Calling everyone who loves to shop – if you are looking for high-end clothing, handbags and shoes or items for your home (and come on, let’s be honest, who isn’t?) you must check out Wooden Hanger and designXchange. They are paradises of high end, gently used, beautiful merchandise that will have you and your pocketbook singing for joy.
The Wooden Hanger offers an amazing assortment of designer women’s clothes and accessories at a fraction of the original cost. Right next door is designXchange Porch and Pantry where you will find a huge selection of everything kitchen; dinnerware, serving pieces, charming décor, cleaning supplies, their own label of salsas, spice rubs and much more. In between the two stores is a beautiful garden area where you can find treasures for your outdoor living space at home.
Both stores are consignment shops. People bring in items they’d like to sell and the items are reviewed by store employees, (many who have been with the company since the beginning). They decide if the merchandise is a good fit for the store. If so, they accept the items and put them out for sale. After they sell, the store sends the owner a check for 50 percent of the sale price. If the items don’t sell after 90 days they can be picked up, or be directly donated to an area charity.
When I was checking out Wooden Hanger, there was a woman who was clearly excited to be finding things she loved. Her name was Sarah and she told me, “This store has changed the way I shop. There are so many high-end pieces in here of great quality and at such fantastic prices.” She went on to say how almost all of her clothes, shoes and jewelry were from Wooden Hanger and that she loves it when she finds a great deal, which is often. Sarah’s enthusiasm was contagious and I couldn’t wait to hit the racks.
Shopping at designXchange was equally as fun. I envisioned where many of the beautiful pieces would fit perfectly in my home. An interesting staple of the store are stunning metal ceiling tiles. The reclaimed (not reproduced) tiles hale from 1800 to the early 1900s and are from ceilings of banks, fancy libraries and wealthy homes out east. The exquisite tiles were functional, as they were installed to slow a fire. But with WWI, the tiles ceased production and in their place war items were created. I had fun imagining the people and places these tiles have seen. When you stop in be sure to check them out.
A Storied History
The two stores have an interesting history. In 2009, both buildings were purchased at the same time by the current owner. One was a church (now designXchange) and the other a parsonage, (which is a house provided for a member of the clergy). The plan was to just have designXchange and rent out the parsonage, but as time went on, Wooden Hanger came to fruition. Both buildings have been extensively remodeled and are beautiful.
A few years ago a couple who was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary asked if they could renew their wedding vows in what used to be their church. So they were invited in and celebrated their love in the store where the alter formerly resided. And for a few minutes the store was taken back in time to the country church it once was.
There is a second designXchange in Hartland, owned by the same folks. This 14,000 sq. ft. space holds all things not found on your porch or in your kitchen. Think living room, dining room, bedroom, rugs and special occasion pieces. They’re all consignment, all fantastic, and all reasonably priced.
So there you have it – three stores you must check out the next time you have the need for something new, or the need for some inspiration.
Sue Piette has been a freelance writer and special events planner for 18 years. She grew up in Waukesha and now lives in Oconomowoc with her husband, their four kids and Louie, their Great Dane. When not driving kids around southeastern Wisconsin for a practice or a game, Sue loves to cook, garden, spend time with family and friends and enjoy Wisconsin’s seasons.