Carrie Rengers

Nelson Designs expands at Tallgrass

As Hugs & Hissyfits expands at the Shops at Tallgrass by taking the former Marshmallow Kisses space, neighbor Nelson Designs is expanding by taking the Hugs space and keeping its own, too.

"We're... more than doubling our size within a year," says Sharon Nelson , who opened her design business in the center at 21st and Rock Road in October 2009.

Prior to that, she worked with clients out of her house.

"It was our clients who kept saying, 'You really need to open a store,' " Nelson says.

The new combined 3,158-square-foot space will be ready in early November.

April Reed, who handled the deal for developer Slawson Cos. , says this is the third tenant to expand at the center in six months, including Hugs & Hissyfits and Frou Frou .

This is "the strongest tenant mix the center has ever had," she says. "Our efforts to attract and create a design center have been paying off."

Nelson Designs carries drapes, accessories and tile and wood flooring, among other things.

"We try to make it a one-stop shop," Nelson says.

Even though she opened her storefront at a tough economic time, Nelson says she has done well.

"We really try to be very careful with our prices," she says.

"Wichita has been good to us."

Smaller Stems

The 6-year-old Stems has streamlined its business by decreasing its square footage from 4,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet at 6370 E. Central near Woodlawn.

"I'm concentrating on my weddings and on my fresh flowers," owner Cheryl Dixon says. "All my money is in weddings and fresh flowers, and that's where I want to be focused."

Dixon previously sold a lot of home decor items.

"I had all kinds of stuff," she says.

She'll still have seasonal home decor, candles and chocolate.

There are several interested potential tenants for the space Dixon vacated. We'll let you know when there's a deal.

Dixon says her remodeled space looks great and to come by and check it out.

Lush digs

Former Urban Image salon owner Susan Bradley and stylist Carrie Jones , who has worked with Bradley for six years, are opening Salon Lush next month at Occidental Plaza at Second and Main streets.

Stylists Amber Hoss and Jessica Schoenhoffer also are joining Salon Lush.

All four stylists most recently were at Urban Image in Old Town Square , which Bradley sold in 2009 and worked at until this week.

"We love working together," Bradley says of the new team.

The salon is opening in 1,100 square feet in the first week of October.

The store number is 316-337-LUSH (5874). A website is the works, and a Facebook page should be ready this weekend.