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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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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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.”