Lately, I’ve noticed many small businesses in Wichita posting SOS messages, begging people to come and spend money with them. So many companies that are an essential part of our community are struggling right now. When people announce that their business is closing its doors, the funeral dirges begin. People lament the death of a company they wish they had supported.
I believe that it’s essential to support local businesses every day. In 2012, I was inspired by an event in Buffalo, New York. Hearing their local hardware store was closing, a local blogger planned a Cash Mob, organizing an event for their community to come together and spend money to keep the business open. With the goal to shine a light on the importance of shopping locally, I organized the first Wichita Cash Mob on International Cash Mob Day on March 24, 2012, at five businesses in Delano that had been open less than a year. Here’s a story that ran in the Huffington Post
Can you imagine how dismal shopping in Wichita would be if we only had chain stores? The local flavor these businesses inject has real value to our community. There are many reasons to shop local, like stimulating Wichita’s economy, community connections, job growth, and supporting an entrepreneurial dream. Besides, it’s just more fun!
So, in the spirit of shopping local, I asked our Badass Women of Wichita Alliance Facebook group to tell me which local women-owned businesses are their favorites. I got a great list of companies in lots of different industries, including insurance, doctors, and attorneys. Someday, I hope to get a list in our website’s forum that can be a resource for us all.
But what I’m thinking right now is Christmas shopping because it will be here before we know it! So, I took suggestions from our group and added some of my favorites to put together this gift guide to help you focus your shopping on Wichita’s women-owned businesses. I have selected retail companies with brick-and-mortar locations because having a dedicated storefront is a huge risk.
If online shopping is your preferred shopping method, I can tell you that every one of these businesses has online shopping, too. Click on the business name for a link to their website. If you’re reading this and don’t live in Wichita, check out their websites for treasures you can’t find everywhere!
My Top 11 Choices
Ethically sourced crystals and stones, oddities, art, readings, and more.
The owner, Emma, has amazing, ethically sourced crystals and stones and knows her stuff! Ask her for recommendations for which stone is best for whatever you’re working on or want to attract. Emma is an accomplished artist with all kinds of artisan goods to delight your giftees.
Delano next to Vortex Souvenir
Locally made bath, body, and home products, men’s products, candles, jewelry, gifts, and fragrances imported from France.
Bungalow 26 is one of my favorite places to buy body products made with earth-friendly ingredients and natural aromas. Owner Kelsey creates many of the products they sell at Bungalow 26 and other locally owned stores. There are always fun surprises to discover.
Old Town in the old Coleman Building, close to Lucinda’s and two other locations
Beautiful gem-like handcrafted chocolates, pastries, and other deliciousness.
Founded and created by badass woman Beth Tully, Cocoa Dolce makes me drool just thinking about it. Today the company is owned by the Voegeli family and is managed by women. You can watch them make handcrafted chocolates at the downtown location in the old Coleman Building.
Gift Passes, class gift certificates, Badass Memberships, and my book, Never Finished.
Of course, this is my favorite women-owned business! I have several fantastic gifts this year and have created a shop on our website to make shopping easy! To make giving a membership to the Badass Women of Wichita Alliance more fun, my team and I created an Official Proclamation that pronounces your favorite Badass embodies all the characteristics of what it means to be badass. Take a look at our handiwork!
Grocery store, gifts, books, supplements, cafe, and books, including my book, Never Finished.
Started by the fabulous Barbara Hoffman many years ago, her daughter now leads the team at this locally-owned market. Not just for groceries and supplements, GreenAcres, has all kinds of fun gift items and stocking stuffers. Plus, the food at their café is a quick solution for contributing a dish to any event.
Design District close to Love of Character
Vintage and modern clothing resale, jewelry, gifts, local artisan goods, and all kinds of wonderment.
This is one of the most fun and creative businesses in Wichita. Owners Hallie and Dani carefully curate vintage clothes that are the kind of finds to swoon over. Their formal prom section is so much fun to play in. Watch for their frequent pop-up markets featuring lots of small, talented Wichita makers.
Old Town Square Clothing with some extended sizes, Jewelry, Accessories, local ephemera, unique gifts, books, including my book, Never Finished, and fairy magic.
This is my favorite go-to store for EVERYTHING! I love this store. Full disclosure - I am biased. I write Lucinda’s weekly newsletter, and I love owners Valerie and her partner Ryan, two of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. I shopped at this magical store long before we started working together. Some of my favorite things come from this store.
Sewing Center Indian Hills
Quilting, DIY fashion, notions, embroidery, classes, sewing machines, fabric, craft kits, and my book, Never Finished.
I don’t even sew, yet I find this store fascinating. Owner Bethany, who also teaches art to college students, has quite an eye for fabulous fabrics. Thankfully, fabric has lots of uses besides sewing. I love the little embroidery kits, which is something I can do. For quilters, this place is nothing short of heaven. Vortex Souvenir
Delano next to Bungalow 26
Independent artists and creators made gifts, stationery, arts, interesting objects, local ephemera, and books, including my book, Never Finished.
This is one of my favorite Wichita retail businesses. I adore the owners, artist Hannah and her partner Kevin, and the creative and ultra-cool merch they carry. I love finding new surprises there and can spend a long time gazing at their sticker selections.
Lincoln Heights Center
Books, including my book , Never Finished, gifts, and café
We are so lucky to have such a fantastic independent bookstore right here in Wichita. The owner, Sarah, is one of my long-time friends and was instrumental in helping me make Never Finished a reality. Watermark carries work by lots of local authors like me! Watch their calendar for author events with best-selling authors and locals. It’s such fun to browse the new arrivals, and if you need a book recommendation, these folks are a great resource.
Gone But Not Forgotten!
Best of Times
I wish I were including Best of Times in this list, but Nancy retired last year before Christmas. I have been a big fan of the incredible gift store since I was a teen. I miss seeing Nancy and giving her money for amazing treasure.
Design District close to the Hereafter and Love of Character
Improv classes and performances
Although Flying Pig is not a retail store, I have to include them. Jessie sponsors Badass Women of Wichita Alliance by letting us hold our panel discussions in her location, which is fabulous! She is a fantastic teacher who makes you feel like you can do no wrong as you play along in class. Flying Pig sells gift certificates for shows and classes, so you can “give them a gift that will scare the sh*t out of them,” as it says on the website!
Plus 11 More!
The following women-owned stores got many recommendations from our group, so I want to include them. I’ve visited several of these stores once, but I plan to add them to my rotation. Some of them are very new, and I haven’t had the chance to check them out yet, but I will soon!
Downtown next to Grow
Clothing with some extended sizes, Jewelry, and Accessories. Newly opened Black-woman owned.
Local and national Black-owned brands, home goods, gifts, greeting cards, stationary, books, health, beauty, and apparel. Newly opened Black-woman owned.
Fresh flowers, faux and dried flower arrangements, Kansas-made handcrafted gift items.
Roller skates, tees, local artisan items, and skate repair. Feather B
Handcrafted stuffed creatures for all ages.
Downtown next to 2 Beatz Boutique
Plants with DYI Plant Bar, plant care, gifts, and cocktail lounge.
Toys, books, educational and active play, and so much more for kids of all ages.
Local artisan shop with colorful prints, tees, stickers, buttons, cards, and a confetti bar.
Design District close to the Hereafter
Paper goods, all kinds of party supplies, and amazing balloons and arrangements. Skip Party City!
Homemade pasta, sauce, and artisan food goods
Handmade gifts, food, music, featured local artists, and local ephemera.
Who have I missed? What is your favorite women-owned local business for gifts?
Did you know I've published a book? Learn more about it here!
Because We’re Never Finished
The Finishing School for Modern Women, located in Wichita, Kansas, offers classes to help women find their authentic selves, not because we need finishing, but because we’re never finished. We bring together women of all ages to learn from experts and each other how to claim our power in business, finance, communication, and life.
To learn more about what we do:
https://www.finishingschoolformodernwomen.com for our classes and free social membership.
Phone: 316-841-8927 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org