Lululemon Athletica trunk show could eventually lead to showroom and storefront

WICHITA — A trunk show today, a storefront tomorrow?

It won’t happen that quickly, but the fact that Lululemon Athletica is having another trunk show here today gives hope that Wichita one day will have one of the stores here.

“If the trunk shows do well, they think about putting in a showroom in Wichita,” says Nickki Head, whose east-side Firefly Yoga Studio is hosting the show.

“That’s how it works,” she says.

After a few trunk shows, Head says, “Then the next step is a showroom.”

That’s a small retail space that’s open Thursday through Saturday only.

If that’s successful after a year or two, then there’s a chance for a permanent storefront.

“There’s, like, this huge process,” Head says.

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You don’t say: Our favorites from 2013

Some were newsy, some were shocking, but most were simply fun or funny. Here are some of our favorite “You don’t say” quotes from 2013.

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“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

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“My first place that I am not going to get married at is the Grand Chapel.”

– Sedgwick County Chairman Jim Skelton, whose upcoming marriage to Stacy Luke won’t take place at the facility he sued over his daughter’s wedding

“That’s correct, he’s not.”

– Grand Chapel owner Dennis Wilkie, who says Skelton is “a troublemaker, and I just don’t want to deal with troublemakers.”

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“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

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“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

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“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

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“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

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“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

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“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

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“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

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“I thought that Davis-Moore . . . has been hurting so bad that they needed a sale, so I thought I’d help them out.”

– Car dealer Brandon Steven, joking about why he bought a Viper at his competitor’s dealership

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“I think it’s awesome that he bought himself a nice car.”

– Davis-Moore’s Dawson Grimsley, retorting with a teasing implication that Steven couldn’t find a nice car at his own lot

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“The @WichitaOrpheum could use a little Jesus after @RealTracyMorgan’s performance there. #itwaspurefilth”

— A tweet from comedian Ron Shively, aka @FunnyMrBiggs, after hearing City Life Church is going to rent the Orpheum Theatre every Sunday morning for services

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“Puppies and people all over town are sad today.”

—Accountant David Jabara on the death of Doggy Day Care owner Marilyn Walk

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G.J. Gardner Homes Wichita to open at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA –  Wade Wilkinson has been building homes in El Dorado, Wichita and Augusta since 2000, but he wants to expand his Wichita business so he’s moving his office here and rebranding his company.

Wilkinson Construction will now be G.J. Gardner Homes Wichita in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

“It’s essentially a sales office,” Wilkinson says of the 2,250-square-foot space in the retail center.

Wilkinson had been looking online for new estimating and scheduling software when he discovered the Australian-based G.J. Gardner franchise.

“That’s exactly what I need right there,” he says he thought.

There are more than 1,000 floor plans with marketing materials included, and Wilkinson says the G.J. Gardner warranties are better than anything he could offer on his own.

“I really, really liked it,” he says.

By having space at the Shops at Tallgrass, Wilkinson says customers can stop in and select from displays for things such as kitchens, granite, carpet and tile.

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Blue Balloon salon to open in the Shops at Tallgrass in memory of husband

Kayme Pumphrey with her children Madden (left) and Addison, and her late husband, Bryan, who is the inspiration behind Blue Balloon.

WICHITA — Kayme Pumphrey owns a successful employment agency in Chicago and had no plans to open another business until personal tragedy struck.

Pumphrey’s husband, Bryan, died unexpectedly a year ago.

“It’s been a rough year,” says Pumphrey, who is raising their children Addison, 6, and Madden, 4.

“Trying to sort of get through that is very hard without family,” Pumphrey says.

She decided to move home to her native Wichita, where family can help her.

“It just sort of seemed like the only option for us.”

The move did give her a business idea, though.

“It was very apparent to me that there were lots of luxuries that I was sort of used to having that we didn’t have here,” Pumphrey says.

She still owns the employment agency but also decided to open Blue Balloon, a hair salon and playroom for children that will open in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road in late September.

“It’s actually done in honor or in memory of my husband,” Pumphrey says.

“It’s just a nice thing for me to be able to put my energy into and obviously carry on his memory for me and for our kids.”

Her husband’s favorite color was blue.

“It’s just very much him,” Pumphrey says. “And balloons go to heaven.”

The shop’s design will include a mural with photos of the couple’s 2006 trip to Africa and feature things reminiscent of the trip, such as a plane and two open-air vehicles for children to sit in as they have their hair done.

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Irvin Jacks Mens Barber Spa to open at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road

UPDATED — Irvin Jacks Mens Barber Spa is moving from temporary space to the Shops at Tallgrass at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.

Previously, Irvin Jacks was at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road in the almost 3,300 square feet where Craig Allen’s Men’s Fine Grooming once was.

“We basically trimmed off the fat,” owner Felicia DeSpain says.

“The space was definitely a very large size, even for a women’s facility,” she says. “We needed to be able to utilize the space.”

The new spa will be in almost 2,000 square feet of part of the former Nelson Designs space. Nelson is now in the former Norwalk Furniture & Design space at Shops. Norwalk is now in a warehouse at 8630 E. 32nd Court North.

Irvin Jacks offers haircuts for men and boys along with other salon services, such as massage, facials and nail care.

“We are still offering the same services,” DeSpain says.

The new space will have a lounge and patio.

“Our clients consider us the premier barber salon and social club for men,” DeSpain says. “It’s a place for guys to relax and take a break from their daily stresses.”

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal for the new space.

Look for Irvin Jacks to open in August.

You don’t say

“Maybe a cupcake will help!”

– A saying on staff T-shirts at the new Smallcakes Wichita, which will open in the Shops at Tallgrass on Aug. 1

Hugs & Hissyfits owner to open Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — Wichita finally is getting Smallcakes, A Cupcakery. It’s just coming three years after founder Jeff Martin planned, and he’s not the one bringing it.

Lexi Bruner is opening the cupcake business in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road where her Hugs & Hissyfits also is located.

“I like to stay busy,” Bruner says of opening the second business.

“We have a big family, so it keeps lots of people in my family busy.”

When Martin first shared his hopes for opening in Wichita, he had only two Smallcakes sites in the Kansas City area and was a veteran of the Food Network’s first season of “Cupcake Wars.”

Since then, he’s franchised the business – there are 25 open now, and there should be 40 by the end of the year – and had more national television exposure.

“We went from, like, zero to 60 so fast,” Martin says. “I’m really busy now. … I couldn’t do any more stores myself.”

Bruner says she considered a few different franchises before selecting Smallcakes.

“The others were just very corporate,” she says. “They were nice, but we just liked Jeff’s personality. He cares, and he wants to be involved, and he’s still really excited about what he does.”

Martin says he started the business in 2008 in a tough economic climate.

“The way we did it was very simple, and we just kept it that way,” he says.

“It’s very cheap compared to … these other franchises. … You don’t have to sink a bunch of money into a Smallcakes.”

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You don’t say

“‘So let me get this straight. Everything in your house is for sale?’ And I looked over at my husband, and I said, ‘Well, right now he’s not, but that could change.’”

Sharon Nelson on a conversation she had with a customer in her home before she opened Nelson Designs at the Shops at Tallgrass

Nelson Designs expands into former Norwalk Furniture & Design space

UPDATED — A former Norwalk Furniture & Design neighbor is ready to take its space.

Nelson Designs, which has been in the Shops at Tallgrass since late 2009, is expanding there in March.

“It’s another 2,000 square feet, which we definitely need, and it’s a lot closer to 21st Street so the visibility is going to be great,” owner Sharon Nelson says. “That’s a big part of it.”

Nelson opened her design business in the heart of the economic crisis “when the rest of the world was saying, ‘You are absolutely crazy,’ but I think it’s worked,” she says.

Her first store was 1,400 square feet.

“Of course, we opened it when the economy was horrible, so I wasn’t too sure how it was going to go.”

Within a year, though, she more than doubled her space to 3,158 square feet.

Now, she’s out of room.

For instance, in the area where she sells wood and tile flooring, Nelson says, “It is so jam-packed in there with our fabrics for drapery and upholstery, people don’t know what all we sell.”

The business now has five designers instead of the two that the store started with.

Nelson had been running the business out of her home initially.

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Norwalk Furniture & Design moves to temporary space while seeking new home

WICHITA — Norwalk Furniture & Design is still in business, but you won’t find it at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

In fact, you might not find it at all if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This month, Julia Benson moved her store to temporary space in a warehouse at 8630 E. 32nd Court North.

“It’s a pretty good-looking showroom,” she says of the selling area she’s created.

Benson has had the 3,000-square-foot warehouse, which is in the same building as the American Heart Association, for eight years.

She and her husband, Jim, bought the business – which then was a franchise called Norwalk the Furniture Idea – in 2004. Greg Wyers opened the store in 5,110 square feet at Tallgrass in 1998.

“In fact, Norwalk was the first store in that complex,” Julia Benson says.

She and the chain faced some serious hurdles when the economy crashed a few years ago.

“In 2008, when the banks first started squeezing in, Norwalk went under,” Benson says.

Her store remained in business but felt the pinch, she says.

“The same thing happened to me that happened to everybody else.”

That’s why she’s looking for new, less-expensive space.

“I love what I do,” Benson says. “I believe that our customers will follow us wherever we go, and so far I’ve been proven right.”

She adds, “I don’t mean that to sound like a braggart.”

In the couple of weeks since she’s moved, though, Benson’s business hasn’t diminished.

Still, she hopes to find new space quickly, and she’s not picky about what part of Wichita it’s in.

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