Social Manor to open in Old Town

WICHITA — A new shop is coming to Old Town in time for Christmas.

Erin Kice and Lauren Johnson are opening Social Manor in the former Gingeroot Studios space at 920 E. Douglas, which is next to I Do Bridal & Tux.

The store will have furniture, accessories and gifts along with design services.

Johnson and Kice say they hope to inspire people.

“We kind of really feed off each other,” Johnson says.

She says Kice will handle the business side, and she’ll focus on marketing and design.

Johnson had been working in the marketing department for Intrust Bank when she decided to return to school to get an interior design degree. She’s also been doing staging for real estate.

Erin Kice has worked at Alltite for six years in various capacities, including accounting, human resources and office management. She says she “learned a lot about how a small business operates.”

“That has always been my dream, to have a shop of my own,” she says.

Kice says she knew out of college she didn’t have the experience she needed to open her own business.

“My time at Alltite has been great for that.”

“Erin has a passion for entertaining and throws the most wonderful events in her home,” Johnson says.

Johnson says she also likes entertaining but with more of a focus on interior design.

Kice says they’ll offer in-store instructional events.

“Kind of a decorating 101 type thing,” she says. “That’s kind of part of our creating a fun and entertaining atmosphere.”

The classes may be about Christmas decorating made easy or how to fill and design your bookshelves.

“Just fun little things,” Kice says. The idea is “a fun night out for people.”

She says she and Johnson would like to partner with other businesses on it as well.

Their shop will open Dec. 1 in about 2,200 square feet.

“We thought it would be a great time to open for gifts and for finding great things for your home,” Johnson says.

Carl Hebert of InSite Real Estate Group and Nathan Farha and Grant Glasgow of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

Johnson and Kice are working on their website, www.socialmanor.com, which should be live in a few weeks.

As they work inside the store to get it ready, Kice says they’re already seeing lots of people walk by.

She says there’s “just a lot of foot traffic thanks to the restaurants in the area.”

“We also are just excited about the potential of downtown,” Kice says. “We just felt like it was a great location in between the east side and the west side.”