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Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Shop offers Oakley apparel, more

BY BILL WILSON
The Wichita Eagle

The Shop, a full-service Oakley retailer, has opened for business in Siena Plaza at 37th Street North and Rock Road.

It's the brainchild of three men — including Siena Plaza developer Chuck Caro — looking for the right kind of brand-name apparel.

But the 1,800-square-foot store will offer more than that, such as exclusive NASCAR apparel, automotive and motorcycle restorations and builds and wraps for skateboards and wakeboards.

"Basically, we've been into Oakley for years," said Brook Phillips, who co-founded the store with Caro and Curt Fulps.

"We're all kind of in between — too young to be old and too old to be young — we like their products and there's really nobody in the Midwest that carries their apparel."

The Oakley brand is intended to appeal to those "in between" customers, Phillips said.

"I mean, I'm not going to go to the mall and buy Abercrombie & Fitch," he said. "I'm not going to wear the big collars with the sleeves rolled up, the crazy-looking things, but I don't want to go and wear Tommy Bahama stuff, nothing against it. We're targeting the 30-to-45 crowd."

The store offers a full line of Oakley sunglasses, watches, clothing and equipment such as computer bags and ski goggles. It also will include a game room for customers to use while shopping, featuring the latest video games.

But there will be some non-Oakley merchandise, too: Restored old round-top refrigerators with flame graphics, targeting the man who wants a "cool refrigerator in his garage."

There will be new-build motorcycles and cars, thanks to Phillips' and Fulps' extensive mechanical background.

And if the customer needs a jazzed-up skateboard, Phillips and Fulps will put their graphic design talents to work.

Caro said the store, in the space formerly occupied by Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates, is a perfect fit for the eclectic experience he's tried to assemble at Siena Plaza. Just west of the Shop, Caro is installing bocce ball courts.

"We want to be unique," he said, "an experience you can't find anywhere else in Wichita."

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.

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