By Kevin Collison
Steve Rogers is fascinated by “the hunt” for unique and beautiful objects from around the world.
A Sprint, now T-Mobile, marketing executive by day, the antique dealer had no training in interior design, but discovered by “happy accident” that people appreciated what he considered was beautiful to his eye and heart.
It began 20 years ago when he decided to sell some of the distinctive furnishings he had chosen for his Brookside home. He was pleasantly surprised to find buyers eager to purchase them for more than he paid.
That launched an antique career that began at the Mission Road Antique Mall, then opening Prize Home + Garden in the West Bottoms, followed by pop-up shops at the Country Club Plaza and now a place opening Friday in the Crossroads.
“Everything I buy has to be pleasing to my eye and meet my heart test,” he said.
“It’s beautiful and functional and you won’t find it at a big box store. Everything is organic, natural textiles and fibers.”
His new Prize Home + Garden store at 122 Southwest Blvd. is opening in the space formerly occupied by Fine Folk, which relocated to 4504 State Line Road last December.
The 5,000 square-foot shop features antiques and artifacts from around the world including Morocco, Turkey, France, Tibet, Belgium and Sweden. There are also art pieces he commissions that work with his vision.
“We have a global infusion and antiques from the 18th Century to more current, contemporary pieces from the 50s and 60s,” he said.
Among the artists he has discovered on his hunt is Richard Carter, a Napa Valley maker of custom earthenware who was educated at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Along the way, Rogers has found what pleases his eye is not only attractive to buyers in Brookside, but from across the nation including LA and New York. More than half his business comes from outside the Kansas City area.
Rogers said Joanna Gaines of Magnolia Home has bought pieces from his shop.
But while his place is definitely aimed at a higher-end market, Rogers welcomes anyone who’d like to peruse his “curated, organic global experience.”
“We’re not snooty,” he said. “We’re very approachable and want to ask what catches your eye.”
His decision to open a shop in the Crossroads was an outgrowth of his friendship with the building owner, Suzie Aron. She had purchased an item from one of his Plaza pop-ups 10 years ago and the two became friends.
While riding bikes downtown with his son in April, Rogers saw the space Aron owned at 122 Southwest Boulevard had become vacant. With its big windows bringing in natural light, and its rough wood plank floors, it fit his vision.
“The reason Crossroads works for me is I wanted to create a retail space where I don’t need to keep the traditional hours of the Plaza,” he said.
“I like the greater creativity in the Crossroads with its galleries and restaurants It’s authentic and I wanted the authenticity of the Crossroads.”
Hours are still tentative, but he envisions his shop being open Thursday through Saturday with other days available by appointment only. Rogers suggested people go to his Instagram account for the latest information.
His West Bottoms store at 1300 W. 13th St. also will remain open.
“I really want things that are transitional for people who are not buying for the moment but for a lifetime,” Rogers said.
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