I've held off on this blog for a while, even though I've know about J. Bird Boutique's pending closing for several weeks.
Full disclosure, as if you don't already know, my wife co-owns Lela in the Historic Third Ward and I know Jennifer Hemberger, J. Bird co-owner, as well. In fact, we were at her wedding.
Anyway, J. Bird is closing at the end of April. Hemberger will commit, for now, full-time to her daughter and leave behind a bit of a legacy of a funky women's store that eventually added men's but always seemed to be just outside of the main thoroughfare of the Third Ward's explosive growth. She's nice, real and honest.
"I did it because I love fashion, I enjoyed helping people, and I
think it's really rewarding to work for yourself. While I am
saddened by the loss of the store I am looking forward to spending
more time with Beatrix (her daughter). I hope to take what I have
learned, the friends that I have made, and do something new and
exciting," said Hemberger in an e-mail.
Independent retail isn't easy, ask any storeowner. It's fun, though, and full of promise, surprises and opportunities for creativity. Eventually, as we all do, you've got to decide where and how to spend your time. For Hemberger, it's family now and maybe another venture sometime down the road.
I wish her well and say if you want a deal or just to say goodbye and good luck get to 415 E. Menomonee St. This weekend everything is 25 percent off, and percentages will grow as the closing date grows nearer.
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.