Door County: Finding your favorite ‘Spot’

printed maxi dress

Those who know me well, know Door County has a special spot in my heart.

It’s the kind of place that forges your strongest, most precious memories. My family began coming to the beautiful Wisconsin peninsula when I was a kid. Decades later, it remains our favorite retreat. My husband proposed on the shores of Lake Michigan, we tied the knot in a Sturgeon Bay church, and I can’t wait to watch my son discover the magic of Door County for himself. (I’ll be posting about my favorite scenic views soon, but it was simply too cold to get the necessary photos… hopefully next month!)

From its jaw-dropping natural beauty—think 300 miles of natural shoreline—to its uniquely artistic shops and restaurants, Door County is undoubtedly a tourist magnet. However, to fully understand its merits, you need to hear the stories of those who make their permanent homes and livelihoods here.

People like Jennie Bexell, owner of the popular Sister Bay boutique Spot. She recently shared her perspective on Door County living with me and a preview of what’s new for spring. (Isn’t this maxi gorgeous?)

printed maxi dress detailDoor County dressesDoor County beach viewsprinted maxiFloral Maxi Dress  | Denim Heels (under $40) | Earrings

Bexell’s shop is indicative of most Door County retail. Unique and quirky, it’s an antidote to the “Big Box” experience. She prides herself on offering artistic clothing, gifts and accessories you won’t find at the mall.

In fact, you’ll hear a similar refrain from most Door County businesses. By design, chain concepts are exceedingly rare north of Sturgeon Bay. While there is no set rule against them, local plan commissions reject most national names to keep the quaint character of the county alive. But I digress…

As Bexell tells it, Door County’s natural beauty is second to none, but “it’s the people” who make it home.

What does she mean? Well, spend any amount of time in the peninsula and you will quickly discover an entirely new meaning of the word neighborly. You see, life slows down a bit here. People set aside their cell phones for genuine conversations. They ask about your day and truly care about the answer. Businesses build each other up, rather than viewing the shop across the street as competition. Warm and welcoming attitudes are the norm.

Originally from Sweden, Bexell’s Door County experience began in the service industry. She worked at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, famed for its grass roof and the goats that “mow” it. Later, she waited tables and tended bar, working multiple jobs to build the funding and experience she would need to launch her own venture.

Spot, Sister Bay, Wis.

Bexell opened Spot in 2012, added online sales in 2014, expanded in 2016 and has even more in store for Sister Bay visitors this summer. As for the name?

“I said I wasn’t going to open shop unless I found the perfect location,” Bexell said. “I did, but thought ‘Spot’ was better then ‘location.'”

The thing that really strikes me about Spot is its range. Bexell clearly has a knack for selecting items that appeal to women of all ages, tastes and body types. Curvy, tall, plus, athletic? She has you covered. I went shopping at Spot with my mom and aunt. We have very different tastes in clothing, but each found an outfit we couldn’t live without. Best of all, you know you are getting something distinctive that will remind you of your time in Door County.

striped jumpsuit, Door County beachSturgeon Bay, Door County Beach in Sturgeon Bay, WisconsinStriped Jumpsuit | Earrings

Given her job, you might think Bexell lives and breathes fashion trends. Nope! Although she loves color and design, her primary objective for clothing is comfort.  In fact, she won’t carry anything in Spot that doesn’t pass the comfort test. Doesn’t that just fit Door County’s casual resort vibe to a T?

This adorable jumpsuit is a perfect example of Bexell’s comfort-focused approach. It’s easy, breezy and cozier than my pajamas. Plus, can we talk about the fun orange tassels and pockets? In my opinion, details make the outfit!

While we’re dishing on jumpsuits, here’s another favorite. The print is so unique and the tassels really add drama to the back. Can’t wait to wear this one for a party!

Spot jumpsuit

Jumpsuit | Similar Block Heels |Chain Drop Earrings

The other thing you will notice about Spot is the surprisingly modest price point. As Bexell explains, it’s intentional. She makes her buying decisions carefully to ensure Spot is affordable enough for everyone, tourist or local. Considering how unique these pieces are, I was certainly expecting to pay more.

In addition to jumpsuits, you’ll find plenty of darling dresses this spring. How fun are these bicycle and bird prints? The cut and style of these dresses felt very vintage 1960s to me—and I love that decade! There is something so feminine and flirty about the shape.

 Bicycle Print Dress | Convertible Nude Clutch (Also In Jade) | Block Heels (Similar, Mind Are Sold Out)  bird printSwallows DressChain Drop Earrings  | Similar Ruffle Pump 

Bike Print Dress|Convertible Nude Clutch | Block Heels (Similar, Mind Are Sold Out)

Last up, a casual off-the-shoulder top with exquisite detailing. This was one of many unique tops at Spot. Bexell makes it tough to choose! The red embroidery is just gorgeous and the tassels really amp up the fun factor. I’ll be pairing this with jeans and skirts this summer. It’s so versatile!

Embroidered Tassel Shirt | Red Clutch 

I couldn’t wrap things up with Bexell without asking for a few Door County insider secrets. If you’ve never been to the peninsula before, she highly recommends a trip to the ferry dock at the tip of the Door. The views are incredible! Also, be sure to go on a few hikes while you visit, she says.

Door County has five state parks for hiking, camping,  boating, swimming, fishing—even golfing! You’ll find observation towers at Peninsula and Potawatomi; the state’s highest sand dunes at Whitefish Dunes; swimming beaches at Newport and Whitefish Dunes; and an historic boat house on Rock Island.

When the weather pushes you indoors, Bexell counts these shops among her personal favorites:

  • Blue Dolphin House: Artistic merchandise, fine arts and crafts showcased in a beautifully renovated 1860s farmhouse in Ephraim
  • Maxwell’s House: Interesting furniture, lighting and eclectic accent pieces in Egg Harbor. Think stylish rugs, distinctive lamps and eye-catching upholstry
  • Sister Golden: Unique goods for a bohemian-inspired home. This Fish Creek shop also has a dazzling array of accessories and jewelry.
  • Turtle Ridge Gallery: Handmade leather bags and fiber art. This studio in Ellison Bay also offers art camps.

Need more Door County recommendations? Comment below! I could go on and on about this Wisconsin travel gem.

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  1. Alice Bohl | 26th Apr 18

    Simply beautiful!! You have been busy!

    • laveremis | 26th Apr 18

      Hi Alice, thanks for reading. This was such a fun post to write because I just love Door County! I could go on and on about it—But I’ll save that for another edition. Once the weather improves, I’ll be talking about my favorite scenic views too.

  2. Kristy Bullard | 26th Apr 18

    I’m loving all of your outfits, but that very first dress is my favorite. It’s beautiful and it looks so comfortable! I guess my favorite place to visit is the Great Smoky Mountains. I made great memories with my parents and brother and sister and now I make great memories there with my kids.

  3. Amanda | 26th Apr 18

    Love your outfits! I have always wanted to visit Door County. Maybe this summer 🙂

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Thanks so much Amanda. If you do get a chance to visit and need recommendations let me know! It is well worth the drive.

  4. Britney | 26th Apr 18

    I love those dresses and accessories on you! You look great in color, I usually am boring in red, black and white shades!

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Hey, red/black and white is far from boring in my book! Thanks for visiting the blog.

  5. Victoria Martin | 27th Apr 18

    Loved all the outfits especially the last shirt!! Did you purchase all of them?

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Hi Vicki! I was really, really tempted to buy them all, but knew my husband would not appreciate that. 🙂

  6. Alison Rost | 27th Apr 18

    I’ve never been to Door County but it sounds amazing! I love that you found a shop there where you can get the best Spring and Summer dresses. I simply love the colors and the play with patterns.

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Finally, spring and summer have arrived! If you are ever in the Midwest, put Door County on your list. It is worth it!

  7. Elizabeth O | 27th Apr 18

    I love all the outfits you picked, they really suit you and your lovely smile really tells me you feel confident and beautiful in them too which is wonderful. It looks like such a great ‘spot’ to visit.

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Hi Elizabeth! You caught my play on words, love it! Appreciate you stopping by the blog.

  8. Czjai | 27th Apr 18

    I love the prints and colors of those knee-length dresses. Vintage and gorgeous! 🙂

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Thanks for reading! I so agree. Vintage-inspired pieces has such charm about them.

  9. Lauren Ashley | 27th Apr 18

    This is so lovely! How I wish I was as talented and could pull off such a look.

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Thank you Lauren. I assure you, these styles are very easy to wear. At less that 5′ tall, I am no model. If something works on a shorty like me, it would look amazing on anyone!

  10. Pat | 27th Apr 18

    Door County sounds like a beautiful and fun place to visit with 5 state parks for camping and recreation.

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      It sure is! If you’re ever in Wisconsin, put it on your list.

  11. | 27th Apr 18

    Great outfits, the jump suit and the red purse are a couple of my favs. Your backdrop looks great too.

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      Thanks for reading! When you are in Door County, you can turn the camera in any direction and get a beautiful photo.

  12. Rachel | 28th Apr 18

    I love Door County. I have gone for some long weekends with friends and I would love to take my kids. I really like the purple print dress with the long sleeves.

    • laveremis | 28th Apr 18

      It is such a fun place to visit and very kid friendly. If you take your kiddos make sure to visit the Door County Confectionery, it’s an old fashioned candy store that I remember LOVING as a child. Peninsula State park is another beautiful place if your family is outdoorsy!

  13. emman damian | 28th Apr 18

    I love your earrings and spring the dress. Nice choice of color too. Very refreshing!

  14. Gladys Parker | 28th Apr 18

    I’d enjoy visiting Door County and it isn’t really that far away. I’d love to check out the Spot. It looks so nostalgic yet modern with it’s slant. I adore the bird dress, and the jumpsuits. The maxi looked fun an flirty as well.

  15. Acupofassamtea | 29th Apr 18

    I love all the dresses and great styling. Classy and chic at the same time.

  16. Becca Talbot | 30th Apr 18

    Some beautiful dresses featured in this post, you look so effortlessly elegant! And that red clutch bag is amazing, such a bold statement accessory x

    • laveremis | 30th Apr 18

      Hi Becca, thanks for stopping by the blog–and for the kind words. The red clutch has quickly become a go-to accessory. Adds an impact to any outfit! It is actually from Target, if you want one yourself 🙂

  17. Nailil | 4th May 18

    Those dresses are gorgeous! I love the jumpsuit too and all the accessories.

    Ps. Share your style posts on my link up party every thursday at

    Xx, Nailil

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