The maker movement isn’t going away anytime soon, and The Local owner Alison Magnuson is doing her part to make sure it’s firmly represented in downtown Wausau, where her charming shop is located.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to have a shop. I was a stay-at-home mom for a few years and when I was doing that, I [also] started making items and opened an Etsy shop. I realized we had a need for a shop [like what The Local would be] because there were so many people I started connecting with whose work wasn’t being seen or heard of because they didn’t have a local outlet,” explains Magnuson.
Carrying about 50 Wisconsin makers and artists’ work, Magnuson partners with each to carry bath and body items, jewelry, baby goods and home décor pieces. Magnuson says the majority of vendors have been with her from the beginning, and she keeps adding more. Some of the makers and artists also teach workshops at The Local, too.
“It’s an amazing feeling that [many of these artists] trusted us even before the doors opened here and saw my vision,” she says.
Baby items like onesies, bibs and hats by Crafts by Krysta are a hit, as are The Bath Tramp’s natural body products like cold-processed soaps, body butters and bath bombs. Customers also love Wicked Good Vibes Wisconsin outdoors-themed apparel.
The Local has become so popular Magnuson is opening a second location this May in Weston, about 20 minutes away, that will carry an expanded assortment of Midwest maker items.
“In the big picture, I’d like to have a few locations, because I just love being able to get the makers’ stories out there,” says Magnuson. “People say they get inspired when they come in here … seeing these [makers] following their dreams and passions.”
420 3rd St., Wausau, 715-298-0896, thelocalwi.com
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