Rhea Loveless in her Creme de Le Creme Salon inside Burlap &
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
WAUKESHA — The overall mission of Burlap & Lace Marketplace, a
new store located at
840 N. Grand Ave. in downtown Waukesha, is
literally hanging over people’s heads.
Rhea Loveless, the store’s owner, said she wanted to create a
space that would allow local artists to display and sell their
|“I like Waukesha
150 percent more then West Allis,” she said. “There’s
way more sidewalk traffic and there’s a strong downtown
The unique deep blue and gold trimmed Burlap & Lace Marketplace
sign, displayed at the store’s entrance, was created by DH
Graphics & Signs, inc., a Waukesha-based company. Along with the
sign, the store features the work of 26 Waukesha County artists.
Store merchandise includes — but is not limited to — repurposed
and upcycled furniture, homemade soaps, crochet hats, antiques,
and handmade American Girl Doll clothing.
The store’s mission is to empower artists to be unique and
creative and bring happiness to the special moments that happen
every day, Loveless said.
One vendor, for example, creates candles out of old wine and
Burlap & Lace Marketplace features handmade items like these
along with vintage clothing and other items from a variety
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
“If you have a favorite wine, you can save the bottle, come in
and ask her to make a candle out of it,” Loveless said.
Other vendor items include kitchen islands made from antique
dressers, signs made from old barn wood, refinished antique
mirrors and picture frames, and homemade jewelry.
Loveless, who moved to Wisconsin from Oklahoma after meeting her
husband online, came to Waukesha after owning a store in West
Allis for about three years. She said she explored relocating in
Wauwatosa, Cedarburg, and Bay View, but ultimately decided on
Waukesha because of its focus on art.
“I like Waukesha 150 percent more then West Allis,” she said.
“There’s way more sidewalk traffic and there’s a strong downtown
Along with its merchandise, the store itself has a unique and
artistic vibe. Crystal chandeliers hang over hardwood floors,
and an exposed brick wall reveals the building’s architecture.
Loveless is also a hairdresser, and her Creme de Le Creme Salon
is located in the back of the store. Burlap & Lace also offers a
bakery and organic, fair trade coffee — iced or hot — with
indoor and patio seating.
The store has opened its doors for the last three Friday Night
Live events, and will hold its grand opening Aug. 22 and 23.
Loveless said business has been great so far, and she
thinks it will only get better.
The grand opening will feature door
prizes, music, wine and cheese, and refreshments. From 2:30
p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 23, people can stop by to get animal
balloons or temporary tattoos.
In the future, Loveless plans to expand
the store into the basement, which will provide more space
for interested vendors. She wants to get artists together to
paint murals that resemble a shopping village on the walls.
She plans on painting a stone path along
the basement floor so costumers will feel they are taking a
stroll outside while shopping.
She also hopes to start hosting an art
class later this year, where people can bring in old
furniture and refinish it. The basement currently contains
antique furniture that Loveless has found online, and people
taking the course will have the option of purchasing pieces
they like and refurnishing them during the class.