Our crafty city guide for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, comes from Cortney Heimerl, a transplant who became a force in the local craft scene there:
I have lived in Milwaukee for 15 years. I moved here to earn my BFA, and I stayed when I found I could contribute in a meaningful way to the local creative community. Today I spend a lot of my time creating opportunities for people who want to turn their crafty hobbies into small businesses, whether that means coordinating a craft fair or creating a business class for artists — I have found many, many enthusiastic participants in these ideas I dream up. It’s all part of my plan to engage with my community, to make it stronger and to create opportunity. I certainly do not do this alone, as you will see from my list! Milwaukee is lucky to have so many creative people creating and so many supportive people out there shopping local and buying from independent artists. I like to watch the momentum as it builds, and I am excited to see what we can do in the next 15 years. — Cortney Heimerl
Hometown Established, A General Store
321 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hometown Established was created to give Milwaukee an option for locally sourced utilitarian items and art, with a beautifully curated selection of Milwaukee’s best artists and crafters.
1438 E. Russell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Orange Gallery is the smallest of all of the crafty stores I’m listing, but it is so finely curated and merchandised it would be a shame if you missed it. The owner of this gallery often seeks out artists to make something special just for her shop, so you never know what you’ll find!
Our Daily Salt
3519 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53215
Our Daily Salt opened a storefront to sell their handcrafted kitchen goods and their woodworking shop under one roof.
1800 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Waxwing showcases the work of more than 100 local designers. If you want to see the range of talent that exists in Milwaukee, this is a great place to start.
PLACES FOR MAKERS
ABK Weaving Center
1250 E. Burleigh St., Milwaukee, WI 53212
ABK Weaving Center hosts classes for beginning students and intermediate weavers who want to enhance their skills.
2555 S. Lenox St., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Milwaukee Makerspace hosts a community of makers, providing knowledge, equipment and space to support everyone from emerging makers to established creatives. Join them for free open-to-the-public nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
1422 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee, WI 53212
RedLine is a gallery and education space but also a print shop and paper-making studio that provides resources to the community.
2224 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Sparrow hosts a wide range of classes from metal etching and enamels to constructing jewelry or tying Celtic knots. Stop by any time to check out the store, which showcases the work of more than 100 artists from Milwaukee and beyond.
2658 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Wild Haven is a yarn shop focusing on unique fibers and notions for knitters, crocheters and weavers. And if you aren’t a knitter, crocheter or weaver yet, you can take a class to become one!
annually in early December
Hover Craft focuses on encouraging creative people to create. We host over 70 vendors from Milwaukee who range from emerging to established.
first Sunday of each month May through September, in the parking lot of Bay View’s Colectivo
Over 40 artists, crafters and makers from Milwaukee and beyond come to vend each market day. Grab a cup of coffee, listen to local DJs spinning vinyl, and enjoy checking out the crafts!
One Trick Pony
biannual — check website for upcoming shows
A pop-up flea market that provides a unique one-day shopping event with local and regional collectors, vendors and vintage specialists.
Urban Garage Sale
annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Turner Hall
Local shops, makers, artists and crafters showcasing their work at this holiday-focused buying event.
601 S. Sixth St., Milwaukee, WI 53204
A curiosity shop with a finely curated selection of antiques, oddities and flowers.
Dragonfly Vintage Goods
1117 E. Brady St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Vintage clothing for men, women and children — but it doesn’t stop there! Shop at Dragonfly for an impressive array of barware, vintage vinyl and beautiful old record players.
2649 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Luv’s got new, vintage and handmade clothing, plus an assortment of jewelry and accessories of men and women.
2457 S. Wentworth Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
A charming farm-to-fork restaurant specializing in craft cocktails and beer paired with an ever-changing menu. Delicious!
Milwaukee Public Market
400 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
The independent merchants of the Public Market provide high quality selections of artisan and ethnic foods. It’s like a food court, but way, way better.
2491 S. Superior St., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Stop by Palomino for a wide selection of bourbon and delicious Southern-inspired cooking, or take a class to learn the secrets of pie! They really have it all.
441 E. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
More than 60 American craft beers on tap. What’s more crafty than that?
Cortney Heimerl is a fiber artist and craft fair organizer who loves to find ways to grow the local creative community in Milwaukee. She organizes both Maker Market and Hover Craft, she creates small business classes for artists through Maker Sessions and she provides a consulting service for people who are interested in growing their handmade business, but just aren’t quite sure of the next steps. You can find Cortney in Milwaukee, see what she is making at CortneyHeimerl.com or follow her on Instagram (@cortneyheimerl).
Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!