The People Behind the Products – # 6

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Photo Sep 29, 11 42 12 AM (1)

Hello!  We’ve been busy little bees at here, so I apologize that it’s been a bit since this post.  We’ve had a few events, including a “Mod” party to launch our partnership with Flor carpet squares, and sponsorship events for the Shorewood Plein Air art weekend.  It’s been fun, but it’s back to the digital world also, as we love you too!

Today I want to tell you about a super cool trio of talent residing in Milwaukee, Reno & New York; Ryan Tretow, Ryan Ostler, and Red Flower.

Ryan Tretow is a doing his part to improve the Milwaukee urban landscape.  I met him a couple years ago when I was helping out the interior design department at Kahler Slater in downtown Milwaukee where he works as an architectural designer.  He also is the founder, designer and creator at Tretow, where he designs and fabricates uniquely well-made furniture with a modern edge.

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Ryan Tretow, himself

I think his Rascal Bench, for sale in store, is a shining example of modern furniture, both in design and construction.


the Rascal Bench

Ryan participated in the Guerrilla Truck Show in Chicago in 2014, which was an offsite design event in conjunction with NeoCon design trade fair, where designers exhibited from the back of rental trucks lined up along the elevated sidewalk in Chicago’s West Loop.  His truck won Best in Show and received press in Chicago, Milwaukee and beyond.


The truck walls were lined with sketches from Ryan’s Sketchbook

Stop in and see Ryan’s furniture and lighting on display!

P.S.  We are working on some custom shelving and storage ideas, so stay tuned for a great collaboration!  I can’t wait!

The other Ryan I want to tell you about is Ryan Ostler, a graduate of Shorewood high and UW-Milwaukee with family still in the area, who now lives in Reno.  He keeps himself very busy in Reno, as Ceramics Education Director, Gallery Curator and Resident Artist at the Generator, a Reno community art and builder’s space.

Ryan Ostler 1

Ryan with one of his giant sized paintings – hopefully we can get this size work here in Wisconsin!

The Generator’s mission is “to foster a community that spends more time pursuing creative endeavors of the mind and heart, inventing and building, and spending a bit more time enjoying the beautiful world we live in.”  Sounds like a fabulous place!!

The collection of Ryan’s artwork that we are featuring in store are paintings created with recycled paint.  He collects people’s old paint cans, keeps them from ending up in the landfill, and creates modern abstract works of art with them.

Ryan Ostler Paint

A collection of recycled paint that becomes Ryan’s artwork

More reason to stop in and visit the store, to see his fantastic work in person!

Finally, I HAVE to tell you about a newer (relatively since this whole adventure is still pretty new) company to the Olson House family, Red Flower.  Red Flower was started in New York in 1999 by Yael Alkalay who was fascinated with botanical extracts and essential oils as a child, studied them in college, and traveled throughout Japan learning the art of perfuming and purifying rituals.


Red Flower founder, Yael Alkalay

To quote them “red flower was created from a deep-rooted love of the land and spirituality, as well as a sense of science and holistic medicine. we’re founded on the principles of world traditions, sustainable sourcing, ritual, well-being and aesthetics. we offer a new approach to the concept of beauty and grooming. something that cannot be bottled, but is embraced. red flower is a calling. a ceremony to feel all of the senses. a moment taken to reconnect and restore.”

Red Flower

The Red Flower boutique in NYC

I first became acquainted with Red Flower when I happened upon a tester for some hand and face wipes in their signature Wanderlust scent.  I’d never smelled anything like it, and I was hooked.  Since bringing in their products, the Wanderlust scent, which we have in lotion (sold out at the moment, but are getting more in!), hand and body wash and candles.  I sort of feel bad for all of their other wonderful scents.  Wanderlust is so unique, everyone seems to forget anything else they have smelled before!  Listen to their description of the scent: “notes of aged paper, the smell of old books, indelible as the stories themselves. and glimpses of nature that grow between the cracks, of rare barks, white woods, wild grass and warm earthy resins. a space of comforting warmth amidst a snow covered skyline and the clean freshness of hinoki wood.”  I absolutely love that whoever does their writing could also work for J Peterman, they have the absolute best descriptions of their products!


The Wanderlust Collection

I’m also in love with their Nature collection of skin care which is inspired by Finnish skincare and features active organic milk forest purifier, ionizing vita toning flower mist and arctic berry cloud milk cream, just to name a few.  I’ve been using the three mentioned, and my skin feels like silk instead of its normal fall texture similar to sandpaper.  I’m in love with both their products and their story!

Thanks for reading, and again, sorry it’s been so long, if you’ve been paying attention.  I hope we can be more up-to-date from now on!  *crossing fingers and toes


Red Flower in stock


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Red Flower, Wanderlust Petal Topped Candle

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Ryan Tretow & Ryan Ostler


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