Shop small, shop sustainably!

Posted by Sasha Stone on

The time of gift giving is upon us. In anticipation of Small Business Saturday on November 26th, 2022, we here at Green Life Trading Co. have compiled a list of local Madison and Milwaukee based businesses for you to take into consideration as you plan your seasonal presents. Shop small, shop sustainably! 

Hanna: Madison Manager

Boneset Records (222 North Street, Suite B, Madison, WI)

Tons of vinyl, cassette and VHS tapes and cute vintage clothing and accessories. Maggie, the shop owner, rocks and has curated a cozy basement space that feels super fun and welcoming. They have gift cards!

Freedom Skate Shop (512 State Street, Madison, WI)

An awesome shop for skaters and non-skaters alike! They’ve got lots of cool apparel and accessories and comfy socks that are great to give as gifts to practically-minded loved ones.

Community Pharmacy (130 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Madison & 6333 University Avenue, Middleton)

Be well with this worker-run cooperative. Lovely selection of bulk herbs (you can bring your own container)  and locally made candles that make for perfect self care treats. 

Bekah: Social Media Manager

Windsor Candle Works (online and pop-up locations)

Using 100% soy wax, these candles are made from wooden dough bowls! The candles can vary in sizes, materials, and shape, but the large wooden dough bowl candles make for a beautiful centerpiece. After you are finished burning a candle, you can send it back for a refill at a discounted price!

Hodge Podge (160 Keenan Court Suite 1, Verona, WI)

From coffee ‘til cocktails this is the place with fun vibes! This new shop is part of Sustain Dane and takes a few “green” measures like composting and glass to-go jars (when stock allows). Grab your drink in what’s most likely from a mismatched recycled cup, and know whatever you’re sipping on comes from locally sourced businesses. Hang out with some board games, and if you’re lucky there may be a pop-up or fun workshop event happening!

Courtney: Milwaukee Sales Associate

Dream Bikes (2021 N. Martin Luther King Dr, Milwaukee, WI & 1131 N Sherman Ave, Madison WI)

A non-profit full service bike shop that refurbishes used bikes and sells them back to the community at affordable prices. All the bikes are donated and they have a teen training program where they hire local teenagers and provide hands-on training of valuable skills including refurbishing bikes and customer service. It’s a great way to invest in the community and young professionals of the future!

Downtown Books (624 N Broadway St, Milwaukee, WI)

This used bookstore is my favorite in the city! The shop is quaint, chaotic and loaded with used books, comics, magazines and records. It can be a bit overwhelming when you first enter but the friendly staff are happy to help you find anything you are looking for. The books are very affordable and well maintained. You can also sell your used books to them.

Sugar Maple (441 E Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI)

Sugar Maple is so much more than just a bar, it’s a wonderful community resource that brings together local art, music and food. They support small businesses and host a myriad of events including brewery showcases, art openings, fundraisers for local nonprofits and much more. Just recently they celebrated Halloween by hosting a Studio Ghibli Pop-up & Art Show, completely transforming the bar into an immersive Ghibli-world.

Dana: Milwaukee Sales Associate 

Blifferts Hardware and Lumber (1014 E Chambers St, Milwaukee, WI) 

Blifferts is a great store for anything from fixing plumbing problems, carpentry projects or making your garden beautiful. It's a locally owned store in Milwaukee that feels like a community every time you stop by. They love small business Saturday and have a lot of gifts available! 

Antiques on Pierce (1512 W Pierce St, Milwaukee, WI)

Antique mall with multiple levels selling a large variety of antiques and vintage goods from hundreds of different vendors. Each vendor has a different theme and it's always fun browsing through what they have to offer. 

Ben’s Cycle (1013 W Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI)

Locally owned Milwaukee bike shop. Great service and great selection of bikes. They sponsor a lot of community cycling events like the Downer Classic and support charities in the city.

Lauren: Madison Sales Associate

The Teasider (823 E Johnson Street, Madison, WI )

The tea options here are super high quality and they even make some of their own delicious and nourishing tea blends. You can also find unique tea-making instruments and cute mugs.

A Room of One’s Own (2717 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI)

This queer and trans-owned independent bookstore has a wide variety of books to look through as well as funny gifts. The staff are very helpful for finding what qualities you’re looking for in a book.

Wildewood (733 Hilldale Way, Madison, WI)

House plants are a green gift that your loved ones can enjoy for a long time. They bring some nature indoors during the winter months and purify the air inside as an added bonus. At Wildewood you can find a plant for any level of green thumb as well as fun gifts like candle holders, plant stands, and coffee table books. 

Bloom Bake Shop (1851 Monroe Street, Madison, WI)

Are you going to a holiday potluck but don’t have time to make something to bring? Stop by Bloom Bakeshop for a delicious loaf of bread or a box of pastries that will please anyone. Their gluten-free/vegan options are extensive and never an afterthought. They also recently jointly opened another location with Youngblood Beer Co and Cafe Domestique called Northstreet so you can find them in the Eken Park neighborhood too!

Trey: Madison Sales Associate & Intern

Paleo Mama Bakery (409 S Few St, Madison, WI)

Finding sweet treats can often be a struggle for those with restrictive food allergies or dietary restrictions. This is where a locally owned bake shop like Paleo Mama comes into save the day with a completely gluten and grain free kitchen! With a variety of options that all taste incredible, there is something for everyone to satisfy their sweet tooth. 

Madison Shoe Repair and Bootery (2871 University Ave, Madison, WI)

A quintessential place for anyone looking to freshen up a well loved pair of shoes or boots. The owner, Michael, is extremely knowledgeable and kind, dedicated to ensuring everyone leaves satisfied with their new or repaired pair of shoes. High quality craftsmanship and great service means you (and your favorite shoes) will leave feeling great! 

Sasha: Owner 

Saffi Saana (Madison based, online only) 

Saffi speciality oils and vinegars are the perfect gift for the sustainable foodie in your life! Saffi’s EVOO  has a fresh and peppery taste, the closest comparisons I can make are to the EVOO’s I had in Italy and Croatia! Saffi offers an adorable Tasting kit as well as a zero waste line of oils and vinegars packaged in reused wine bottles! 

Stillgoods (1521 Williamson Street, Madison, WI)

The vintage and secondhand clothes and accessories are always rotating here so you’ll almost always find something new. You can feel good about gifting a unique piece of clothing while avoiding fast fashion. Gift cards are also available for the expert thrifter in your life. 

Heirloom Bakery and Kitchen: (Scheduled pickups, no walk-ins, 3226 Progress Road, Madison, WI) 

Heirloom is a 100% vegan bakery using organic ingredients wherever possible. They offer one of a kind custom cakes and can pretty much make any cake your vegan heart desires! If you’re looking for vegan treats that don’t taste vegan this is the place for you! Place a holiday order on their website or grab a treat with your morning coffee at @ledgercoffee @brokenboardcoffee @forage_kitchen.

Angela: Milwaukee Manager

URSA (2534 S Kinnickinnic Avenue, the Milwaukee, WI)

Described as a “lifestyle and plant shop” URSA has a little bit of everything. From jewelry, home decor, perfumes, candles, paper goods, and food items you can find almost anything here. Lots of local and independent artists. Perfect for the bougie person in your life. 

Clover  (2252 S Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI)

One of the most vibey plant stores in the city (in my own personal opinion). Women owned, based in Milwaukee, they also keep sustainability at the forefront with a pot donation service (10% off your order) and keeping their carbon footprint low by limiting the number of miles their plants travel. They also use many different reused vessels to re-pot plants in. The plant lover in your life will love everything in this store.

Clocktower Antiques (1134 S 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI) 

A three story antique store (my favorite floor being the basement level) is the perfect mix of old and new, it’s packed, it’s chaotic, and you always find something that’ll make you giggle. They have tarot cards and crystals, they have vintage clothes, they have knick-knacks, jewelry, art, and a million other things shoved in the nooks and crannies of this basement. 10/10.    

The Waxwing (Milwaukee Based Online) 

My personal favorite website, I could browse on it for hours! Tons of paper goods, fun stickers, jewelry, kids stuff, candles and incense, eco-friendly options, and all the local and independent makers you could ask for! 

Beard MKE (1812 E North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI) 

LGBTQ Owned, Full of funny lil’ gifts. Candles in old liquor bottles, Wisconsin stadium posters, jewelry and watches, a ton of locally made items, as well as beard maintenance supplies for the facial hair owner in your life.  

shop wisconsin wisconsin gift guide wisconsin woman owned

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