Janelle King finds new Workroom space

WICHITA — Designer Janelle King has found new space for her Workroom, and it’s remarkably similar to her current space.

“It is just right around the corner from us,” King says of 150 N. Cleveland, which is just south of the southeast corner of Douglas and Cleveland.

Her landlord will be Bill Jackson, who is one of the landlords she’s had at the Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas, which is just east of Old Town.

The building owners recently sold to Joe Hayes and his Open Road Brands, which is why King is having to move.

King says Jackson is “very supportive of me and my business.”

“He supports downtown growth and development as well as the local arts industry and local businesses,” she says. “That was a big … selling point for me.”

King expects to open at the Cleveland address by June 1, although she says she may not have the business’ retail space entirely ready to go.

“During the entire month of May, we’re going to do a moving sale,” she says.

Before that, though, she’s going to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her store, which has retail and offers what King calls home tech textile fabrication, such as custom drapes, pillows and bedding.

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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.”

Janelle King on the hunt for new Workroom and JK Design space

UPDATED — As the Workroom nears its first anniversary, designer Janelle King is unexpectedly searching for new space.

The Domestic Laundry building, which is at 1425 E. Douglas just east of Old Town, has a new owner who wants her space.

King says that’s not a bad thing on several levels.

“Now we know exactly what to look for in round two,” she says.

For instance, her current 2,400 square feet is not large enough. King says she needs between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet for what she calls home tech textile fabrication, such as custom drapes, pillows and bedding.

Also, she says, “Honestly, despite being on Douglas, we still don’t have the greatest visibility.”

King says she’d like to remain downtown and is eyeing several sites.

“I love the central location as well as just the culture and vibe down here.”

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Domestic Laundry building selling again

FILE  The Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas. (Sept. 18, 2012)UPDATED — The Domestic Laundry building is so popular, it’s selling for the second time in less than two years.

“Yes . . . surprisingly enough,” says Transitions Group owner Bill Jackson. “Someone else wants it worse than we do.”

Jackson and six employees bought the building at 1425 E. Douglas just east of Old Town in September 2012.

“We never had any intent of buying it to sell it,” Jackson says. “We love the building and love the community along there.”

Jackson says he understands the buyer wants the building’s first floor space fronting Douglas for a showroom and then will use third floor space for offices.

It looks like Joe Hayes is buying the building for his Open Road Brands business, which creates reproductions of nostalgic signs and other Americana memorabilia.

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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.”

Bill Jackson and six employees purchase Domestic Laundry building on Douglas

Bill Jackson, one of the new owners of the Domestic Laundry building, says of this vintage photo of the building and all its delivery trucks, "Yep, the laundry business must have been very good back then. I guess there probably wasn't a washer and dryer in every home or maybe not even in hotels."

WICHITA — Wichita’s well-known Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas has a new owner.

“We’ve all loved that building for a long time,” says Bill Jackson, Transitions Group owner, of himself and six employees who bought the building.

Jackson has been leasing space in the building for his ACI Design Studio for the last couple of years.

“A group of my employees who have been with me for a long time — some of them up to 25 years — and myself formed a little LLC and bought it.”

DL 1425, which stands for Domestic Laundry and the building’s address, includes Karen Cundiff, whom Jackson describes as an instrumental player in the Douglas Design District; Brent Dorrah, who runs ACI; Barney Lehnherr; Brendan Hogan; and Jackson’s children Piper Ayala and Josh Jackson.

Bill Jackson says they’d hoped to have another name for their LLC, but “every interesting, fun name was taken.”

Jackson says the Domestic Laundry building is a key piece of Douglas and his group will do what it can to improve its stature.

“That part of East Douglas was always known for its neon signage,” he says.

He points to GLMV Architecture’s prominent new sign just down the street and says his group would like to do something similar.

Jackson says he has pictures of the “cool signage” from the building’s early history and may use that for inspiration.

“We were thinking about maybe looking into the possibility of maybe redesigning the sign that’s up there now.”

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Sign Pro appears to be out of business

WICHITA — It appears Sign Pro is out of business.

There’s an eviction notice on Sign Pro’s door at the Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“They’re a few months behind on rent, and so we’re going to be filing a petition for eviction,” says Sam Ritchie, who is an attorney for landlord Redstone Design Development.

Sign Pro’s phone is disconnected,the website is down and owner Shelly Hyson couldn’t be reached for comment.

Last year, Have You Heard? reported that Sign Pro had to move after GLMV Architecture purchased its new home at 1525 E. Douglas.

Sign Pro’s contents are still visible inside its 3,800 square feet on the first floor of the Domestic Laundry building.

The note on the door says Sign Pro has until midnight tonight to vacate the premises.

Ritchie says Hyson isn’t trying to make arrangements to keep the lease.

“Actually, we haven’t been able to contact her. We don’t know where she is.”



Sign Pro to move to the Domestic Laundry building

WICHITA — GLMV Architecture’s purchase and planned renovation of its new home at 1525 E. Douglas is necessitating a move for Sign Pro.

“We’re moving feet away to 1425 East Douglas,” says owner Shelly Hyson.

That’s the Domestic Laundry building.

“When it came to the move, I had the luxury of time and shopping,” Hyson says.

She had several attractive offers.

“It kind of came down to staying centrally located.”

She’ll take 3,800 square feet in the building, which is a bit less than what she has now.

Hyson has one full-time employee and two part-time employees, and she handles all aspects of sign production, starting with design.

She expects to be in the new space by Feb. 1.

Since Gossen Livingston Associates and McCluggage Van Sickle & Perry merged last year, employees have remained at their original offices while there was a search for a space big enough to hold 100 people.

The new East Douglas space is 30,000 square feet.

Hyson says she’s enjoyed being there, but she’s happy with GLMV’s purchase of the 1930 building, which started as a Packard dealership.

“I can’t wait to see the building when it’s refurbished,” she says. “I know they’re going to do it justice, and it’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished.”

Looking Glass dome finds new home at Domestic Laundry building

domeThe glass dome from the former Looking Glass restaurant is now hanging in the Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas, which also is home to the Greteman Group and Primerica Financial Services.

Building owner Rich Vliet, who used to have the popular downtown restaurant, had to remove the glass from its former space at 412 E. Douglas to repair a ceiling.

He thought about donating it to Botanica, but he says there’s no place for it.

Vliet likes where it’s hanging now and invites people to pop in for a look.

“Hopefully, it will make an attractive entryway.”

Primerica to move to Domestic Laundry

Don Oliphant is bucking a trend and moving his Primerica Financial Services office from 21st and Rock to the Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“I know everybody’s like, ‘Why are you moving from Northeast Wichita to downtown Wichita?’ ” Oliphant says.

He’s moving the office, which provides a range of financial services, for several reasons.

“I just think this is the right time to move downtown,” Oliphant says. “There’s great development coming on in the downtown area.”

Also, he says, “It’s more centrally located. It’s easily accessible.”

And his office is out of space at Rock Hill Office Park.

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