Shop Local KC has opened its third outlet at Crown Center, bringing the shopping center’s occupancy to 95 percent at time many other similar malls are struggling to attract retailers.
The shop specializes in locally-made products by more than 50 artists and makers, creating unique Kansas City-themed gifts that may find a strong market with the many visitors staying at Crown Center hotels and shopping there.
Among the local women-owned businesses featured at Shop Local KC include Shop Annie Austen, a jewelry maker; Messner Bee Farm operated by Rachel and Eric Messner; Yal & Yana, a natural bath and body shop run by Beth Massey, and Corwn & Heart featuring hand-painted porcelain jewelry and managed by Sara Kharatyan.
“This is our third store opening in three years, and we’re so excited about this location,” Mabry van Dieren said in a statement. “It will be great to be a destination for out-of-town visitors. Crown Center is such a fixture of Kansas City.”
The 2,000 square-foot shop is on Level 2 at the Crown Center Shops across from Toy Time, according to a press release. The other Shop Local KC outlets are in Midtown at 3630 Main and in Leawood.
As part of the renovation, artist Morgan Elliott was commissioned to do a large mural on the wall of the shop that says “Hello from Kansas City” surrounded by flowers.
Maybry van Dieren expects the mural to be a popular backdrop for visitors to take photos, according to the release.
The shop also will be selling a selection of fresh flower bouquets in small vases as well as dried floral arrangements.
Shop Local is an extension of The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair that began in 2011. The company also operates an online market place at shoplocalkc.com that features more than 300 Kansas City artisans.
Stacey Paine, president of Crown Center Redevelopment Corp., said reaching close to full occupancy is a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of opening of Crown Center Shops.
“Not many retail centers can claim a 95 percent occupancy rate, but our focus on showcasing small businesses to our various local, regional and national visitors is working well,” she said.
Shop Local KC hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
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