Mount Horeb’s KELLA is the Wisconsin store

KELLA is currently closed, but online ordering is possible.
interior of KELLA

Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus, KELLA’s storefront is closed. Things from Forward Apparel Co. can be purchased at forwardapparel.co.

When walking into KELLA on Main Street in Mount Horeb, you’ll first notice the amount of unique Wisconsin-themed products throughout the store. As you head toward the back, you’ll see two friendly faces working behind desktop computers.

Kelly and Joe Leschisin’s own KELLA, but they also run their marketing and advertising agency called Kella Design and a lifestyle brand called Forward Apparel Co. out of the shop.

The couple created Kella Design before the shop and Forward Apparel Co. came along. The Leschisins wanted to have a creative outlet where they could design whatever they wanted, so they launched Forward Apparel Co. At first it started online and then when their studio lease came up, they decided to move to Mount Horeb and open a shop in conjunction with their agency and brand.

“We wanted to see people actually interact with our product, look, touch, feel, see, and you get real-time feedback, right on the spot,” Kelly Leschisin says.

The shop is comprised of 60-70% of the couple’s own designs and then the rest are products created by Wisconsin artists. They now work with nearly 30 artists and that number is growing.

All of the apparel created by the Leschisins centers around Wisconsin or outdoor exploring themes. Many of the featured artists create Wisconsin-themed items as well, which is why Kelly Leschisin says many people call KELLA “the Wisconsin store.” She says it’s also frequently called the “real life Etsy store.”

“It has been so much better than we ever thought it was going to be,” Kelly Leschisin says. “We also wanted to give local artists a place that they could promote their work and get some exposure and hopefully grow their businesses.”

Remember some of your favorite places with 18-by-24-inch illustrated posters of Devil’s Lake, Driftless Wisconsin and Madison. $30 poster, $50 with framedevil's lake Wisconsin poster

Marvel at Big Fish Woodworks’ handcrafted wood cribbage board. $70Cribbage board shaped like Wisconsin

For a day outdoors, pop on a snapback hat designed by KELLA’s owners. $28wisconsin hat

Assemble the 500-piece HANmade Milwaukee jigsaw puzzle to create a full image of an “Up North” scene. $30North woods puzzle

Get excited for camping season with a speckled campfire mug designed by Forward Apparel Co. $15Wisconsin ceramic mug

Forward Apparel Co. designs tri-blend T-shirts, like this Wisconsin wilderness tee, for the store. $28Tshirt Wisconsin

Each small handmade watercolor by Art by Critter has intricate details and no two are alike. $45small wisconsin design

Find them: 118 E. Main St., Mount Horeb, 437-5505, madebykella.com

Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine. All photos by Timothy Hughes.

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