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Kansas items on the rack at new store

10/23/2013

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

An eclectic retailer is bringing crafts and goods made in Kansas to Hays starting Nov. 1 at 2308 Vine.

Located next to the former Hays City Quality Meats store, KS Kollections will specialize in Kansas-made products, said owner Kathy Schupman. The new venture will be housed with her Threshold Web & Graphic Designs business, she said.

The store will sell an array of Kansas items including jewelry, bath products, wood-crafted pieces, home decor, a variety of food and T-shirts made in America, Schupman said.

Sandy Werth, the online promotions manager for Schupman's design business, said the endeavor allows many small vendors in the state to grow their customer base.

"Some of them are working out of their homes, and sometimes they just need that opportunity to present their product to a bigger market," Werth said. "That's something we're able to do."

The store will expand its scope by finding more merchants throughout the state and offering a rotating selection, Werth said.

Schupman said the idea of buying Kansas-made goods has proven popular with shoppers.

"The people that have come through have been very excited and wanted to purchase things before our opening date," Schupman said.

There are plans to emphasize the store's local nature by bringing in merchants to connect with customers, Schupman said.

"We're talking about once a month having a vendor come in," Schupman said. "They can talk about their entrepreneurship and their product."

Schupman said her history of engaging with entrepreneurs at the Kansas State Fair and working as a marketing manager for Wheatland Foods Inc. has prepared her for owning the store.

KS Kollections will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.