Colleen shares the story of how the bandannas came to be:
Back in the 1950s when families were “seeing the USA in their Chevrolets,” just like now, people liked to bring home a keepsake. Oftentimes, it was a souvenir tablecloth. These colorful cloths, usually card table size, captured the points of interest of a particular location…from orange groves to long-horned cattle, the French Quarter to the Empire State Building, blueberries to dairy farms. The tablecloths were a fun, and practical, take-home reminder of pleasant time spent in another place.
Over ten years ago I had thought, “Milwaukee should have something like those old tablecloths! Why doesn’t someone make something like that?” The tablecloth’s popularity had fizzled as ladies’ Bridge clubs dwindled, but I felt it still had appeal. Visitors always have and always will look for souvenirs as part of the travel experience, and Milwaukee plays host to scores of tourists each year. Resurrecting my childhood souvenir was not a far-fetched idea, but the know-how wasn’t there.
Like most ideas, mine went no farther than the inside of my head, until 2011 when I had the good fortune to meet my cousin’s daughter, Hannah, a talented local graphic artist! Best of all, and most importantly, Hannah loved this city as much as I did!
In no time the idea that had been in my head only, was bouncing between the two of us as we put our proverbial heads together. Spurred on by the fact that the revival of state maps from the 1950s were popping up on totes and towels, we knew our idea had genuine merit. It was now or never to put our spin on a Milwaukee souvenir into action.
In November of 2011, we proudly rolled out the HANmade Milwaukee™ Lakefront Souvenir Bandanna. Hannah had turned a simple stick figure idea into a lively, detailed cloth map of Milwaukee’s awesome lakefront. Chock full of playful icons in fresh colors, our creation does justice to its 1950s inspiration!
We are technically the “idea gal” and the “art gal,” both residents of Milwaukee, and our souvenir has been all about local, state and USA connections with the products and services we use right from the start.
It’s simply about sharing the love…of Milwaukee’s GREAT LAKEfront!
With HANmade regards,
Colleen and Hannah