Il Bosco, which means "the forest" in Italian, is an upscale eco boutique that recently opened at 225 S. 2nd St. in Walker's Point. The shop, owned by Christa Cianciolo, who co-owns Stack'd Burger Bar with her husband, Trevor Danielsen, sells primarily handmade, sustainable goods created by artists and craftspeople.
"We sell upcycle and repurposed furniture, fine jewelry, hand-blown glassware, upcycled leather bags, hand carved wood bowls, art, sustainable home goods and plants. We also sell the service of installing and consultation for living plant walls," says Cianciolo.
Il Bosco is true to its name in that everything reflects nature in some way.
"Our goal is to provide an ecologically sound alternative to chemical-laden furniture, home décor, jewelry and housewares that have become mainstream in our society," says Cianciolo. "We also want to do that by supporting individual artists who also have the same philosophy as ours, to create functional art with natural materials."
The shop's decor includes a 14-foot live wall of greenery that trickles into a koi pond. There is a second "wall of plants" in the back of the shop. Both walls are made entirely of planters made from recycled milk jugs.
"We want to inspire people to establish a relationship with plants to filter out chemicals in our indoor air," says Cianciolo.
Cianciolo is also a scientist who worked in biotechnology and in pathology before opening the store. Her former job inspired her to work directly toward sustainability.
"When I saw all the carcinogenic chemicals we use and dispose of in healthcare, it was eye-opening and life changing," she says.
In the near future, Cianciolo plans to start a foundation in Milwaukee that leases unwanted spaces in the city and converts them into gardens that anyone can take vegetable and fruit from.
"Not just garden plots, more like parks with food for people with food insecurity," she says.
Last March, after the shutdown due to COVID-19, Cianciolo started a "recycled garden" made from take-out containers in the window at Il Bosco. They later moved the garden to Stack'd where they are also able to use the vegetables.
"I would love to do that on a much larger scale around the city. I would love to see Milwaukee be leaders in urban ecological innovations," says Cianciolo.
Il Bosco is, for now, open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Il Bosco will be open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Follow the shop on Facebook here.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.