Leather seamstress fills niche on Harwood Ave.
Boutique has seen Village change from sleepy to bustling
For a long time, Cindy Hein Westin was virtually alone along her stretch of Harwood Avenue.
Heinsight leather boutique, 7609 Harwood Ave., was the single store tucked away on what seemed like an almost forgotten street.
That was 13 years ago.
"The Village has changed so much since I've been here, new businesses coming and going," said Hein Westin, 54, who also lives in Wauwatosa.
Renovations across the street brought in more mom-and-pop shops and restaurants. Suddenly, she had neighbors for her historic storefront shop with its single wall of cream city brick and almost 350 square feet of retail space.
"It's been great because it's just brought a lot more traffic to this street," Hein Westin said.
The neighborhood isn't the only thing that has changed.
"I've evolved, too," Hein Westin said.
It started in seventh-grade home economics.
"We had these simple, easy projects but I always had to make it more challenging; like, I wanted to smock something and I used gingham so there was a plaid to match," she said and laughed.
She joined the theater department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and then decided to stay, abandoning her hometown of Green Bay to make a go of sewing in the "big city."
Hein Westin took a bit of a professional detour, making bridal gowns. But the stress and persnickety nature of the work led her to leather working. At Heinsight, she makes shearling and leather coats and jackets, leather skirts and pants, belts, handbags and fur accessories.
She does it all behind a wall of drapes, hung to conceal her work room and her four sewing machines, including her very first - a Kenmore bought in 1977 - under the watchful eye of resident redhead, Maggie, her beloved Labradoodle.
Hein Westin counts herself among the lucky few who do what they love.
"I like to feel that I fill a niche in the city," she said.
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call (262) 446-6643.
JUST THE FACTS
WEB: (website coming soon)
PHONE: (414) 456-9211
OWNER: Cindy Hein Westin
TYPE OF BUSINESS: leather boutique
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "It's really important to have the opportunity to work at what you love and love your work."
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Business Spotlight: Designing, contracting go hand in hand for French Country Pine
- Sisters took a chance on Wauwatosa Ruby Tap, and soon there will be one in Mequon
- Business Spotlight: Salamander changed shape, until it took on women's clothing
- Business Spotlight: Wauwatosa's Fair Trade is a retail shop in the 'helping people' sector
- Christian book business in Wauwatosa is a gem, but not a small one
- Wauwatosa's Bloom Floral does wedding flowers with a conscience
- Business Spotlight: Fiberwood Studio is not just a yarn shop
- Pet project in Wauwatosa pays off for owners and animals alike
- Finding new life for old buildings
- Wauwatosa business coach helps small companies
- Therapist suggests making massage priority
- Family's sausage business a hit at farmers markets
- Tosa attorneys come from entrepreneurial families
- Soaps & Scents sniffs out a new opportunity
- Even technophobs can have a better tech experience, owner says
- Platinum Salon relies on intimate, family atmosphere
- Tosa Wine & Spirits staff enjoys its new home
- Move to massage therapy good for the soul, Parlour owner says
- Designing durable landscapes a way of life for Tosa man
- Mobility store says it puts client needs before profit