Winter Bazaar set for Dec. 8 at Century II

WICHITA — Former OnionTree owner Bridgit Yinger is planning another Winter Bazaar for December, and she thinks it’ll be so big, she’s moving it to Century II.

Yinger held her first bazaar to promote handmade goods in 2011 at Abode Venue to make it convenient for shoppers and “eliminate the barriers that buying locally intrinsically has.”

“It was pretty much a line out the door from the moment we opened,” she says.

There was an issue with enough room for shoppers to move, so Yinger says Century II makes sense.

The event will be from 3 to 7 p.m. – one hour longer than last time – on Dec. 8.

This year, Yinger is inviting local boutiques to participate in addition to people who make their own items to sell.

“I’m just looking for boutiques that have a local flair,” Yinger says.

She had 60 local vendors last time and hopes for 75 to 100 this time.

Yinger plans to transform the space.

“It’s not going to feel at all like a convention hall.”

As before, Yinger plans a cash bar, live music and local art. There also will be food trucks in Kennedy Plaza.

“So it’ll be a party,” she says. “It’ll be fun.”

Roots & Bloom to close on Tuesday

WICHITA — This time last year, Roots & Bloom owner Chris Coburn restructured his business by expanding to showcase other businesses within a collective at his downtown shop at 151 S. Laura.

Now, he’s closing the business on Tuesday.

In July, Coburn took a job in sales at Doonan Truck & Equipment of Wichita.

“The offer … turned my head,” he says.

It was too much to do that and run his company, though.

“Trying to ride two ponies isn’t working too well,” Coburn says.

Two years ago, Coburn created Roots & Bloom out of Wichita Wholesale Florists to attract retail customers in addition to the floral shops the company sold to for decades.

Last year he invited other businesses to have a presence at Roots & Bloom, including ACI Design Studio, Overhead Door, Hong’s Landscape & Nursery and the OnionTree.

OnionTree owner Bridgit Yinger last month told Coburn she decided to leave.

“That was part of the catalyst that started this conversation,” he says.

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You don’t say

“The whole motivation for this is kind of allowing people to feel the pulse of what’s going on in these businesses while they’re driving down the street.”

– The OnionTree’s Bridgit Yinger, who is organizing a brainstorming session to change city regulations on what businesses can place on sidewalks (tentatively on Nov. 28 at the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.)

Roots & Bloom becomes a collective of sorts by inviting four other businesses to have a presence at the store

WICHITA — Chris Coburn is once again reconfiguring his business, this time with a little help from his friends.

Last year, Coburn created Roots & Bloom out of Wichita Wholesale Florists to attract retail customers in addition to the floral shops the company sold to for decades.

Now, he’s expanding to showcase other businesses within his downtown shop at 151 S. Laura.

“This little collective is kind of a cool way of doing business, and I don’t think it’s practiced very much in our area,” Coburn says.

Initially, four businesses will have a presence at Roots & Bloom: ACI Design Studio, Overhead Door, Hong’s Landscape & Nursery and the OnionTree.

“I had some space that was kind of fallow as far as I was concerned,” Coburn says. “I thought that maybe they would have a nice home at my spot.”

Each business will have a sign out front, but Coburn says that “cumulatively, that will be the umbrella basically of Roots and Blooms.”

Previously, the OnionTree had its own space near Douglas and Hillside.

“I wasn’t ready to reopen yet,” owner Bridgit Yinger says. “He just gave me a really sweet deal.”

She’s still in the process of moving the local artwork she sells into the shop.

“It’s a cool, cool setup,” Yinger says.

She says her artists still will have an outlet, but “I don’t have to physically be here running it anymore.”

“It’s perfect for me.”

Yinger likes that Coburn has invited the other businesses as well.

“He’s got a lot of really good ideas.”

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Onion Tree artist boutique to close

WICHITA — A rent increase is forcing the Onion Tree near Douglas and Hillside to close.

Bridgit Yinger, who opened the boutique to sell art in 2010, says her landlord informed her in September that her rent would be increasing by 81 percent.

“So it’s not a small increase,” she says.

Yinger says she’s been paying extra since then “so that I could make it through Christmas.”

Her last day in business is Jan. 15.

Yinger would one day like to find a new place to open in that area, but she thinks the earliest would be late spring.

“It’s really hard for me to say right now,” she says. “I’ll know more in January.”

We’ll keep you posted.