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2224 S. Kinnickinnic ave
milwaukee, wi 53207

4147479229

Featuring the work of over 100 independent designers from around the United States.  Carrying everything from printed tees for men and women and kids, ties, jewelry, soaps and candles, handbags, accessories, gifts, art and so much more. 

Blog

Highlights of upcoming events at Sparrow Collective and new and favorite  items arriving 

Filtering by Tag: shop local

Summer Passport Book Event

Sparrow Collective

Starting this Friday (July 15th) and going until August 31st, seven locally owned boutiques including Sparrow Collective will be participating in the Summer Passport Event.  Stop by any of the stores and grab your passport, and then with every boutique that you stop by you receive a stamp that will 'unlock' some great coupons! There is no purchase necessary to receive your stamp!

Along with the stamps, you can cash in a raffle ticket at each location.  Each shop will be putting together their own gift basket worth $100, and winners will be announced the first week in September.

This is a great way to discover new local artists in our community, while scoring on coupons and gifts! Don't hesitate, stop by any of the locations on Friday to get your passport, because once they're gone, they're gone! The map below shows the participating boutiques and their locations.

Featured Artist of the Week: Orange Pops

Sparrow Collective

Tile coasters $10, 4 for $35.

Tile coasters $10, 4 for $35.

This week we are showcasing Milwaukee's own Leslie Phillips, creator of Orange Pops.  Her line of tile coasters, prints and towels are all completely handmade and feature her bright, cheerful style. With designs going from celebrities, to local love, to collage pieces, it is impossible not to find something that speaks to you. Leslie kindly answered some questions for us about her story and what it means to be a maker.

'We can do it' tile coaster, $10.

'We can do it' tile coaster, $10.

1) When did you start being a maker and what inspires?

I have been a part-time maker since I was a kid. I used to draw pictures using the Sunday comics as inspiration, and also made pot holders with a loom kit and gave them away to family members. In January of 2012 I became a full-time artist, the best decision I have ever made.

2) What is your creative background?

Immediately after high school I attended a trade school for graphic design. I attended that program for one year and then decided to pursue other interests. I realized that traditional graphic design was too confining for me, I wanted to have greater artistic freedom. Now, I am mostly self taught. Oddly, forums like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest have all been great for helping teach and inspire me. 

'Prince' tile coaster, $10.

'Prince' tile coaster, $10.

3) Where do you see Orange Pops heading?

Just a couple months ago, I look a huge leap and moved into a 1,000 sq foot studio space in Riverwest. I always felt like I couldn't grow to the point of my wishes, without having the proper space. I feel like I am living a dream and now have lofty goals for my small art business. I have a new studio assistant that has been a HUGE help, allowing me to focus some of my time in places that needed attention. Currently, I have my work in 12 shops around the state and now in both California and Arizona too. By the end of 2017, I hope to double this number, moving into larger metropolitan areas like Chicago, Denver, and Buffalo. The best thing about my work is that I can tailor it to fit any city in the country. This year I am also tackling Summerfest, which is on my artist bucket list!

MKE Block Print, $15.

MKE Block Print, $15.

4) What is your inspiration?

I get inspired by everything! Nature. Pop Culture. Other Artists. Like I mentioned before, YouTube, Etsy and Pinterest are great resources for artistic inspiration. Also, one thing that has to be considered if making art a full-time career is creating what is trendy. Trendy things sell and that is how I keep my bills paid. I don't always make the things I like the best, but what I know will sell as well.  

Block Print, $15.

Block Print, $15.

5) What is your favorite part about being a maker?

Doing what I love every single day! I feel so grateful that I don't have to answer to anyone else and that if I want to take a long lunch or start work later certain days I have that freedom. Honestly, though, since I became a full-time artist I probably work twice as many hours as I did when I had a "normal" full-time job. I would NEVER trade it, though. :) I also LOVE all the fantastic, creative, and inspiring artists I have met while doing my craft. 

Flour Sack Towels, $12.

Flour Sack Towels, $12.

6) Do you have any advice for other makers?

If anyone wants to do art for a living they have to work really hard, not only on finding those things that sell well, but making sure you keep your passion alive in the process. The more excited I am about my work, the better it sells. Sure, most of us just want to make the art we want to all day long, but that isn't the reality. The reality is that you have to schlep your stuff to art events, even in bad weather. You have to branch out, and talk to people and pimp your work to strangers. You have to have a good business sense, get over any fears about reaching out to shop owners and making good connections. Every single job has elements that we don't particularly care for, but sometimes you have to just suck it up and get it done! There are times when I wanted to give up, but I am SO glad that failure just wasn't an option. 

Bottle Cap Magnets set of 4, $10.

Bottle Cap Magnets set of 4, $10.

We have a constantly rotating stock of Leslie's work, as well as many designs and styles that aren't shown here.  Stop by sometime and check out this amazing artist, or you can find out more about Orange Pops and request custom work at Orangepops.com.

Featured Artist of the Week: Jenny Kyle Smith

Sparrow Collective

We are excited to start a weekly featured artist from our community of amazing creators!  With so much to choose from, this will be the perfect way to get to know the faces behind the items here at Sparrow Collective that you know and love!

This week we are featuring print maker Jenny Kyle Smith, whom also runs Local Change, based right next door in Wauwatosa.  Local Change is her Milwaukee themed line of glassware, prints and serving trays, and under Jenny Kyle Smith she creates stunning, one of a kind linoleum block prints. 

'Bayview Bowl' mixed media $35

'Bayview Bowl' mixed media $35

Starting with her work under the Local Change label is her line of local mixed media prints.  Charming locales seen in a new light, she features many of the different sub neighborhoods of Milwaukee.  A portion of her Local Change sales go to charities helping Milwaukee and Southern Wisconsin, making both the artist and the buyer part of 'local change'.

MKE cork serving tray $50, MKE love glasses $12

MKE cork serving tray $50, MKE love glasses $12

Local Change also features a line of barware, which is a perfect combination for the cork lined serving trays.  Her barware consists of 414 pints, MKE love stemless wine glasses and mugs, and MKE high balls, all of which feature high quality, durable printing.

Linocut framed print, $35

Linocut framed print, $35

The printmaking by Jenny Kyle Smith has more of an organic feel than that of her Local Change side.  More abstracted, her prints have a bold line and a more organic feel.

'Fly' Linocut print on banana paper, $25

'Fly' Linocut print on banana paper, $25

Whichever name she is using, Jenny Kyle Smith is an exciting artist whom we are glad to have!  Come in and check out her work, for she is always changing it up.