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Window Shopping: Offbeat Chic at Monroe Street Boutique Zip-Dang

Published On: Apr 04 2011 01:08:14 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 12 2011 03:56:16 AM CDT

By Shayna Miller Madison Magazine

Natalie Bass wants to make it clear: her shop Zip-Dang isn?t ?crafty.? She?s referring to the alt-craft scene, in which artists repurpose items into ingenious d├ęcor and gifts. What Bass and her husband Mike do sell in their ?handmade menagerie and vintage boutique? (open since June) is clothing made by indie designers and handmade works by local and national artists?many of whom the couple met at national art shows.

This translates into odd yet charmingly compelling paint-by-number pieces (see the cat painting below), photography by Mike, Campfire Goods? screenprinted T-shirts (see the Great Lakes tee at bottom), plus other vintage ephemera like hats and clothing.

?This is a place where we can help grow other artists? businesses. And people appreciate what we?re doing,? says Natalie.

Of course she sells her own work in the shop, too: her Orangyporangy skirts (look at her hair for the significance) line one wall.

The charming space is also outfitted with shelving that?s reclaimed wood from the previous tenants and the fixtures are industrial cast-offs sourced from vintage shops and friends.

?There?s a charm to this building?we didn?t want to go in a space that was shiny and new.?

Seems like a perfect match for her merchandise, too.

Images, clockwise from top left:

SKIRT THE ISSUE Bass uses vintage as well as modern fabrics to make her Orangyporangy A-line skirts. Orangyporangy skirts, $55?$130.

PICTURE PERFECT ?Mike has a degree in photography. When we go to art shows he?s always out and about while I?m in the show.? (His photography is hanging behind the couple). Mike Bass photography, $35?$95.

FINE DINE ?This is repurposed restaurant ware. These are decals that are baked on at a high temperature. It?s high quality; these won?t break when you drop them.? Foldedpigs dishes, $6?$18.

SUCH A CARD We love these vintage-look postcards, made by Natalie. If they look familiar, it?s probably because the images are from vintage sewing patterns. $15/set of eight cards.

JOLLY JEWELS Milwaukee artist Meredith Jensen uses semiprecious stones, Lucite, vintage pieces and high-quality hardware to craft her jewelry. M Jewelry pieces, $35?$75

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.

Read Miller's weekly Window Shopping blog here. Read more Window Shopping columns here.

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