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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Furnish My Nest won’t open at Shops at Tallgrass after all

WICHITA — In March, Have You Heard? reported that Chance Shipman was going to open Furnish My Nest to sell furniture, accessories and lighting in the Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock Road.

The store never did open, though, and it appears it never will.

“Yes, he did sign a lease and has not been seen or heard from since,” says April Reed of Slawson Cos. “That’s kind of the bottom line of it all.”

She says she’s tried reaching Shipman numerous times and received a text from him about family and funding issues.

“I don’t know what his situation is because he was not communicating with us about it,” Reed says. “He just never fulfilled his financial obligations.”

Shipman couldn’t be reached for comment for this story.

Firefly Yoga Studio owner Nickki Head to open west-side studio

WICHITA — A year and a half after opening Firefly Yoga Studio in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road, Nickki Head is preparing to open a second studio on the west side.

“We just got such an enormous amount of requests for a west-side location,” Head says. “You know Wichita. It’s so east side and west side.”

Firefly Yoga Studio West will be in 1,200 square feet at 2313 Zoo Park Blvd., which is across from the entrance to the Sedgwick County Zoo.

“We’re kind of marketing it as, like, simple space, no distraction,” Head says.

The first class will be Dec. 1.

Head says her initial plan was to start small with one location and see how people liked the yoga she offers.

“It’s blown up. People are loving it and loving the benefits of it.”

So what’s next? Downtown? Delano?

“Stay tuned,” Head says. “That’s every owner’s dream to try to be in each little nugget of the Wichita community.”

She appreciates that there’s interest.

“I’m lucky enough that the Wichita community has supported us this far … that a second studio is even an opportunity,” Head says. “Best-case scenario is what’s happening here. Dreams come true.”

Williamson Wellness Center to open at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — After almost a decade and a half of working at Genesis Health Clubs, Wendy Williamson is opening her own Williamson Wellness Center.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Williamson says. “This is just an opportunity to work for myself.”

Williamson has a doctorate in exercise science. She is a post-rehabilitation specialist and an advanced personal trainer.

“I have the privilege … and the opportunity to work with people who are recovering from illness and injury,” Williamson says. “My specialty is low back pain and orthopedic replacements.… I also work a lot with Parkinson’s disease.”

She’s opening her center in 2,529 square feet at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. and Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Williamson will open her business in early July.

“It’s just time to work for myself.”

Title Boxing Club to open at Shops at Tallgrass; two more clubs could follow

WICHITA — Even Wichitans who aren’t looking to get in shape are going to have a hard time avoiding gyms soon.

In addition to new Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym locations, Title Boxing Club is coming to the city.

It may sound exclusive to boxers, but the franchise actually is a fitness center.

“We’re basically taking the danger out,” says Chris Gerhardt, who is opening the business with Matt McClure. Gerhardt says they want it to “be something everyone can do just to get in shape.”

The first of what they think will be three Title Boxing Clubs will open in 5,527 square feet near 21st and Rock Road at the Shops at Tallgrass early this summer.

Gerhardt is a business consultant and former employee of equipment dealer Title Boxing, which is the company that started the fitness franchise in Kansas City.

So far, 144 franchises have been purchased, and 25 are open nationally.

For $59.99 a month, clients can have group classes and individual training using the same exercises as those who box or do mixed martial arts.

“We just turn it into (a) regular workout program for everybody,” Gerhardt says.

There’s a boxing ring, but he says the majority of the class is on a boxing bag.

The classes have a warm-up, boxing rounds and core work at the end.

“This gym offers a coach that’s with you the entire time,” Gerhardt says. “There’s some pretty fantastic coaches that are already on board.”

That includes pro boxer Manny Thompson and Ross “The Boss” Puritty, a former heavyweight world champion.

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Furnish My Nest to open at the Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock Road

WICHITA — A new home furnishings store with a contemporary flair is coming to the Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock Road.

Furnish My Nest is taking the 2,240 square feet Cox Communications Kansas/Arkansas used to be in before moving across the parking lot.

Chance Shipman and Josh Ruland are opening Furnish My Nest to sell furniture, accessories and lighting.

Shipman says they’ll offer “a mix of classic and contemporary styling, but very functional.”

“We want it to be usable … furniture for everyone’s lives.”

Shipman used to have a shop in Topeka. He says he noticed that there wasn’t a lot of variety in the home furnishings stores here.

Also, he says, “The contemporary choices were gone.”

He and Ruland also will offer a redesign-in-a-day service for $399 in which, after a few meetings with a client, they’ll redesign a room with existing furniture and accessories and add some new ones as needed as well.

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BlueChip Spine & Sports Specialists plans east-side open house while also working on west-side space

WICHITA — Chiropractor Casey Hummel is having an open house next week for his new east-side BlueChip Spine & Sports Specialists and is working on opening a west-side location next month.

Hummel’s business is what he calls a chiropractic sports rehab facility. He mainly treats sports injuries but will work on any patient.

Hummel specializes in soft tissue work with something called an active-release technique. He’ll also do traditional chiropractic adjustments as needed.

“Sometimes people don’t even realize I’m a chiropractor.”

He says the technique “really feels more like a stretch, like a fine-tuned stretch.”

“It’s really been effective and really opened a lot of doors for us clinically.”

Hummel is a Wichita-area native but had been working in Dallas when a professional athlete here called him seeking help for his back.

Five years ago, Hummel moved back and opened BlueChip within Pure-Formance Sports & Fitness Training Center in Andover.

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Cox retail center at Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock to move, but not far

UPDATED — Cox Communications Kansas/Arkansas is moving its retail center at 21st and Rock, but it’s not going far.

The store will move from the Shops at Tallgrass near the northeast corner across the parking lot to the north of Dillons.

“We are just keeping in line with the Cox retail marketing strategy,” says spokeswoman Sarah Kauffman.

At 3,000 square feet, the new store will be larger than the existing one.

“We really want consumers and customers to have an experience when they walk in a Cox store,” Kauffman says.

The new store will be especially hands-on with technology, she says, “where customers can test or try out the products.”

That includes high-speed Internet, digital cable and home phones.

Ish Tamas of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

In about a week, Cox will start remodeling the space, which was where Supplement Giant and Home Fitness Exercise Equipment Co. used to be.

Last summer, owners Wayne and Lisa Ragsdale made their own short jaunt across the parking lot to new space where a former Blockbuster was.

The new Cox store should open in a couple of months.