Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The 3/50 project

A woman I work with handed me this flyer the other day (who, I might add, moonlighted at a small store on Downer Avenue that closed last month) . Then I saw it on Facebook. My line of thinking started with, I don't spend $50 a month on "stuff." But of course I do. I try, not hard enough, to spend it at locally-owned establishments. The line "...you'd miss most if they were gone" crystallized this for me, as so many are closing.

Some of my favorite local bricks-and-mortar establishments are listed below the flyer.

Some of my faves, and reasons why:

Fischberger's Variety on Holton: the best place to buy gifts. The lady who owns it (one of the Brew City Bruisers) gave me a zipper once- not sold it to me- gave it to me. The fact that I remember it two years later shows how unusual this small act was.

Top Shelf Guitar Shop in Bay View. The guy that owns it not only checked out and tweaked my bass this year, not charging me because "I really didn't do anything"-- although I saw him tweak it! Then he ran out in the rain to bring me the patch cords I bought and then forgot on the counter. Truly excellent customer service every time.

Ruhama's Yarn and Needlepoint for getting my craft on.

Kellner's Greenhouse for decorative plants and herbs (especially since Weber's on Green Bay just north of Capitol closed last year).

Laacke and Joys, downtown location, "when nature calls you outdoors." It's a big store, and probably not on the verge of closing or anything, but it's a Milwaukee icon and always seems to have what I need. Or want.

What are your favorite local stores? Why do you like them?


Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of this 3/50 crap.

Erik Helm said...

You may wish to rethink your choice of Laacke and Joys. It WAS a venerable Milwaukee institution, but since 1996 and its purchase by rich socialite Martha Mather, it has been dying from the inside. Martha treats her employees like indentured servants, insults and demeans them in public, and is not interested in the outdoor parts of her industry. I was a manager and buyer at the downtown store and have an inside perspective. When I left, the flyfishing department went too, and the expanded book selection was more or less abandoned. Now they have lost their manager and the main paddle sports person as well. (after 7 years they are not even giving her a going away party...I am instead) The team of enthusiastic outdoor experts that made the shopping experience what it was is down to the last single individual.

The entire focus of the company is on patio furniture and fashion clothing.


Anonymous said...

See, River Otter? Not everyone has been sold on this idea. Lose your optimistic naivete. Once you stop pretending to be happy, you'll be much happier.

The River Otter said...

The entire focus of the company is on patio furniture and fashion clothing. Sad! That's kind of like Jo-Ann Fabrics! (not so much about fabric and crafts anymore). I changed it to Aba Semar, the repair guy on Port Washington Road. Oooo another new post idea- on the economy of repairing items rather than buying new...

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