Thursday, May 1, 2014

What makes your Prairie Chic store unique?

Dr. Mark Homer and store manager Stephanie Gilbert (center) receive their First Dollar of Profit from Tri-County Area
Chamber Director Wendy Jones during their opening day on April 25. Also shown here (from left to right)  are chamber board members David Jones, Tammie Jinkerson Prosch, Roger Boelling and Ron Strickland. (Courtesy of Studio 81 Photography)
A potential vendor just sent us this question in an email: Since I am not acquainted with Herington, what makes your town, your location and your shop unique to be successful?

Store manager Stephanie Gilbert said: Herington is located just off of U.S. 56 and U.S. 77, and about an hour from Salina and Manhattan, and 90 minutes away from Wichita and Topeka. So we're really in a great location for the older antique pickers or retirees who are just out for a drive to go shopping, but not head too far away from home. As far as what makes our Prairie Chic Handcrafts & Antiques store unique, we have several other second hand stores in town, but none of them focus on unique or handmade items. We are looking for vintage, antiques, quality used items, unique repurposed items, artistic works, etc. We encourage people to become entrepreneurs as a second job, or if they are still in high school, or if they have other family commitments, like a stay at home mom, for example. We are advertising heavily online and I've sent news releases to every newspaper in the state via Kansas Press Association about our store, (I also work for our local newspaper and have worked for 12 years now in the newspaper business.) I'm also on the Visit Herington tourism committee, so we're working to bring visitors into our town, which obviously will help increase the traffic in our own store.

Store owner Mark Homer said: The synergistic fusion of collectables, oddities, art, and quality antiques is their uniqueness. We're inviting you to join our experiment in Kansas in a unique place, at the start up stage for a reasonable price and our undying gratitude as founders in our little 12,000 sq. ft. experiment in Herington. Denise and I already have great experience with this industry in Texas and want to share that success with residents through our Kansas location. We are looking for everything from local organic honey, Flint Hills art pieces, metal recycled art works, antique lace items, handmade quilts, and rustic farm architectural items. We're even looking for automobilia, including antique transportation items from unicycles, bicycles, motorcycle and more for the decorators, collectors, and serious art collectors we want to draw in to our store. We seek to be THE source for all items that are "prairie" and "chic" in this region.

If you need more information about the store, you can visit the More about the Store tab at the top, or contact the store at 785-258-8004 or store manager Stephanie Gilbert at 785-571-3955 or!

The Homers found Herington when they bought the former United Methodist Church in town, which they have turned into St. Mark's Wedding Chapel and Event Center. That beautiful church is now available for you to book a wedding, a family reunion, a getaway weekend, a K-9 ceremony for your precious four-legged family (Mark's a small animal vet in San Antonio), a herbal teaching seminar, a scrapbooking retreat, or your own unique idea in this most unique space. We offer three guest rooms upstairs, in addition to the sanctuary and a reception area on the first floor reception area, and the 100+ capacity banquet and kitchen area in the basement. If you'd like to make an appointment to see the church, contact Stephanie Gilbert at 785-571-3955 or today!

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