I’ve learned that an integral part of creativity and inspiration is curiosity, exploration…movement. The best way to continually remain inspired? By constantly seeking new experiences. What better way then to explore your surroundings?
I truly believe in a “love where you live” philosophy, wherever that may be. And I’ve really come to realize how fortunate I am to live in this awesome city. I’ve heard people say Milwaukee is a “hidden gem” of the Midwest, and I couldn’t agree more. We may be a smaller big city that’s known for our beer, but there is so much more to discover. More than anything, I think Milwaukee’s creative community is full of opportunity and I’m continually amazed by the unique and independent spirit here. We even just had a neighborhood named one of America’s Top “Artplaces“!
In an effort to keep exploring and connecting, I thought I’d share a little “local love” every now and then through the process. Whether it’s getting to know an artist or maker, visiting a local business, or trying something new…the point is to stay inspired and connected. Maybe you’ll begin to understand why I’ve grown to love this place.
I recently had the honor of touring a local screen-printing company, Orchard Street Press. Whitney and Julie are an inspiring couple helping shape Milwaukee’s creative community. Whitney began screen-printing in his basement (in their first home on Orchard Street) and that hobby has since become a full-time business for both him and his wife Julie. They were generous enough to give me a tour of their studio and teach me more about screen-printing along the way. It is truly an art and their business is such a labor of love. I love that their work is environmentally-friendly, using only water-based inks. Besides printing locally for other businesses designers, and artists, Orchard Street Press also has an Etsy shop of their own unique screen-printed designs (like these sweet flour sack towels).
Below are some photos from my time there and words from Whitney and Julie! Be sure to read on to learn how screen printing works and get their take on Milwaukee!
We have lived in Walker’s Point for years now and we’ve fallen in love with its gritty charm, its hidden treasures, its diversity and its exciting progress. Orchard Street Press began in the basement of our first home — on Orchard Street — and then moved with us to the basement of our second home. When it came time to find the business a home of its own, we knew we wanted to utilize one of the many industrial buildings in our neighborhood; it just made sense both for the commute and for our commitment to our community.
What’s another Walker’s Point business that you’d recommend checking out?
There are so many! But if I have to pick just one, it’s The National Cafe on 9th & National Ave. Owner and Chef Nell Benton has done wonders with the place and the menu. It’s delicious, quality food that is affordable. The place is always warm and welcoming, with good music playing and lots of interesting people.
As an entrepreneur, the support we get from other local small business owners is amazing. People really support one another here and genuinely want to see you succeed because we all seem to have a shared goal of making Milwaukee as exciting, vibrant and accessible as possible.
(Orchard Street Press was at Art vs. Craft this past November)
We’ve got two small kids now, so we don’t get out to dinner all that often. So when we do, it has to be great. The last two places we’ve chosen to eat have blown us away — The Noble (another Walker’s Point wonder!) and Odd Duck.
(Above from left to right: Julie, Whitney, and team member Kenny amidst their collection of screen-printed posters)
Thank you so much to Whitney and Julie for having me! It was such a pleasure meeting you. Be sure to check out their shop on Etsy (some goods shown below!) and stay updated by following them on Facebook or Twitter!