WICHITA — Longtime Newton shop owners Ken and Vicki Stobbe and their daughter, Tina, are opening their first store in Wichita next month.
“We’ve always wanted to expand to Wichita,” Tina Stobbe says. “We debated a long time whether to go east (or) go west.”
The family has chosen Cambridge Market on the southeast corner of 21st and Webb Road to open Redbird Boutique.
They’ve owned High Street Co., a home decor and gift store, for 25 years in Newton.
The Stobbes considered a kitchen store for Wichita, but they thought that would require more space, so they decided to open a boutique in 1,750 square feet instead.
Don Piros with Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.
“We’re going to have clothing and purses and jewelry and fun girly stuff,” Tina Stobbe says.
That includes scarves and accessories.
Tina Stobbe lives in Wichita and that’s part of her interest in this store.
“It’s my dream to have a store of my own some day,” she says. “This is maybe just a step in that direction.”
She looked to her late grandmother — “a phenomenal businesswoman” — for inspiration on choosing the redbird name.
Her grandmother used to own Adrian’s A-Z in Buhler.
“My mom and I, I don’t think would be where we are today without her,” Stobbe says.
She wanted to honor her grandmother with the store name. However, Stobbe says, “Her first name was Lovella, and that didn’t really work for a boutique name.”
On Aug. 14, Stobbe and her boyfriend were brainstorming possible store names, including the name Redbird, but Stobbe wasn’t convinced that should be it.
It happened to be her grandmother’s birthday.
“She loved to sit on her back porch and watch the birds, and redbirds were her favorite,” Stobbe says.
“I look up, and on the back fence is a redbird sitting there. I was like, OK, that’s it. It has to be. It was just one of those moments. It was like, OK, Grandma, you’re telling me what to do here, aren’t you?”
Stobbe calls it a surreal moment.
“That’s how Redbird came to be.”