Wichita mayor helps prepare for Small Business Saturday

Mayor Jeff Longwell poses for pictures in the Douglas Design District in preparation to spread awareness for Small Business Saturday.
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Mayor Jeff Longwell poses for pictures in the Douglas Design District in preparation to spread awareness for Small Business Saturday.
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Retail

Here’s how to shop – and buy – local this holiday season in Wichita

By Jerry Siebenmark

jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com

November 22, 2017 09:50 AM

If you’re looking to do your holiday shopping locally this year, you have lots of options.

American Express’ Small Business Saturday will see about 100 local retailers and restaurants participating, along with an Etsy sellers pop-up market at the Hotel at Old Town and a “citywide” shopping event that stretches from just east of Oliver to Meridian on Douglas Avenue.

The owner of one of those stores, Wings of the Wind Kites & Toys, has noticed that the shop local movement is changing a bit. It’s also increasingly becoming a buy local movement.

“We’re selling a lot more local stuff than we were a year ago,” said Susan Adams, who along with her husband, Mark, owns the east Wichita retailer. “If we can buy something local, that keeps the money in town. I see a big trend in Wichita where we’re so proud of our city, and supportive and encouraging of local artisans.”

Here are three locally owned retailers who provide some or many locally made products. And venture out Saturday or another day – you’ll find many others across town.

Wings of the Wind Kites & Toys

550 N. Rock, Suite 60

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

As the name implies, kites and toys make up the largest part of the Adams’ inventory.

But with the rising popularity of the Wichita flag, the business has expanded its products to include T-shirts, sweatshirts, cups, magnets, keychains and other accessories tied to Kansas and Wichita, and supplied by local vendors.

Among their unique Wichita gift items are metal sculptures and earrings featuring the Keeper of the Plains statue – which the local artisan is licensed to produce, Adams said – and a tee that reads, “Wichita, quarter-mile high city, 1302 ft above sea level.”

Great Image Designs

433 N. Washington

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday

Up until the Wichita State University Shockers men’s basketball team reached the Final Four in 2013, this 17-year-old company had largely focused on embroidery and screenprinting of garments, signs, banners and vehicle graphics for businesses and youth sports teams.

But manager Calah Titus said the company recognized an opportunity for it to gain some new business from Shocker fever by designing and producing its own Shocker apparel, and became a licensed WSU vendor.

That’s when it opened a retail storefront and began designing and producing its own Shocker tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, caps and gift items such as coffee mugs.

It expanded to include its own twist on Wichita-themed tees and other clothing items in recent years.

“That’s a big deal for us, that we do everything locally,” said Titus. “It’s a big part of who we are.”

Burnell’s

550 N. Rock, Suite 24

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

This 38-year-old jewelry and watch retailer was built on making its own jewelry, said Robin Lies, who along with goldsmith Nathan Regan now own the business founded by Jerry Burnell.

The staff of Burnell’s include three goldsmiths and two gemologists who can design and make jewelry pieces.

“Custom has always been our forte,” Lies said.

The business does carry jewelry pieces made by non-local designers, and is an authorized retailer for Shinola wristwatches that are hand-assembled in Detroit.

This year Burnell’s is selling three different pieces of jewelry priced between $17 and $61, all of the proceeds of which will be donated to nonprofit Dress for Success Wichita, which provides professional attire and career development support for disadvantaged women.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

Small Business Saturday in Wichita

Here are three American Express Small Business Saturday official events.

▪  Etsy Holiday Pop-up Market: Includes more than 50 Etsy sellers in a pop-up market format from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hotel at Old Town, 830 E. 1st.

▪  Indies First at Watermark Books & Cafe: Watermark, 4701 E. Douglas, and Indies First, created by the American Booksellers Association, are hosting local author Debra Seely, who is reissuing her book, “Grasslands.” She will be on hand for a talk and book signing at 3:30 p.m. Watermark also will have special giveaways and mark its 40th anniversary from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

▪  Small Business Saturday, citywide: Retail shops throughout the Douglas Design District, Old Town, downtown and the Delano District will offer deals and discounts from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Shoppers using the #ShopSmallICT hashtag on social media will be entered to win a gift basket. The city of Wichita will operate the Q-Line trolley for free transportation throughout the shopping area.

Where to shop local?

American Express offers a Shop Small map online, allowing users to find small businesses online that also accept the company’s credit cards. The address is americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/maps. You might note that some of the addresses for businesses have not been updated, so call the business first.