Carrie Rengers

Billboard campaign just doesn't fit Wichita

Clear Channel Outdoor is in the process of replacing four billboard advertisements in Wichita that could be offensive to some passersby.

Natural Light beer has billboards that read: N.I.L.F., Natty I'd Like to Finish.

An Eagle reader voiced concerns about the N.I.L.F., which is a takeoff of a couple of acronyms for more vulgar terms.

"Anytime anybody raises a red flag on any creative, I will take a double look," says Ron Blue , who manages the Clear Channel office here.

"If I personally would have seen it before I would have probably not run it," he says.

The ad was a national Clear Channel buy, and Blue didn't see it before it went up.

He says sometimes what a creative team in a New York high rise dreams up for an ad nationally isn't right for Wichita.

"Things that, you know, would bother us here means nothing to them up there," he says.

"I felt strongly enough about it that I did have our national reps contact the client, and they are sending us new creative," Blue says. "We work with our clients to get it to where we think it's acceptable on the streets."

Giggly fun

An anniversary present is part of the inspiration behind River City Retro , a new business Cindi Gentry is opening with photographer Don Birmingham .

When Gentry celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary she wanted to give a picture of herself to her husband as a gift.

"I wanted a photo, but not the boudoir or glamour photo," Gentry says.

Instead, she chose a pinup shot.

"It sounds funny for a woman to say, but I've always loved pinup girls," Gentry says. "I have books and books of them. I just think they're beautiful."

Now, Gentry and Birmingham are opening River City Retro to do pinup shots for other women.

Gentry has collected vintage clothing since she was a teen.

"I just can go to that closet and choose whatever look that I want," she says.

Gentry says customers can choose every era from the 1920s to the mid-1960s.

"The sky's the limit."

River City Retro particularly will cater to pinup parties, which might be for someone's birthday or bachelorette party when she wants to bring several friends.

"That's the craze going on around the country now," Gentry says. "I didn't even realize until I went online."

She took a hair and make-up class so she can help customers with vintage looks.

For now, River City Retro will be at 340 S. Pattie, where Birmingham and several other photographers share space.

In June, the business will move, most likely to the Douglas and Grove area.

River City's first photo shoot is tonight. The wife of a man whom she lovingly describes as a nerd wants to portray a scientist who is mixing a love potion.

Gentry hopes other customers will have the same creative spirit.

"It's just fun and giggly for everyone to get up there and pose."

Upscale lease

Upscale Beauty is moving into the former Muse-E-Yum space at Douglas and Rock Road.

Owner Chrystal Mak opened her first Upscale Beauty to sell hair, nail and skin care products six months ago near 21st and Woodlawn.

"We're doing so good that we just decided to open a second one," Mak says.

The new one will be smaller, at 700 square feet instead of 1,500 square feet.

Mak says when she first opened, she mostly sold products for ethnic hair types.

"Now, we're starting to bring in more for all different types of hair and skin," she says.

The new Upscale Beauty will open in June. Mak says additional locations are possible in the future.