Social Manor to open in Old Town on Dec. 1

WICHITA — The holidays are a social time, so perhaps it’s fitting that Lauren Johnson and Erin Kice are opening their new Social Manor in Old Town on Dec. 1.

The two first shared their plans with Have You Heard? in September.

The store, which is in the former Gingeroot Studios space at 920 E. Douglas next to I Do Bridal & Tux, will have furniture, art, accessories and gifts along with design services.

“It’s a pretty even mix of gifts of furniture to artwork,” Johnson says.

“We’re getting there,” she says of being ready to open. “Some things came up last minute that you just don’t anticipate.”

Johnson says shipping over Thanksgiving was an issue.

“We’re still waiting on a couple of orders that will probably block Douglas.”

She’s not kidding. Johnson and Kice discovered that the large trucks bringing their inventory can’t fit in the alley by their business, so they temporarily park on the busy Douglas, blocking it.

“Everyone knows when we have a delivery,” Johnson says.

Although the shop has some holiday decor, she says, “We didn’t want to go too crazy because it is already December when we’re opening. We focused mainly on gifts this year.”

Social Manor also will offer in-store instructional events on decorating. Johnson says she and Kice hope the classes and the store in general will be an inspiration for shoppers.

“We like bringing fun things downtown,” she says. “We think the store will be great for Wichita.”

Social Manor to open in Old Town

WICHITA — A new shop is coming to Old Town in time for Christmas.

Erin Kice and Lauren Johnson are opening Social Manor in the former Gingeroot Studios space at 920 E. Douglas, which is next to I Do Bridal & Tux.

The store will have furniture, accessories and gifts along with design services.

Johnson and Kice say they hope to inspire people.

“We kind of really feed off each other,” Johnson says.

She says Kice will handle the business side, and she’ll focus on marketing and design.

Johnson had been working in the marketing department for Intrust Bank when she decided to return to school to get an interior design degree. She’s also been doing staging for real estate.

Erin Kice has worked at Alltite for six years in various capacities, including accounting, human resources and office management. She says she “learned a lot about how a small business operates.”

“That has always been my dream, to have a shop of my own,” she says.

Kice says she knew out of college she didn’t have the experience she needed to open her own business.

“My time at Alltite has been great for that.”

“Erin has a passion for entertaining and throws the most wonderful events in her home,” Johnson says.

Johnson says she also likes entertaining but with more of a focus on interior design.

Kice says they’ll offer in-store instructional events.

“Kind of a decorating 101 type thing,” she says. “That’s kind of part of our creating a fun and entertaining atmosphere.”

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You don’t say

“I definitely don’t want to make the brides worry.”

“I Do” Bridal & Tux owner Trinh Nguyen, who says a mail mix-up led to a tax delinquency of more than $12,000 but that it’s been taken care of and her Old Town business is doing fine