Kelsey Metzinger is getting ready to celebrate her seventh holiday season in Delano with Bungalow 26, a shop that sells bath and body products, eclectic home decor and jewelry.
“I’ve tracked along really well with the rest of the country,” Metzinger said of sales.
Her first two years were “phenomenal,” she said.
Then the economy tanked and hit Metzinger like most everyone else.
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“I didn’t know if I was going to be in business.”
She cut back on her merchandise and focused more on her interior design work.
Today, the shop is much healthier.
Metzinger said 30 percent of her merchandise is made by local artisans.
“That’s a big draw.”
Q. What made you want to open your own place?
A. You know, I wanted to open a shop that I wanted to shop at. … There was kind of a lack in local shopping as far as things that I like. Affordable, eclectic.
From the beginning I had a really hard-core dedication to bringing specific brands and lines … that I’d seen in big-city boutiques but that were affordable.
Q. A shop is more than a place to buy things to you, isn’t it?
A. That’s such a huge culture in a city, and I really felt like I could add to that. Little shops … kind of identify a culture in a city.
When you go to Kansas City or Chicago or Dallas … they’re really identified by what there is to do in a city, and shopping is a part of that.
Q. How is it being in Delano and seeing it evolve?
A. Delano is just such a gem for the city. I still probably get five people in a day that maybe are from here and maybe have lived here forever and have never been to the area.
It’s been, it seems, like a very long time since the change started happening. …The ball seems to be really rolling as far as development – retail, restaurants and business.
Q. You’re on the steering committee for the 2nd Saturday local shopping initiative, which encourages shoppers to shop local. How is that going?
A. It encompasses Douglas, Delano and Old Town, and we actually are getting all the museums on board. It kind of started off as a Douglas thing. Shop local, shop Douglas.
It’s kind of turned into this big thing. … Now people like the museums have started approaching us to be part of that.
Q. What’s one thing few people know about you?
A. I’m food obsessed. I’m, like, so obsessed with food it’s not even funny. Any new restaurant, I have to try it. When I travel, the only reason I go anywhere is to eat. I plan trips around, like, a hot dog stand. That kind of stuff.”