Yellow Wood Gear
401 E. Silver Spring Drive
Neighborhood: Whitefish Bay
Owner: Moshe Katz and Marty Stilling
Product: Outdoor gear and apparel
How did you decide to open the store?
Stilling: “We loved the neighborhood – Moshe’s lived here all his life and is an important part of the community. I love the outdoors and selling quality specialty gear. The industry has changed over the past decades and we saw an opportunity to represent small, ethical, well-meaning companies.”
How do you choose your vendors?
Katz: “We work with companies that are sustainable, environmentally sound and have ideals that go beyond making a buck. Most of the companies we deal with have some kind of a giveback program to the environment.”
Why doesn’t Yellow Wood sell online?
Katz: “While there are great companies that do online service exceptionally well, at the end of the day, how will you be able to tell if the shoe fits or not? Come in to our store and have a conversation. We offer human contact, something that can’t be achieved by an online service and will get you much better wear and service out of the product.”
Is your clientele made up of mostly extreme outdoor enthusiasts?
Stilling: “No, not at all, and this shocked us a little bit. We have lots of dog walkers! And we don’t sell kids’ clothes or much to children, but kids love our store.”
Katz: “We have those who are the weekend warriors, taking adventures to Iceland, Newfoundland, wherever in the world. We’ve also got people here on a regular basis. We’re here to make a difference in the community we live in.” n