You already know that books, groceries and meals can be delivered to your house during this new social-distancing phase of our lives. But what if you want to buy a pair of earrings crafted by a local artist, a new toy or game for the kids, or a cool set of dinner plates (because you will entertain again, eventually!)?
Fighting to keep customers even while their storefronts are closed, several local indie boutiques are taking to the Internet to advertise their wares and process online orders. Can’t wait two or three business days to receive your purchases by mail? Don’t fret. Quite a few are delivering by car or bicycle.
BlackBear Children’s Boutique
Lucky enough to live near this fab Shorewood shop for dapper kids’ duds? Or maybe your best gal pal is about to deliver? From cute striped swim trunks for boys (we’ll all be back on Lake Michigan beaches soon!) to polka-dot baby socks, BlackBear Children’s Boutique has you covered. The shop also sells wooden toys and rattles, plus cloth toys and dolls, and offers a baby registry. In addition to free local pickup and shipping, store staff are dropping off purchases at local homes. “I hand deliver a lot myself,” says shop owner/founder Emma Carollo, who advises customers notate a local-delivery preference at checkout.
Sparrow Collective and Sparrow Boutique
Not that long ago, Bay View’s Etsy-esque store Sparrow Collective opened a second shop called Sparrow Boutique, focused on apparel, jewelry and home decor…right down the block and also on KK Avenue. Keep an eye on the shops’ Instagram pages (Sparrow Boutique’s is here, and you’ll find Sparrow Collective’s here) as new items (like Milwaukee’s own Nourish botanical-based hand sanitizers or leather side-laced zip-up booties for women) are uploaded daily, with the help of a local photographer’s talents. When placing an online order, enter LOCAL to remove shipping costs and indicate whether this will be pick-up or a free local delivery.
Winkie’s Toys and Variety
Anyone who grew up in Whitefish Bay—or has spent any time there—knows about Winkie’s Toys and Variety at the corner of East Silver Spring Drive and North Marlborough Drive, probably because they received a birthday or holiday gift from the five-and-dime-type variety store (it’s been in business since 1964). In addition to selling toys and gifts, the store also retails crafts, balloons, art and office supplies, baking goods, candy, toys and gifts, basically a lot of stuff to help us get through social distancing at home. Not sure what to gift a child other than your own? Toys sold through the site are thoughtfully arranged by age group.
Those who drool over the latest and greatest in china patterns or lust after fun bed-linen designs already know about Past Basket in Fox Point. But because we’re all mostly homebound, a treat to yourself might be a quirky set of MacKenzie-Childs’ ceramic pottery to dine on, or a new pair of Yves Delorme’s floral-motif bed sheets to linger in each morning. Or maybe you want to buy off a wedding-gift registry? (Yes, the Big Day still goes on.)
Bigfoot Bike & Skate
As the weather transitions into warmer temps and sunset moves later into the day, what better time to tool around the neighborhood? Bigfoot Bike and Skate in Bay View—which sells roller skates, bicycles, scooters and skateboards, plus helmets—is in the middle of its huge Spring Sale (10 percent off many items), coronavirus be damned. On its Instagram page is a note to inquire about local delivery. Because why wait to go out and have fun? Let the fun coast up to your doorstep, literally.
Cedarburg Toy Company
Are the kids stir crazy? Motivate good behavior with a call to Cedarburg Toy Company in Cedarburg, which specializes in stocking American- and artisan-made toys and games. Just in: a line of Harry Potter trinkets (from books to puzzles and origami). Act fast: all 2,000-piece puzzles just sold out, according to the shop’s Facebook page. When placing your order, ask about local delivery, which is now an option (in addition to curbside pick-up).