CHIPPEWA FALLS — Chippewa Falls residents now have a hub for merchandise which celebrates all things local.
The Chippewa Store, 23 W. Spring St., opened last week for the first time in downtown Chippewa Falls. The shop sells locally themed coffee mugs, T-shirts, hats, various apparel and lanyards.
Co-owner of The Chippewa Store, Cassie Smiskey said she and her husband Carl decided to open their new business in order to give area residents the chance to get their hands on something local to help spread their love for their city.
“We felt like Chippewa Falls needed a place where we could have souvenirs and things which were focused on our town,” Cassie Smiskey said. “Whether you’re sending a Christmas gift to somebody or putting together a care package for a family member or a friend, we wanted to have a place people could go to buy a piece of the city. It’s such a great place to live, and there is so much to offer so we just wanted to enhance that.”
In addition to operating as a retail business, The Chippewa Store also serves as the central hub for Smiskey Designs, a printing and apparel company Carl Smiskey has run for nearly a decade.
The origins of the new store came after the 260 square-foot space Smiskey was using to run his company became unavailable and he then took a leap of faith and invested in the new nearly 1,600 square-foot space The Chippewa Store now calls home.
The new space allows him to use the main lobby area as a store, he said, the rest of the square footage is for meeting with potential clients and showing off prospective products to other businesses, schools and individual customers.
“Now we can sell product and get creative,” Carl Smiskey said. “Everything we have in the store I can print, so this is just the front end to what the main business is.”
COVID-19 has not had an impact on the opening process for the store Cassie Smiskey said, as setting up the location was remodeling done by family and friends.
And while The Chippewa Store just had their opening day on Tuesday, Cassie Smiskey said their eventual goal is to open a simultaneous online store for potential shoppers and expand their business to its furthest potential.
She said she hopes the community embraces her and her lifelong Chippewa Falls resident husband as one of their own.
“We’d love to have everyone stop down and check us out,” Cassie Smiskey said. “We’ll do what we can to help them find what they’re looking for.”