Helmed by a professional duo of seamstresses, Fabric Shapers steers apprentices of all skill levels through two-hour private sewing lessons tailored to their individual goals and projects. Amateur stitchers can absorb basic threading techniques as those with prior knowhow learn to tackle more advanced subjects, such as linebackers made from yarn or fashion-design concepts. Acquire the skills to hem your own pants, or study the art of alteration for snugger, more flattering duds. Instructors can also guide students as they chart schematics for a custom garment styled from preexisting apparel, transforming an obsolete dress into a chic blazer or several hundred blindfolds for an upcoming consortium of piñata aficionados.
Over the past 100 years, Regal Ware has forged quality American-made cookware designed to unite families via home-cooked meals. Products made in Regal Ware's Wisconsin factories, such as the American Kitchen cookware line, are sold in more than 130 countries and include stainless-steel saucepans ($70+) designed to ensure temperature distribution and durability. The American Kitchen line includes nonstick frying pans, stockpots, and sauté pans, which can be purchased in a complete 10-piece set ($200). Groupon holders can also pick up American Kitchen covered saucepans featuring glass covers for monitoring meals ($30) or baking pans ($30) and cookie sheets ($18) to cradle sweets with stainless steel during 350-degree naps.
Established around 1937, American Science & Surplus, a science-related hobby store, equips curious customers with gadgets that fulfill educational pursuits. For customers working on science experiments, the shop carries lab supplies and equipment such as burner stands, microscopes, and petri dishes. Tinkerers can pick up spare parts for their projects, such as power adapters or wheels to help with building model cars or turning TV remote controls into cat toys. The shop's inventory also includes robot parts, school and art supplies, and home accessories such as flexible chopping mats, cheeseburger-shaped kitchen timers, and desk toys.
At Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, families and friends can explore 185 acres of scenic wilderness and wander along 6 miles of hiking trails. The myriad perks of membership entitle patrons to unlimited year-round access to the center as well as more than 140 partner centers across North America. Both adults and children enjoy discounts on educational jaunts and the chance to dominate the center's resident eagles and owls in aerial stunt challenges. Guests often ascend the park's 60-foot observation tower to observe hikers and cross-country skiers traversing the flora-laden premises. Invitations to exclusive events allow members to wine and dine with other nature lovers and included membership in the Schlitz Audubon Bird Club grants knowledge of the secret handshakes of local talons.
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.