Citizens of Humanity, AG Adriano Goldschmied and Rag &
Bone denim? Check. Me & Ro and Kitsch jewelry? Check.
Frank & Eileen shirts and Theory cashmere sweaters?
Check and check. Think you need to drive to Chicago to
find your favorite designers? Think again. These are
just a few of the famous names of fashion available at
Twigs of Brookfield, an upscale but approachable
boutique that combines a big-city-chic vibe with
small-town-friendly customer service.
Having experienced a particular void in Wisconsin’s
shopping scene after some years in New York City,
Jennifer Van Wart opened Twigs in Madison in 2002 and
expanded into The Corners of Brookfield in 2017. Here
she talks her path to the fashion business and the
styles and services that set Twigs apart.
were a successful Wall Street trader before you became a
boutique owner. Why the major change to the clothing biz
— and why leave the Big Apple to move back to Wisconsin?
Moving our family to Wisconsin was a
return home for me and a major shift for my husband, who
grew up in South America and suburban New York. It was
an opportunity to raise our kids near family and in a
beautiful part of the country that we’ve always loved.
By complete coincidence, our move was planned for Sept.
11, 2001, and while my husband was managing the chaos
back east, I was in Wisconsin looking for retail therapy
to distract myself. I couldn’t find the type of indie
boutiques I liked to shop in or the brands I loved, so I
literally decided to open my own.
Describe the vibe at your Brookfield store.
Relaxed and curated. Everything in the
store — from on-trend denim and tops to wear-everywhere
jewelry that really stands out — has all been carefully
chosen. Our store is a relaxing setting with
complimentary refreshments, a comfy lounge and, most
importantly, stylists who are never pushy, always there
to give honest tips and feedback, and to help shoppers
find the pieces they’ll want to wear for years.
advice would you give a customer who wants to raise her
fashion game? Any trends you love or hate this year?
My fashion advice is to choose pieces
that make you feel good about yourself. Try not to be a
slave to trends. I love the new way we’re mixing fall’s
favorite plaids with other accent prints like checks,
dots and animal patterns. One tricky fall trend,
however, is faux fur. There’s a lot of it out there, but
be careful. I feel there’s more bad than good, and it’s
easy to ruin a good outfit with the wrong faux fur
What’s the biggest misconception about local fashion?
That it might not be as hip or cool as
what you might find in a bigger city, in a major
department store or on one of the many online shopping
sites. A good local boutique will edit out the
extraneous and focus on the best of what your favorite
brands offer. Twigs is well known for curated
collections and the best styling tips and advice out
there. Our customer service is unparalleled, and we love
helping our guests find the right look and fit for them.
Visit Twigs: The Corners of Brookfield, 245 High St.,
Brookfield, (262) 737-5535,