|Posted on March 1, 2019 at 2:50 PM|
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OVERLAND PARK CONVENTION CENTER
|Posted on February 7, 2019 at 2:50 PM|
in Business News
Published on www.Martin City.org website on February 5th, 2019
View the original article here:
Long-time business owner believes in bringing out the best.
Scott Rutledge is as much a part of Martin City as the sound of trains passing by next door to his business, The Sharper Edge. He’s also a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit we have in Martin City with his relentless determination and commitment to doing things better.
Scott’s the kind of guy who knows how to get things done right and if he doesn’t, he’ll do his homework and keep trying until he figures it out. He opened his doors in Martin City more than a decade ago, about the same time the area’s community improvement efforts started picking up momentum, and he’s been a champion of the District ever since.
“I’ve always had an affinity for Martin City. I don’t know what it is, but it started with good memories as a kid growing up nearby. I just think it’s a magical place and I wanted to be part of its transformation, starting with my business.”
A Concrete Example of Good Business Instincts
When Scott was mowing lawns for money at age 12, he didn’t know what his future looked like, but he was already starting to understand the road ahead would be paved by hard work. That road would take him through college, military service, and a corporate sales job that quickly showed him he wasn’t meant for boardrooms and cubicles!
“I remember sitting at the office, looking out the window and just being envious of the guys mowing the grass and trimming the trees outside, and wondering what it would be like to do a hands-on job that makes you truly happy.” Scott started looking for better options. Surprisingly, something he noticed on vacation in California caught his eye and evolved into a business idea back home.
“I kept seeing really cool concrete edging over and over again. I thought it would be nice to have it at my own home, so when I got back in town, I looked around and discovered it was hard to find in this area.” That’s when he had a life-changing epiphany.
“It occurred to me, if I think it’s a good product, other people would probably think so too. And that’s when The Sharper Edge was born.”
Crafting Competitive Edges
The Sharper Edge enabled Scott to leave his corporate job and put him on the road delivering high-quality concrete edging products and services to homes across Kansas City. He labored during the day and traveled around giving estimates at homes in the evening until the mobile operation wore him out.
That’s when he bought property for a permanent location, just east of the train tracks on 135th Street in Martin City. The 2005 purchase immediately presented new challenges.
“A liquor store was on the land when I bought it but before that, there was a gas station and the pollution below ground was awful. It actually turned into a Superfund site and the federal government cleaned it up in a huge operation that cleared the way for me to open my retail location.”
The Sharper Edge property where the Mobil gas station once stood.
The Sharper Edge finally opened their retail store in 2007 and Scott continued to sharpen his focus on pioneering the best concrete edging service in the Greater Kansas City area. Other entrepreneurs tried to get in on the idea, but tactics, like buying cheap start-up kits off the internet, and cutting a lot of corners, quickly weeded them out.
Scott built a premium reputation that continues to anchor The Sharper Edge and keep demand strong. He says his concrete edging product sells itself by keeping mulch in and grass out, and it’s extremely lawnmower friendly. But most of all — it looks good
“There’s no secret sauce. It’s just very high-quality, seamless, continuous concrete carefully poured into the ground with a hand-crafted finish. We strengthen it even more with a stainless steel cable through the core.
We offered an industry standard one year warranty up until 2009, which was our tenth anniversary. At that time, we reviewed all the work we had done and found those projects still had no problems so we upped the warranty to ten years. That’s just unheard of in our industry.”
An office file full of thank you notes. Referrals account for 80% of new business.
Scott is constantly turning to technology to find efficiencies and better ways to serve customers. If you give him a call, you might be surprised at how much he can quickly figure out about your property, thanks in part to Google Maps, which allows him to calculate dimensions and give immediate ballpark estimates.
It’s not the kind of edging product or personalized service you’re likely to get from a garden store chain. In fact, garden stores aren’t really even competitors because the product is custom made on site by skilled tradesmen.
Wander around The Sharper Edge showroom and retail center and you’ll find all kinds of interesting concrete landscape decor to compliment edging, and an array of creative statues and fountains.
The fountains are quite an attraction for customers, but these days, the demand for hydroponics supplies at The Sharper Edge is extraordinary. Scott says hydroponics keep customers coming through the doors year round and he doesn’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
“People are concerned about how their food is being grown commercially, especially with chemicals. They want to grow their own to some extent, and also just be able to experience a little nature. Being able to grow indoors is really convenient. So we decided to become the go-to supplier for those customers.
We’ve got everything you can’t buy at hardware stores, you know, the really good quality organic products.”
The Poster Child of Community Improvement
When Scott began overhauling his property back in 2005, there were no community improvement awards, just a neighborhood trying to revitalize itself with the help of people like himself. And he took the job seriously.
“We didn’t just come in here and slap on a coat of paint and patch some holes. We really did it right. We took this building down to the bones, and then we ripped the floors out and put in new sewer lines,” said Scott.
“We put in all new electrical and plumbing. We did an energy audit and built everything to 21st century standards with styrofoam insulation. There’s solar on the roof and electric sensors. Everything is pretty environmentally friendly — an incredible transformation for century-old buildings.”
Scott’s property also included a two-story house next door that sat vacant for years until he jumped in to bring the old structure back to life with his trademark ambition and the money to back it up.
“I replaced all of the plumbing and electrical, and I gave it air conditioning for the first time with a high-efficiency heating and cooling system. Everything was done to exact standards,” said Scott. Thanks to his efforts, what’s believed to be the oldest house still standing along this stretch of 135th Street is now the home of Gilded Lily, a charming antique boutique rich with vintage character.
“Although it still has a wonderful vintage look on the outside, the house is actually very up to date now, and I just recently put in a parking lot to make it more welcoming for visitors.”
Scott’s revitalization efforts have given Martin City a special energy and we appreciate him pitching in to help our community when he can, like the time he found the right contractor to string up the holiday lights around the District!
You may also find him at our monthly CID board and other community development meetings, adding his voice where he can to help shape a positive future for Martin City, a place he fully expects to be part of for many years to come.
“Martin City is special, right up there with the Country Club Plaza and Brookside. Just like those neighborhoods, it has its own feel and character. It’s centrally located in the metro area, easy to get to, and very safe. We’re a city within a city, with great food and a variety of businesses, many of which are family owned so you’re likely to meet the owner when you walk in. That alone says something important. We are all invested in making the area the best it can be.”
The Sharper Edge
610 E. 135th Street, Kansas City, MO 64145
Phone: (816) 941-3343
The Sharper Edge has a long list of specialty products (over 5000 items, some in stock, some special order) which are tough to find locally. Product lines are targeted to both hydroponic and dirt gardeners with a strong focus on the organic growing of vegetables, and they are the only store south of I-70 to have this offering. Stop by and pick up a free catalog or join their Facebook community.
|Posted on February 7, 2019 at 1:55 PM|
House in the Heart of Martin City Holds a Treasure Trove of Memories
By Diane Euston
Martin City Telegraph
September 12, 2017
Click here to view the original article: https://martincitytelegraph.com/2017/09/12/martin-city-boutique-has-114-years-of-memories/
House in the Heart of Martin City Holds a Treasure Trove of Memories
By Diane Euston
Steps away from the railroad tracks on what was once Kansas Street in Martin City is a quaint two-story white home with a large porch and jet-black shutters. This home-turned-boutique (Gilded Lily) has over a century of history that matches the excitement of the early beginnings of the town.
At 612 E. 135th St. sits one of the original lots owned by E.L. Martin, founder of the town of Tilden. By the late 1880s, the town was rebranded as Martin City and land was up for the taking. Businessmen looking for cheaper land and less competition in Kansas City chose to take a gamble in the town.
In 1903, Frank “Joe” Jecker (1878-1959), an ambitious 25-year-old blacksmith from Kansas City, uprooted his wife, Jessie, and two young daughters, Bertha and Katie, and settled in Martin City. He built a blacksmith shop on the land. In an early 1900s booming railroad town, his services would have been in high demand.
The first occupant was Joe Jecker, who built his blacksmith barn next to the house. Photo courtesy Joe Jecker descendents.
Jecker constructed a small one-story house for his growing family. In 1906, they welcomed another little girl, Josephine.
Jecker loved his daughters, but he craved the addition of a son. Betty Stone, a great-granddaughter, recalled the story that had been told to her by her grandmother, Bertha. “Joe told Jessie, ‘If you have a boy, then I’ll build a second story onto the house.’”
Fate took over and Joe got his wish. In July 1910, the Jeckers welcomed a son named Walter. Thus, Martin City’s blacksmith built a second story which included two bedrooms and one bathroom. The black-haired blacksmith raised his family of six inside the house, conducting business next door. His great-granddaughter recalled, “My great grandpa yodeled all the time!” One can only imagine him working away in his shop, singing as he crafted items for the town.
Joe and Jesse Jecker in their later years, on their 50th wedding anniversary. Photo courtesy Jecker descendents
Jecker left Martin City for Kansas City in 1919. An allergy to goldenrod forced him and his family in later years to move to California. He sold his house and land that extended to the railroad tracks for $3,000 to George F. Jennings (1882-1954), a wallpaper hanger and decorator. Jennings, his wife, Letitia, and nine year-old son, Dale, packed their bags and moved into the house.
Ronnie Knoche, a lifetime resident of Martin City, recollected Jennings and his contribution to the town. “I remember my parents talking about all the wallpapering he had done,” Knoche recalled. “George Jennings was the one who wallpapered every house in Martin City, including my folks’ house, my grandparents, the banker, preachers. Every house, ceilings and all.”
“His wallpaper is still in those Martin City houses under all the paint,” Knoche surmised.
During Jennings’ 26-year ownership, the sun porch on the east side of the house was added, hiding an old hand-dug well underneath its floor. They lived off-and-on between Kansas City and Martin City as George continued to bank on the trend of wallpaper.
White house Martin City (1).gjpuse in 1946. Courtesy Roy Hopkins.
In 1945, Jennings sold the house to Ralph and Evelyn Hopkins for $7,000. Both were 30 years old with a young, growing family. They stayed until 1947 and then rented out the house while they lived in the Hickman Mills area.
In 1950, tragedy struck when Ralph, only 35 years old, passed away from a stroke, leaving Evelyn (b.1915) to raise two girls and two boys. She took on the task with gusto, taking over her husband’s school bus service in the Center School District and renting the land to a gas station to the west.
Katie Hopkins, the youngest of the family, remembers when her mother, Evelyn, decided to return to Martin City in 1955. “When we moved, we did not need to rent a truck—mom just moved us in the school bus! She made it an adventure,” Katie recollected.
The white house on 135th St. turned out to be the perfect place for Hopkins family. Sue Hopkins Glidewell remembered, “Living in Martin City was great. We lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone. We got to have bicycles once we moved.”
Evelyn added a forced air furnace to the house. Prior to that, there was one gas furnace in the kitchen and an oil heater in the living room. In the upstairs hallway, old gas light fixtures still decorated the walls.
Glidewell fondly remembers her mother’s unique way of waking them up as children. “The ductwork in the kitchen was right next to the stove, and mom used it as our alarm clock. She would hit it with her hand! It certainly woke us up quickly!”
The Hopkins family in 1960: Standing are Sim and Roy. Sitting are Sue, Evelyn and Katie.
Prior to 1957, the house had a two-story barn and a chicken coop in the backyard. There were large elm trees nestled next to the home, offering shade in the heat of the summer (the house was never air conditioned). On May 20, 1957, the Ruskin Heights Tornado barreled through, leveling most of the town. The house was spared and no one was home. The chicken coop in the back was destroyed and the gas station rented to the west was leveled. Evelyn, always a fighter, made repairs. She remained there for just shy of five decades.
Evelyn was well-known in Martin City, an active member of the Martin City Methodist Church. She was an avid baker, always supplying treats for her children, welcomed visitors and the church. Evelyn had a green thumb; fruit trees, nut trees, and flower gardens lined the fences along the front, east and west of the quaint home. Perennials added pops of color that would bloom from early spring until the first frost. Oftentimes the flowers from Evelyn’s garden would decorate the alter at church services.
Eveyln’s son Roy would regularly assist his mother in her garden. He noted, “When I would dig holes for mom’s plants and bushes, I used to find a lot of old pieces of iron.” Knowing now the history of the home, this comes to no surprise. Jecker’s blacksmith shop had left permanent pieces hidden below the soil.
Evelyn passed away in 2003, leaving a lifetime of memories for those residents that remember her busses parked in the back, beautiful flowers blooming all season and her incredible strength.
The house was purchased and remodeled by Scott Rutledge, owner of The Sharper Edge, a concrete landscaping company now located immediately to its west. He leased it out as a vintage boutique, known as Charm but soon to become Gilded Lily.
The pleasant, picturesque home has a past that extends over 114 years and is a reminder of the foundation of Martin City. Built by the hands of a blacksmith, transferred to a man who put his stamp on the walls and ceilings throughout the area, and then last occupied by a woman with gardens decorating the outside, this home has stories within its walls of a time long since gone by.
The house as it stands today. Courtesy Gilded Lily Boutique.
You can tour the home and meet some of the Hopkins family at the Grand Opening of Gilded Lily boutique September 14.
|Posted on February 5, 2015 at 3:45 PM|
Find the Right Edge BY VERONICA TONEY
KC AT HOME Magazine February 2015
View full article with content and images provided by The Sharper Edge at http://kcathome.com/February-2015/Find-the-Right-Edge/
Adding functional aesthetics to your curb appeal comes in the form of proper landscape edging.
“Edging is very important because it defines the garden bed from the yard and the home,” explains Daniel Stanza, owner of Good Earth Outdoor. From a practical standpoint, it keeps the mulch or gravel in designated areas and the grass out. But from an aesthetic standpoint, it’s a way to add curb appeal and personality to a home.
Brett Berry, founder of Berry Outdoor Living, recommends homeowners first think about the placement of edging. “How it ties into your house should be the main consideration. If it’s in the front yard, it should be prettier. In the backyard, it should be low-maintenance and can be used to manage drainage. We can create a raised garden bed with brick edging, and it’s great for diverting water,” Brett says.
Another area where edging is gaining popularity is near swimming pools. “More and more homeowners are turning their attention to the area around swimming pools. They don’t want to landscape the entire area,” he says.
Photo courtesy of The Sharper Edge.
A major part of determining the placement is making sure the edging doesn’t look artificial. “Whether it curves or consists of straight lines, your edging should flow smoothly and lead your eye effortlessly from one area of your garden to the next,” Daniel adds.
Once homeowners know the placement, the next step is deciding on the right materials. Strips of black plastic ropes circling the yard are edging of the past. Today’s edge material is as attractive and varied as the foliage it highlights. Homeowners can use plants, bricks, natural stone or concrete to create the perfect look for their front or backyard.
Plant-based edging uses foliage to separate areas. “Plant-based edging with liriope varietals are my all-around favorite and will last forever,” Brett says. “The liriope plant grows 10 inches tall and arches out. It’s an evergreen plant that you can cut back. It prevents grass from growing into your garden bed.”
Plant-based edging is a version of natural edging. Also called spade or garden edging, natural edging is when a trench is dug around the garden bed and filled with mulch. This type is the most cost-effective and easiest form of edging. A natural edge is ideal for mulch or compost beds and should be repeated annually, usually when a bed is re-mulched.
Photo courtesy of The Sharper Edge.
Stone edging is a way to extend the look of the home into the yard. Bricks, pavers and natural stone can vary by shape, size, color and texture to create a custom look. Steel edging is usually used with gravel to keep it in place. Concrete edging is a more permanent design choice. Scott Rutledge, owner of The Sharper Edge, specializes in seamless concrete edging. The technique is similar to concrete sidewalks in that it looks like natural stone, brick or blocks; has a cable running through it to maintain the shape; and is available in 48 colors to create custom seamless concrete edging.
“We can create elegantly designed landscape beds that follow and take advantage of the natural slopes of the land,” Scott says. “It’s low-maintenance because it’s one continuous piece of concrete. It’s installed at grade on the front edge, so you can run your mower over it, and slopes up to a minimum of 4 inches on the back to fully retain the mulch or rock. If you can paint it on the ground, we can make it fit.”
Edging is an important part of a home’s overall landscape design. Homeowners should consider their budget, the functions they want the edging to perform and their home’s overall aesthetic before making a decision. Just remember, Daniel says, that “a proper landscape design can add a lot of value to your home.”
|Posted on June 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM|
Click on the audio player above to hear what Kevin Kietzman had to say about The Sharper Edge on his 810 WHB radio talk show. This was a unsolicited, commentary not paid for and completely ad hoc on his part.
|Posted on March 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM|
by Sylvia Forbes
photos by Ron Johnson
Discover Mid-America January 2009
Read article on line at http://discoverypub.com/feature/2009_01.html
What is it about an antique store that is so enticing? For many, it’s the joy of discovering an unexpected treasure hidden in a forgotten corner, an item that has special meaning. For the ultimate unforgettable experience, it’s not only finding that treasure but also finding it at a bargain price.
The ultimate antiquing experience came to Katie Hopkins from out of the blue. Hopkins, from Olathe, KS, found a treasure more meaningful than she ever could have imagined. It happened on a sunny day last spring.
Katie Hopkins outside her mother's old house in what was once Martin City, MO.
“I had been digging bulbs all morning,” said Katie. “My mother had died six years ago. Her home in Martin City (now part of south Kansas City, MO), where she had lived most of her life, was a 100-year-old house, which has withstood not only the test of time, but two tornados as well. My mother loved flowers and surrounded this house with a large yard bursting with blooms of all kinds.
“My mother was famous for her flowers. She was always sharing her plants and bulbs, hoping to find them good homes where they would grow and flourish, and brighten more people’s lives. As she gave them, she’d always remind people not to thank her for the plants, or they wouldn’t grow.
“After she died, her house sold to a landscaper, Scott Rutledge, who turned part of the property into a landscape business called The Sharper Edge. I appreciated that Scott had gotten the home, because he enjoys flowers as much as my mother did. He erected a pretty iron fence, and added beautiful hanging planters of cheery, colorful petunias along the fence. Scott had been so gracious about letting me come back each year and dig my mother’s flowers. I had come back for my final digging binge, to dig up more of the thousands of bulbs, including daffodils, surprise lilies, crocus, grape hyacinth and others, that kept blooming and multiplying each year. I wanted to pass these remaining bulbs on to family and friends.
“I thought I would never finish digging all the bulbs. I must have dug 4-5 thousand that day. My cousin helped by separating the bulbs from the clumps, and loading them into the small trailer that I had hitched behind my car so that I could haul them. We finally finished, tired and dirty, the trailer piled to the very top. We closed up the trailer and left with our bounty.
“The next morning, a family friend, Margie, and I had planned an adventure to a couple of nearby antique stores. After breakfast, we headed to a special antique open house at Millett & Co., an antique shop in Greenwood, MO. Sandee Millett is a common friend of both of us. Sandee owns both Millett’s and Greenwood Mercantile, another antique shop, both located in Greenwood. Afterward, we had a little time remaining in the afternoon, and decided to visit one more antique shop before heading home. We headed to Mom’s Old Stuff, on Holmes Road (now called State Route D), in Belton, MO.
“As we looked through the shop, Margie struck up a conversation with Mary (Gates), the owner. It turned out they both had grown up in this same area called Hickman Mills, but a generation apart.
“While browsing, a small, old book caught my eye, A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Since I had just spent the whole previous day in my mother’s garden, digging up thousands of bulbs, it seemed quite appropriate, and I picked it up. The book had beautiful color illustrations and had a copyright of 1929. I checked the inside cover, which I always do, to see if the owner’s name is written in the book.
“To my surprise, I discovered a label from the Hickman Mills Christian Church, a church that my mother and relatives had been attending for generations. In fact, some of my ancestors helped found this church. The label indicated that this book had been donated to the church. A little farther down, I discovered that the book had been donated by my mother!
A Child's Book of Versus, published in 1929 and found by Katie Hopkins, was donated to a church by her mother.
“It wasn’t just that I had found a book of my mother’s — it was that I had found it the day after digging her bulbs. I felt as if my mom was sending me a special gift for saving her beloved bulbs and flowers, and for continuing to share the flowers, something that she had been known for. I was almost speechless. If I needed any more convincing that this was a message from my mother, the name of the store where I found the book was Mom’s Ole Stuff. Needless to say, I purchased the book, and it is now one of my most prized possessions.
“The very next day, I attended the visitation for a recently deceased family member. I pulled my trailer, still attached and packed with bulbs, into the church parking lot, near the front entrance. I opened it, so that the bulbs could be shared by all my mother’s friends and relatives. Almost everyone took a few home. However, there were still hundreds of bulbs left.
“A month later, I drove to the Hickman Mills Christian Church, and spent a day planting most of the remaining bulbs in several gardens around the church with the help of one of my mother’s friends. Still, there were bulbs left. I have continued to share the bulbs with friends and relatives, and now have just a few of the bulbs from her garden left to give away. The great thing about the bulbs, though, is that they multiply each year. So all those people that received my mother’s blessing of bulbs, will be able to dig up their extra bulbs and share them with their loved ones, too. My mother has started a tradition of continually passing on both beauty and love, things we can never have too much of.”
Things have come full circle. As a new chapter of the story, Scott Rutledge, the landscape business owner, is now planning to eventually open an antique store in Katie’s mother’s house. Perhaps he’ll offer a few bulbs in the springtime, too.
“Stories like Katie’s are what make antiquing so much fun,” says Mary Gates, owner (with husband Jay) of Mom’s Ole Stuff, where Katie’s great find occurred. “Part of the enjoyment of antiquing is that frequently people find something similar to what they owned in childhood, that they associate with fond memories. They’re happy to buy something that reminds then of happy times.” In fact, that’s how Mom’s Ole Stuff got its name. “Everyone that came in told me ‘it looks like my mom’s old stuff.’ I guess that’s because I often buy things that remind me of my mother.”
Mary has been in the antique business 21 years, but only one year at this location. She specializes in country primitives, vintage toys and kitchen items, furniture, and outdoor garden décor, though she also offers a variety of collectibles and useful items. As an example of the variety in her shop, some of the items she currently has for sale include a Howdy Doody doll, an antique metal bird cage, a Victorian wire flower stand, a couple of kitchen pie safes and an assortment of stoneware pitchers and bowls.
“I try to have something for everyone. One of the reasons people shop here is because we have reasonable pricing. I also try to carry lots of little things, so everyone can afford to take something home.”
"Stories like Katie's are what make antiquing so much fun," says Mary Gates, owner (with husband Jay) of Mom's Ole Stuff, where Katie's great find occured.
Mom’s Ole Stuff is easy to spot, because it is in a two-story building that looks like a barn, though it’s beige, with white trim, rather than red.
At Millett & Co., Sandee Millett sells both old and new items. Her specialty is traditional country furniture and accessories. Some of the types of items available are ironstone pottery, stoneware crocks, silver serving pieces, and walnut and pine furniture, including children’s furniture. She also offers vintage children’s clothing. The store has no metal shelves, or rows of items. The inside is arranged like walking into someone’s home. ”I always try to give customers an idea of what they can do with the piece when they get it home. It’s all about the look,” says Sandee.
One unique offering at Millett’s is their children’s room, called Princess Brookies’ room, after her 6-year-old great niece. The room includes both vintage and new children’s things, including lots of gift ideas for children.
Sandee is a friend of Katie’s, and Katie has been shopping at Millett’s for years. Sandee even has a few of Kate’s mother’s flowers planted in her yard. Katie’s mom drove the school bus that took them both to school in earlier years.
“Customers are always looking for that special something, just like Katie found,” says Sandee. “We have had people coming in looking for glass milk bottles from the dairy that their family once owned. You never know what item will be special to which person.”
Sandee’s Greenwood Mercantile store specializes in primitives. At this location she rents out booths to dealers. This store was actually the original general store in Greenwood for dozens of years, but didn’t become an antique shop until the 1980s. Sometimes she gets visitors who are members of families who previously owned the general store.
Katie has been an avid antiquer for much of her life. So it seems fitting that she found a great family heirloom at one of them.
“Part of the allure of antiquing is the history, finding out about the items and how they were used, and wondering about who might have owned them and used them. Each item has its own individual story,” she says
Katie may have found her special item, but there are many more antique shops are full of all kinds of treasures, just waiting to be found by the right person. Is that you?
Sylvia Forbes is a freelance writer based in Fayette, MO. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Antique Shops in this Article
409 West Main
Hours: 10-5 Mon-Sat; 12-5 Sun
Millett & Co.
808 West Main
Hours: 10-5 Mon-Sat; 12-5 Sun
Mom’s Ole Stuff
17816 State Route D (also called Holmes Road)
Hours: 12 – 5:30 Mon, Wed, Fri and most Saturdays
|Posted on March 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM|
WORDS: JESSICA MARSHALL
An avid bargain and estate sale shopper, Shannon Myers often wondered how she could find a way to shop for a living. After a little brainstorming with her friend Erica Rigdon, who has a sharp eye for design
Shannon Myers & Erica Rigdon
and home décor, the idea for Charm was born.
The antique and gift shop, located at 612 E. 135th St. in Martin City, opened last fall. The store — which is open on the third Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every month — specializes in finding original and affordable treasures to “add a little charm” to your home.
“We started out at Lone Elm Antique Mall. Then we moved to Bella Patina in the West Bottoms,” says Myers. “After our six-month stint there, we saw an opportunity to open a location out south, and even though we were sad to leave our Bella family, we made the giant leap and opened our own location.”
Myers and Rigdon, both Overland Park residents, brought a quaint 1900s farmhouse in Martin City to life after three months of renovations.
“We were looking for something with character and a small-town feel to complement the style of the store,” Myers says. “We approached the owner of Sharper Edge, Scott Rutledge, about the vacant little white farmhouse next door to his business, and he willingly showed us what would become our new home.”
Myers explains that the name is a defining acronym: C, classic or vintage; H, home décor; A, affordable pricing; R, repurposed; and M, modified or constantly changing.
And the shop does have a distinct “charm” — a bright turquoise door, refinished hardwood floors, small chandeliers, a vintage candy cart with homemade treats for sale — but it’s mostly about the treasures within. Charm carries merchandise from nine vendors and a variety of consigners throughout the shop. Vendors are selected based on style, pricing and cohesiveness.
“We combine ‘old’ and ‘new’ vintage style to create an amazing selection for our customers,” says Myers. “This includes repurposed furniture, home décor, jewelry and accessories, bath and body products, gifts and art. Currently, we carry Lollia, Savannah Bee Co., Pickwick Candles, Bethany Lowe, Catherine Popesco Jewelry and Scout Bags, to name a few. Our store also carries handmade items and local vendors and artists, in addition to nationwide and European vendors.”
For the three weeks per month that Charm is closed, Myers and Rigdon shop, design and set up for the next sale.
“The idea is to have a very different look every month and keep the customers excited to see new things at every sale,” Myers says. “For 2013, we are introducing several new lines. We were fortunate to pick up a line that will be featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2013 and it is amazing!”
Later this spring, they will open an outdoor market for vendors as well, exposing customers to the welcoming Martin City community.
“We have had incredible support and look forward to the developments being made to bring other businesses to Martin City,” Myers says. “Charm has taken on a life of its own from the beginning, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.”
photos: Paul Versluis
This article appears in the March 2013 issue of 435 South Magazine
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