Now open on Sheridan Street: Ely Sportwear

by Anne Swenson

They came to Ely on the advice of their customers. The two men who own the newly-opened Ely Sportwear store at 21 East Sheridan Street were told that Ely was a great tourist town.<BR><BR>Mauricio Gutierrez and Habib Greco have made a clothing niche in Wisconsin with stores in Wisconsin Dells, Eagle River, Minocqua, and for eight years in Hayward. They recently purchased the building in Ely which had housed the North American Bear Center and prior to that, Bare Bones Studio.<BR><BR>Already the freshly-painted walls are lined with fleece pullovers, t-shirts, shorts and more. Their specialty is to have each design in several colors and sizes, each with embroidered decorations. The sport wear is for anyone, from child to adult. T-shirts can be embellished at no extra fee with any of the many colorful designs which feature wildlife. <BR><BR>Gutierrez, who is of Columbian extraction, and Greco, who is of Lebanese extraction, have been US citizens for 22 years. Gutierrez is also an interior designer whose work centers in Florida during the winter. Greco trained as a jewelry designer while studying in Europe.<BR><BR>On Wednesday the store staff was busy unpacking and pricing merchandise. They were waiting for a second shipment of 5,000 hangars.<BR><BR>Upstairs, workmen could be heard updating the units there for living space. <BR><BR>Gutierrez pointed toward the open back door and the magnificent view across Shagawa Lake. It was that view which sold them on the building and location. In Florida they have an ocean view and a lake view was important in their decision.<BR><BR>He explained some of their business philosophy as he talked about the washability of the clothing. “We build clients,” he said, so that as customers they will return again and again for the quality of the clothing.<BR><BR>With two local employees, Andrea and Ernie, the store opened Thursday and will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. daily. If business stays good, it will be open in the winter as well.<BR><BR>