RACINE — Craft Couture & Co., a local shop full of handmade, unique items and women’s clothing, is a true family business.
The boutique, which opened in mid-April in a triangular building at 1817 State St., has three equal partners who are family: Katie Shisler; her father-in-law, Keith Shisler; and her stepmother-in-law, Selena Shisler. All are talented crafters, judging by the merchandise in their store, about 80 percent of which is made by the trio — or, in a few cases, another family member.
Selena tells how the shop was born: “(Katie) was making these wonderful items and selling them on Facebook, and they needed a home. And then, with our talents together, we changed our business names.” Selena and Keith had been traveling and selling their creations as Selena’s Unique Boutique, while Katie was selling refinished furniture as Distressed Obsessed, via Facebook.
Katie refinishes furniture by doing “chalk painting,” she explained.
Selena and Keith collaborate on some of their creations, including “upcycled dresses.” Selena hunts for men’s button-down shirts at thrift stores and then pairs two at a time with a women’s top in a complementary blend of colors. Keith, who the women say “went from Teamster to seamster,” sews the men’s shirttails onto the blouse to create a unique, flowing dress that sells for $50.
“It definitely gives an hourglass figure to every figure,” Katie said.
Selena said that, in many cases while traveling, they met women who had a husband or male relative who had died.
“They always kept their shirts,” she said. “They wanted the smells, or they didn’t know what to do with them. So, on many occasions we’d have them send them to us at home, and Keith would sew them up, so they had, like, a living memorial to the family.”
Eclectic art pieces
Another example of Selena’s and Keith’s collaborations are Craft Couture’s zipper pulls. Each is a sparkly, one-of-a-kind collection of mixed media that includes crystals, charms, Keith-hammered brass tags, and so on. They can be hooked to a zipper, purse, belt or other places and sell for $20.
“We give free ribbon and chain so that a person can use it as a necklace,” Selena said.
Both Katie and Selena make eclectic pieces of art. One by Katie is made with china saucers, cups and a tea pot; the items seem to float above the table surface at different levels. Selena suggested one could put candy in the cups, or business cards at an event.
“(That) is my favorite piece in the entire store,” she said. It is priced at $40.
“We kept our (prices) reasonable here,” Selena said. “We want to move it — we don’t want to keep it.”
The shop also sells safe-to-breathe Fusion Mineral Paint for repainting furniture.
Katie and Selena said they do and will offer classes in many crafting areas including jewelry making, knitting, furniture refinishing, soap making, Mommy-and-me classes and more.
Craft Couture & Co. is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 262-221-1720 or 262-515-3330.