Current Young Professionals Network works to enrich both the careers and personal lives of members between the ages of 21 and 40 through a slew of social gatherings, volunteer opportunities, and networking possibilities. Like smuggling your best friend to work in a briefcase, membership combines career-building events with social activities recorded in a packed online calendar. Executive breakfasts aim to optimize personal exposure to industry movers and shakers, and exclusive classes and volunteer opportunities bolster resumes. Group social outings such as hockey games and film festivals foster crucial peer-to-peer relationships without the hassle of handcuffing yourself to coworkers. In addition, each membership brings the possibility of winning an award that highlights exemplary examples of entrepreneurship and professionalism.
The Exclusive Company—a Wisconsin-bred music-and-movie retailer—has given the gift of song since 1956, earning a Best of Milwaukee award from Shepherd Express readers in 2011. Passionate staffers guide visitors toward sprawling collections of rock and jazz and bins brimming with DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and loose 8mm slides from Kenny G's summer vacation. In addition to peddling new vinyl releases such as El Camino by the Black Keys and Revolver by T-Pain, the shop functions as a trading post, helping to find loving homes for preowned films and music. All used discs are carefully buffed into shape before meeting their new owners, and each comes backed by a money-back guarantee, which promises store credit if a preowned item exhibits biting tendencies. Most used CDs, DVDs, and vinyl cost less than $20.
The Orchid Bug helps spruce up terraces and gardens with a robust inventory of orchids, green plants, and growing supplies. Stationed at the front of the shop, a large window sends sunlight splashing across thriving displays of flora. Visitors snaking around those displays can indulge their budding curiosity by quizzing owner Denise Kirchmayer, or by participating in one of the store's classes. For a general overview of orchids and their culture, Orchids 101 fertilizes the minds of new and seasoned collectors alike, and more in-depth sessions, such as Orchids 102, explores the natural habitats of specific genera and why water is better than Tabasco sauce for sustaining a plant's life. Hands-on gatherings, such as Plug at the Bug, guide students through the planting process.
The nature-taming greenery gurus at The Plant People specialize in indoor and outdoor plantscaping to help spruce up drab domiciles and old office spaces. Stop by the store and peruse a wide array of home adornments, such as metal art ($15–$75), canvas prints ($31+), and all-natural soy candles made by local artists ($6.95–$35). Like the skeletal remains of a brontosaurus or a brightly burning car, a selection of the floral factory’s statues, trellises, and garden art ($15+) can swathe landscapes with elegant decoration. Couple a lonely table top with the simple floral arrangement ($25)—an artistic grouping of greens and rouge floral accents—or pull at eye-strings with the multichromatic fall bouquet ($75). Custom floral arrangements can be assembled with a colorful mélange of petals, producing a festive display of efflorescence.
Complete Nutrition stockpiles a wellness-augmenting bullion of vitamins and more with a savvy, helpful staff. Health devotees and feet-fancying merpeople can rejoice in the shop's healthy building blocks, such as Complete Woman and Complete Man multivitamins ($39.99 each). Both gender-specific tablets originate from natural ingredients, contain amino acids, and are intended to boost energy reserves, digestion, and immune-system function. While chaps' caplets ameliorate prostate health, the feminine variety aids the urinary tract. Staffed by athletes, personal trainers, and veteran fitness enthusiasts, Complete Nutrition can educate each customer on ideal supplements and nutrition programs for their personal goals and world-domination aspirations.
Celebrating their fifth anniversary, the Green Bay Bullfrogs field a roster comprising some of college baseball’s finest batsmen and mound tenants. A member of the Northwoods League, a baseball summer league intended to prepare college players for professional ball, the team battles other collegian-laden clubs from June 1 to August 14, when baseball players around the world go into hibernation. This season’s team is stocked with quality players ranging from infielder Joe Betcher, a member of the 2010 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team, to 1.67 ERA pitcher Greg Blohowiak. Chant, clap, or gape in stunned silence as the team assaults rival squads such as the Battle Creek Bombers and Madison Mallards with feats of athleticism and punishingly good sportsmanship.