After learning the retail biz at Exclusive Company, Teresa Olson opened her eponymous shop in June, and bills it as a mini-Mecca for Scandinavian-flavored furniture and decor. We investigate why the Shorewood storefront has been turning heads since.
1 / Olson shops local.
She sells the work of 15+ Milwaukee artists, ranging from Ryan Ostler’s paintings and pottery, to retired art teacher Jim Maki’s illustrations.
2 / She thinks design is more than appearances.
Good design should be sustainable and environmentally friendly. “We’re trying to go beyond just a pretty room,” she says. “We’re saying, ‘What is this made of? Is this healthy?’”
3 / She likes a good story.
Olson features stories about the shop’s designers on olson-house.com. “In the ’80s and ’90s, everything became so mass produced, cheap and disposable. Now I think some of the new generation wants stories behind their things.”
4 / And a narrow niche.
The Scandinavian aesthetic – a nod to her family’s heritage – means Olson House (4326 Oakland Ave.)offerings hint at mid-century trends with simple lines, geometric shapes and natural wood.
5 / She’s seen the light.
Olson hung plywood lattice lights in the front window to illustrate a point made by New Zealand designer David Trubridge. “He said it’s our job to create beauty in the world so people will take better care of the world around them,” she says.