PyT Portraits to open near Harry and Oliver and share March 2 grand opening with Image Source Barbershop

WICHITA — When the portrait studio within Babies R Us closed last summer, Phylisha Guiden and Tierra Gilbert took it as a sign.

They’d been the district manager and manager of the studio, and they decided it was time to open their own place.

PyT Portraits opens March 2 near the southeast corner of Harry and Oliver.

“We both decided it was time for us to do something on our own,” Guiden says. “We saw the opportunities. We thought, shoot, we can do that.”

They named the business after themselves — P for Phylisha and T for Tierra — but Guiden says, “A lot of people think ‘Pretty Young Thing’ by Michael Jackson.”

That’s not the meaning, but she says she’ll take it.

The two will offer family portraits, boudoir pictures and off-site photography, such as for weddings.

“We’re still setting up the studio,” Guiden says of their almost 1,000-square-foot space.

They’ve already been doing outdoor shoots and weddings and plan to begin studio sessions during their grand opening weekend starting March 2.

“The first official session in the studio should be on the second,” Guiden says.

Neighbor Image Source Barbershop, which opened in January, will have its grand opening then as well.

Owner Tyrell Rudolph says he was warned how difficult the first year in business can be, but he says, “It’s going really, really well so far.”

Rudolph says he has room for up to seven barbers. He has two so far and two more are coming in the next few weeks.

“That’s really good,” he says. “We’re getting quite a bit of clientele in.”

Guiden says the March 2 opening will be “kind of like a little block party.”

“We’re super excited,” she says. “We’re ready.”