Milwaukee pride is at an all time high and we love it! Wanna show your MKE Love? Then these local Milwaukee gifts are for you. Whether you’re looking for unique items for your wedding decor, gifts for your wedding party, Milwaukee themed items for the happily married couple, or basically any gift, you’ll find it here along with the local shops that carry them.
Special thanks to Studio 29 for the amazing images featured in this article, the local shops that are so passionate about the artists they feature, and the creative Milwaukee makers who pour their heart and soul into these handcrafted items.
1. Milwaukee Wedding Guest Book
This beautiful leather, handcrafted and bound book from Tactile Craftworks would be an amazing guest book for your Milwaukee wedding to be cherished long after your wedding day has passed. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
2. Awesome Custom Coasters
Another amazing practical gift for anyone — coasters! Select from an wide selection of local themed to inspirational custom designed coasters from Orange Pops for a very personal, yet functional gift. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
3. Locally Themed and Locally Designed Cards
Within this list, you’ll see some really great cards that are created by local artists. Having a cost similar to Hallmark cards, this can be the most affordable way to show some #MKELove with your gift giving.
Check out that Milwaukee skyline watercolor design created by mad talented artist Elizabeth Webber, co-owner of Coqui Paperie & Gifts, along with other designs made by staff designers Nathan & Kelly at Coqui. LOVE! Photo by Studio 29.
4. Bottle Cap Drink Tray
These super cool bottle cap drink trays are created by artist Robert Eckes. Check out the tray made of only Lakefront Brewery bottle caps!
Pair these trays with a bottle of local spirits like Central Standard Distillery, some MKE glassware and this would be an amazing gift for any newly married couple. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
5. Wood Cribbage Boards & Jewelry Boxes
Cribbage is a timeless favorite and these handcrafted wood boards from Hummer Hill Wood Crafts would make a perfect groomsmen gift. Also check out the wood jewelry boxes for your bridesmaids! Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
6. Milwaukee Home Glassware
7. Amazing Local Themed Lamps
8. MKE / 414 Glasses for Charity
So many great things to say about these glasses! Not only do they showcase some #MKELove, the company, LOCAL CHANGE, donates 10% of the sale proceeds to a charity of choice.
Also, inquire about their different color options, perfect for incorporating your wedding colors. These are carried at The Waxwing so be sure to ask what their selected charity is when you buy them! Photo by Studio 29.
9. Monogrammed Everything!
Coqui Paperie & Gifts sells amazing paper goods and gifts that could keep you happily browsing their shop for hours. However, they are also a one-stop-shop to monogram anything you wish!
Featured above are Corkcicle Tumblers, wedding shoes, cutting boards, and increasingly popular “Anniversary Canvas” which can be made to commemorate whatever you wish. Photo by Studio 29.
10. Pour Over Coffee Mugs
Milwaukee is a HUGE coffee town and we are loving these hand made pour over coffee mugs by Brian Breider Ceramics. Pair it with some local roast like Anodyne Coffee and this is a perfect unique gift for any coffee lover. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
11. Wisconsin Cutting Boards
These are a favorite of ours, not only because we have one on display in our kitchen, but we love the functionality of these amazingly hand crafted cutting boards from Our Daily Salt. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
12. Unique Wedding Cards
Whether you select the “punny” cards from the mad clever Cracked Designs (top photo) or the intricately designed anatomy inspired cards from Artery Ink (bottom photo – check out the Milwaukee inspiration) choosing locally designed cards is ALWAYS a good idea. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
13. Beautiful, One of a Kind Hand Dyed Scarves
On that note, Aeva also has does custom projects from couture veils (dyed or not) to custom dyed bridal and bridesmaid dresses. Just check out this beautiful photo (above) of Caleb & Ren (Owner of Studio 29) featuring custom dying of Ren’s dress skirt. Self portrait photo by Studio 29. (Yup, Ren, owner of Studio 29 captured self portraits on her own honeymoon in Iceland! #skills)
14. Milwaukee Candle Company
Huge shout out to Milwaukee Candle Company. With some dope custom scents that pay homage to Milwaukee (can we say “Jazzmine in the Park”) to masculine scents like “Blood Orange & Mahogony” these are always a great gift idea. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
Fun fact, Milwaukee Candle Co. can customize a scent for you (bulk orders may be required) which would be amazing wedding favors for sure! Owner Kevin Goudzwaard even made a wonderfully delightful scent titled “Love is In the Air” for Married In Milwaukee (thanks Kevin!) and they seem to last forever being made from natural soy!
15. Milwaukee: City of Festivals Design
These intricately designed and locally die cut pieces are created by Paper Pleasers, and are available in a framed design, note cards and drink glasses. Pair all three together for a perfect Milwaukee gift. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
16. Locally Made Necklaces
The Waxwing by far had the most selection of locally made necklaces available of the stores we visited. Many would be super cute bridesmaid gifts and something your girls are sure to wear long after your wedding day is over.
From top to bottom: permanent baggage; dear darlington (made by The Waxwing’s owner Steph Davies); and Papavier (made by Sparrow Collective’s owner Jessica Franzen). Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
17. Awesome Cat Calendars & Cards!!!
So, when visiting Coqui Paperie & Gifts, we were so super stoked that these adorable cat calendars and cards are made locally by the amazing Kate Funk and just had to feature them! Super fun, this would be the PERFECT gift for cat loving people in your life. Photo by Studio 29.
18. Stylish Wooden Coasters
These Benchworks coasters were hand made by Hometown Established co-owner Michael Reese from reclaimed wood. Not only super functional, they are very stylish and fit together like a puzzle for an eye appealing display. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
19. Love Where You Live
Paper Pleasers makes another appearance on this list with their Love Where You Live signs. Made of reclaimed wood, you can choose where to put your heart (of course, we pick MKE!). Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
20. Hand Calligraphy Designed Letterpress Cards
Debi Zeinert, owner of The Blooming Quill, is the region’s go to person for hand calligraphy. She designed these pieces that feature her meticulously beautiful hand calligraphy via letterpress printing methods to create these oh so pretty cards! Available at Coqui Paperie & Gifts; photo by Studio 29.
21. Milwaukee Dish Towels!
22. Locally Made Chocolates
There are some really great chocolatiers in Milwaukee including Sweet Eva’s Chocolates. Located in Brookfield right next to Coqui Paperie & Gifts, they can work closely together to create custom wedding favors for your wedding, shower or other event. Photo by Studio 29.
23. Wedding Candles!
Have we mentioned how much we love candles as gifts?! All the candles featured on this list are made of soy – they are way better for you and last super long – and we just had to mention these locally made wedding theme candles from aglow! Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
24. Local Soap – It’s Totally a Thing!!
Handmade and naturally sourced body products by Moots Soap and Fern & Nettle is a fun little gift for anything really. Couple it with a “MKE” soap dish from Hills of Clay and you’ve got a locally made and super practical gift. Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
25. Lux & Lavender Essential Oil Bracelets
26. One of a Kind Pottery
One of a kind gifts are always a good idea. And nothing is more “one of a kind” than hand made pottery. Knowing an artist’s hands guided the creation of these pieces just gives me the warm fuzzies. Handcrafted by J.D. Wolfe Pottery and available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
27. Bittercube Bitters
Bittercube has been treating Milwaukeeans to delicious craft cocktails for years and their bitters are the perfect gift for the cocktail loving couple. Pair it with glassware and some Milwaukee spirits and you have an amazing and unique gift. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
28. Coffee & Booze – Tactile Craftworks
Tactile Craftworks makes another appearance on this list for their handcrafted flasks and coffee/beverage containers. Gone are the boring flasks for your groomsmen gifts. Available at Hometown Established and The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
29. Steampunk Inspired Accessories
Steenhagen Studios’ attention to detail in these Steampunk inspired gear accessories make for some of the most unique cuff links, tie clips and wine corks we’ve seen. If you are looking for unique gifts for the guys, shopping local definitely provides a wider variety of unique options! Available at The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
30. More Locally Made Soy Candles
There are a few locally made soy candle companies in Milwaukee and Big White Yeti and Milwaukee Apothocary are some of our favorites! Big White Yeti (available at Hometown Established and The Waxwing) is known for their unique scents and hilariously clever names, such as Yeti’s Breath, and Milwaukee Apothocary prides themselves on ethical production standards. Photo by Studio 29.
31. Long Lasting Wood Goods
Canyon Woodshop products are locally made and handcrafted and built to last a lifetime. Featured above are wood coasters, bottle opener and cutting boards. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
32. Wisconsin Hand Towels
33. Hand Made Llama Blankets
It’s been said that you can never have too many blankets around your home. While not specifically from the Milwaukee area, we still wanted to feature these super warm and cozy blankets from Mystic Water Fiber Mill llama farm located in Wisconsin. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
34. Milwaukee Beard Book
For the ultimate beard lover, this book features images of bearded men, all photographed by the super talented and local Milwaukee photographer – Jessica Kaminski. Available both at Hometown Established and The Waxwing; photo by Studio 29.
35. Punny Handpainted Underwear
Hand painted by local artist NIFFICH, these one of a kind underwear would be a fun and “punny” alternative to the sexy lingerie some brides receive at their bachelorette party. Available at Hometown Established; photo by Studio 29.
36. Various Cool, Local Made Stuff
As with many of the local shops we visited, they are owned by creatives so you are bound to find some cool stuff created by the shop owners themselves. Hometown Established is no exception. Above photo featuring items created by Laurie Viduski, co-owner of Hometown Established. Photo by Studio 29.
The Shops and Their Owners – It’s A Family Affair
Supporting local is a really awesome trend that we can 100% support. Shopping locally for gifts is an amazing way to not only support local business, but also score some super unique gifts!
While we visited three stores (The Waxwing, Hometown Established and Coqui Paperie & Gifts) for this feature, there are many options out there for supporting local. Even national stores are getting involved so don’t be afraid to ask for locally made items wherever you shop.
While visiting these stores it was so fun to see how the owners incorporate their family into the business. Supporting local truly is a family affair.
The Waxwing – Steph Davies
The Waxwing has been beloved by many Milwaukeeans for years! They recently relocated to the East Side on North & Oakland to a space 4 times larger than the original Shorewood location and now carry 250+ artists’ creations in their store, along with hosting workshops, book signings and other events.
Coqui Paperie & Gifts – Elizabeth Webber & Denise Merkel
Coqui Paperie & Gifts, located on 177th & Capitol Dr., is a paper-lovers dream! Filled with pretties from national designers like Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Co., they also have a fantastic selection of locally made and inspired gifts too. They also create some amazing in-house designed wedding invitations, monogrammed items and paper goods, so be sure to ask them about options!
Hometown Established – Michael Reese & Laurie Viduski
Hometown Established is a unique, local shop that sells local items that may be considered out of the ordinary. Branding themselves as a General Store, you can find things ranging from local honey, lighting fixtures, children books and natural and local personal hygiene products.
Last year they relocated to 3rd & National Ave. to a cozy space with more visibility. So next time you are in Walker’s Point, be sure to stop in, have a chat and check out their amazing stuff!
Here at Married In Milwaukee, we firmly believe in supporting local businesses, artists, creatives and makers. They keep Milwaukee awesome and our support is critical to keeping them in business. When shopping for your wedding gifts we hope you show your #localloveMKE and visit these businesses. Tell them we sent you!