My Milwaukee Wish List :: Local Gifts to Delight

“What’s on your wish list?” 

It’s the question I have come to dread every year as the holidays approach because I have such a hard time coming up with a list of things that excite me enough to request them for gifts. But something I have learned since we moved to Milwaukee is that this is a very creative city with an abundance of opportunities to shop local and find fantastic and unique gifts that are indicative of our city, our state and its personality. 

Several members of the MKE Moms Blog contributor team felt the same way I did, so we decided to share our Milwaukee Wish Lists with you, so you can find some fantastic holiday gift ideas for yourself, your best friend, neighbor, sister, or anyone else you love. This is not a sponsored gift guide, but rather just a bunch of girlfriends sharing what we hope we find under the tree this year. 

Sarah’s Wish List

  1. MilwaukeeHome Women’s T-shirt — This iconic t-shirt is rumored to be one of the softest, most comfortable shirts this side of the Great Lakes. This boutique in the Third Ward offers a variety of products for men, women, kids and even pets….all designed to show city (and state) pride! These shirts run small, so get at least one (maybe even two) sizes larger than normal. 
  2. Pabst Blue Ribbon Soap from Fern & Nettle — It’s beer soap. You guys. Beer. Soap. Anyone who knows me knows I have a love for a quality craft beer and while I’m well aware that PBR isn’t exactly my brew of choice, how can a beer-lover like me be expected to resist a BEER SOAP? Handmade right here in Brew City. 
  3. Milwaukee Souvenir Journal from HANmadeMilwaukee — I have a problem with journals and notebooks. As in, I cannot stop buying them. I have no less than three notebooks in use at all times and I can never have too many. The charming design of this notebook features hand-drawn Milwaukee landmarks, bright colors, and I definitely prefer a spiral bound notebook to ensure it folds open flat.

Megan’s Wish List


  1. Spice House Milwaukee Neighborhoods Gift Basket — If you’ve never been to the Spice House, you need to stop everything you’re doing and go there immediately! The Spice House is one of my favorite places to wander around and get some culinary inspiration. The Spice House was founded in Milwaukee in 1957, and they’ve been making fresh, local spices ever since. I love their Milwaukee Neighborhoods Gift Basket. It has ten different spices that were created to reflect the different neighborhoods in our city. From the Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle, to the Wauwatosa Village Seasoning, this assortment of spices will definitely make cooking more fun.
  2. East Side Print from Cracked Paper Design Co. — I grew up on the East Side of Milwaukee, and I have such fond memories of every single place listed on this East Side Print from Cracked Designs Paper Co. It makes me think of going with my parents to Glorioso’s every Sunday morning to get ham and rolls, spending afternoons at the lakefront, and being a high school girl obsessed with every skateboarder at Phase II. This adorable print brings back all sorts of warm fuzzies.
  3. Eucalyptus Mint Soy Candle from Milwaukee Candle and Apothecary — I am obsessed with all things eucalyptus. It is probably my favorite scent out there. So, when I came across this Eucalyptus Mint Soy Candle from Milwaukee Candle and Apothecary, I knew I had to have it. I love this candle! The scent is so relaxing and reminds me of being in a spa. Plus, the packaging is adorable!

Luciana’s Wish List


  1. Wantable Accessories Subscription Box — Wantable is a Milwaukee-based subscription company. Subscription boxes seem to be all the rage these past couple years, but I couldn’t decide: Do I get beauty products or clothing? If I go with beauty products, do I get samples or full size? If I went with clothes, what companies would have my size? Are returns easy, or even possible? So many questions, but Wantable can be everyone’s answer! (Unless you wanted food – sorry!) Wantable lets you customize based on your tastes, has options like accessories, or makeup, or intimates, or athletic wear, and the best part – they’re local! You get to have the quality and variety of a large national corporation that started as a start-up in our own city, and they still run out of the Third Ward. I think it’s a done deal that I’ll be using Christmas money to get myself a couple months of a Wantable box, if someone doesn’t get it for me sooner!
  2. Milwaukee County Zoo Pass — I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone not liking the zoo. Even in our cold Wisconsin months, our beautiful zoo has activities and lots of animals to see. We frequented the zoo during the spring and summer a lot, but now that our subscription is coming to an end we can’t wait to renew! There are membership options for every kind of family and budget. And if you do the math, even the fanciest membership pays for itself after a couple of visits. Don’t let the steep admission prices keep you and your kids from enjoying the Milwaukee County Zoo whenever you want! Make sure this goes on your Christmas list!
  3. Arte Wine & Paint — My cousins, sister and I were gifted a painting class and we went expecting it to be like ones we had previously been to – just ok. Our instructor is a professor of art who enjoys working at Arte on the side. She was sassy and fun, singable music played from an ipod, and we all went away with paintings we were happy with. We can’t say enough wonderful things about the Arte staff. We’re already planning our next girls’ night, regardless of the event being gifted to us. It’s well-worth the $35.
  4. Well-Rounded Maternity Center Bellies & Babies Boutique — When I was pregnant, I wanted to buy out this entire boutique. Well-Rounded is an amazing place for support at all stages of mothering. They have cloth diaper classes, babywearing classes, birthing classes, and a lovely store to buy all your natural parenting products. We bought our daughter’s amber teething necklace there, new and gently used cloth diapers, and our carrier. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable,even when you think you’re asking a stupid question. I don’t need anything from Well-Rounded at the moment, but my best friend is having twins soon and I think she’s going to want some amber necklaces. When she reads this, it might not be a surprise anymore, but she can cross one thing off her wishlist now!

Chelsea’s Wish List


  1. Orchard Street Apparel – Midwestern Toddler Shirt — I know my wish list should be items for me but I can’t help adding something for my little guy. Although my husband and I grew up in Idaho, my tiny Henry is a born and bred Midwesterner and I want him to embrace it! We love the Midwest and I imagine we will call it home for much of his life, so why not show it off. I just think this little shirt by Orchard Street Apparel is too cute to pass up and would love to see him gallivanting around the playground in it come springtime. (NOTE: Shirt is currently out of stock. Link points to the onesie with the same design)
  2. Sarah B Flanagan – Fancy Initial Necklace — Nursing made it hard to wear much jewelry this year and despite my best efforts H’s curious little hands always found a way to explore (and ultimately destroy) whatever I was wearing. But as we’re in the process of weaning I’m starting to add a few pieces back into my wardrobe. It’s been such a life-changing year for me in so many ways, and I like the idea of commemorating with a nice simple piece of jewelry. I’ve been interested in getting a necklace with my boy’s initial’s for a while so when I spotted this beauty by Sarah B Flanagan I knew it had to go on my list.
  3. Permanent Baggage – Leather and Linen Wristlet — When I’m not lugging around a giant diaper bag, I like to keep things minimal. Meaning – phone, wallet, lipstick – done. These adorable wristlets by Permanent Baggage are just perfect. Plus they come in some seriously awesome colors which means I can add a little pop to my typical “mom uniform.”

Lauren’s Wish List


  1. The Farm Box from Big City Greens — New to Milwaukee’s East Side, Big City Greens is an a-mazing indoor farming operation. Like, my heart smiles when I go in there. Their microgreens are fresh and tasty – AND – why is it that anything is perfect when miniature? The Farm Box is a way to get those fresh greens EVERY week, even through the dreary winter. This sounds like a gift that keeps on giving. 
  2. Leather Wristlet from Permanent Baggage — A favorite boutique of the MKE Moms Blog Team! I’m gonna need at least one, if not 3-4 of these bad boys for the winter/spring/summer/fall seasons from this point forward. The chevron brass detail. The variety leather color options. I discovered the amazing leather work of Kamryn Kay, the artist behind Permanent Baggage, when I stumbled upon the Holiday Pop-Up Boutique just off Brady Street last week. I walked in there an got all the warm fuzzy feelings. Isn’t that what Christmas is about?
  3. Milwaukee Map Leather Journal from Tactile Craftworks — As a mommy who thrives off lists, this journal could not be more perfect to keep me organized all while representing the greatest city on this side of Lake Michigan. I might be biased, but I am pretty darn sure Milwaukee has some of the coolest artists EVER. This item is also available at the Holiday Pop-Up Boutique

We would love to hear about your favorite local sources for gifts or what’s at the top your wish list this year that just screams Milwaukee. Happy shopping! 

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