Leather seamstress fills niche on Harwood Ave.
Boutique has seen Village change from sleepy to bustling
For a long time, Cindy Hein Westin was virtually alone along her stretch of Harwood Avenue.
Heinsight leather boutique, 7609 Harwood Ave., was the single store tucked away on what seemed like an almost forgotten street.
That was 13 years ago.
"The Village has changed so much since I've been here, new businesses coming and going," said Hein Westin, 54, who also lives in Wauwatosa.
Renovations across the street brought in more mom-and-pop shops and restaurants. Suddenly, she had neighbors for her historic storefront shop with its single wall of cream city brick and almost 350 square feet of retail space.
"It's been great because it's just brought a lot more traffic to this street," Hein Westin said.
The neighborhood isn't the only thing that has changed.
"I've evolved, too," Hein Westin said.
It started in seventh-grade home economics.
"We had these simple, easy projects but I always had to make it more challenging; like, I wanted to smock something and I used gingham so there was a plaid to match," she said and laughed.
She joined the theater department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and then decided to stay, abandoning her hometown of Green Bay to make a go of sewing in the "big city."
Hein Westin took a bit of a professional detour, making bridal gowns. But the stress and persnickety nature of the work led her to leather working. At Heinsight, she makes shearling and leather coats and jackets, leather skirts and pants, belts, handbags and fur accessories.
She does it all behind a wall of drapes, hung to conceal her work room and her four sewing machines, including her very first - a Kenmore bought in 1977 - under the watchful eye of resident redhead, Maggie, her beloved Labradoodle.
Hein Westin counts herself among the lucky few who do what they love.
"I like to feel that I fill a niche in the city," she said.
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (262) 446-6643.
JUST THE FACTS
WEB: (website coming soon)
PHONE: (414) 456-9211
OWNER: Cindy Hein Westin
TYPE OF BUSINESS: leather boutique
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "It's really important to have the opportunity to work at what you love and love your work."
- 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