Project M keeps it local
“If you would have told me last January that we would be opening a store this year, I wouldn’t have believed you,” stated Bree Rose Bower, co-founder of Project M Boutique in Riverwest. “This was my dream.”
Bower, a former student of local designer and fashion mentor Arika Ikeler, says that she and co-owner Kelly Strosser, an Art History major at UW-Milwaukee, came up with the idea over coffee at Alterra about a year ago. Their mission: to make Milwaukee more aware of its thriving indie fashion culture and to simultaneously support local designers.
The newly-opened boutique, which is similarly to a standard co-op model, sells space to local designers and allows them to keep their profits. “People buy local with food, why don’t they feel that way with clothing?” Bower explained, “we aren’t starting the movement, just adding to it.”
Both Bower and Strosser are designers themselves (Bower’s line is ROSEFLY, Strosser’s is Des Arbres), and Project M showcases local designers’ clothing, jewelry and accessories. Several local artists also have work up in the boutique, which will be featured during next week’s Gallery Night show.
All items in the store are reasonably priced. Most fall between $20 and $100, but there are some unique and very inexpensive items too.
“I love these, and they’re only eight dollars!” exclaimed Bower, picking up a pair of soda can earrings.
Bower said that she loves talking with people about supporting the community by buying local. “Only five percent of clothing is made in the United States … you can ‘vote’ with your dollar in a subtle way!”
To check out their inventory and get more information, visit Project M Boutique’s blog, or pop into the shop at 801 E. Center St. Project M will also co-sponsor the 4th Annual Fashion Revolution on May 1. For more information, click here.