Since November of 2022, I have been working hard on building up a small business downtown in Manhattan, KS called Twelve A Fellowship Boutique. This little shop focuses on Christian apparel and gifts. It also fulfills my lifelong dream of my own boutique as well as what I believe is obeying our Savior on how to encourage myself as well as others to live boldly in their faith. Whether that be by wearing a graphic t-shirt that says something catchy like "This close to flipping tables like Jesus," which is a sure way of starting an interesting discussion or giving a baptism gift to your coworker to show support in their choice to leave it all in the water. Either way, I know without a doubt that this idea wasn't mine alone and despite the chaos that is this earthly life, I decided to take the leap.
And it's been AWESOME! Scary, educating, busy, exhausting, and all the other things you can imagine that starting a new business can be! Throughout the last 9 months, the BEST thing has been the flexibility this business has brought to balance my family life. Yes, of course, there's lots of days that my two kiddos are in the shop after school or on a Saturday. That's what I wanted though! I grew up in a small family restaurant and wanted a similar experience for my kids that might help in their responsibility and accountability development. As well as give them something to feel ownership over at a young age. Granted, you might hear their tablets on full blast coming from the office regularly, or maybe bickering from time to time, or even find a 7-year-old napping on the little sofa in the corner. THAT is exactly what downtown small businesses look like to me. Family-owned and operated. Parents trying to figure it out while supporting their littles as well as teach them through demonstration...money handling, talking to customers, solving problems, cleaning, organizing, answering phones, etc. Life skills taught through demonstration can be the most impactful lessons.
While finding my footing in business ownership and family balancing, an opportunity arose with the changes in the K-State merchandise environment. As I dealt with the news of my former employer, the K-State Super Store, closing their doors, I began to listen to KSSS customers, watch the purple merchandise available downtown, and most importantly, notice the lack of purple apparel and gifts in general in my area of Manhattan. You see, I lead the K-State merchandising for KSSS for the last 15 years. Yes! That's most of my professional career length! I was the buyer for both the McCall Road location, stadium stores, and online shop under this brand. This opportunity employment brought me a LOT of opportunity in the collegiate licensed goods space. I had the pleasure of buying for other colleges, the NCAA tournament, music festivals, and more. I also helped build product collections from start to finish. That included an in-house Champion brand as well as a Nike lavender collection most recently. AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
You see, I'm not an athlete. I never have been! But I was in pep club and flag team during high school and my brothers played a variety of sports starting at a young age. I was always the one cheering on from the stands! And as I began my college education at K-State in the fashion studies program, I began a retail career at Varney's University Bookstore. This was the beginning of developing a passion for wearing purple while I cheered on my favorite team! After graduating and a time with a few other businesses, I started a career with KSSS. This brought be partnerships with Athletics, Foundation, and more. SO much purple and SO many fans!
Now here I am...July 2023 and not able to escape my passion for purple and let go of my years of licensed merchandise experience! Enter PURPLE ON POYNTZ which is a personally curated mix of exclusive licensed brands along with fun purple gear all FOR K-Staters BY K-Staters. My dream for this brand is that K-Staters will value my experience and trust me to become their go-to place in downtown Manhattan to shop purple gear. I won't be the Super Store, guaranteeing the widest selection of licensed merchandise. I WILL be the local purple shop. The place you pop into while in town or on lunch break to find a little something to gift a fellow Wildcat. The place you can find something to wear on purple Friday at the office as well as a new game day look for the next day's home game. The place you can count on for rotating new products, fun finds and things you didn't know you had to have!
I welcome you to join me on this journey by shopping in-store or online, watching on Facebook and Instagram, and sharing the news with your friends! Purple on Poyntz can be found at 409 Poyntz Avenue, sharing space with Twelve A Fellowship Boutique. As a customer told me recently, "Christian AND purple products all in one place? What can be better than that?"
I completely agree.