ACI Design Studio to close

WICHITA — After not quite five years in business, ACI Design Studio is closing.

Former Abode Home manager Brent Dorrah had the idea for Abode Commercial Interiors and convinced Transitions Group owner Bill Jackson to start the company around the time Abode converted to an event center. The upscale furniture store is in Jackson’s Domestic Design Building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“The store’s been improving each year, and as a matter of fact, we’ve had our best year ever this year,” Dorrah says.

However, he says, “We’ve still struggled.”

Dorrah says it’s been a challenging period in the industry, and Internet sales are now more popular than ever.

“We’ve just struggled to kind of get towards profitability basically each year,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any one reason.”

Dorrah says “that’s the sad reason” behind the closure. There’s a happier reason, though.

Transitions Group also owns Furniture Options and ExecuStay.

“They’re doing extremely well,” Dorrah says. “They’re experiencing a lot of growth. … Fiscally, it makes more sense for us to focus our energies on those businesses.”

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Same Tree furniture and lighting to be sold at the Workroom; New York is next

Designer Nicole Boles, right, with her parents, Jayne and Robert Boles of Same Tree.

UPDATED — A Kansas company that is about to have its first retail presence has its roots in high fashion in New York and Los Angeles.

“I just decided that I needed more,” designer Nicole Boles says.

In designing high fashion, Boles says she began to feel that “I was making women feel bad about their bodies.”

“What I really wanted to do was something better. I wanted a bigger purpose. I wanted to basically show more love in the world.”

She and her parents, Robert and Jayne Boles, are now doing that through a business called Same Tree.

Nicole Boles says she decided she would use her skills from working with her father as she grew up helping him repurpose antiques, which he did as a hobby, to make repurposed high-end furniture and lighting.

The idea, she says, is to “take vintage and making it into something new.”

“It’s just all about taking things and looking at them in a new way.”

That could be taking a tumbleweed, sculpting it, making it fire resistant and creating a chandelier out of it. In fact, that’s one thing that’s proven especially popular since the family started the company a year ago.

“Our lighting has expanded just because that’s kind of been the more popular thing,” Nicole Boles says.

Same Tree has been online only so far for sales, but it will debut its products Nov. 9 at the Workroom, Janelle King’s home decor business in the Domestic Design Building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“The Workroom will be the first retail establishment,” Boles says. “We’re really excited to finally have a retail spot in Wichita.”

She says she’s also talking to boutiques in New York.

“That will be our next expansion after this,” Boles says. “I’m hoping in the next six months.”

She says she and her parents would one day like to have their own retail shop as well.

“Eventually, that would definitely be in the plans.”

Robert Boles is a design engineer who does aeronautical design for Galaxy Technologies. His hobbies include wood crafts and metal working, which is what he also brings to Same Tree.

Jayne Boles is an operating room nurse at Wesley Medical Center.

“She (is) the organization part of it,” Nicole Boles says of her mother’s contribution to Same Tree.

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New 3D-XEnergy to move into Domestic Design Building

WICHITA — Some new energy is coming to the Domestic Design Building in the Douglas Design District.

The new 3D-XEnergy, an oil and gas exploration company, is taking 2,578 square feet in the 1915 building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“They’re doing a lot of renovation, and a lot of kind of creative companies are in it now,” says partner Andy Kemmer.

Kemmer had been involved with another company, Vanguard Petroleum, before forming this LLC in March.

Geologist Monica Williams is a colleague in 3D-XEnergy.

The unusual name is a reference to the firm’s use of three-dimensional seismic technology in exploration.

Craig Ablah of Classic Real Estate and Marty Gilchrist and Randy Johnston of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the space.

Brent Dorrah of neighboring ACI Design Studio is redesigning the space, which should be ready by early September at the latest.

Kemmer says he’s been in the oil business for more than 35 years.

“We all tend to put partnerships together with other oil guys,” he says.

Kemmer says he likes the idea of being with creative companies in the building, such as ACI, Greteman Group and the Workroom. He calls it a “comfortable” surrounding.

“It’s good people.”

The Workroom to open in the Domestic Design Building to offer custom creations

WICHITA — Designer Janelle King is expanding beyond her JK Design with a new sister business called the Workroom.

The Workroom, which will be at 1425 E. Douglas in what formerly was known as the Domestic Laundry building, will offer what King calls home tech textile fabrication, such as custom drapes, pillows and bedding.

“It’s kind of a lost art,” King says of sewing.

Through her design business, King says she saw a growing need for the Workroom, especially since she says a lot of seamstresses in the area are retiring.

The store won’t carry fabric on site.

“The workroom’s going to be the main thing.”

King will have a small retail space for accents and accessories, though.

“It’s going to be complementary things.”

That includes window hardware, pillow and duvet inserts and some basic bedding to layer with custom bedding created by the Workroom.

There also will be some miscellaneous home decor items that will be unique to her shop. The store will sell Mythic Paint as well.

Tim Blacker, who formerly worked for a costume design company on Broadway, will oversee the Workroom and be the primary one who sews.

“He’s … a total gem,” King says.

The business will be open to retail customers, but King says, “Our biggest target is going to be designers.”

The Workroom will have a soft opening next week.

It’ll be in 2,200 square feet at the newly named Domestic Design Building, which King says is filling up with creative businesses.

“So it’s a perfect fit.”