Designers Expo owner plans to reorganize instead of expand

WICHITA — Just as Janelle King is having to move her Workroom and JK Design because of the Domestic Laundry sale, neighboring Designers Expo has a change of plans as well.

Kathy Haines was prepared to expand her store, which sells residential decorative hardware and flooring, into the former ACI Design Studio space at the Domestic Laundry building. She was close to signing a lease when the building sale suddenly came about.

“We had been talking about it since the moment they decided they were closing down next door,” Haines says. “We are so crammed on top of ourselves.”

Like King, Haines is taking a positive approach, though.

“I said, ‘Well, I’ll probably save myself $5,000 a month,’” she says. “It’s probably not a bad thing in the long run.”

Designers Expo opened in 2005 and moved to 1409 E. Douglas in late 2006. Haines says business is great.

“We never had a recession,” she says. “The niche market was definitely the place to be when the housing market fell apart.”

Now that the store isn’t expanding, Haines says it may be time to reorganize to gain some more space. She says that will be a challenge, though.

“We’re always busy,” she says, adding, “and that’s not a bad thing either.”