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!
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Bavaria, relatively new, harkens to the old world
- Business Spotlight: From 'bowling ball' to fitness trainer, Tony Becker's been there
- Business Spotlight: Incentive Gallery, without inventory, delivers the perfect thing
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Cafe Blue takes pleasure in providing simple pleasures
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Alicia Haugen, mom and designer, got into social media early
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: At Hoppe Tree Service, listening may be the most important thing
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Chiropractor says it's not just about the spine
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Daly's is helping to bring the fountain pen back
- Business Spotlight: Spring is here and gardens are blooming
- Business Spotlight: Empire Fish
- Business Spotlight: The Lutheran Home & Harwood Place
- Business Spotlight: Valentine business partners found coffee kept calling them back
- Business Spotlight: Running a remodeling company no strain in family-owned business
- Business Spotlight: The Malt Shoppe isn't selling milk shakes
- Midtown Dental Care is 'home-like' for new and long-term patients
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Gigi's satisfies even the biggest craving for cupcakes
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Therapist finds himself enriched by a life shaped by transitions
- Business Spotlight: Milwaukee Map surveys the world from a small store near you
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight Yoga instructor practiced the art before it was all the rage
- Business Spotlight: Alfa Flower shop weathered some tough years, and has flourished in the economic