Carrie Rengers

520Commerce lofts lures Derby business for more exposure

Alicia Ybarra sees potential for her Vanya Designs & Custom Sewing to grow by moving it from Derby to the Commerce Arts District.
Alicia Ybarra sees potential for her Vanya Designs & Custom Sewing to grow by moving it from Derby to the Commerce Arts District. The Wichita Eagle

Alicia Ybarra has always argued that it doesn’t take a New York address to do high fashion, but she says she’s realized the benefits of locating her Vanya Designs & Custom Sewing in Wichita instead of Derby.

Ybarra is moving her business to the 520Commerce lofts at 520 Commerce St. in the Commerce Arts District in July.

Derby designer and seamstress Alicia Ybarra has a new line of bridal gowns called Redemption. (Video by Carrie Rengers /The Wichita Eagle/March 23, 2017)

“I’m thinking that’s really going to just boost our presence in Wichita.”

Ybarra says Derby has been great, but she sees the potential to do more.

“I just feel like we’ve reached kind of a plateau here in Derby,” she says. “There, I’m going to have a whole lot more exposure.”

With Intrust Bank Arena nearby and Commerce Street being a Final Friday hot spot, Ybarra says she thinks her shop will fit in.

“It’s right down my alley. My demographic hangs out in that area.”

Also, she says she has a lot of customers from places such as Goddard, Newton and Park City.

“So Wichita’s just going to be a more central, more convenient location for everybody.”

The store will be next to the Confluence Community Center at 520Commerce. It’s a space that will be home to a number of vendors. Ybarra will have walls around her 2,800 square feet, but there will be a door connecting the two shopping areas.

Ybarra’s store will be about the same size as her one in Derby, but she says it will be laid out more efficiently and allow her to eventually hire an additional seamstress.

“The space is just absolutely gorgeous,” she says. “Overall, I think it’s going to be a really great move.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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