Interior designer Janelle King saw an opportunity to create a business offering custom textiles and sewing when she learned the seamstress she had been using was getting out of the business.
In February 2013, the idea for the Workroom was born and a month later, King opened for business. The Workroom has since expanded into sales of home accessories and furniture as well as a variety of Wichita flag-themed merchandise.
More than 80 local and regional artisans make the products it sells, King said. That’s partly a nod to her mother, who King said was a skilled and talented artist herself but treated it as a hobby.
“Shortly after she passed away I had this concept of a retail location to provide an avenue for artisans to get their work in the public space,” she said.
The Workroom has become that place. On one Saturday a month, from April through October, the Workroom hosts a Second Saturday Artisan Market in its parking lot where local artists and craftspeople sell their goods to the public.
King said the move to support local artisans through the Workroom was more of a progression rather than something intentional.
“It had naturally evolved following my own passion and interest,” she said.
Q: Best business advice you have received:
A: “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.”
Q: Best business advice you wish you’d taken:
A: “Say, ‘No.’ I tend to overcommit. I have too many ideas and an eagerness to help even beyond my means.”
Q: What sets your company apart?
A: “Passion, instinct, personal touch.”
Q: Why do you prefer to run your own business as opposed to working for someone else?
A: “Being able to act on my ideas and take ownership of creating a difference.”
Q: What’s your company’s next goal?
A: “Increase the custom sewing workroom aspect of the business. Become the local industry leader for custom home textiles amongst interior designers and homeowners.”
Name of business: The Workroom
Year founded: 2013
Owner: Janelle King
Address: 150 N. Cleveland