Green Bee shop opens on Main St.

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

Oct. 7, 2014

Green Bee owner Holly LePien stands with Mayor Shawn Reilly and other supporters at her shop’s grand opening on Saturday.
 Sarah Pryor/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Downtown Waukesha is all abuzz about Green Bee, the eclectic new gift shop that opened Saturday at 439 W. Main St.

A longtime dream of Holly LePien and husband Jerid Slominski, the store offers everything from one-of-a-kind “up-cycled” decor items to unique jewelry to women’s clothing.

“It’s always going to be something fresh, something different and new,” Slominski said. “Nothing from Walmart.”

One of Slominski’s favorite offerings is a wall of “manly” bar soaps that feature scents like beer, bacon and cigars, all handmade in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Green Bee owner Holly LePien shows off a wall of “manly scented soaps” that feature scents like beer, bacon and cigars.
 Sarah Pryor/Freeman Staff

LePien’s favorite items in the shop are wallets that are handmade by a set of sisters who live on opposite sides of the world from one another — one in North Carolina and the other in Switzerland.

“They send it to one another and each picks her own fabric,” LePien said.

The store also offers some fair-trade items like clip-on flowers made in an African village.

Slominski said the couple had been talking about opening a store for a while, and the stars aligned when the space became vacant earlier this year.

On their website,, the couple says their goal is for both designers and consumers to start taking the issue of sustainability design more seriously.

“More than simply a laundry list of sustainable clothing and accessories you can buy, Green Bee’s mission is to inform, inspire, and encourage innovation,” the couple says on their site.

Where does the name come from?

LePien said the “green” portion comes from the spirit of the store, which specializes in up-cycled and handmade items. Slominski said the “bee” part came along because he suggested several animals and LePien liked the way “bee” sounded the best.