Wausau Pilot & Review

Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing christina@wausaupilotandreview.com.

This week’s featured Wausau business is The Local, which features a wide range of items from apparel to one-of-a-kind gifts and much more, all handcrafted by regional artisans. The first location, at 420 N. Third St., opened in downtown Wausau in July 2017 and attracted an enthusiastic response from both makers and customers seeking products that are anything but mass-produced. A year and a half later The Local expanded, opening a sister shop at 3806 Schofield Ave. in Weston. Owner Alison Magnuson said her team of eight incredible employees share a common goal and a passion for sharing makers’ products and stories, while bringing the best of what Wisconsin and the Midwest have to offer to their stores. Dozens of makers fill the shelves at The Local, where you’re certain to find something new each and every time you walk through the door. (And remember – holiday shopping is right around the corner!) For The Local, it’s all about inspiring others to follow their biggest dreams and know – without a doubt – that you can do anything you set your mind to. Hear what Alison Magnuson has to say about inspiration behind her venture – and what’s in store for the future.

Q: When was your business established, and what prompted you to start?

A: We opened our downtown location in July of 2017. I am a huge advocate for following your dreams and owning a business was always mine. After having our daughter I realized I wanted to teach by example and not just by words. After many months of prayer and the right people coming into our lives, The Local was created.

Q: Tell us more about The Local. What will customers find when they walk through the door?

A: Our shops are curated with you in mind, carrying everything from apparel, home goods, gifts and more. 

Q: What makes your business unique? What sets you apart? 

A: We showcase over 80 Midwest makers, who you can see when stopping in our shop or on our website. We do this so you can put a face to who makes the product you are purchasing. When you shop with us, you are truly making a difference and become a part of the maker’s success story. 

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing? 

A: I am most proud of being able to not only bring amazing products made by Midwest makers to our community but to have the honor in sharing their stories with everyone who shops with us. 

Each of our makers come from different backgrounds; some are doing this part-time in hopes to make it a full-time gig, others are stay at home moms trying to give their families a little extra help. But one thing remains the same and that is they are following their dreams and living out their passions. It’s beautiful hearing what a difference our customers make in each of their lives. 

We’ve been doing this for almost five years and the best part is the relationships that have been created. They are like nothing else and I cherish each of them. 

Q: How have you changed and evolved over time? What’s different now from when you first started? 

A: Our maker community continues to grow; we had about 20 starting out. And over the years, each of them have brought something amazing to our shop and journey. The aesthetic of our shop has changed from when we first opened our doors, but the vibe you feel when you come into our shop has stayed the same throughout all these years. When you are here, you can truly feel the love that the makers put into each of their products.

Q: What challenges have you had to overcome? Basically, if you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently? 

A: I wouldn’t change anything about our journey. There have definitely been hardships along the way, but each time we’ve overcome and come out ahead learning so much more than what we thought we already knew. Many times you have to put yourself in uncomfortable and hard situations for amazing things to unfold. 

Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see your business headed? 

A: We hope to continue to serve our community by putting Midwest makers’ products in their hands while offering a unique shopping experience. We would also love to open more locations to provide our makers even more outlets to share their products and stories.

Connect with The Local

The Local – 420 N. 3rd St. – Wausau | 3806 Schofield Ave. Suite 2- Weston 

715 – 298 – 0896 | 715 – 298 -0085 


@thelocalwi (Facebook and Instagram)