Handmade Wisconsin-based goods are such hot stuff, The Local is opening a second location
Brit Remer and Alison Magnuson, co-owners of The Local. Magnuson says the long-term plan always was to have more than one shop.
Before Alison Magnuson opened her store The Local in downtown Wausau back in July of 2017, she was a stay-at-home mom who had started crafting, and selling what she made online, on Etsy. After going to craft markets, she realized Wausau could really use a brick-and-mortar shop that sold handmade local wares.
She first reached out to the River District organization to see how much a space would cost, and then she began finding makers in Wisconsin whose wares she could sell in her store. Magnuson says it all happened pretty quickly and grew rapidly.
“When we first opened the door, people started reaching out to me,” she says. “And now it’s kind of a variety, where people have stopped in or reached out and Instagram has been a huge form of communication… I know that there are shops like this in bigger cities.”
Brit Remer of Wausau was one of the first people to contact Magnuson to sell her t-shirt brand, called Wicked Good Vibes, at The Local and is now co-owner with Magnuson. The shop at 420 Third Street has flourished so much that the pair have decided to open a second location in Weston, next to the newly opened Tine and Cellar restaurant on Schofield Avenue.
“In the grand scheme of things, the long term plan was always to have more than one location and Weston just felt like the right fit for our shop,” Magnuson says.
The downtown shop will continue to sell exclusively Wisconsin products with the majority being from central Wisconsin. The Weston location, opening in early May, will be dedicated to other makers from around the Midwest, sticking to the Great Lakes region including Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa as well as Wisconsin.
“It will have a similar look and the same feel as the downtown location,” says Magnuson. “We want to make sure people understand we aren’t going anywhere, we are just expanding and opening up another location can help more makers.”
They will hold workshops in the Weston location as well as downtown with more events happening at the Weston store. “And, our goal is not to ever feel overwhelming,” she says of the calming and spacious atmosphere of their downtown store. “That way, all the makers are able to be seen, so there’s not an overload of product.”
The Local features more than 50 makers (they can be viewed on The Local’s website) who sell products from maple syrup and ginseng to home decor, bath products, jewelry, baby products, and the Wisconsin Board game, Wiscongo! When asked what the most popular item is in the store, Magnuson says there isn’t a consistent top seller. “It goes in waves,” she says. “We try and gauge what the customers are looking for.”
The Local is located at 420 Third St., in downtown Wausau and soon to open in Weston at 3806 Schofield Ave., Suite 2. Open 10 am-5:30 pm Tues.–Sat. and 11 am–3 pm Sundays (hours will be the same at both locations). 715-298-0896 and thelocalwi.com as well as on Facebook.