Category Archives: Shops at Tallgrass

Lululemon Athletica trunk show could eventually lead to showroom and storefront

WICHITA — A trunk show today, a storefront tomorrow?

It won’t happen that quickly, but the fact that Lululemon Athletica is having another trunk show here today gives hope that Wichita one day will have one of the stores here.

“If the trunk shows do well, they think about putting in a showroom in Wichita,” says Nickki Head, whose east-side Firefly Yoga Studio is hosting the show.

“That’s how it works,” she says.

After a few trunk shows, Head says, “Then the next step is a showroom.”

That’s a small retail space that’s open Thursday through Saturday only.

If that’s successful after a year or two, then there’s a chance for a permanent storefront.

“There’s, like, this huge process,” Head says.

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G.J. Gardner Homes Wichita to open at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA –  Wade Wilkinson has been building homes in El Dorado, Wichita and Augusta since 2000, but he wants to expand his Wichita business so he’s moving his office here and rebranding his company.

Wilkinson Construction will now be G.J. Gardner Homes Wichita in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

“It’s essentially a sales office,” Wilkinson says of the 2,250-square-foot space in the retail center.

Wilkinson had been looking online for new estimating and scheduling software when he discovered the Australian-based G.J. Gardner franchise.

“That’s exactly what I need right there,” he says he thought.

There are more than 1,000 floor plans with marketing materials included, and Wilkinson says the G.J. Gardner warranties are better than anything he could offer on his own.

“I really, really liked it,” he says.

By having space at the Shops at Tallgrass, Wilkinson says customers can stop in and select from displays for things such as kitchens, granite, carpet and tile.

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Irvin Jacks Mens Barber Spa to open at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road

UPDATED — Irvin Jacks Mens Barber Spa is moving from temporary space to the Shops at Tallgrass at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.

Previously, Irvin Jacks was at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road in the almost 3,300 square feet where Craig Allen’s Men’s Fine Grooming once was.

“We basically trimmed off the fat,” owner Felicia DeSpain says.

“The space was definitely a very large size, even for a women’s facility,” she says. “We needed to be able to utilize the space.”

The new spa will be in almost 2,000 square feet of part of the former Nelson Designs space. Nelson is now in the former Norwalk Furniture & Design space at Shops. Norwalk is now in a warehouse at 8630 E. 32nd Court North.

Irvin Jacks offers haircuts for men and boys along with other salon services, such as massage, facials and nail care.

“We are still offering the same services,” DeSpain says.

The new space will have a lounge and patio.

“Our clients consider us the premier barber salon and social club for men,” DeSpain says. “It’s a place for guys to relax and take a break from their daily stresses.”

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal for the new space.

Look for Irvin Jacks to open in August.

You don’t say

“Maybe a cupcake will help!”

– A saying on staff T-shirts at the new Smallcakes Wichita, which will open in the Shops at Tallgrass on Aug. 1

Hugs & Hissyfits owner to open Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — Wichita finally is getting Smallcakes, A Cupcakery. It’s just coming three years after founder Jeff Martin planned, and he’s not the one bringing it.

Lexi Bruner is opening the cupcake business in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road where her Hugs & Hissyfits also is located.

“I like to stay busy,” Bruner says of opening the second business.

“We have a big family, so it keeps lots of people in my family busy.”

When Martin first shared his hopes for opening in Wichita, he had only two Smallcakes sites in the Kansas City area and was a veteran of the Food Network’s first season of “Cupcake Wars.”

Since then, he’s franchised the business – there are 25 open now, and there should be 40 by the end of the year – and had more national television exposure.

“We went from, like, zero to 60 so fast,” Martin says. “I’m really busy now. … I couldn’t do any more stores myself.”

Bruner says she considered a few different franchises before selecting Smallcakes.

“The others were just very corporate,” she says. “They were nice, but we just liked Jeff’s personality. He cares, and he wants to be involved, and he’s still really excited about what he does.”

Martin says he started the business in 2008 in a tough economic climate.

“The way we did it was very simple, and we just kept it that way,” he says.

“It’s very cheap compared to … these other franchises. … You don’t have to sink a bunch of money into a Smallcakes.”

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Nelson Designs expands into former Norwalk Furniture & Design space

UPDATED — A former Norwalk Furniture & Design neighbor is ready to take its space.

Nelson Designs, which has been in the Shops at Tallgrass since late 2009, is expanding there in March.

“It’s another 2,000 square feet, which we definitely need, and it’s a lot closer to 21st Street so the visibility is going to be great,” owner Sharon Nelson says. “That’s a big part of it.”

Nelson opened her design business in the heart of the economic crisis “when the rest of the world was saying, ‘You are absolutely crazy,’ but I think it’s worked,” she says.

Her first store was 1,400 square feet.

“Of course, we opened it when the economy was horrible, so I wasn’t too sure how it was going to go.”

Within a year, though, she more than doubled her space to 3,158 square feet.

Now, she’s out of room.

For instance, in the area where she sells wood and tile flooring, Nelson says, “It is so jam-packed in there with our fabrics for drapery and upholstery, people don’t know what all we sell.”

The business now has five designers instead of the two that the store started with.

Nelson had been running the business out of her home initially.

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Norwalk Furniture & Design moves to temporary space while seeking new home

WICHITA — Norwalk Furniture & Design is still in business, but you won’t find it at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

In fact, you might not find it at all if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This month, Julia Benson moved her store to temporary space in a warehouse at 8630 E. 32nd Court North.

“It’s a pretty good-looking showroom,” she says of the selling area she’s created.

Benson has had the 3,000-square-foot warehouse, which is in the same building as the American Heart Association, for eight years.

She and her husband, Jim, bought the business – which then was a franchise called Norwalk the Furniture Idea – in 2004. Greg Wyers opened the store in 5,110 square feet at Tallgrass in 1998.

“In fact, Norwalk was the first store in that complex,” Julia Benson says.

She and the chain faced some serious hurdles when the economy crashed a few years ago.

“In 2008, when the banks first started squeezing in, Norwalk went under,” Benson says.

Her store remained in business but felt the pinch, she says.

“The same thing happened to me that happened to everybody else.”

That’s why she’s looking for new, less-expensive space.

“I love what I do,” Benson says. “I believe that our customers will follow us wherever we go, and so far I’ve been proven right.”

She adds, “I don’t mean that to sound like a braggart.”

In the couple of weeks since she’s moved, though, Benson’s business hasn’t diminished.

Still, she hopes to find new space quickly, and she’s not picky about what part of Wichita it’s in.

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Firefly Yoga Studio owner Nickki Head to open west-side studio

WICHITA — A year and a half after opening Firefly Yoga Studio in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road, Nickki Head is preparing to open a second studio on the west side.

“We just got such an enormous amount of requests for a west-side location,” Head says. “You know Wichita. It’s so east side and west side.”

Firefly Yoga Studio West will be in 1,200 square feet at 2313 Zoo Park Blvd., which is across from the entrance to the Sedgwick County Zoo.

“We’re kind of marketing it as, like, simple space, no distraction,” Head says.

The first class will be Dec. 1.

Head says her initial plan was to start small with one location and see how people liked the yoga she offers.

“It’s blown up. People are loving it and loving the benefits of it.”

So what’s next? Downtown? Delano?

“Stay tuned,” Head says. “That’s every owner’s dream to try to be in each little nugget of the Wichita community.”

She appreciates that there’s interest.

“I’m lucky enough that the Wichita community has supported us this far … that a second studio is even an opportunity,” Head says. “Best-case scenario is what’s happening here. Dreams come true.”

Williamson Wellness Center to open at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — After almost a decade and a half of working at Genesis Health Clubs, Wendy Williamson is opening her own Williamson Wellness Center.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Williamson says. “This is just an opportunity to work for myself.”

Williamson has a doctorate in exercise science. She is a post-rehabilitation specialist and an advanced personal trainer.

“I have the privilege … and the opportunity to work with people who are recovering from illness and injury,” Williamson says. “My specialty is low back pain and orthopedic replacements.… I also work a lot with Parkinson’s disease.”

She’s opening her center in 2,529 square feet at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. and Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Williamson will open her business in early July.

“It’s just time to work for myself.”

Furnish My Nest to open at the Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock Road

WICHITA — A new home furnishings store with a contemporary flair is coming to the Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock Road.

Furnish My Nest is taking the 2,240 square feet Cox Communications Kansas/Arkansas used to be in before moving across the parking lot.

Chance Shipman and Josh Ruland are opening Furnish My Nest to sell furniture, accessories and lighting.

Shipman says they’ll offer “a mix of classic and contemporary styling, but very functional.”

“We want it to be usable … furniture for everyone’s lives.”

Shipman used to have a shop in Topeka. He says he noticed that there wasn’t a lot of variety in the home furnishings stores here.

Also, he says, “The contemporary choices were gone.”

He and Ruland also will offer a redesign-in-a-day service for $399 in which, after a few meetings with a client, they’ll redesign a room with existing furniture and accessories and add some new ones as needed as well.

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