UPDATED – As Susan McKnight continues to move her Susan’s flower shop out of Lincoln Heights Village, Jody Lonergan is preparing to move her Maxine’s card and stationery shop in.
The store has been along East Central at three different sites since Max and Maxine Glickman started the business in 1960.
Lonergan bought the business in 1985 – she’d been working at the store for about 15 years before that – and moved it to its current space at 5400 E. Central, which is a block west of Edgemoor.
“I hate that I’m going to walk away, because I’ve loved this place, but I don’t have any foot traffic anymore,” Lonergan says. “I need foot traffic.”
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The new space, which is at the southwest corner of Douglas and Oliver, will be just a little larger than her current 3,200 square feet.
Lonergan had looked at the former Heads Shoe Store space at Lincoln Heights, but she says she thought its 5,000 square feet was too much for Maxine’s.
Then one night she heard Susan’s is moving to the 200 block of South Pattie in the Douglas Design District, where the store will be known as Susan McKnight Floral Studio and focus on floral arrangements for weddings and other events.
“First thing in the morning, I was on the phone at 8 o’clock,” Lonergan says.
Then she went to look at the space.
“I walked in and went ‘It’s perfect,’ ” Lonergan says. “I know that that’s a good center. It’s just great.”
She says she thinks her regulars will follow her to Lincoln Heights and that the center will help her attract a lot of new customers as well.
Lonergan will take possession of the space on Jan. 1 and hopes to open there by late January. She says she’d rather not have to pay rent on two spaces for more than a month.
Like her current store, the new shop will have a separate bridal room.
Lonergan also will continue to print invitations on site.
She says she plans to add new lines to the store as well.
“I just intend to grow.”
Lonergan, who says she regularly answers to the name Maxine, says her sign will have more than the store’s name.
“I think we’re a Wichita tradition, and that’s what we’re going to put on our sign when we move,” she says. “I don’t intend to change who we are. … That’s why I want to say it’s a Wichita tradition.”
She says the line makes sense for Lincoln Heights as well.
“I truly think the center’s a Wichita tradition, too.”