A spirited new store has opened its doors in Downtown Kenosha, offering an eclectic, curated variety of new and vintage fashion while catering to the area’s younger population.
The Wild Goose Exchange held an opening event Friday evening at its new storefront, 5613 Sixth Ave.
The store is the creation of 19-year-old Carthage College sophomore Aydan Massey along with his friends and mother, and is the business’ second storefront to open.
Friday’s event included a live painting of a mural by multimedia artist Spencer Nolan Young, of 4Ever Young Designs. The artwork featured the company mascot — a scarf-wearing wild goose.
It includes the business’ motto as well: “You never know where the wild goose goes.” It is a phrase often repeated by Massey’s grandfather that now embodies his philosophy as he offers a unique collection of fashion.
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The initial location for the Wild Goose Exchange, in Appleton, began about a year ago as a pop-up fashion store. When it proved popular, it eventually became a permanent fixture at 10 East College Ave. Although Massey has had school to keep him busy, he said the business has grown and he’s been overjoyed to “see it come together from an outside perspective.”
The idea for this second location came about while attending Carthage and sensing a lack of connection between youth and the city’s downtown.
“Kenosha is a great, growing town,” Massey said. “Being at Carthage I saw students didn’t have that option to go Downtown.”
The store isn’t just for students however, Massey said, and he encouraged everyone to drop by to see the “welcoming” space and “follow your flock, find your people.”
Friday evening saw numerous students and visitors dropping by to do just that. Some were friends, while others were curious after hearing about the new store.
Browsing the racks that evening were Waukegan residents Frank Contreras and Yudi Santana. Contreras, a vintage fashion enthusiast himself, praised the Carthage student for the new store.
“This young man is very centered with what he’s doing,” Contreras said. “He’s keeping vintage alive.”
Kim Massey, Aydan’s mother and a small business consultant, talked about the “neat dynamic” of both seeing her impact on her son while also getting to learn from him.
“You don’t realize how much of an influence you are on your child,” Kim Massey said. “I watch how he talks and acts, it’s because he saw it. But I also learn so much from him.”
She said Aydan’s grandfather was also “very proud” to see his grandson build something so inspired by their relationship.
The interior has been left largely unchanged from when they came in, besides the new mural and decorations. Kim Massey said they hope to “blend in” with the surrounding historic downtown.
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