New businesses bring flair to Platteville downtown

Hens & Chicks LLC

Owners: Christine Alt and Luella Klann

Store Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Specialties: Natural baby items, breast-feeding supplies, books, cloth-diapers, Amber beads for teething, and recyclable products.

Price Range:  $3.99-$24.99

Description: Alt is a mother of two, a seven-year-old and a two-year-old. Klann has a two-year-old and expecting another child in early April. The duo opened up a shop that is all baby. From natural baby products to Wreck this Journal, a constructive way for parents to blow off some steam, this store has it all for new and old parents.

Inspiration: “[We were inspired by] our own children. We are cloth-diapering natural ‘mommas’. We were at the park together one day discussing how difficult it is to get cloth-diapers for our children; if we actually wanted to get our hands on we would have to drive 45 minutes each way. That discussion bloomed into ‘Why don’t we do that?’”  Alt said.

Aspirations: Both owners want to be able to help out the parents of the community through class and discussion.

Future Plans: “We’ve been trying to branch out into the community by offering classes such as cloth diapering or how to make baby food. We really want to form a connection with the parents in the community by having a mommy or daddy group where parents can connect or meet up with each other and discuss different issues that you run into as a parent and ask for advice,” Alt said.

Additional Information: “We really built our story around children. We have a play area where children can play when Mom and Dad are shopping. We also have a seating area for whenever [someone] has a question about a product or really wants to discuss any issues they are having and have some tea. We really try to cater to families,” Alt said.


The Underground

Owners: Marc Wasicek, Brittany Schultz, and Mike Myers.

Store Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

Specialties: Smoke and novelty shop that caters to college students with rare and affordable smoking products.

Price Range:  $3.00-$250

Description: “Vape store meets smoke shop meets Spencers,” Wasicek said.

Inspiration: “[Myers] is a glassblower and we were talking about how he could better market it. We started thinking about the market in Platteville, one thing led to another and here we are,” Wasicek said.

“I’ve worked for small businesses and I wanted to work for myself. When [Myers] came up with the idea I was like ‘Let’s do this. Platteville needs this and we have the capability and maturity to do it,’” Schultz said.

Aspirations: “I want to get to the point where someone comes in and asks if we have something in specific and say yes to every single one,” Schultz said.

Future Plans: The trio wants to keep expanding the store to other locations. Myers hopes to eventually have a glassblowing studio next door and teach glassblowing to the community.

Additional Information: The Underground is hosting an official grand opening event from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Feb. 7. Participants will meet local glassblowers and can enter to win prizes such as gift certificates, a smoker’s delight basket, and a WOW Glass EZ Bubbler. Raffle tickets are $2 each or 10 for $15.