Daily Archives: Feb. 6, 2014

You don’t say

“I want them to go away.”

– – A losing candidate in Coralville, Iowa, talking about unwanted election assistance from the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity in a segment on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Group buys Swell Event Rental; changes name to Ray Event & Tent Rental

WICHITA — After reading a December Have You Heard? item about Swell Event Rental being for sale, Sharon Van Horn and a couple of friends decided to contact owner Tiffany Sporn about buying the business.

“That started the conversation,” Van Horn says.

She and Melissa Hennen and Eddy Frederick decided to buy the business, which used to be known as Ray Party Rental. It now will be known as Ray Event & Tent Rental.

“We went back to the Ray name because it is such a tried and true and trusted name in event rental,” Van Horn says. “It’s been around since the ’30s.”

The business currently is at 2033 E. Northern but Van Horn says she and her partners eventually might like to be back in the downtown area where Ray Party Rental was for decades.

“We’re very big downtown supporters, and we would love to be in the downtown area eventually.”

Van Horn has Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, which she intends to keep, and handles a lot of corporate events. Now, she says, she can supply rental items for those events.

“I’m just adding another layer to my life.”

She’ll also handle marketing and promotion for Ray Event & Tent Rental.

Hennen also has a background in marketing. She’ll be in charge of Ray’s operations.

Frederick, who owns Buckley Roofing, is an investor and will help oversee the event business.

“He is just a great businessman,” Van Horn says.

She says Sporn is staying at the business for a while, “making the transition easy.”

“Melissa and I are both hometown girls … and are so excited to be in the business,” Van Horn says. “Our excitement level is kind of over the top.”


Derby Antiques & More closes; owner struggling to pay vendors

WICHITA — Derby Antiques & More went out of business Jan. 31, but owner Sandra Ostrander is still dealing with the fallout from the less than 1-year-old business.

Ostrander, who lives in Atlanta but has Derby relatives, on Wednesday paid the antique mall’s approximately 200 vendors their January sales but wasn’t able to pay everyone in full.

“There are a lot of rumors going around that I’m a scam artist, and I’m not,” Ostrander says.

She says she voluntarily signed promissory notes and had them notarized for the vendors she could not pay. Ostrander says she also gave them her contact information.

“I want them to understand I am obligating myself.”

Ostrander says there were problems from the start, including serious maintenance issues at her leased space at Madison and Rock Road.

“The business has been running at a loss and going downhill for months,” she says. “It’s my fault because I haven’t been an active participant in the business.”

She says managers have handled the business for her.

“I guess I should not have allowed that.”

General manager Scott Divelbiss says that is true.

“Yes, she did have some managers here who made some really bad decisions on her behalf,” he says.

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