For those thinking ahead, holiday gift buying season has already begun. For many people, this means shopping locally and finding a personalized, handmade item.
With this in mind, husband-and-wife team Jesse Meyer and Kamryn Boelk will host a holiday pop-up boutique in their shared studio space, 914 E. Hamilton St.
"Buying a local, handmade gift creates a really special connection between the giver and the getter," says Boelk.
The boutique will feature the work of 45 local makers and items include knit infinity scarves, slouchy hats, leather bags, jewelry, natural woven wall pieces, leather journals, geometric embroidery, graphic pillows and more.
Jewelry by Cival.
Pillows from Drawstring Studio.
Seventy-five artists responded to the couples’ online consignment call. Boelk, who was originally planning to only choose 25, says it was difficult to even scale it back to 45 makers.
A complete list of participating makers can be found here.
"We were floored by the number of truly talented makers who had faith in our vision and were eager to get on board," says Boelk. "We’re so excited to open our space to the community and offer a little different shopping experience this holiday season."
Boelk and Meyer will sell their creations as well. The two have separate creative businesses that operate from the same studio space. Boelk creates leather bags and jewelry under the indie fashion accessory label Permanent Baggage, and Meyer – co-founder and former designer for Flux Design – has the Jesse Meyer Sculpture Studio.
"We are happy to have found a niche for ourselves in a creative manner," says Boelk. "This would not have been possible without the support of so many people in Milwaukee. There’s a lot of inertia here."
The boutique will be open from Saturday, Nov. 14 through Wednesday, Dec. 23, with a grand opening reception on Friday, Nov. 13 from 5 to 10 p.m. The hours of operation are Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. The boutique is closed on Mondays.
Boelk had been running her business for the past seven years from a spare bedroom in their home, while Meyer was working out of a small transitional space. The couple, who live in Bayside, welcomed a daughter earlier this year.
"My business was starting to take over our home and with the birth of our first child we knew that we needed to make some changes so we accepted the offer," said Boelk. "It’s been a really hard push juggling being new parents, a funding campaign, moving two studios and now the build out of a retail space and pop-up boutique, but realizing our dream to make art and raise our family right along with us has energized us to make it happen."
The couple, who met while attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), began the lease on their new space in June after successfully completing a funding campaign.
"We’re so grateful to everyone who supported us. It really helped bridge the gap and made the transition easier on our family," says Boelk. "We hope that people will enjoy seeing what it takes for handmade items to go from studio to storefront."
Garden fish from Jesse Meyer Studio.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.