By Glen Vaughn-Petersen
Made in KC, a major retail organization where local businesses and artists share their crafts, will be opening their newest location in the Red Bridge Shopping Center. The gift and apparel shop will be located in 1000 square feet in the former Salon Aspen and Daily Limit spaces on the north end of the shopping center between China Dragon and Caleb’s. An opening is expected in September.
Founded in 2015, owners Thomas McIntyre, Keith Bradley and Tyler Enders opened their first location in Prairiefire. Beginning as a 300-square-foot pop-up shop with 14 artists, it has grown to 10 locations and hundreds of artists.
Made in KC, whose slogan is “Cultivating Creativity,” is meant to be a platform for local businesses, artists, and makers of all kinds, providing an opportunity to spread their products and wares beyond their normal platforms. It allows small businesses to market their products through one single relationship–the retailer–as opposed to many different relationships, which can be hard to manage.
Enders says there are three formats to the Made in KC brand: the neighborhood shop, which primarily sells apparel and packaged goods, such as the locations at Corinth Square and Prairiefire; the café format, which takes the form of a coffee shop with food and drink from local makers, much like the recently opened location on Gregory; and the marketplace, a larger format where various vendors have their own booths set up and sell their wares directly, which is at such locations as Country Club Plaza or Summit Fair. The first of these three formats, the neighborhood shop, will be the format used for the Red Bridge location.
As for the choice of Red Bridge Shopping Center as the newest location for Made in KC, Enders chalked it up to their familiarity with the area and their past relationship with Lane 4, developers of the shopping center. He also saw the success of other businesses operating in the center. Red Bridge Shopping Center, founded in 1959, underwent a major renovation in 2017. The renovation attracted an influx of new businesses, many of which are local.
“There are a lot of locally owned concepts there, and that’s the type of center that we’d like to be in,” said Enders. Additionally, they decided on the neighborhood shop format because the coffee shop niche had already been filled by Crows Coffee at the shopping center. And there are only going to be a few marketplaces throughout Kansas City, so that brought them back to the neighborhood shop format.
Salon Aspen, formerly Toni’s Red Bridge Salon, had been operating at the shopping center for 51 years. Salon Aspen has now relocated to 1024 West 103rd St, next to Price Chopper.
This 11th location for Made in KC will open at 527 East Red Bridge Road.