WICHITA — There’s good news for Wichita fans of Hutchinson’s Apron Strings shop.
Owner Anne Dowell is opening a second kitchen and dining store in Delano in June.
“We have a lot of good customers out of Wichita now, so hopefully we can be a little closer to them and gain a lot more,” she says. “There just seems to be a need in Wichita. There isn’t any other store like ours.”
The Apron Strings tagline is, “Be practical with style.”
“We do a lot of gifts out of here, but we also do a lot of practical tools,” Dowell says. “We have anything for the dining room or kitchen, but not furniture.”
That includes linens, decorative dishes, cutting boards, mixers, cookbook holders and wine glasses among other things.
The store will go in about 3,000 square feet at 810 W. Douglas, which is the space Lady Grace Boutique is leaving at the end of March. That store is moving to George Holland’s development at the northwest corner of Kellogg and Tyler.
Dowell says Delano is very similar to the Main Street area where her shop is in Hutchinson.
“We are in a historic area. We are in a old building that’s been renovated. . . . It’s got more character and personality.”
That’s what she says she found in Delano.
“It just seemed to feel right.”
Unlike the Hutchinson store, the Wichita one won’t have classes or demonstrations – at least not initially.
“That’s a lot of work,” Dowell says.
April 1 is the 5-year anniversary of the opening of the first Apron Strings.
“I wanted to be my own boss,” Dowell says. “I saw a need for … a good, nice kitchen store here in town.”
She also wanted an opportunity for her children Leah, 16, and Tyler, 14, to help at the store.
At the time, Dowell thought a second store would be a possibility in five years.
“It was always kind of the plan,” she says.
She’s not sure about expanding beyond Wichita.
“We’ll see what another five years brings,” Dowell says.
Manhattan could be a possibility since she’s likely to have a child at K-State.
“You never know. That’s dreaming way big.”