A few months back we decided to start a new mission here @clobbercalm HQ (the island in my kitchen)…the mission; to create ‘The Denim Map’. A map that, no matter where your travels takes you, will mean that you’re always able to find the local store stocking badass denim/boots/leather and anything else that’s cool!
Now it’s obvious we can’t do this alone and, also, that would be a little tedious and boring so instead we invite YOU guys to help us build the map! Your words! Your thoughts! Your local store! This project is about #teamdenimworldwide. To follow on last month’s first pin HERE we’ve gone to our newest @clobbercalm brother Steve Waudby aka @scwaudby_33 to “pin” next. To follow on the project, Steve has chosen to make, one of his local haunts in Milwaukee, WI, @milworks officially the second pin!
Steve: It brings me great joy that I am able to share a little bit about one of my favorite stores that I frequent in Milwaukee. I hope you all enjoy the background and a peek into what Milwaukee has to bring to the table. Whether you are in search of quality goods, or just some good conversation, Milworks is a definite must if you are in town!
MEET THE STORE
1. How did the store come to life? What’s the history?
Steve: The store was founded and created by Jesse and Jason Meyer who came up with the idea after being in the industry for over 20 years.
We’ve been on both sides as far as retail and marketing, but mostly on the marketing side and have worked with numerous brands in those capacities. It started to come full circle when we realized that Milwaukee did not have one of the places/stores we always liked and chilled at in other cities. Then it came to the point where we had come up with everything we needed to open a store, and were like we have to do it here (in Milwaukee) it just made sense! We felt that the place where Milwaukee is at right now deserved a store like this, also in our opinion it was business 101 in filling a void that was not there. We also knew it was something we enjoyed so we wanted to share our passion and in turn it has helped us connect with the community. We love retail and it was the right idea at the right time.
2. What are your top 3 bestselling items in the store? And why do you think this is?
Rogue Territory is one because it has created an extremely loyal fan base and believe the quality speaks for itself. They are very active and very creative on social media so they have created a sort of tribe if you want to call it that and it does very well for them because of that.
RRL is also in the top three mainly because it is such an iconic niche brand and a lot of other brands give RRL credit for their inspiration. There are also only about 13-14 people in the US that are able to carry it so it brings an exclusivity and demand and people seek out those who carry it.
Third brand/category overlaps a bit and lands on footwear as there was void in the Milwaukee area for boots and Americana so it started with that. It’s a little more refined now that we carry Alden. We were super excited to be able to get Alden and a little surprised that no one carried Alden in the Milwaukee area. With that being said it has really opened up the doors for a lot of custom/special orders for gentlemen who had to order online or look elsewhere for them.
3. What’s the bestselling brand overall?
Sticking with footwear and over the first year and a half of being open the number one selling item would be the 1892 Thorogood. It has been hands down their bestselling brand. It’s two-fold, as it’s kind of hard to find and it’s not everywhere. It’s also a Wisconsin brand and with them being from Wisconsin and the store being located here it goes hand in hand and something we are very proud of.
4. In your personal opinion what’s the best 3 pieces that you offer? Your favourites?
Engineered Garments and the Chambray Bedford Jacket as it’s just a phenomenal piece. We get a lot of guys trying it on and looking at it and point guys in that direction.
RRL Jeans, as they are classic denim and we usually start guys out there and see if they like those.
Lastly would be a newer item and a huge hit lately, the Stan Ray Fatigue pants. For the price point you really can’t go wrong, and they are made in Texas. Between the fatigues and the CPO jacket definitely round out the favorites.
5. What the best thing about working at Milworks?
The best part would be the interaction with the customers and community. We really love getting people’s ideas on things. Also love the creative aspect of being in the store and displaying all of our goods. The idea of providing things to people that they’ve maybe never had the opportunity to see, touch, or try on is very rewarding. Also, just the whole community aspect of the store as we get a lot of like-minded guys in or guys who have always sort of wondered about these things. We do a lot of events and they turn into just talking and we have even gained some real friendships because of this. Retail is not just retail anymore, it’s multi-faceted and deeper. It’s cool and not to use a “buzzword,” but it’s about the experience.
Steve: I totally agree as you want to feel welcome and a part of something as you are spending your time and money going out and exploring these places and brands.
It’s also just human nature as everyone loves being a part of something and in our little way we try to create that community here. A lot of big cities have that with their stores and we just try in our little way to welcome that here as well.
6. Are there any brands you are looking forward to working with or possibly trying to get into the shop that aren’t currently?
Two that we are really excited about right off the bat and we do have them for Fall ’17 is Beams Plus out of Japan which very very few people carry it in the US, and also orSlow also out of Japan. So, we are very excited about both those brands right now. We feel they will really help round out our selection.
7. Any final thoughts or tidbits you want to leave the readers with?
Speaking for all us independents and little guys out there, as much as you can go in say hi and introduce yourself. Do your best to support your local shops. We all know the online world is here to stay and when done correctly it’s a great addition to any store. It’s also nice to still maybe stop in and say “hi” to your local shop and if they have the capacity have a beer or bourbon with them. It’s cool to feel the community and that whole sort of vibe and at the end of the day the guys who work in the shops, the shop owners, they’re people too. They just want to talk and talk with like-minded people and enjoy that interaction.
MEET THE REVIEWER
NAME: Steven Waudby aka @scwaudby_33
1. How does the store feel when you first walk in? What springs to mind?
When walking into the store I immediately feel like I’m at home. There is a happy medium of displays, but also that feeling that you’re in a uniquely designed man cave of all the cool stuff you have or are on a wish list of purchases yet to come. Friendly faces are also ready to strike up a conversation about what denim to choose or just wondering what you’re up to for the day. Whether I have a specific item in mind that I’m looking for or just want to say hi, I always make it a point to stop in at Milworks when I’m venturing to Milwaukee’s Third Ward.
2. Where does the shop’s product originate from?
As far as brands go some of the notable USA made brands are RGT (Rogue Territory), Taylor Stitch, Raleigh Denim, and Thorogood, but with the two upcoming additions of Beens Plus and orSlow there will be a nice mix of both US and Japanese brands.
3. Describe the customer service?
The service is great! All the guys there are knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions and each item you purchase is wrapped and placed in a hand stamped Milworks bag. There is also a comfy couch to just kick back on and as Jason mentioned above have a beer or Bourbon and talk the talk.
4. What’s the product selection like?
The selection is exactly what you would expect from a well curated men’s lifestyle and goods shop. You have footwear ready for any adventure, clothes to keep you well dressed, comfy and stylish, as well as apothecary items for your grooming needs. Whether or not there’s something you’re looking for, you’ll be happy you stopped in and said hello.
5. How are the prices?
Prices are on par with your standard MSRP and what you would expect to pay if purchasing directly from the manufacturer. However, if you keep your eye out and follow Milworks on Instagram or subscribe to their newsletter they have been known to run some specials.
~ Notes ~
It was a pleasure chatting with the guys at Milworks and I really appreciate their time and input. Even though I make regular stops it was great to have the opportunity to hear the story behind it all and connect with some great like-minded guys. Hope you guys enjoyed the read and if you haven’t already be sure to check out Milworks if you’re in the area, or on Instagram @milworks and online at milworks.co!
If any of you fellow blue bloods, like Steve, have a store either close or far that you are enamoured with then feel free to give us a shout. Now that the features are flying out we want to keep pinning to ‘The Denim Map’, either with a feature like this one or just by adding to the Denim Map page that will be set up soon. Hit us up in the comments, through our Contact page or via our various Instagram accounts and stay close peeps.