Tucked away deep in the heart of the Village in Wauwatosa, Blue Lapin is a great find for people who like to shop for things a bit out of the ordinary.
Located at 7600 Harwood Ave., Blue Lapin sells a variety of indoor and outdoor merchandise for the home and garden. Sue Webb, who opened the business with her husband, Dennis, at its present location four years ago, describes her store and displays as "traditional meets shabby chic."
"I've learned you can't be everything to everybody," Webb said. "Many customers have told me they find the atmosphere in the store to be inviting."
Many of the items she sells - including wind chimes, jewelry, decorative tin animals, pottery, art, trellises and furniture - are handcrafted by local or national artists.
"What I really love is when people come in to browse and find things they didn't think they'd find," she said. "That's the kind of shopping I like to do - I like to be surprised."
Prior to its location on Harwood Avenue, Blue Lapin was open for business in a basement location just across from Little Read Book on State Street, a site Webb was in for four and a half years. The previous owner had a store that sold similar merchandise to Blue Lapin's, and Webb found that store very comforting to shop and visit.
When that store closed, Webb and her husband decided to open Blue Lapin.
"I had been a physical therapist assistant for the past 21 years; I decided it was time for a change," she said. "It was definitely a learning experience, as I knew very little about retail, but the store has been very well received. We've been open for eight and a half years, and the support from the community has been wonderful."
Blue Lapin offers an eclectic mix of decorative and functional items. It carries moss pots, topiaries and hummingbird feeders, as well as beeswax and soy candles, tiles, soaps and more.
Webb said she was inspired to name the store Blue Lapin after seeing "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," a play written by actor Steve Martin, at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in the mid-1990s.
"Lapin," which means "rabbit" in French, struck a chord with her, and she eventually settled on Blue Lapin as the name.
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call (262) 446-6643.
JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Blue Lapin
ADDRESS: 7600 Harwood Ave.
PHONE: (414) 443-0977
OWNER: Sue and Dennis Webb
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
- Business Spotlight: Cranky Al's has grown from desperation to a Wauwatosa institution
- Business Spotlight: Duckpin bowling alley has been an exercise in creative thinking
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: The Flower Lady stays true to the Village, and finds room to grow
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Perspective Design specializes in being a generalist
- Business Spotlight: Tosa Bowl and Bun
- Business Spotlight: For Loriena Harrington, the land kept calling her back
- Colonel Hart's is a bar that will make you feel like family
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: At Legacy Gym, it's not just about abs
- Business Spotlight: The Wauwatosa Historical Society keeps up to date with the past
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Chiropractor found his way by a fortunate accident
- Business Spotlight: On a quest for good brews, they found a World of Beer
- Business Spotlight: Jenny Kyle Smith hits the sweet spot after years of struggle
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Kirchen's Car Sick Art is more art than cars
- Business Spotlight: Wauwatosa-based Irish Fest Center does more than put on a summer festival
- Business Spotlight: Sheeley Service puts the zip in your beverage of choice
- Business Spotlight: Face time is the best time for photographer Stephanie Bartz
- Dog trainer finds it's people who need aid
- Business Spotlight: Russ Drover finds beauty in the original
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: When he left the corporate world, he made new arrangements
- Business Spotlight: For Ruckus & Glee toy store in Wauwatosa, it's all about play