We wanted to reintroduce ourselves as our GILTEE community continues to grow and we thought the beginning of the year was the perfect time to do so!
We are Adam and Lisa Gilson of Wauwatosa, WI. Adam and I own GILTEE Apparel. In addition, Adam works as the director of product design at a local company here in Tosa. I taught in Milwaukee Public Schools at an immersion school for just over a decade and now, although I miss my students and fantastic coworkers tremendously, I am fortunate enough to tackle a couple different roles as mommy and GILTEE Owner. I also work in the education department at a local university. We have two little boys that we love and adore.
Adam and I spent many years living in and loving the great city of Milwaukee. We later moved to Wauwatosa, where we are now. Our love for both cities with their unique neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, the lake, all the natural and green spaces, and their strong sense of community, has always been a central part of who we are. This local pride would become the foundation of our company.
I remember early on when Adam and I started dating, we were out to dinner and Adam mentioned to me that he wanted to start his own t-shirt company. Me, with my glass of wine or beer or cocktail, smiled lovingly, but was thinking, "yea, ok dude - sure." Fast forward to me pregnant with our second child years later, and he comes to me again and says, "I want to teach myself how to screen print and make tshirts. I will need to buy x, y, and z." I sarcastically say, "Sure! I'll need to see a business plan though." So, as you can guess, Adam bought his first press. He reused and repurposed materials from around the house that he found in the basement and out in the garage. He put together quite the little print shop, watched a lot of videos, and ultimately learned how to screen print.
Adam with a heat gun learning how ink cures on some of his first prints. Of course, an upgrade happened shortly after.
Adam has always been picky about what he wears and I was coming off being pregnant, so comfortable style was important to both of us. We started choosing the softest, most lightweight tees we could find that were also made with environmental and social responsibility in mind.
Adam's designs revolved around our love for Milwaukee and Tosa. We looked at both cities through the lens of people with a lot of pride for where they lived, worked, and played.
People began asking about our shirts and so we thought we'd go out on a limb and try selling them to the public. At our first event in Tosa, we sold out of everything we had - and that's when we knew we were on to something that really connected with people and the community.
Over the last couple of years, we have expanded our line from just tees to a range of apparel and accessories for the littles and adults alike. Our designs highlight life in the Midwest, Wisconsin, and the unique places within. We continue to keep community, style, function, comfort, and conscious sourcing at the forefront of our brand.
We are so thankful to our family, friends, customers, and fellow small businesses who have shown so much love and support along the way! GILTEE is truly a brand built on family and friends - old and new. We can't wait to show you what we have in store for 2020!