NEWaukeean of the Week

Ryan Tretow

"Milwaukee is too risk averse."

By - Jul 28th, 2015 05:55 pm
Ryan Tretow. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

Ryan Tretow. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

What is your job and its responsibilities?

I am a multidisciplinary designer and creative entrepreneur. I am a project designer at Milwaukee-based Kahler Slater and I am the founder / designer at TRETOW ( / IG: @ryantretow), a small design studio that explores nontraditional products, experiences and spaces for Milwaukee and beyond.

What is your favorite Milwaukee event?

Milwaukee Gallery Night. Milwaukee’s art and design scene is still largely underground nationally, but excellent new opportunities for experiencing art and design in Milwaukee are actively developing at places like The Green Gallery, The Pitch Project, Plaid Tuba & Mobile Design Box.

What is the one thing you’d like to change about Milwaukee?

Risk. Milwaukee is too risk averse. Fight the impulse to back away from ideas with seemingly intangible payouts; In fact, these are often the projects that make Milwaukee the place to live and work. Much of this sentiment spawns from our need to see it first elsewhere to believe it to be possible here in Milwaukee. This notion runs in parallel to risk aversion. Why wait to implement our ideas until we’ve seen it garner success elsewhere? Take more risk, capitalize on your ideas now. Let’s be the first to do it and the best at it, whatever it may be.

What is your favorite Milwaukee beer?

My brand new favorite: My Turn Series: Tom – Citra-hopped IPA from Lakefront Brewery.

Favorite little known fact/secret/hidden gem in Milwaukee?

Milwaukee’s newest hidden gem is the brilliantly curated collection of everyday lifestyle goods and accessories currently available at the Commonplace Pop-Up Shop – 143 N Broadway in the Third Ward. I am fortunate that Zach Peterson from Commonplace gave us the opportunity to design and build out the shop for him and his brand, but the items in his inventory otherwise speak for themselves. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to stop by the shop – open weekends now extended thru the end of July.

What is the perfect thing to do in Milwaukee on a Sunday afternoon?

A challenging ride on my mountain bike will always top the ever popular Sunday brunch. I enjoy it all, from the riverside trails on the East Side to fast downhill at The Rock. And, you can ride ALL year in Milwaukee thanks to Ray’s MTB Indoor Park.

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