Bang Bang T-shirt shop to open within Bluebird Arthouse in Delano

WICHITA — An excess of space is leading to another new venture at Bluebird Arthouse.

Owner Emily Brookover already uses the second story above her Delano shop to have an art market once a month, and she uses a wall downstairs for gallery space.

Now, she’s going to use an area near the front of the store to operate Bang Bang, a T-shirt business featuring original art.

“We’re banging out some T-shirts,” Brookover says.

She says she’ll be doing it more economically than Internet sites that help artists create shirts.

“It’s really cool, so I was thinking I could do something (like) that but on a local level,” she says. “We are hopefully going to do it grassroots style.”

Brookover is partnering with Phil Ross and Adam Phillips of Straight Screenprinting to create T-shirts from art.

“So we’re keeping it all local,” she says.

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Art Market at Bluebird Arthouse to open Oct. 20 in Delano

WICHITA — Since opening her Bluebird Arthouse in Delano a year ago, Emily Brookover hasn’t used the extra 6,000 square feet on the shop’s second floor.

“We just didn’t know what to do with it,” she says.

A visit to the Art and Book Fair at Century II earlier this year gave her an idea, though.

“I was like, I could do this on a miniature scale.”

Starting Oct. 20, Brookover plans to devote the second floor of 924 W. Douglas to the Art Market at Bluebird Arthouse every third Saturday of the month.

Brookover already has about a dozen booths rented to sell art, handbags, pottery and skincare products.

“We have all sorts of people,” she says. “I’m looking to do really a wide variety of artists and artisans.”

If the concept is successful, Brookover says she’ll expand it to other days.

“That’s sort of the idea if it goes well.”

She notes that the upstairs is not handicap accessible.

Interested vendors can contact Brookover at Bluebird Arthouse. Spaces will rent for $30 or $45 for a larger area.

Brookover thinks the idea will work, especially for artists who may not have venues to show their work.

As she says in a press release about it, “It’s like a Farmer’s Market, only better.”

Cash Mob Wichita to debut this week to help local mom-and-pop businesses

Cash Mob Wichita founder Jill Miller (left), who has chosen Aimee McCarter's Junk in the Trunk Clothing as one of seven businesses to mob in Delano on Saturday.

UPDATED — Flash mobs have descended upon Wichita before, but now the city is going to experience what appears to be its first cash mob.

That’s when groups of people visit selected local businesses en masse to offer an economic boost.

Wichita business consultant Jill Miller, whose specialty is working with small businesses, had been mulling how to better help local mom-and-pop businesses when she decided to ask some Facebook friends what they thought about doing a cash mob.

They thought it was a great idea, so late last week Miller issued something more formal to Facebook users.

Within 36 hours, she had about 1,500 people join Cash Mob Wichita.

“Jiminy Christmas,” Miller says. “I had no idea. I thought there’d be, like, 200 people or something, and it’s just blown up.”

The first cash mob will be Saturday – which happens to be National Cash Mob Day – in Delano.

“It’s just rife with small business owners that need support,” Miller says.

She’s chosen seven businesses that cash mob participants are invited to visit. They’re encouraged to spend at least $10 at one or more of the businesses.

Those include Auntie Mae’s Attic at 1301 W. Douglas; Junk in the Trunk Clothing at 728 W. Douglas; Bluebird Arthouse, which is a client of Miller’s, at 924 W. Douglas; Buy the Book Used Bookstore at 805 W. Maple; Sugar Sisters Bakery at 917 W. Douglas; and Pour Haus Restaurant & Tavern at 1021 W. Maple. The new Flying Stove — Gourmet Street Cuisine also will be in Delano to serve mob participants.

Miller says some business owners were confused about the concept when she approached them. They thought she was trying to sell them something. Miller says it’s they who will be doing the selling.

“The impact that it’s going to make to these business owners I think is going to be huge.”

That’s why she wants to choose only a few businesses to mob at a time.

Too many businesses “spreads the money out too much.”

Miller hopes to hold two or three cash mobs a month.

“This is something I want to do to help our community,” Miller says. “Being a consultant that specializes in small businesses, I see my clients struggle.”

The first cash mob will be a daylong event – from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – instead of only a couple of hours so businesses aren’t overwhelmed.

Miller hopes cash mob participants will meet at a local watering hole or eatery after each event to help support one more business. This time, it will be the Pour Haus at 6 p.m.

“People in Wichita want to support local business,” Miller says. “I have been completely blown away by the response.”

You don’t say

“It’s so nice of the city to celebrate the opening of Bluebird with fireworks.”

— Consultant Jill Miller, joking about the Wichita River Festival’s fireworks coinciding with Bluebird Arthouse’s grand opening Saturday in Delano

Bluebird Arthouse art supply store and studio to open in former Kellogg-Buck Furniture space in Delano

UPDATED — During her pursuit of a master’s degree in fine arts — she graduated from Wichita State University in May — Emily Brookover discovered a business opportunity.

So now she’s going to open Bluebird Arthouse in the former Kellogg-Buck Furniture space at 914 W. Douglas in Delano to sell art supplies and offer an outlet for artists.

“We have a real need for it here,” Brookover says.

When she was in school, she says, “There was no place to go for materials or support or a place to ask questions.”

There are three components to Brookover’s business.

First, the store is an art materials retailer.

“That will be our number one priority,” Brookover says.

She says local craft stores offer only student-grade supplies.

“We’re going to be carrying brands and lines that you can’t get at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.”

Among lines she plans to carry are Golden for acrylic paint and Gamblin for oil paint.

Brookover will offer supplies for a range of disciplines, including drawing, sculpture, ceramics and print-making.

She’ll also rent studio space for artists, and she’ll offer classes and demonstrations.

“I’m not just an art supplier,” Brookover says. “I want to be a place for artists to come and mingle and talk and be inspired.”

She plans to offer classes that aren’t currently available here.

“I’m not interested in competing with our amazing art centers here in town.”

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