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Retired racer creates racing apparel business, opens store in South Milwaukee

Racing merchandise for race car driver Aaron Telitz is created at Styled Aesthetic in South Milwaukee
Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 18, 2022

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. — He aspired to become a race car driver. When he retired, he turned to making racing apparel. His now-thriving operation started in the basement and is now housed on a prime piece of South Milwaukee real estate.

In one South Milwaukee building, racing merchandise for Birchwood's Aaron Telitz is born. It is called Styled Aesthetic.

"At the start, it was just knowing the industry, right?" Styled Aesthetic Co-Owner Steve Welk says. "Then as we've grown and as we've developed, it started recognizing new things."

"Our bread and butter is a male t-shirt," Styled Aesthetic Director of Retail and Events Heidi Welk says. "However, more and more people are bringing their families to events. So we know that and I'm a woman. I wanna wear a t-shirt too, so I want to make sure I get the right women's products out there."

With races on the weekends, the born-on date matters.

TMJ4's Lance Allan asks, "Literally the date on the shirt is Friday, and those need to be in Nashville tomorrow. How do you deal with all that stuff?"

"Ah, I have no choice," co-owner Kyle Werra says.

"Is it going to make it by Friday? If not, okay then I gotta scrap it," Heidi says. "The stuff that is this weekend? It's very event specific."

It used to be fans, mostly males, who wore stuff and merch to the track. Now it's females and kids all week, and it's why they've expanded to a new facility in South Milwaukee.

Lance Allan asks, "There are literally shirts over there, behind your shoulder, that are going to be on a truck and headed for sale tomorrow. So what's the challenge behind trying to do all this?"

"With us right now it's just, capacity," Steve says. "We have so much business and so much demand that we're just trying to keep up. So part of the new building and the expansion here is to get new equipment to help bridge that gap."

"If I don't have something? That's a great idea for next year," Heidi says. "Someone wants something specific? I'm like oh, well I don't have that now. But let me look into that. That would be great. Or it's a lot of stuff that I wanna wear."

And what do they consider success?

"When I walk to wherever I need to go, and I'm out and about with the fans, and I will count the number of people wearing shirts that are either current or even from the first years we started," Heidi says.

In 2018, North American fans purchased nearly 15 billion dollars in sports merchandise. Since that survey was taken four years ago, it's still growing.

Styled Aesthetic LLC is located at 1100 Milwaukee Ave., Building 8 in South Milwaukee.

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