Karen White opened the Little Swiss Clock Shop in
Waukesha in 1968.
WAUKESHA — Karen White and her husband, Edward, opened
the Little Swiss Clock Shop in 1968 in downtown Waukesha
and a lot has changed since the shop first opened,
including its name.
husband was a watchmaker and that’s what created my
interest. His passion was restoring old antique watches
and clocks. He loved doing that, but when you’re in
business, you can’t just do your favorites,” White said.
“When we started out in business, we were the ‘Little
Swiss Watch Shop,’ and it didn’t take too long before
there was a demand for clocks. We started putting in a
few clocks and the demand was so great that clocks
finally overtook the watches,” said White.
Clocks chimed and cuckooed in the background during the
phone interview as White explained how her business has
evolved. At one point, there were three Little Swiss
Clock Shops, the other two located in West Allis.
be successful in business, the time commitment is the
biggest fact to consider. You have to be here regularly.
That means six and sometimes seven days a week,” said
Little Swiss Clock Shop offers repairs and an array of
timepieces including: pocket, wrist and sport watches as
well as grandfather, wall, mantel and chime clocks.
Barometers, whimsical, novelty and musical clocks are
“People very often treat our store like a museum. They
will often bring their relatives from out of town down
to Waukesha specifically to see our clocks,” White said.
“We meet so many people, from all walks of life.”
Since White’s husband passed away in the early nineties,
she took over the shop, which currently staffs five
people including a watchmaker.
“When people buy something here, they expect us to
service it. It’s not like going to a department store
where you just go and pick-up your item, put it in your
cart and check out. When they come here, they expect us
to be knowledgeable about the product, and explain it
thoroughly and to be here for servicing, not just at the
time, but throughout the years,” said Miller.