Steph Davies, owner of The Waxwing, 1800 E. North Ave., will not renew her lease at the end of October. Until then, customers of the boutique can still order online as well as shop through the on-site walk-up window.
"This feels like the right choice for The Waxwing because I’ve decided to look at this time as an opportunity to reconsider, well, everything," says Davies.
Instead, The Waxwing / Davies will continue to sell online and will operate from a completely rehabbed studio space in The Factory Building, 1223 S. 23rd St. The new space will be a shipping warehouse, interactive space and could serve as a retail space in the future if public health allows.
"Since we have only been operating online, we decided to make a choice and shift to this model in an intentional way. This space will act as our shipping warehouse but we’ve also worked hard to create an interactive space so that when we do feel like it’s safe to invite shoppers to join us, it will be an experience," says Davies.
Davies has built vignettes of living spaces – a bedroom nook, a bathroom, a kitchenette and a living room area – to serve as backdrops for product photography and to showcase handmade goods in their native environment.
The Factory is also home to shop artists Tactile Craftworks, Directive, Covet & Ginger and Janelle Gramling.
Davies first opened the retail gallery showcasing the work of more than 300 artists in 2012 in Shorewood and moved to her current East Side location in 2015.
The shop closed in March due the pandemic and never reopened to the public.
"For most of us, the entire world as we had known it has changed. So I could either try to operate 'business as usual' and hope that at some point it would feel normal again, or choose to explore a new idea that felt more sustainable in this pandemic world," says Davies. "Our priority this whole time has been health over profit so whatever happens will continue in that light."
The Waxwing customers can pick up online orders or shop "from a distance" Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
The new Waxwing will open in November in The Factory.
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.