5 Out-of-the-Box Kansas City Shops to Buy Your Gifts in 2016

KC Shops

As we start the New Year, maybe we can actually follow through on our resolution to plan ahead for birthdays, holidays and especially Christmas in 2016. And even when we don’t, discovering new, local, personalized shops is always a solid goal to fulfill when gift-giving throughout the year–last minute or otherwise.

Peppermint Twist

Photo cred: Images West Photography via Peppermint Twist

In order to make our lovely KC lives a little easier this upcoming year, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 out-of-the-box local shops to purchase all your gift-giving wonders from. And the best part is all of these stores are unique to Kansas City and contain personalized, handmade and/or restored items.

Peppermint Twist

Photo cred: Images West Photography via Peppermint Twist

Peppermint Twist. This shop is my absolute favorite local retailer for personalizing just about anything. What’s great about it is the unique items available that go along with specific holidays, events, locations, clothing or seasons that you can’t generally find at most other shops. For example, the Christmas bags pictured (that I plan to order for next year), personalized with a last name when delivering gifts to a family event or child’s name if you want to present “Santa’s bag of gifts” on Christmas morning, is one of my favorite items in the shop. I originally discovered Peppermint Twist when I received an address pillow as a gift for our first house, which I am in love with. It resembled the one pictured on the top, left–except, of course, representing a KCMO zip!

Artistic Works by Lu

Photo cred: Artistic Works by Lu

Artistic Works by Lu. If you’re looking for upscale clothing and unique jewelry, Lu is where you want to be. This studio-boutique is best defined as country roots meets urban soul, and their mission is to help women feel beautiful and confident every day. They carry a variety of jewelry designs, unique stones and material along with vintage-inspired tops, sweaters, coats, tights, scarves and boots. Lu’s is the perfect place to check out for that trendy friend or family member in your life … and even for yourself when it’s time for a little wardrobe pick-me-up.

Restoration Emporium

Photo Cred: Restoration Emporium

Restoration Emporium. Ever heard of First Fridays? If the answer is ‘no’ then I don’t know if you can consider yourself a true Kansas Citian just yet. Although this shop is open throughout the week, the first place I discovered it was in the West Bottoms on First Fridays. RE:’s motto is “re: purpose re: finish re: new” and when you enter their store, you feel like there’s a clear purpose: their furniture and decor feels beautifully meaningful and full of new life. To top it off RE: will be partnering with The Home Show of Greater Kansas City, which is one of the most awesome events of the Spring in KC–promising the return of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper in March!

Jowler Creek. If you’re from Kansas City, there are few towns on the outskirts you probably haven’t heard of, but this could very well be one of Jowler Creekthem: Dearborn, Missouri, just 30 minutes North of downtown KC, houses a wonderful, personable winery with an awesome outlook. They use green technologies to make their wine, sheep to keep their weeds low and chicken to bring down the insect count at this 6-acre vineyard started by a couple who were brought together by Kansas City and their love of wine. Their story is as beautiful as their boutique vineyard and winery, and if you’re looking for a great couples’ gift or wine to bring to your next event, check them out!

Westside Storey

Photo cred: Westside Storey

Westside Storey. “LOCAL GOODS and LOCAL MAKERS with ANTIQUES SPRINKLED” is their short description on Facebook, and if that doesn’t make you love this shop already, the handmade, wine-scented candles inside a restored wine bottle candle holder definitely will. Even if you don’t have any gifts to purchase just yet, this shop is well worth a visit for the quality and unique KC themed items, clothing and accessories available that you KCreally can’t find just anywhere else–perhaps a #TreatYoSelf gift? Not to mention the unique foodie selection is on point–my favorite so far being the bacon jam from Our Sassy Pantry, locally made, of course.

As you enjoy the new year and continue loving Kansas City, keep in mind local shops to make your gift giving unique and personal. Do you have any go-to local shops that you enjoy or suggest? Comment and let everyone know below!

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Go Blog Social: Three Things I Learned

1. I’m a true awkward loner when not accompanied by a comrade, and nothing brings it out like networking. I think Zooey Deschanel “Jess” in this clip encompasses me fairly well…

I just do not possess the personality or vibe that draws people in. I’ve got to try–really hard, and that’s okay. I like a challenge, and as one of our awesome speakers pointed out, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

2. I need to invest in a jean jack. Seriously. I think at least half of the people I saw had some sort of jean jacket on during the two day event.

3. There are some amazing bloggers and experts out there and so many of them shared their success tidbits in Kansas City this weekend. I learned more than I could have ever imagined from being able to attend Go Blog Social. Keep scrolling to learn all about it!

Sign

“Go Blog Social ahead”

This past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Go Blog Social conference in Kansas City via Visit KC and the Midwest Influencer Network.

Inspiration

Creators and inspirers behind Go Blog Social. Pictured above (from left to right) are Katelyn Herlein, Samantha McClelland, Sarah Ruhlman and Kathryn Snellen.

Go Blog Social is a conference created and put into action by six lovely ladies–four of whom are pictured above–who’ve designed the conference to “inform, educate and inspire” by bringing together bloggers and brands along with social media and business experts to share their expertise.

Day one speakers

Day one speakers included Alissa Circle of Diary of an Addict (top left), Andra Barkey and Kelly Zugay of With Grace and Gold (bottom left), Alea Bębenek of Alea Lovely (bottom middle), Kilee Nickels of One Little Momma and Nickel & Suede (bottom right) and Laurie Davis of eFlirt Expert (top right).

Day one included five wonderful presentations from Alissa Circle, Andra Barkey & Kelly Zugay, Alea Bębenek, Kilee Nickels and Laurie Davis. Each one of these women talked about their personal story in the blogging/career world and what it takes to be noticed. Mostly, be authentic. There may be thousands of bloggers and creatives out there, but there’s only one you. People can appreciate that.

Day two speakers

Day two speakers included Mandy Beveler of Sugar Bee Crafts (top left), Enza Ketcham of Enza’s Bargains (bottom left), Landon & Meggan Wood of Lily Jade (bottom right) and Callie England of Rawxies (top right).

Day two included more amazing tips but with an emphasis on personal businesses. Speakers included Mandy Beveler, Enza Ketcham, Landon & Meggan Wood and Callie England sharing their inspiring stories on persistence and passion.

The Crowd

Socializing at Go Blog Social

I left this conference feeling empowered and happy to be on the right track. So many people think blogging is simple–like we sign on whenever we feel like it and spend five minutes throwing together a post–but the truth is it takes a lot of time and a ton of effort. Whether that time and effort be from taking photos, talking to people, researching, linking, social media-ing, being consistent, interacting, the list goes on and on. Blogging is a full time job for many. I hear you non-bloggers snickering and rolling your eyes, but really, it’s an investment to create something–truly–and do it well, whether it be writing, designing, taking photos or having an online presence, and blogging encompasses them all.

GBS

Stay connected at #GBS2015 #goblogsocial #MWINetwork or @VisitKC

During and after the two-day Go Blog Social event, I was able to bask in the wonder that is my home town. Yes, that’s right, I’m a KC lady at heart. Here are some of the LOVEly places I was able to enjoy while at home:

P&L

Always a little too much fun had at Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

Ambassador Hotel

A gorgeous and relaxing place to rest my head at night with Ambassador Hotel–courtesy of Visit KC.

Royals

Seated at Kauffman Stadium watching my boys in blue [Royals] win, yet again.

 #HE is proud to team up with MWIN in promotion of Go Blog Social!