Fit For A Queen and New 2U Kids to open where Thick Girls was supposed to be

WICHITA — The new Thick Girls shop had a rather thin existence, you might say.

Owner Tina Sidelnik planned to open the business in her family’s former Not Just A Cop Shop space near Central and Hillside, and she’d been collecting clothing for the plus-size store for some time. She never opened, though.

“Things just weren’t meant to be, and that’s just how it goes,” Sidelnik says.

Instead of opening, Sidelnik decided to sell the clothing she’d collected along with remaining items from Not Just A Cop Shop.

“It was basically a garage sale,” she says. “One big, gigantic garage sale.”

Pia Schwamman, owner of Fit For A Queen, shopped at that sale and began talking to Sidelnik about her space.

“She offered me her place,” Schwamman says. “It’s move-in ready for me.”

Schwamman’s store, which is a plus-size consignment shop for men and women, currently is at 1545 S. Meridian.

“Where I’m at right now I truly am a destination,” Schwamman says.

She didn’t need all of Sidelnik’s 6,000 square feet, so New For You – Kids Resale Shop is moving into half of it in the back of the building. Owner Dalila Stevenson, whose store sells maternity and children’s clothing, is changing the name of the shop to New 2U Kids when she moves.

Stevenson previously had been at Central and Emporia in 1,500 square feet, then she moved to 6,000 square feet at 126 N. West St.

“You know, to be honest with you, bigger is not always better in this kind of business,” she says.

Stevenson says she was able to fill the store but not move enough merchandise.

“It’s just still not … cutting it.”

Schwamman and Stevenson each will have 3,000 square feet at the new building. Since she’s downsizing, Stevenson says she’ll no longer be able to sell children’s furniture, “which I’ll miss, but that’s OK.”

There will be a French door between the two shops “so people can go venture from store to store without going out,” Stevenson says.

Look for both stores to open in early August.

Meanwhile, Sidelnik is going to concentrate on her family’s Twizted Confections in Normandie Center.

“We’re going to be focusing on expanding the bakery,” she says.

Sidelnik says there are now some popular bierocks and sandwiches on the menu, “which keeps us pretty busy at this point.”

Thick Girls to replace Not Just A Cop Shop

WICHITA — With the opening of Twizted Confections in Normandie Center in late 2012, Bruce Reesman switched his focus from his Not Just A Cop Shop to baking.

“He’s got his plate really full,” says his wife, Tina Sidelnik. “My husband’s having a great time. We’ve got a really fantastic crew there with lots of creative energy.”

So she’s preparing to do something new in the Not Just A Cop Shop space at 2817 E. Central, which is between Hillside and Grove.

“We are in the process of kind of transitioning our store,” Sidelnik says.

Not Just A Cop Shop is having a clearance sale and will close its doors most likely at the end of March after more than seven years in business.

“We’ve run our course for as far as we can run it,” Sidelnik says.

She says the store focused on the general public’s security needs along with smaller law enforcement departments and security firms. Sidelnik says she and her husband never went after bigger city and county contracts. She says they found that their sales to other customers were hurt by the Internet.

Now Sidelnik says she has plans for a new store that “is going to be something up my alley.”

“We are going to focus on individuals that do not get recognition in apparel,” she says. “We’re going to focus on thick women.”

Sidelnik is naming the shop Thick Girls.

“I don’t want to say plus-sized,” she says. “I don’t like that word. Plus-sized what?”

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Lawrence Photo to leave downtown after 125 years for move to Normandie Center

WICHITA — After 125 years in the greater downtown area, Lawrence Photo is leaving.

“When you leave the core area of the city that you’ve been in for 125 years … it’s a tough decision to make,” says owner Paul Hudson.

He’s moving the store from 401 E. Douglas to Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

“I thought it was just the sweetest intersection of the city,” Hudson says.

That’s because Normandie is home to the Twizted Confections and Sweetly Scrumptious bakeries.

“And then I’m going to round it out with Whole Foods on the healthy side,” Hudson says.

He also likes that the Seafood Shop and Yoder Meats are there, and Great Harvest Bread Co. is nearby across Woodlawn.

“I don’t have to drive to go to the grocery store ever again,” Hudson says.

“I like the neighborhood, and it still has a neighborhood feel. The demographics are right there.”

The business started in 1877 as Lawrence Drug Store and was located downtown where the Intrust Bank parking garage is now. Hudson says in 1888 owner Charles Lawrence signed the first Kodak dealership west of the Mississippi with George Eastman of Eastman Kodak.

In more recent years, Hudson has expanded his business to include custom framing along with printing.

“It’s a major portion of business,” he says. “We’re certainly wanting to expand that framing and printing.”

At the new space, which is in the 3,000 square feet where Pathfinder Birkenstock used to be, Hudson will begin having photography classes. He says he’s been getting a lot of requests for them.

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You don’t say

“I’m probably the only armed baker in town.”

Bruce Reesman, who owns Smart Security and Investigations, Not Just A Cop Shop and Twizted Confections, a bakery that opened this week in Normandie Center

Twizted Confections to open in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn

WICHITA — It perhaps makes sense that Tina and Bruce Reesman own both Smart Security and Investigations and Not Just A Cop Shop. Their newest business, though, is going to be a deviation from the security world.

The Reesmans are opening Twizted Confections, a bakery, in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn next month.

“My husband actually has been baking for many years, and this is a passion of his,” Tina Reesman says.

The bakery will open in the approximately 3,500 square feet where Subway used to be.

Normandie also is where Sweetly Scrumptious is, but Reesman says she and her husband’s business will be slightly different.

They plan to sell pastries such as cookies, baklava, cannoli and what she calls “authentic East Coast” cheesecake and pies.

“I hate to say this, but you can taste the calories when you eat it,” Reesman says. “We don’t cut back on the butter. We don’t cut back on the sugar. What you’re eating is rich and decadent and melts in your mouth.”

Twizted Confections won’t have cupcakes or cakes.

“My husband is so incredibly talented … that when he makes cakes it’s a huge process,” Reesman says.

They’ll offer some sugar-free and gluten-free items along with some savory food, such as quiches for lunch and mini quiches for appetizers.

The bakery will have a soft opening on Election Day Nov. 6 with some donkey and elephant cookies. Anyone who shows an “I voted” sticker can have a free cookie.

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