Carrie Rengers

At Home With Style to open in Twigs spot

Twigs is now gone, but a new interior design store is opening in its place. Polly Peake is opening At Home With Style in the space near Central and Woodlawn where Twigs closed last week.

Peake, who has an interior design degree, will sell what she calls a diverse array of furniture, accessories, art and bronze statues.

"We're going to have local artists show some of their work," she says.

That includes her husband Ron's mosaic crosses.

"He'll have a space in back where he'll be working on those," Peake says.

Ron Peake also still has his Ron Peake Design Build .

Abbe Doll, who does furniture painting and repurposing through All Dolled Up , also will do work out of the shop.

"Most of it will be showroom space," Peake says of her 5,000 square feet.

"We're also going to offer design services," she says.

That won't include floral services, though.

"It's not going to be a Twigs," Peake says.

In addition to art and decor, Peake says she'll have "some other surprises."

"We are still knocking around ideas about maybe a little coffee bar or something like that."

Peake plans to open in late June or early July.

"We're excited to put something new in Wichita."

Going green

New "green" products come on the market every day, and now two Wichita brothers are going to open a store to exclusively sell them.

Justin and Garrett Bjork are opening Verde Sustainable Living in Mill Creek Village near Central and Rock Road.

"We are going to be a green-living store," Justin Bjork says. "So basically we're going to carry all kinds of home furnishings, gifts, building supplies — pretty much anything you can use in your home that's green or eco-friendly or sustainable."

Garrett Bjork has been living in California for the past couple of years and working for a similar company.

"He's kind of bringing his expertise here," Justin Bjork says.

The 2,400-square-foot store will open June 18.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. and Ken Saville of Transamerican Management handled the deal.

Garrett Bjork says Verde will offer a range of organic cotton items, such as baby clothing and dish towels, items made from bamboo, such as dishware, recycled items, such as glassware, and nontoxic supplies, such as paint and cleaners.

"Almost all of our products are also made in America," Garrett Bjork says. "It's a big goal that we've been working with as well."

Former Larkspur owner Pam Bjork is the brothers' mother as well as their backer.

"She's the reason why we can make everything happen, basically," Garrett Bjork says.

The brothers have big plans.

"Hopefully we're looking at growing," Justin Bjork says of other markets, such as Kansas City, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

"Those are next on the radar."

Outgoing Green

Green Zebra Concierge owner Kyle Gerstner has contemplated becoming a Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers franchisee for years, and now he's doing it.

"I watched and saw how they grew," Gerstner says of the business that Scott Redler and brothers Randy and Bill Simon started.

He's known them for years.

"Just being around those guys and kind of understanding it" led to his decision, Gerstner says.

He's working on a lease in Colorado Springs. He has a four-store deal there.

"It's just a great opportunity," Gerstner says. "We're kind of already eyeing other markets around the country."

He's not likely to open — or leave Wichita — for six months to a year.

Gerstner is in the process of selling his businesses here, which include Green Zebra, which he's selling off customer by customer, Green Zebra Valet Parking and Nutrition Kitchen .

Once Gerstner establishes himself with Freddy's, he doesn't anticipate standing behind the counter taking burger and custard orders much.

He wants to be more entrepreneurial, like Redler and the Simons.

"That's, obviously, the goal."

You don't say

"It's amazing what you can start when you're 12 years old."

—Developer George Laham , the keynote speaker at the 2011 Small Business Awards Wednesday, joking about how old he was when he started Bradley Fair 20 years ago

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