our Goodwill, other Goodwills throughout the country have had tremendous success in opening and running boutiques."
Goodwill began an effort to "upscale" many of its retail stores with the creation of amazinggoodwill.com, a site for which OnMilwaukeee.com did the back end development.
Retique will reuse fixtures from other boutiques and retailers as it completes the build out of the space.
"Reuse is very important to us and part of our operating philosophy," said Boelter. Overall, she added, when compared to the "typical" Goodwill store, the store will be smaller and will look "totally different."
Goodwill is working with occasional OnMilwaukee.com blogger Bjorn Nasett, a fashion consultant and stylist at Beauty, on some of design and marketing elements.
Retique will remain true to the Goodwill mission, noted Boelter.
"As with all our stores there will be a variety of clothing, accessories and household items. However, we are hoping to offer more name brands, designer labels and vintage items than our usual store. We will also be selling artwork and crafts from Goodwill participants at this location to support our mission."
A grand opening celebration is being planned for mid-May.
"We will have a lot of 'extras' planned to celebrate the grand opening of Retique, with the help of some of our new Third Ward neighbors," said Boelter.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.