After a year of professional and personal soul searching, Steph Davies is very satisfied with where she and her business, The Waxwing, have landed.
Earlier this year, Davies signed a lease with Joseph Development to move her art and gift boutique from its current location in Shorewood, to a space on the corner of Oakland and North Avenues, 1800 E. North Ave.
"I don’t need to tell people the address. All I have to say is, ‘It’s where the old Pizza Man was,’" says Davies.
The space, which is four times larger than the Shorewood place, is brand new construction and was unfinished when Davies took it over. She, along with her husband and a team of local artists and contractors – including friend, clothing designer and furniture maker Kira Wendel – have worked day and night, painting, laying flooring and building shelving and a stage.
"We laid the floor on Thanksgiving Day," says Davies. "That was my husband’s idea."
Waxwing will have a soft opening on Friday, Dec. 18 and will host a grand opening party on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. The first 50 people to attend will receive a special door prize. There will also be refreshments and live music by the Thriftones, Davies’ husband, Matt's, band.
The Shorewood location will remain open through Christmas. Both stores are fully stocked with items.
Between 120 and 150 artists – primarily local – have items for sale at Waxwing. Davies says she is uncertain how many more artists she will bring on board after the move is complete.
"Once we are settled, we will see what we need and what we have space for," she says. "It will be nice to let our current artists spread."
Davies is accepting submissions from artists who would like to sell in her space through her website.
"I am open to all different items," says Davies. "It’s the craziest ting, you never know what’s going to sell in here. Or something might sit for a while, and just when I start to wonder why, we’ll sell five of them in a single day."
The new Waxwing will also offer classes, from jewelry making to a kids’ story hour and craft time.
"Anything we can do to get more people involved," says Davies.
So far, the best part of the new location are the large windows facing south and west.
"I love the natural light," says Davies. "I don’t think I will ever turn on a light. In general, I feel really good when I’m here."
Both Waxwings are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
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.