New Gift Shop Coming to Brady Street
MJ's Apothecary & Gifts will stock artisan, handmade products from Wisconsin-based businesses.
From custom-made shoes by an Italian cobbler to goat-milk soap from a small-town farm, high-quality, local products have always brought pleasure to Mary LaVanway.
Whether on a weekend getaway in Wisconsin or an international adventure, the world traveler steers clear of kitschy souvenirs, seeking out unique art pieces, body care products and more from each of her destinations.
The new shop, MJ’s Apothecary & Gifts, would offer goat milk lotions and soaps, essential oils, candles, incense, bath bombs and more — all sourced from Wisconsin makers.
LaVanway said she also hopes to feature products such as candles and art prints from Milwaukee businesses.
“That’s what I’m going for, is quality products,” LaVanway said. “It’s going to start small, but it’s going to be quality and high-end. It’s just going to be really nice things that I like.”
After a 30-year career in the healthcare clinical research field, LaVanway said her semi-retirement from the corporate world has freed up time for projects, such as the new store, that she’s always wanted to do.
As a result, nearly all of the products that will be sold at the store have been tested and approved by LaVanway and her friends.
“A lot of what I have, I’ve previously bought from the shop itself,” she said. “I visit the vendors and I’m going out to the farms to pick it up, so I know what I’m getting.”
LaVanway described the space as small and rustic, which she plans to use to her advantage by curating a shabby-chic aesthetic with elegant touches. The finished space will include rugs, antique furniture, white curtains and possibly a chandelier, she said.
“It’s going to be a very neighborhood-focused, community-focused store” she said. “That’s why I’m working with the BID.”
The new store could open as soon as late January, LaVanway said. The plan is for MJ’s Apothecary & Gifts, once open, to operate Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Online shopping, accessible through a QR code that will be posted in the shop’s front window, will be available 24/7, with in-store pick-up during store hours.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.