Wisconsin Clothing Co., which mainly sells locally-themed and Wisconsin-themed athleisure apparel, saw La Crosse as the perfect location for its second store, one of its owners says.
That led to the store’s opening on Aug. 11 at 413 Jay St. in downtown La Crosse, said Corey Kaiser, who owns the business with his wife, Teah, and his sister, Amanda Kaiser.
Based in Kieler, Wis., a small community northeast of Dubuque, Iowa, Wisconsin Clothing Co. also sells corporate apparel, accessories and some home decor items.
“It’s been pretty good,” Kaiser said Wednesday of the La Crosse store’s first several weeks of business.
“We thought this would be a perfect spot to expand of our business,” Kaiser said of downtown La Crosse, which he said somewhat reminds him of Dubuque.
“Even though La Crosse is a way bigger town than where I’m from, it still gives off the same feel and community vibe that we get in our smaller towns in the southwest part of Wisconsin,” Kaiser said.
He hopes to add more stores around the state in the next several years.
The business also does video segments on its YouTube channel in which it explores “cool communities” in the state, Kaiser said.
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Athleisure apparel, which accounts for most of Wisconsin Clothing Co.’s business, is a style of clothing that can be worn as athletic apparel but also is suitable for casual, everyday wear.
The La Crosse store sells men’s, women’s and youth clothing such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jackets, tank tops and hats.
It soon will have Oktoberfest apparel, as well as apparel that bears the numbers of a Wisconsin telephone area code, such as 608. Each area code in the state will be represented in the store’s collection.
The business began in 2018 as the608 – as Kieler is in the 608 area code – and was renamed Wisconsin Clothing Co. in March.
The new La Crosse store also sells five varieties of scented candles developed and made for it by the Velvet Couch Candle Co. in Bangor.
Besides retail sales at its Kieler and La Crosse stores, Wisconsin Clothing Co. sells online and will wholesale apparel to other retailers. “We’re in three or four boutiques on and off throughout the year,” Kaiser said of his firm’s apparel. He plans to expand his company’s wholesale business, as well as its retail business.
Kaiser lives in Kieler, where he and a friend own the Kieler Mall Tavern, next to Wisconsin Clothing Co.’s Kieler store. “My parents used to run it when they were younger,” he said of the tavern.
Kaiser and his father also are developing the new Parkside Estates residential subdivision on the outskirts of Kieler.
His sister, Amanda, is busy owning and operating AJ’s Boutique in Dubuque.
The embroidered and screenprinted apparel that Wisconsin Clothing Co. sells comes from Brand L Embroidery & Screenprinting in Kieler, a business that Kaiser’s parents own. Brand L also has a location in Lancaster.