By Kevin Collison
Sincerely Ellis, the women’s clothing and accessory shop in the West Bottoms, likes making its patrons feel welcome, including their kids.
“When customers come into our store, we want to know their names, how their days are going and what toys their kids like so they can play while their moms are shopping,” said owner Kayla Taylor.
“This is not a big box.”
Taylor’s “trendy but modest” fashion sense, wide range sizes from extra small to triple extra large, and affordable price point, most items costing less than $40, has been well received.
She recently relocated from her original location in the Bottoms at 1409 W. 11 St. and opened a new store double the size at 1323 W. 13th St. in early October. It covers 10,500 square feet on the first floor of one of the old warehouses in the antique district.
At age 23, Taylor already has four years experience in the women’s clothing business. She started selling clothing online while working at a corporate job in Minnesota.
At first, the operation was run out of her home in Adrian near Minneapolis.
“After six months, it became much bigger than I thought and I relocated my headquarters from the living room to the basement,” she said.
After nine months of continued growth, she and her husband decided to return to their native Kansas City in 2017. She opened her original West Bottoms location with the idea it would simply be a warehouse for the online business.
But Taylor had a change of heart, deciding she also wanted to open a storefront where people could come shop.
She developed her approach to fashion by adapting what she was seeing at shows on the Coasts to a Midwestern sensibility.
“Kansas City is more conservative in style, it’s not New York or Los Angeles,” she said.
“I traveled frequently visiting trade shows and fashion shows and adapted those trends to our current clientele. It’s been very successful for us.”
Among her biggest customers are professional women including teachers, doctors and lawyers who appreciate the style of clothing, accessories and footwear at Sincerely Ellis.
As for being the in West Bottoms, Taylor says it’s overall a great place to be.
“There are not many cons,” she said.
“The biggest pro is the West Bottoms has an amazing melting pot of people. A lot of Northlanders come here and on the First Friday antique weekends a lot come down from Johnson County.
“We got everybody from all walks of life. The business owners here are very creative and full of dreams and doers and visionaries.”
Taylor keeps regular hours at her store, Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On other days, Simply Ellis is available for private events, particularly charitable activities and fundraisers.
Taylor is a big supporter of “Girls on the Run,” an outreach program that teaches girls healthy lifestyles, and she donated all its active wear last year. She’s also hosted periodic meetings of groups including Kansas City Young Professionals.
In addition to her West Bottoms shop, Simply Ellis has a location in Parkville and a satellite outlet in Lawrence as part of the KB & Co. cooperative.
(Editor’s note: Beginning Dec. 2, CityScene KC will become a paid subscription publication)
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